By Benson B. Katapila .
Political aficionados have described Election 2020 as Ghana’s version of the quest for the Holy Grail. Either the National democratic Congress (NDC) or the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is the viable contender to win power.
Nana of the NPP seems to be the leading candidate presently. However from the NDC quarters, there are eleven candidates. The crab-like pull him down syndrome is on the NDC side. The NPP has no such problem as all their supporters are unwilling to take their colossus, Nana, on. However the other contestants of the NDC have John Mahama to beat. Interestingly, these other candidates, some albeit his former appointees, have become his nemesis and are trying to defeat him.
Mahama has the greatest chance to unseat Nana, who is viewed by the public as a failure by the fact that he has not executed the change he promised in 2016. Nana/Bawumia who decried the borrowing of loans by Mahama for visible infrastructure have themselves borrowed left, right and center with nothing to show for.
The Nana supporters seem to have a simple plan of attack, to use the law courts and the Special Prosecutor against him for what is not clear. Now that Hon. Martin Amidu has confessed at his vetting that his view of Mahama as corrupt was based on perception, where do Mahama’s antagonists go? The NPP seems to have arrived at the conclusion that the task with the other NDC Contestants appear to be easier than that of Mahama who will not be liable to the campaign of inexperience.
Mahama has a lot to show for experience, so he must be eliminated from the race. To the NPP, victory with Mahama out of the race is a walk in the park for Nana. With Mahama, the situation becomes difficult. Obviously, they are finding it difficult to prove the various lies of corruption they successfully peddled in 2016. Time to eat the “Npotompotor” and no “npotompotor” For readers who don’t know what the above refer to, it means “time to eat the pudding but there is no pudding to eat” referring to the lies and arguments that were won in Election 2016 that has become unable to prove .
Simplistically, they guess that Mahama is the only contestant with a proven record of achievement and his choices when he was president after the almost 1 year of challenge to his legitimacy at the supreme court though herculean, passed the test with distinction. Comparing with Mahama, Nana appears to have stuttered and floundered in his Presidency and cannot boast of anything solid but the free SHS. Here too, though Nana initiated the argument, Mahama is on record to have agreed with him but differed on the approach of implementation. While Nana advocated for the impatient approach, Mahama cautioned that access should be provided in a progressive manner as the Constitution advocates. Nana disagreed.
Nana said that free SHS must be had immediately. The immediate point of discussion for Election 2020 is what to do with the new student population of over 600,000 with not enough classrooms and equipment to cater for them. Mahama appear to be a soothsayer with Nana turning to be a great disappointment in his visionless act of not completing Mahama schools he Mahama had advocated for before the roll out of the Free Senior High School. Nana is now saying he would adopt a new untried system called DOUBLE TRACK SYSTEM where the student body would be divided into two streams. Each stream would go to school for 6 months for the academic year. The Public is yet to be convinced of the usefulness of this system. The jury is out. In retrospect,
Nana ought to have completed those Mahama schools and built some more. This would have given him the eternal gratefulness of the voters today as they consider renewing his mandate. NPP would have had an easier path to victory then with or without Mahama in the race. The voters remember the NPP’s fool-hardiness in not completing the so called Mahama schools which in reality are Ghana funded schools. It’s on record that Mahama never used his own money but Ghana’s money, making it a Ghana school project Mahama as President sounds good now and appear visionary in the long term and in the interest of the people who are now seething with fury at Nana. Voters have realized this belatedly.
Not only education but health too suffered the myopic vision of stopping all Mahama developmental projects. These include hospitals, some unfinished for value for money auditing. This led to many unnecessary deaths. Health professionals also suffered a no job syndrome. The public feel they have been short-changed by a myopic and vindictive policy of attempting to destroy Mahama’s legacy, when in true fact it was “Ghana’s project”.
“Let’s get Mahama out of the way by using our diabolical schemes” to upset Mahama’s juggernaut. And what do Mahama’s fellow NDC Contestants say? Curiously they have latched on to the 2016 NPP lies about him being incompetent and corrupt, forgetting that they were the object of the so called corruption allegations (though not proven yet) since they were the Mahama appointees described as “incompetent/corrupt government” It was expected that at least one corrupt act would by now be proven against Mahama.
That is not to be, so the NPP is staying clear of that because the voters would call on them to offer proof. Being in government, they now see the harsh realities. However the hapless NDC contestants are parroting this discredited allegation, but have lost sight that they themselves were the ones being described as incompetent and corrupt and Mahama was merely taking the flack for choosing them. They claim their party needs to present a candidate without any baggage! Baloney! Who proved that charge? Their failure to defend NPP’s allegations vigorously contributed to the perception. It seems the country is viewing a soap opera and the drama is becoming nauseating!
On the issue of roads, the NPP allowed half completed roads to suffer rainfalls and usage by drivers for the period they have been in office. The roads have fallen into a state of disrepair. How sad the public sees this and Nana’s handlers are afraid of the consequence. Their answer is to eliminate Mahama from the election and they suspect they would find the charge of inexperience against any other NDC candidate easier to fly to victory. Anansesem!
Dum-so was with Kufuor who bequeathed it to Mills, then to Mahama. It is on record that the latter worked tirelessly to increase the power output after bringing in Power Barges AMERI and KARPOWER on board. Soon thereafter, the NPP won the 2016 Elections and claimed they had solved Dumsor within four months even though they never added any watt to the national grid. We are today hearing of the Ameri Novation Deal, a gargantuan corrupt deal which engulfed Nana with sickening aroma but his Energy Minister was alleged to have misled him. The public to a man is asking how Nana was misled after reading and signing an executive order to Parliament. The facts are clear for all to see. Another steep hill for Nana to climb. All in all, the issues are favourable with Mahama. The Nana gang is skimming of ways to eliminate him from the contest.
As said above and believing in the packaged lies against Mahama in 2016, some of his opponents are using these with venom. As the NDC Founder J.J Rawlings wittingly said “the animal or insect that would bite you is wearing your cloth.” NDC folks are treading where Nana’s supporters fear to go. What else do they have against him? That he rides a motor cycle in town? That he has not allowed the Nana boys to cower him into submission with their chase after him wherever he went to lay his head since exiting the Jubilee House?
That he had gained international plaudits everywhere he went? That he did not go to pick his own forms for declaration to file for the contest? He had gone to seek the blessings of the NDC founder rather wisely to dispel notions that he is at logger heads with J.J Rawlings? I suggest Mahama should ride tro-tro just like Nana did or eat kenkey and fish with card playing members of the public while squeezing his face, then they would say he ate that way because there was no tuo zaafi, and charge him with public eating or tribalism, Haba! Issues confronting the public are more serious.
Let all politicians show how to bring jobs and food home! To this end, I would encourage all contestants including Nana to tackle “Planting for Food and Jobs” agenda with holistic zeal. It is easy to talk about this concept but implementers should regard it as Ghana’s future. Agriculture must start with a workable land tenure system. Land tenure system is strangely tied to urban development. A critic would say this issue is pedestrian which Presidential candidates ought not to waste their research hours on.
But this is where we fail as a Nation. Ignoring the little matters and making our country an anarchy. Make noise about little issues for it to gain the attention of power brokers They should for example deliberate on how cocoa can be generally consumed here as a beverage of choice rather than hard liquor to welcome visitors to our homes or functions. On this point, one may think it unnecessary. But Ghana has an import substitution policy to close the budget gap. This issue of import substitution is serious therefore it requires great attention.
In conclusion, if buildings in a first class residential area can be torn down for a national cathedral, what stops Nana from renewing some of the old parts of the city like Bukom, Nima etc? So the answer is politics!