A massive crowd of cheering supporters and disappointed Ghanaians mobbed former President Mahama during his visit to the Ashanti Region to join the NDC for the party’s Unity Walk.
The former President paid a courtesy call on the Overlord of the Region King Osei Tutu and his elders before joining party folks for the walk. He also took opportunity of his presence in the region to visit some senior comrades in the region. People flooded the streets in Ghana’s second capital Kumasi before his arrival, defying the bad weather. Experts who spoke to journalists on some radio stations in the region, said his support and popularity in the region likely runs deeper and the old tribal barrier cannot stop the emerging wave. According to them, the economic breakdown caused by misuse of state funds and introduction of unscientific policies by the current administration as well as widespread corruption has left the region clamouring for the NDC and the former President.
President Akufo-Addo rode on the goodwill of millions of Ghanaians as result of many promises he gave, to emerge as the elected President of Ghana. The hope and optimism expressed by the people towards his change mantra was unprecedented.
One-and-a-half years down the line, many of his supporters and sympathisers have been left disappointed, disillusioned and defeated by his woeful performance so far. Some staunch supporters of the Npp including those at Abossey Okai, Kantamanto, Suame Magazine etc are becoming frustrated and rethinking the roles they played in helping the President to power amid increasingly excruciating economic and political crises rocking the nation.
After Mr Mahama had congratulated Nana Akufo-Addo for emerging the winner in the 2016 election, some renowned world leaders and heads of some multinational organisations including the President of the world bank, Barbara Pedmore of the Black Reconstruction Group, Barack Obama among others, commended him for his humility and display of maturity and predicted that- based on his achievements within his four years in office, how he carried himself on the global stage, Ghanaians will soon crave for his return. The world bank President and officials of the IMF based their prediction on the policies and programmes their institutions had began to implement in Ghana, their short to longterm effects, vis-a-vis the vague promises the Npp gave and their inherent difficulties.
The former Liberian President Madam Sirleef Johnson, addressing the people of Ghana during the inauguration of President Akufo-Addo, first praised Mr Mahama. She said “John, as you leave State House, please remember and cherish the fact that you have many roles to play in the future, in Ghana, Africa and the world. Thank you for demonstrating to all that indeed there is life after the pinnacle of power,”.
Barbara Pedmore of the Black Reconstruction Group, described him as “too honest a person to lead an African country” but went on further to predict what we witnessed in Kumasi today.
Contrary to the propaganda stories being pushed vigorously by the Pro-npp radio stations, about 98 percent of the people who attended the walk were from the Ashanti Region. For the first time in the Unity Walk programme, groups who were hitherto seen as anti-NDC including the galamsey operators, spare parts dealers, garment dealers, nurses among others, officially joined the walk and participated fully in all activities organised alongside the walk. Some of them openly expressed their disappointment in this administration and apologised to the former President for voting against him in the 2016 election because of lies told them about him and his government by the Npp, and failure on their part to critically evaluate promises the Npp made during the campaign. The galamsey operators presented few suggestions to the NDC to implement when they take over in 2021.
The leader of the frustrated unemployed nurses association said “we think it will be tragedy for Ghana for the Npp to win the next election because they have not even apologised to the nation for how they have destroyed the economy and the massive corruption going on in government. In light of the vindicating statements by the nurses, the spare parts dealers, traders etc, we hereby call on President Akufo-Addo and lying Vice president Bawumia to tender and unreserved apology to former President Mahama and the NDC and henceforth commit to returning Ghana to the state he inherited.”
After meeting the party elders when he arrived for the walk, the former President attempted to move to another place but again his movements were slowed by a mass of supporters and sympathisers with some holding placards and lantern. Whenever he attempted to address the people, the boisterous crowd virtually drowned our the former President’s speech.
A political science lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) who is known in the region as a pro Npp resource person who contribute to social and political discussions on some radio stations in the region, told a group of journalists who interviewed him at Ejisu that “never in the history of this country have we seen a President so clannish and unapologetically bigoted in his reasoning so much so that he set aside the unitary character principle only to feed the whims of his kinsmen by using them to fill strategic positions of authority”
One of the leaders of the Suame Magazine complained bitterly about charges at the port and unnecessary interference by persons placed there by the Akufo-Addo government under the guise of national security operatives. He said the claim by the government that it has improved the economy can only be seen on paper as Ghanaians are yet to witness any significant change. He said life under Mahama was far far better than what Ghanaians are experiencing under this administration. We sleep in hardship and wake up in hardship he said.
In conclusion, the general feeling in Ghanaians including supporters of the administration is that of disenchantment. Many have been left disappointed with Akufo-Addo even his die hard supporters. The worst thing to have happened to the President is the sycophantic shouts of his fanatics and numerous benefactors who have refused to allow him see and know what Ghanaians feel about his government. They have continously fed his ears with juicy stories about his performance so far which is totally false. The reality check manifested itself in Kumasi today.
Prince Atta Amoah, a popular Npp supporter in the region who spoke to a group of journalists, condemned his government and party for allowing NDC to enjoy the popularity it is currently enjoying in the region. He said the disenchantment is across the region. He attributed the problem to the President and the MPS in the region and questioned why the administration abandoned projects started by the last administration. He also condemned corruption in the administration. He said it is becoming difficult for communicators of the party in the region to feature on Radio discussions because of the administration’s abysmal performance. He questioned why government will employ 998 staffers whilst newly graduated nurses and doctors are demonstrating monthly. He said, the people in the Region see Mahama as their messiah because they see his projects daily.