John Mahama was a man for whom almost everything was a joke. From his slow reaction to Ghana’s energy challenges amidst the plenty assurances, claiming that he was a dead goat at a time when Ghanaians were feeling the heat, up to dancing to Daddy Lumba’s Yen Tie Obiaa, he was a President in a class of his own when we’re talking about indifference and I-don’t-care-ism. And now he is in a class of his own: the only one term president in the fourth republic of Ghana.
Aside the alleged corruption scandals and incompetence which were served on an almost weekly basis, this was a president who did not mind joking with serious issues when the vast majority of Ghana was not really in the mood.
He was the first president to invite everyday Ghanaians to parliament during a state of the nation address – a barber from Nima, a trader from Makola, a hairdresser, a carpenter from here, an ice cream seller from over there – and theatrically showcase them as beneficiaries and testament of his good governance. The comical exercise that day during his state of the nation address on 25th February 2016 was a disgrace for the house of parliament whose image has suffered a lot in recent years. And then the MPs also followed him with loud jama like they were some senior high school boys, not caring that there were international media and journalists in the chamber capturing their embarrassing misbehaviour.
One would have thought that after making himself useful in the past two years following his defeat in 2016 by doing election observation and a little diplomacy around the continent, John Mahama would continue in that and see himself above the presidency of Ghana. He wants to come back.
But it is not even because of his infamous incompetence and indifference that Ghanaians need to reject him a second time. In fact the reason why he needs to be rejected has little to do with his performance and more to do with human nature.
Years back when I was in SHS, one of my friends had this written on the back of one of his notebooks:
Nothing is more dangerous than a man with nothing to lose.
I don’t know where my friend learned this quote from but I laughed the first day I saw it. But it is true. And John Mahama is such a man right now.
Every sitting president in the fourth republic who has contested an election went in with his second term hanging in the balance. It meant they had to be cautious in their first term and play it safe as much as possible. John Mahama could not play it safe. If he tried, we can say it did not work. It was not enough to convince Ghanaians.
Now that he wants to come back for one term, he would have nothing at stake if he gets power again. If John Mahama is elected in 2020, he’s coming to serve only one term and go. The next four years would be his to do as he pleases. He can afford to be as incompetent as he was or even worse and there’s no punishment Ghanaians can give him in the next election because he would not be part of it. There would be nothing at stake for him in 2024.
The question is someone who couldn’t perform when there was something at stake for him nu, would he perform now that he has nothing to lose, now that he has nothing at stake? What reason does he have? Would JM be worth that risk?
Think well. I’m sure you would find the right answer to this question.
The views expressed herein do not constitute an endorsement of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and / or any aspiring presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and should not be misconstrued as such.