John Mahama: A Victim of Circumstance

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In this regime of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), a lot of their key performance indicators have gone weird. If not for deliberate intellectual dishonesty, it would be very surprising to see anyone casting aspersions to this fact.

The elephant, of course, rose onto the papal seat with humongous promises which even look juicier than God’s promise of ‘Paradise’. For the citizenry, it’s now obvious that they had been shortchanged with what they had bargained for since the year 2016.

Citizens were promised that the dollar would be kept behind bars at a time the cedi was 4.3017₵ to 1$. Today, the cedi has further depreciated as against the dollar and, it stands at 6.27₵ to 1$. Therefore, there is an increase in price of goods, works and services. Fuel prices, the almighty, keeps galloping. In 2016, “Gari Olonka” was 5₵. It’s now sold at some places for 12₵, 15₵, or 17₵. A taxi driver had to lament after buying 50₵ of petrol into his ‘Kia Picanto’. His tears were that seven years ago, this same amount of money could fill the car to the brim.

And if borrowing is a lazy approach of running an economy, why does a citizen owe more than 11000₵, to contribute towards defraying the public debt? The pledge of keeping the public purse is most certainly a fanfare. The free senior high, of which many of the citizenry goaded the initiative, looking at its rationality, could now be best described as one step forward, thousand steps backward.

Further worsening the economy was the dawn of COVID-19. It ruined lives and deteriorated the health system. That was when, one could say, this administration being put to a test. It was a time they had to earn their glorification — to display their competence — for the citizens to repose their trust in them. The virus didn’t get exterminated and another virus evolved — the procurement seepages in obtaining the vaccine for the same virus which was killing the populace. What happened? The case has slowly died like a wounded ant.

Remember, a whole Auditor General was shown the exit door. This, coupled with others, gave rise to the ‘FixTheCountry demonstration. The police delaying tactics and the ‘FixYourself’ disrupters! Indeed, the conveners went through a lot before the demonstration was put to light. It’s under this same government that the “tro-tro” drivers laid down their tools for almost a day. The last of its kind happened in June 6, 1970, as reported by the Ghanaian Times. They settled them with some few coins and drivers called it off. Well, they are still crying and, rather imposing the ripple effect on the ordinary Ghanaian who doesn’t sit at the table where fuel negotiations are held.

With all these anomalies happening under the NPP administration, it makes meaning to say that the bleak of their regime vindicates the former President, John Dramani Mahama.

It was one unholy mishap which made his administration very unpopular — “dumsor”. This is arguable, but none of the factors ruined him than the load-shedding, persistent, irregular, and unpredictable electric power outage, so much that even a class five pupil got irate about politics. Market women could tell what they felt lean government should be. The agenda bloggers used disparaging comments just to register their frustrations metaphorically. Even laymen hit their chests and claimed would govern Ghana better than John Dramani Mahama if they had the chance. The name calling alone was indescribable. And to climax it all, didn’t Ghanaians register their frustrations by voting massively for the incumbent President?

Now look at the way things have fared and are faring post the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) regime. Citizens would but have to agree that the erstwhile administration, if not for anything at all, was never the evil they portended. And that Ghanaians are to ask for forgiveness from John Dramani Mahama. We didn’t do him well at all.

There is an E-Levy proposal being forced on to the throats of the populace. Citizens have merged their strength, to give the unpatriotic proposal a wide berth. But day would break, all for the citizenry to see an E-levy supper garnished cake teasing at their nuanced opinions. University lecturers are on strike. The compatriots had to join a spindly queue for the re-registration of their sim-cards with the National Identification Card. Series of protests have followed. Intense agitations reignited. Tears upon tears are being shed. Yet nothing is holding the NPP to give their proposal a broader review. What would be said about these apathetic stints had it been the NDC’s regime?

And precisely, even recently, to dissent and voice out whatever actions being taken by this administration is as though the ordinary Ghanaian is doing ‘Jihad’. People have got their sentiments imploding. The brave and non-partisans, and even the very apparatchiks, rather anonymously, are all venting their spleens. Under the NDC, this was highly low — everyone expressed their concerns either diplomatically or radically because there was not a single scarecrow.

This is how far things have fared. Thus, to live peacefully in Ghana, devoid of hypertension,

one must now hold the belief that politics is a bad omen which knows no good, and that voting doesn’t make any ‘sense’. But Ghanaians, as portrayed by Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, “are not timid people as has been suggested in the foreign press. Far from it. They may be slow to anger, and may take time to organise and act. But once they are ready they strike, and strike hard. It pays no one to tamper with Ghanaian freedom and dignity.”

John Dramani Mahama had his own shortfalls as a leader of the Ghanaian people during his tenure of government. And disagreeing with him was even a fantasy: he hardly roasted those who criticized him constructively or destructively. This and many actions of his necessitate the reason today he stands tall of vindication.

Thus, in oftentimes, citizens would not lament about this administration and ways of the incumbent government without saying: “but Mahama was far better!”

Abdul Rahman Odoi

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