The immediate family of former President John Dramani Mahama has drawn down the curtain on days of speculations over the future of the former Ghanaian leader making a comeback to politics with official confirmation that the immediate past president will not lead the now biggest opposition party into the 2020 presidential election.
According to the Mahama family, the former President has paid his dues to the National Democratic Congress and the nation to the best of his ability, and it was time he leaves the stage for others to take over.
Speaking to a select group of senior journalists ahead of last weekend swearing-in of President Akufo Addo, a younger brother of former President Mahama and Chief Executive Officer of Engineers and Planners, Mr Ibrahim Mahama, stated that the Mahama family has been advising him not to contest the NDC primary to select flag bearer for the 2020 polls, adding “…and he (ex-President Mahama) agreed with us”.
“John has given his all in politics to NDC and Ghana and we think it is just fair that we allow him to rest. We were very supportive and instrumental in convincing him to partner late Prof Mills, and when the time came for him to contest for President, we supported him and advised him to go for it…now we have again advised him not to make a comeback in 2020,” the CEO of Engineers and Planners noted.
According to him the Mahama family shares the sentiments of persons calling on the former President not to quit politics after his failure to clinch to power in the December polls, but added that “it is important for those calling for his comeback to also respect the family’s judgment.”
Mr. Ibrahim, on behalf of the Mahama family has rather urge all Ghanaians, irrespective of their political and religious affiliation and ethnic background to support the newly sworn-in president, Nana Akufo Addo and his NPP administration with prayers to successfully steer the affairs of the nation.
According to Mr. Ibrahim, Ghanaians need to be measured in their expectations of the new Akufo Addo administration as the new government would need time to settle down. “The fact that Nana Addo made promises does not mean as soon as he takes office, things will change as many are expecting…things cannot change overnight. He needs time to put things in place before whatever changes he promised will start manifesting,” he noted.
On the numerous promises by the NPP during the electioneering campaign, the Chief Executive Officer of Engineers and Planners noted that much as he and his family will also benefit if the government succeeds in implementing them, he nevertheless, cautions that Ghanaians should not expect them to be fulfilled overnight as “there are no miracles in governance so, I am pleading with my country men and women to be modest in their expectations of Nana’s government…we should allow them some time to settle down.”
President Mahama lost the 2016 elections by a shocking margin of 1.5 million votes to veteran opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo, who polled 53.8%. Mr. Mahama thus became the first sitting President under the Fourth Republic to have tasted defeat. The president-elect was sworn into office last Saturday, January 7.
With another opportunity opened for him to contest the next presidential election, kingpins and supporters of the NDC have been calling on Mr Mahama to consider running for the 2020 elections. This call has however been shot down by the Mahama family who have advised their “son” to call it a quit, at least for now.
The uncompromising stand of the Mahama family brings to closure the former president’s possible comeback and goes contrary to statements by some NDC stalwarts who have vowed to see Mr Mahama contest the seat he just lost to Nana Addo again in 2020.
First to officially make a strong case for ex-president Mahama’s comeback in 2020 was former Minister of Youth and Sports and MP for Odododiodoo, Mr Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuije.
Speaking on personality profile show – Starr Chat – on Starr 103.5 FM, Mr. Vanderpuije stressed Mr Mahama will be “forced” by party members to stage a comeback because he is the obvious choice to lead the outgoing NDC government.
“We’ll force John Mahama to go,” the MP for Odododiodoo told his host Bola Ray.
National Organizer of the NDC and 2016 Campaign Coordinator, Mr Kofi Adams has also supported this call. He is reported to have stated that he would reject a decision by the former president not to contest in the 2020 presidential election.
“If he decides not to run for elections, I will be disappointed…I will mobilize people against that,” he recently stated on Asempa FM.