In the month of April last year, nobody could think that 2013 will begin with this man as the president of the Republic of Ghana. Being the Member of Parliament (MP) in Ghana’s parliament for 12 years and serving as the vice president since January 2009, he was more colourful and inspiring on the national stage that he barely overshadowed every citizen of the country. Whether you are from Takoradi or Tumu, you want your leaders to have a personality and that is one of his qualities. He had the widest coverage by the Ghanaian media than everybody could expect.
Beside these prominence, he is hardworking, prudent, effective and very much admired as vice president. President John Mahama replaced President John Mills in the last four months of 2012. He was and still the most driving force in the politics of Ghana and appears intent to move Ghana’s political process further. He inherited problems in his own political party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) where many of us by then questioned the gap between rhetoric and promises on issues relating to party unity and cohesion towards the 2012 general elections.
President John Mahama came from the poorest region in the country and has no personal property of note over his 17years in his political prominence hence can be considered as not corrupt. He took over the leadership of the NDC with an unblemished name. In spite of his solid intellectual credentials, he is not known to be desperate for power. According to him, his only drawback was the unexpected demise of president John Mills and his constitutional mandate to take over from him as both the president and the presidential candidate of the NDC party for the 2012 elections.
The political twists and turns in his own party, the NDC, position him at a critical position where there was the need to bring together the two feuding factions in the party. He was seen as a breath of fresh air as he succeeded in re-energizing the party from the cadres’ front through to the grassroots levels. The founder of the NDC, former president Jerry Rawlings was full of praise after being marginalized and chastised by functionaries of the ruling government, also known as the ‘babies with sharp teethes’ . He succeeded in turning round the fortunes of a party that was virtually left with four months to go into opposition. Because there was all indications showing that the Mill’s administration was on its way out of political power. President John Mahama took over the party leadership role with the sole belief and conviction that ‘I believe that God who made me president will see me through the electoral process, and whoever is chosen by the people is the will of God’. He promised Ghanaians that God is going to speak on 7th December, 2012.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) the main opposition party, known mostly for their uncompromising and aggressive posture in the Ghanaian political landscape was another huddle to jump over. They made everything appeared as though the country’s economy, socio-cultural and political system were crumbling. They would pretend to see everything to be bad. They painted a picture as if the country was going to collapse should they fail to win political power to rule the country. It was a huge challenge for the NDC and former president John Mills. It was also obvious to most sympathizers of the NDC party that certain things were not going on well in the country and the party. There was a ‘foul odour’ in the air where every Ghanaian could feel everywhere you go. At the very moment when the NPP was very sure of their victory in 2012 election, John Mahama appeared and changes the scene, clear the polluted air and reshape the NDC party. Surprisingly as if a miracle, the NPP members are now laughing at the wrong side of their mouths.
A northerner from Bole in the western part of the northern region, he could not be exempted from the gross marginalization throughout the life history of the country including both the pre-colonial and post independent periods. In the wake of the county’s democratization, many southern and even some northerners are of the view that a person of northern extraction should always be chosen as a running mate to a southerner in order to capture votes from that part of the country. Therefore, many were of the view that it will take some time for a person of northern extract to become a president of Ghana as far as the 1992 constitution was concerned. There were some people who openly say that they will not allow a ‘pepe’ to rule them as president. Pushing through all these odds, John Mahama was able to prove to the country that times have change and any person irrespective of where you are coming from is capable of becoming the president when you humble yourself very well in the eyes of the citizens.
Coming into power amidst a country full of saboteurs and a very destructive opposition, the new president ‘s stated publicly that he is going to tackle the problem of energy since he is of the view that all other sectors of the economy and social life depends of it when one hopes to develop a modern nation.
In spite of a few challenges confronting the new president, I am of the solid conviction that he will surely succeed at end of the day. What is currently ongoing is just one of the political dust that will soon settled.
Carlos Dawda Nasanbory