The continuous reference to the ‘incompetent’ tag his opponents put on him during the 2016 electioneering campaign is an indication that former President John Dramani Mahama is still being hunted by that catchphrase, Today can confirm.
In fact, Today’s multiple sources at the Office of former President Dramani Mahama over the weekend revealed that the former President’s delay in declaring his political future “is as result of the incompetent tag put on him by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).”
According to our sources, he [Mr Dramani Mahama] “is afraid that his contenders in the upcoming National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) presidential race may use that against him,” hence his move to clear that scar on his body before declaring his intention to either vie for the NDC’s topmost position or not.
At least Today can report that former President Dramani Mahama, since exiting office a little over a year ago, had made reference to the incompetent tag not less than six (6) times, a clear indication that he was still worried about that tag on his government.
The latest reference to the incompetent tag was made at the 9th Unity Walk by the NDC at the weekend in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.
While addressing supporters of the NDC at the event, Mr Dramani Mahama said: One of the tags they put on us very successfully was that we were an incompetent government. I must say if you look at what this government has done so far in the one year three months, if that is what they call competence, I call it super incompetence, and, so, the government should be up and doing.”
“They are changing all the rules of the game. When we were in government, they said, the size of government was too high, you must reduce the size of government.” Then when they come into government and they appoint 110 ministers, 998 presidential staffers, then they say it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. Who determines quality?
“When they are out of government, even when you are not doing family and friends, they say it’s a family and friends government, then, when they come into government, they appoint all their relatives into government and when you talk they say it doesn’t matter, it’s whether they are qualified, but who doesn’t have relatives who are qualified? I have plenty relatives who are qualified, who could have served in my government but the fact that you are president does not mean you must load your government with your relatives.”
Meanwhile, former President Dramani Mahama at the event said he was close to announcing his decision on his political future.
He explained that the delay in communicating his decision was to allow the party re-organise itself.
He said, after seeing the success of the process so far, it would be prudent to announce his decision.
He disclosed that he had had the opportunity to discuss the issue with people who have the party’s best interest.
“Sooner rather than later…I think very very soon, I would make my political future clear…as I said earlier, I do not want my decision whether to run or not to affect the reorganisation of the party,” he said to rapturous cheers.
The issue of who leads the largest opposition party into the next general election in 2020 has been a hot debate among political analysts.
Former President Dramani Mahama polled a little above 44% of total votes cast in the last election, the lowest for an incumbent President, thereby losing the presidency to the NPP’s Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
This has stirred a serious debate within the NDC on whether he [former President Dramani Mahama] should be given the opportunity to run again considering he will serve only one term.
Meanwhile, some personalities likely to contest the NDC flag-bearship race, whose names continue to be in the public space, include former National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Boss, Sylvester Mensah, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, former Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Ekwow Spio Garbrah and former legislator for Ledzekuku, Professor Joshua Alabi.
Story: Atta KWAKU BOADI
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Today Newspaper (Ghana)