Nana Addo Versus John Mahama: Who Deserves The Last Four Years

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Undoubtedly, Ghanaians shall go to the polls on 7th December, 2020 to perform a civic responsibility. That is, to elect a president who will man the affairs of the nation for a four year period and members of parliament for the 275 constituencies of Ghana. Without a dot of doubt, the election shall be fiercely contested by the two main political parties, the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress.
The New Patriotic Party shall be led into the elections by its flagbearer who doubles as the current president of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo and the National Democratic Congress shall be led by its flagbearer and a former president of Ghana, John  Dramani Mahama.
Straight to the point, the outstanding   feature of this year’s presidential election is the fact that both candidates have served their first four year period and are now seeking for the last four years. In light of this, each will be judged by the electorates according to their works and policies when they had the opportunity to form a government to run the affairs of Ghana.
To you as a voter, between the two presidential candidates,  who deserves the last four years considering the effects of their policies and decisions on the socio-economic life of Ghanaians ?
I vividly remember the submission of a friend that he does not side with the assertion that former president John Dramani Mahama had done four years. He opined that former president John Dramani Mahama had done two terms because he has taken what is due a former president ( ex- gratia) for two terms.
He added that since the inception of the fourth republic dispensation in Ghana, no former president has taken retirement package more than twice and John Dramani Mahama will be cheating the system should he be given the opportunity to receive a retirement  package( ex- gratia) for the third time.
He retorted that if John Dramani Mahama argues that he has not exhausted his two terms, he should return the 14 million Ghana cedis he took from the state as a retirement package for ending the six months of the NDC government after the death of Professor Evans Attah Mills to the wife and family of Professor Evans Attah Mills. He said that will make Ghanaians believe that the period from 2009 to 2013 should be appropriated to Professor Mills and not him. But it will be improper to pocket the retirement package meant for  the president who served Ghana for that period and still insist that those years shouldn’t to added to his tenure of rule.
My friend was always of the assertion that if former president John Dramani Mahama indeed wants Ghanaians to believe that he didn’t have enough time to execute his projects, he should stop exclusively approbating to himself projects like the Sawla-Fufulso road, the University of Ghana Medical Centre, the Ridge Hospital project, the Tamale Teaching Hospital Expansion project among others that were all initiated by the late President Atta Mills.
One area that is worth considering in assessing the candidate to vote for is the demand of both candidates on the nation. In that regard, it is better to trust the destiny of Ghana in the hands of Nana Addo than John Dramani Mahama. The reason is straight and simple. Per the constitution of Ghana, both are privileged per their offices to enjoy some privileges from the state.
The president for example is supposed to be accommodated by the state and his car and fuel and other privileges should be at the expense of the state. The president has declined all this. He has stayed and continue to stay in his personal residence since he became the president of Ghana on 7th January, 2017 and uses his personal car and fuel for official use. Can you quantify the amount of money the nation as saved in this regard? Are you surprised that as human as he is, he will decline all these privileges though he is legally entitled to it? For former president John Dramani Mahama, he never spared any moment to declining such offer.
In fact, he even appropriated more to himself. Through the Presidential Emoluments Committee set up by him in 2016, he received 24 million cedis as retirement package. He has forced the state to cough out a non- taxable 22,809 cedis to him as his monthly salary, GHS9,400 a month on his accommodation, 400 gallons of petrol a month and payment of all utility bills at his residence and many more.
I was intrigued by another analysis by another friend of mine. His was on how impactful the decisions, policies and actions of the two are to the lives of Ghanaians. To him, whereas Nana Addo’s free SHS education, NABCO, Planting for Food and Jobs, free BECE registration, Free WASSCE registration, restoration of teacher and nurses trainees allowances, absorption of utility Bill’s of tertiary students among others are life comforting and relieving, John Mahama’s cancellation of nurse and teacher trainees allowances, cancellation of voluntary of teaching under National Service Scheme, cancellation of recruitment of “pupil teachers”, charging of exorbitant fees at the Senior High School level, charging tertiary students to pay utility bills, introduction of the three months pay policy etc were not only discomforting but harsh and brought untold hardships on the affected persons.
Besides, the way and manner both of them have handled crisis that befall Ghanaians during their times is yet another yardstick in measuring which of them deserves the vote of Ghanaians. Thankfully, both of them have had their tenures characterised by some crisis. And what mitigating measures did they introduce to cushion businesses and individuals and soften the harsh effects of the crisis on businesses and individuals? In relation to this, Nana Addo stands tall as against John Dramani Mahama. Under former president John Dramani Mahama, the nation was plunged into an almost four years darkness( dumsor).
This crisis indeed affected everybody. Families and businesses, hospitals and schools, factories and shopping malls. Infact the energy crisis( dumsor) for four years reduced productivity, caused job losses and crippled businesses and this crippled the economy. And under Nana Addo, Ghana was also hit hard by the global pandemic that brought the whole world to its knees,the novel Corona Virus.
As presidents, how then did these two gentlemen handle Ghanaians during these crisis? I mean what measures were taken by any of them as a president to lessen the sufferings of Ghanaians resulting from the crisis? Former president John Dramani Mahama instead of being magnanimous on Ghanaians, rather increased the hardship of Ghanaians by increasing electricity bills.
He also increased fuel prices, cancelled nurses and teacher trainees allowances and placed an embargo on employment. Nana Addo on the other hand realising the has reduced electricity prices, made it free for lifeline consumers, given free water all Ghanaians and has set up a 600 million Ghana cedis stimulus package for businesses
How have both performed in the arena of job creation and employment to guarant your vote? John Dramani Mahama after taking the reins of government placed a blanket ban on public sector employment and this aggravated  the hardships of Ghanaian youth especially graduates of colleges and universities. In proferring solutions to the problem, Mr. Rashid Pelpuo who was a minister of state at the office of the president in charge of private sector development  and public private partnership in Mahama’s administration  asked the graduates to go to the bush and cut wood and grasses to sell if they wanted jobs.
Former president John Dramani Mahama himself told Ghanaian university graduates the programmes they offered at thier various universities were not marketable enough to get them jobs. President Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo since 2017 has provided over two million jobs for Ghanaians. The well thought through Nation Builders Corps( NABCO) that provide temporal employment for Ghanaian university and college graduates is a relief to the youth of Ghana. The Nana Addo led administration has also absorbed the 1,174 graduates of the various Schools of Hygiene in Ghana who completed since 2010 to 2019 as environmental health officers for the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies. He has employed 3,000 agricultural extension officers from the various colleges of agriculture and 6,718 lecturers into the various tertiary institutions.
The decision is yours. Remember that your vote decides your own destiny and that of the country. Let us not vote on any flimsy and primordial considerations.

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