Can Mahama Unseat Nana Akufo-Addo In Ghana's 2020 Election?
As the General Election draws nearer, different news has taken the center stage in Ghana over the seemingly fortified comeback of the former president, John Mahama, who is the flag bearer of the foremost opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Perhaps, this is a reaction to the significance of the 2020 presidential election as the third face-off between the two politicians in a series that began in 2012.
Recall that in 2016, the incumbent president, Nana Akufo-Addo who was ushered in under the flag of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) unseated Mahama with 53.8 percent vote.
Before then, Mahama who succeeded his deceased predecessor, Professor John Atta Mills in 2012, defeated Akufo-Addo in the presidential polls later that year. However, luck turned against Mahama in 2016 as Akufo-Addo unseated him, capitalizing on the economy that was dwindling due to falling prices of gold, cocoa and oil exports. Mahama’s government was also accused of overspending which blew a deep hole of $1.6 billion in the nation’s treasury, a reality that worked against his chances in 2016. Even then, the Mahama administration recorded better performance in corruption management than the Akufo-led government.
Nana Akufo-Addo, 73, who had once served as the Attorney General from 2001 to 2003 and also as Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2007 under the Kufuor-Led administration is also the current chairman of the Economic Community of West Africans States (ECOWAS). This profile is perhaps behind the very reason of his choice of priority in government. His administration has successfully exercise duty on petroleum, levies imposed on ‘Kayayei’ by local authorities, levies imposed on religious institutions and also reduced national Electrification Scheme Levy from 5% to 3%. His administration has also made good, the promise of free Senior High School (SHS) education. His government have scored few good credits in the area of infrastructure and national development. The one district, one factory project which is aimed at driving industrialization across the country, and the Pwalugu Dam project are some of the achievements of his NPP-led government in the area of infrastructure.
Mean while, Mahama who had served as member of Parliament and also as a vice president between 2009 to July 2012, is a communication expert whose government worked to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of the nation’s resources. Amongst the achievements of his administration is the construction of the International Maritime Hospital (IMAH), Ghana Civil Aviation Training Academy as well as many housing projects across the country.
The most striking difference between the two administrations is that Akufo-led administration on the one hand was more focused on economic transformation and growth while Mahama’s administration was more particular on building infrastructures.
The Akufo-addo administration is obviously particular with sustainable economic growth on which it has recorded an accumulated growth of 21.784% against the 15.836% record of Mahama’s government.
The 2020 presidential election thus seems to be the critical means of realizing the opinion of Ghanaians over the return match of the two administrations but the decision of Ghanaians might switch towards the one with a better antecedent to take back the mantle of leadership in the country.
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A Concern Nigerian, Reporting from Kumasi, Ghana.