Former President John Dramani Mahama is lacing his boots to contest the 2024 presidential election, barring any hitch.
He has, therefore, tasked Muslims in his hometown Bole in the Savannah Region, to pray for him, as he prepares to return to the contest once again after losing the 2016 and 2020 elections respectively to the NPP’s candidate Nana Akufo-Addo.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Bole-Bamboo, Alhaji Yussif Sulemana, relayed the former President’s intentions on Bole-based Nkilgi FM during the 2021 Eid-ul-Adha celebration on Tuesday.
“Former President John Dramani Mahama who is from Bole here (sic) has asked me to tell the good people of Bole-Bamboo Constituency that he has not forgotten of the good things they have done for him over the years and that Inshah Allah (God willing) he is likely to come back to contest elections in his party and so they should use this special Eid-ul-Adha day to thank God and to ask for good health, success and victory for him,” the MP said.
He then said that Prophet Ibrahim was commanded by God to sacrifice his only son Ismael to Him and that Ibrahim made an attempt; which is the highest form of obedience to God and situated it to the political dispensation saying, “so former President Mahama entreats his Bole-Bamboo constituents to continue to be obedient to their creator, their parents, elders and also respect and love each other.”
Mr Mahama, in his 2021 Eid-ul-Adha message, said there is the need for Ghanaians to be reminded of the value of obedience and sacrifice as Muslims celebrated Eid-ul-Adha across the world.
He had said Ghanaians should use Eid-ul-Adha to inspire people to give back to humanity, something that is bigger and then sent a specific message to Muslims in Bole-Bamboo saying he has always cherished their support over the years and that they should continue to pray for him in all his endeavours.
Before he becomes the NDC flagbearer once again, he has to cross the party’s hurdle at the primaries, which political pundits believe is a mere formality.
In 2012, Mr Mahama, then Vice President, was seconded by the party to contest the impending December presidential election following the sudden passing of then-President John Evans Atta Mills whose death occurred on July 24, 2012, and was buried on August 10, 2012.
Mr Mahama won the controversial election which culminated in the landmark Presidential Election Petition of 2013 which verdict (5-4) narrowly went in his favour on August 29, 2019, after about eight months of trial.
The 2012 petition had been filed by then-candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, his running mate Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and then NPP Chairman Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, now deceased.
Then-candidate Akufo-Addo after the court’s verdict announced that even though he did not agree with the judges, he was letting things die for the sake of the peace and development of the country.
He then went back to the drawing board planning how to win the 2016 contest, and by dint of hard work, the NPP overpowered the NDC subsequently.
In 2016, whilst seeking a second term in office, Mr Mahama was defeated heavily by then opposition candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, 72, by over one million votes, making him the first incumbent to lose an election to an opposition leader in the Fourth Republic.
While Nana Akufo-Addo’s votes appreciated significantly and NDC’s John Mahama dropped votes with then-president-elect widening the gaps with 1,002,749 votes when four more constituencies were outstanding.
In the final analysis, candidate Akufo-Addo had polled some 5,755,758 representing 53.7% over Mr Mahama’s 4,771,188, representing some 44.4%, to clinch one-touch victory in 2016.
In 2020, there was another showdown between the two leaders but Mr Mahama was fighting to become President from the opposition with the same Nana Akufo-Addo as an incumbent.
He was once again defeated by the incumbent President Akufo-Addo who polled 6,730,587, representing 51.303%, to beat the former President, John Mahama, who garnered 6,213,182, representing 47.359% in the eighth election of the Fourth Republic.
The votes’ gap by the president-elect over the former president, who was staging a comeback, was around 517,405 and Mr Mahama’s 44% in 2016 appreciated to 47% in 2020.
Mr Mahama subsequently launched a legal challenge, claiming he won the election but was denied victory after he and his party had amassed their supporters to hit the streets to cause mayhem.
However, by the time the case was being heard, the NDC’s stance that Mr Mahama was denied victory had shifted to whether or not none of the 12 candidates that participated in the 2020 Presidential Election got the constitutionally mandatory 50 per cent plus one of the total valid votes.
The NDC also pushed that the Supreme Court should determine whether the Electoral Commission (EC) had to organise a run-off election between Mr Mahama as petitioner and President Akufo-Addo who was declared the winner by the EC on December 9, 2020, after the crucial December 7, 2020, general election.
A few hours after the petition was unanimously dismissed by the Supreme Court, Mr Mahama refused to concede defeat, and rather launched blistering attacks on the judges, the President and some state institutions.
What was meant to be a criticism of the final judgment of his petition, spilt over to other issues that even had no bearing on the proceedings of the court?
He accused the Akufo-Addo-led government of discriminating against some tribes in the country, saying certain tribes have been sidelined, attacked and discriminated against for quite too long and even said the discrimination has been extended to Mr Daniel Y. Domelevo, the Auditor General who retired from public service.
He said Mr Domelevo was compelled to retire because he was from a certain tribe that he said had suffered great injustice and abuse under the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, and conveniently refused to explain the circumstances that made the presidency ask Mr Domelevo to retire because he had attained the retirement age of 60.
Interestingly, Mr Domelevo was asked to retire because it had been found out that he tampered with his records at SSNIT to remain in government employment, but Mr Mahama glossed over the facts and just attacked the government for political convenience.
“Others were falsely branded as foreigners and their citizenship called into question unjustly, an abhorrent nation-wrecking prejudice which had been directed against certain ethnic groups of this country and had continued till date, and had even recently visited cruelly on the Auditor General, Daniel Yaw Domelevo,” he had said in the no-concession speech.
He also alleged that President Akufo-Addo’s government strategically used the military to create fear and panic in some targeted ethnic groups to discourage them from participating in the 2020 polls.
Mr Mahama said the selective deployment of military personnel in some parts of the country was used as a tool to instil fear in citizens in those areas and prevent them from taking part in the voter registration and other electoral processes.
Mr Mahama also alleged that the NPP government spent a huge amount of state resources to launch unprovoked attacks on some people, leading to the avoidable deaths of some innocent NDC members.
“In the last election, unprecedented levels of state funds were doled out by the ruling party and provoked deadly violence during and after the 2020 general elections,” Mr Mahama said, adding, “in the process, eight of our compatriots were murdered in cold blood and several others maimed during the process of the elections.
“We have designated these compatriots whose bloods were shed just because they sought to participate in what was a purely civil exercise as Martyrs of Democracy, to whom we shall dedicate an appropriate monument when the time comes.”
Interestingly, the police administration in their post-election press conference said their preliminary reports indicated that almost all the incidents that resulted in deaths in particular constituencies were started by Mr Mahama’s own NDC supporters.