An Open Letter To Ex-President John Mahama On His Intention To Contest As Presidential Candidate Again

Your Excellency John Dramani Mahama,
You would agree with me Mr. former President that you are the all-time luckiest Ghanaian politician. Throughout our history, no Ghanaian politician has been offered as much opportunity to serve his/her party and country as you [John Mahama]. You alone have had the rare privilege of serving the NDC and the Ghanaian people in almost every capacity.

You served as an Assembly Member; you served as a Deputy Minister of State; you served as a Member of Parliament for more than one-term; you served as a Minister of State; you served as a Vice President; you served as an Acting President; you served as President and finally, you are serving as former President. You have virtually served in every political position in this country.

You would thus agree with me that whatever you had in you to deliver by way of service to the NDC and Ghanaians, you were given more than enough opportunity to deliver same. What more opportunity do you expect from the NDC and Ghanaians which you haven’t had before? Are you telling me that in the NDC, nobody else other than you is deserving of an opportunity to serve the party in the highest echelon?

Are you so indispensable in the NDC, such that without you, the party CANNOT exist? Must it always be you, you, and you? Why are you making African politics become synonymous with greed and egocentrism? Must it always be you or nobody else?

Having held all these innumerable privilege positions including the highest political office in the country, a lot of Ghanaians expected you to take a cue from your predecessors, His Excellency Jerry John Rawlings and His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor and become a distinguished Statesman. Like them, we expected you to be sharing your rich experience and providing nuggets of statesmanly wisdom to the government and people of Ghana as well as your party.

The position of a former President is a revered one and Ghanaians hold it in high esteem. That is why, pursuant to Article 68(4) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, we pay all former Presidents a significant gratuity in addition to pension equivalent to the salary they were taking when they were in office.

This is meant to provide them a perpetual financial security so that they would, under no circumstance be tempted to engage in any productive venture for purposes of making profit to enhance their livelihood. It is for this reason that Article 68(2) of the Constitution BARS the President, upon leaving office as President, from either directly or indirectly, holding any office of profit or emolument (compensation received by virtue of holding an office or having employment) except with the permission of Parliament.

The flagbearship of a political party is certainly a contractual engagement. It requires that you engage in ventures to raise money for the purpose of financing what has become an expensive electioneering campaign associated with our general elections.

When you win the elections and become President, you enter into another contractual obligation with the Ghanaian people for which you will be compensated by way of emolument. This contravenes both the letter and spirit of Article 68(2) of the Constitution so long as the person has exited office as President. That is why I wholly agree with Ken Kuranchie and some seasoned lawyers who have argued strongly that ex-president John Mahama is NOT qualified to contest for President again by virtue of Article 68 and other relevant legislations.

Suffice it to add that, the business of engaging in active politics is a serious business and in the case of Ghana, it is an enterprise characterized by an ugly spectacle pregnant with vitriol, mudslinging and character assassination. As a former President and for that matter a fountain of statesmanly wisdom, you certainly wouldn’t want to subject yourself to these vitriolic attacks and mudslinging. Haven’t you had enough of that Mr. former President?

If I were an NDC delegate, I would, without hesitation vote against your candidature in the impending presidential primaries. I would vote against you for a number legitimate reasons. Foremost among them is your FAILURE to lead the NDC to victory in the last polls. Not only did you lose the elections, but you lost in an unprecedented humiliating manner. What haven’t the NDC done for you Mr. John Mahama? The party supported you to become an Assembly Member, a Deputy Minister of State, a Member of Parliament, a Minister of State, a Vice President and a President.

As a President and later Presidential Candidate in the 2016 general elections, you had everything to your advantage. You had unfettered access to the media; you had your so called unprecedented record in infrastructure development; you had the security apparatus of the state; you had significant amount of resources to run any kind of campaign you wanted; ultimately, you had the system and enjoyed all the incumbency advantage.

Yet, what happened? You led this party [the NDC] to the most embarrassing electoral defeat ever witnessed in the history of this country by a major political party. We are talking about a colossal ten percentage gap between you (the then governing NDC’s Presidential Candidate) and the then main opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo.

You certainly couldn’t have done worse than that, Mr. former President. So, after recording such a monumental shameful fiasco, why should the party delegates give you another chance, bearing in mind that the party is now in opposition? The rank and file of the NDC certainly want to as early as possible forget your onaapo 44.4% and think forward. If you couldn’t do it when the party was in government with all the unlimited resources and incumbency advantage, you certainly cannot do it now that the party is in position with virtually nothing.

So, Mr. former President, from all indications, it is in your interest and in the interest of the NDC that you listen to people like the respected Dr. Eric Oduro Osae and reconsider your decision to lead the party again especially also because of the constitutional impediment imposed by Article 68 and the possibility that you may be spending precious time defending your candidature in the Supreme Court.

But I know you wouldn’t listen because you have all the influence and money to become the party’s presidential candidate. That’s all that matters to you. I will, in fact, be surprise if you secure less than 80% in the primaries. But remember that, what shall it profit a John Mahama to win the NDC presidential primaries by even a 98% and lose in the general elections of 2020 which is bound to happen INSHA ALLAHU?

Assalamu alaik

Yours in service of country,

IDDI MUHAYU-DEEN

Political Activist
#ForGodAndCountry