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But didn’t Mahama embark on ‘do or die’, ‘boot for boot’ in 2016 and 2020 elections?


1 years ago
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It is quite baffling to see former President Mahama moving heaven and earth to reclaim the presidency after being rejected by Ghanaians in two consecutive elections -2016 and 2020 due to his dreadful errors in judgement which led to massive economic meltdown.


Somehow, former President Mahama’s desperation to return to power has resulted in all sorts of unpalatable pronouncements.


Take, for instance, a few years ago, the former president came out with seemingly incoherent response to the unfortunate incident which occurred during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on Thursday 31st January 2019. 


Ex-President Mahama, who is moving heaven and earth to reclaim the presidency, is reported to have pontificated somewhat carelessly: “We are not going to joke in the next election, and I’m sounding a warning to the NPP – we are going to match them boot for boot. “I want to sound a caution that NDC has a revolutionary root and when it comes to unleashing violence, no one can beat us to that. It is just that we are mindful of this country’s democracy and that is why we must be the first to respect it.”


I have stressed on numerous occasions that some of us regrettably witnessed the revoltingly ugly events which took place over a period of three decades (1970-1990s) and therefore cannot be hoodwinked by the inveterate propagandists to believing that political violence is not synonymous with NDC.


It is absolutely true that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was formed on the ideals of militant vigilantism, and therefore it is somewhat baffling to hear the baseless claims from the NDC quarters that the party is not synonymous with violence.


The story is told, though vividly, that in their desperate attempts to defend their illegitimate power and lay the foundation for a supposedly true democracy in Ghana, the founders of the NDC officially set up paramilitary organs such as the People’s Defence Committee (PDC), the Civil Defence Organisation (CDO), which was popularly known as the Militia and the Workers Defence Committee (WDC), where the last two organs were later reorganised and renamed as the Committee for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR), whose collective mandate was to defend the revolution by hook or by crook.


The CDRs were established in villages, urban communities, and workplaces and intended to be the organs of popular power and political initiative.


In addition, Forces' Defence Committees were established in the armed forces and the police service.


The June Four Movement was a militant mass revolutionary movement dedicated to keeping alive the ideals of the June 4 1979 uprising that Rawlings had led. It sought to arouse the population at large to assist in establishing so-called people's power within the avowed objectives of the revolutionary process.


“The PDCs and the WDCs (Workers Defence Committees) had their own courts and "meted out justice according to no established legal procedures” [Amnesty International, 1983).


Unsurprisingly, therefore, the PNDC's political opposition back then vehemently contested the democratic nature of such organs and saw them as nothing but state-sponsored vigilantes engaged in intimidation and human rights abuses (Source: U.S. Library of Congress).


It is against such background that some of us aren’t surprise to hear such insipid statements from NDC loyalists like former President Mahama.


Interestingly, during the 2020 general elections, the former president embarked on ‘do or die’, ‘boot for boot’, but was rejected once again by discerning Ghanaians.


As if that was not enough, in his preparations towards the 2024 general elections, the former president has come out with another controversial and somewhat unpalatable pronouncement.


In a radio interview during his travels across the length and breadth of the country, the former president is reported to have said that unlike the 2020 general elections, the 2024 general elections will be a ‘do or die affair’(emphasis mine).


It is absolutely true that the former president and the NDC’s 2020 flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama, holds an unmatched record of being the first incumbent president of Ghana to be voted out of power in his first term in office.


It is also right in mentioning that former President John Dramani Mahama has held a panorama of important positions in Ghanaian politics.


The former president began his political career first as an assemblyman, then as a parliamentarian, a deputy minister, a substantive minister, a vice president, as an acted president, as an elected president of Ghana, and the 2016 and 2020 flagbearer of NDC.


Interestingly, however, on 7th December 2016, about 55.6% of the electorates expressed their disappointments in his performance as the first gentleman of the land by showing him the exit. He lost by a huge margin of over one million votes. Indeed, it was the first in the history of Ghanaian politics.


The reflective observers thus found it extremely bizarre when the former president decided to wrestle powering 2020.


Besides, observers contend that former President Mahama had had enough opportunity to show discerning Ghanaians his ability to steer Ghana to the right direction, but wilfully failed to do so and was rightly rejected by over one million electorates.


The sceptics would thus quiz in amazement: ‘what can Mahama do differently at the presidency next time around’?


Despite the unpardonable mismanagement which brought about his heavy defeat in the 2016 and 2020 general elections, the former president holds a faint hope that he will bounce back and recapture the power from the NPP in 2024.


The critics nonetheless insist that it will rather be easier for a camel to go through an eye of a needle than NDC returning into power anytime soon with former President Mahama, judging from the unprecedented economic mess he left behind.


Given the circumstances back then, we can confidently conclude that the 55.6% and 51.2% of electorates were not happy with former President Mahama, hence showing him the exit in the 2016 and 2020 general elections respectively.


The overarching question then is: what would make the unhappy 55.6% and 51.2% of electorates change their mind and repose their absolute trusts in Mahama in 2024?


K. Badu, UK.