Ghana’s ex-President John Mahama is set to improve on the well-being of Ghanaians if he wins the 2020 presidential polls since his first term was devoted principally to the provision of basic infrastructure and ensuring that Ghanaians participated in the running of their economy by putting in place the Local Content Law
By Anayo Ezugwu
JOHN Dramani Mahama, former President of Ghana has said that he is in the race for the 2020 presidential elections in the country to complete some of the projects he started in 2012. He said his second coming would give Ghanaians more opportunities to be able to engage in the wealth of the country.
Mahama, who was defeated by incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2016, said in an exclusive interview with Realnews in Lagos that he did part of it in his first term. According to him, the Local Content Law was passed under his watch to encourage Ghanaian businessmen and women.
The former president said by the time he was leaving office, Ghanaian companies were handling contracts close to $2 billion. “I’m sure that by now the percentage has increased. It allowed wealth from some of our natural resources to remain in our country and create wealth for our people,” he said.
Mahama said that his failure to secure reelection in the 2016 election was mainly due to apathy by some of the party members and supporters and that the lessons had been learnt. “If it is the electoral processes itself, a lot of things didn’t work out for us. Many of our people who felt dissatisfied became a bit apathetic and so the roles that we expected that they will play in the electioneering processes they didn’t. If you look at the results, my opponent didn’t go up much. He won by a few 100 thousands, but my results dropped by over 800 thousand votes.
“So it means that our people didn’t come out on the day of the election. So galvanizing, mobilizing, motivating them and increasing their interest and excitement in the coming elections, are some of the things we need to do. We have started. Since I was elected the flagbearer, I have been going round and we are putting the party back in shape. We have held all the different elections that we should hold from the branch level up to the flagbearer level. We are now dealing with our parliamentary primaries and as at now we have finished 230 out of 275 constituencies. So we have few more to go and our parliamentary candidates will be set.
“Once we do that, we need to start the training of our party executives and then start the training of our party agents, who will supervise any compilation of the new register or will supervise the election processes. So our job is cut out for us. We have come up with a calendar with programmes that we are following and I’m sure we will be ready for the 2020 elections.”
Mahama noted that he is in the race because his party elected him as the flagbearer. “My party has nominated me to be the flagbearer. Our constitution allows you to do two terms in office. If you remember my predecessor passed away and so I served the remaining part of his term, which was five months. And then I won the 2012 election and I served one term in office. So the constitution allows me to stand for another term. And my party called on me to stand again and they overwhelmingly endorsed it with 93.2 percent of the votes. Yes I’m in the race for 2020.
“Well, the constitution drafters signify two terms for a reason because you started a lot of things and a four-year gestation period is a bit short so often you are able to continue from where you left off in the first term. But I think that I’m the only president whom God has given the opportunity to have served and see that I could have done things in different ways and put more emphasis on certain areas. I think I will be a better leader the next time than the first time because then you have accumulated that experience under your belt.
“So there are a lot of things we are working on. I think we did very well in infrastructure. We went on road construction, building hospitals, schools, water system, electricity, built a new terminal at the airport, we expanded the harbour and all that. For infrastructure, we have quite a solid record and I think that in my next administration I will push more on people’s livelihood and see how we can boost entrepreneurship, increase the participation of Ghanaians in all sectors of the economy.
“If you look at our gross domestic product, GDP, our total sum of production, including foreign investments, and if you take gross national product and calculate exactly the contribution of Ghanaians in the economic activities, you will see that it is low. I think we must push that up,” he said.
– Nov. 30, 2019 @ 14:45 GMT |