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President Mahama has no integrity
From: Nana Kofi Oppong-Damoah/NPP Policy Analyst          Published On: December 29, 2012, 17:34 GMT
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President Mahama has no integrity

John Dramani Mahama

President Mahama has no integrity and those who have been keen observers of Ghana’s politics will easily recognize that.

Let’s take for instance the infamous STX and the issues that surrounded it. For the first time in recent history, a sitting vice president called the suggestions coming from parliament pure “baloney” and that it will be “foolishness” to heed such suggestions that elected representatives of the people were bringing up in an effort to safeguard the purse of the state. It is a wonder as to how he was not dragged before the privileges committee of parliament for those statements. I guess the heavily polarized nature of our parliamentary politics does have some benefits.

In reality, however, the STX deal, which by divine intervention never came to past, was only going to fleece the state of $800 million. This is because there were counter bids by local estate developers for a total sum of less than half the $1.5 billion that STX was asking for. The only “plausible reason” that Mahama could come up with at the time was that the local estate developers did not present their proposals on time. For a mind like mine, what Mahama said at that particular moment was “hey, let’s throw away $800 million of Ghana’s borrowed money because the local estate developers did not show up early enough. It’s not my fault, it theirs”. My comment to that was just one word- REALLY?

How does this raise integrity questions? Look at it this way. Will any man of integrity who has been entrusted with the resources of a group throw away $800 million of the group’s money because someone did not present a proposal early? And yes you read right. The figure is eight hundred million dollars. In case you are wondering what that could do, it could build 10,666 six classroom blocks with ancillary facilities. And just now I have remembered – doesn’t it sound selfish and wicked that he could only promise 200 new secondary schools in four years since he was willing to throw away about ten thousand of same schools?

The aircraft matter is an equally stinking case. For an aircraft that is available on the open market for just a little over $40 million dollars, how the then vice president managed to present a total cost of $88 million dollars to the state of Ghana will forever remain a mystery that we need to revive Sherlock Homes to solve. A hangar for one million dollars? Fuel tanks for about four million dollars? Entertainment package for a military plane for one million dollars? When I heard that, I picked up forms to apply for the Ghana Air Force because I sure wanted to experience that plane’s entertainment system. I was very confident that every seat came with a 3d Smart TV and a ps4 system. But again, God saved us from such profligate and overzealous expenditure.

Again if you my dear reader fail to see the issue of a lack of integrity in this matter, let me point it out to you. Why would a man of integrity bloat the price of a product he is to purchase for his company? To the extent that his own boss will set up an investigation into his conduct? Was that investigative committee an action to show his boss had no confidence in his integrity?

The two scenarios I have provided above tell much but it is not enough. Let’s now move the 2012 general elections.

The good book counsels that a good name is better than riches and surely it is better than all the power of the earth. Men of integrity act to preserve and protect their good name because that, to them, is worth more than everything else. To me, if Mahama was a man of integrity, he would have sought to answer all the questions surrounding his supposed victory in the 2012 elections before he attempted to celebrate and consummate the so called victory.

To me, there was actually no need for the NDC as a party to put any pressure on the Electoral Commissioner to declare the results of the 2012 elections when there were grave questions surrounding them. From where I sit, it was just a matter of patience, tact and integrity and they failed woefully. Think about it this way- that your sister, wife or daughter had prepared fufu and light soup. The fufu had been served and the soup was ready and about to be poured unto the fufu. Just then, your brother raises an alarm that the meal has been poisoned and that he wants just 20 minutes to prove it. Knowing very well that you were not the only one going to consume that meal and that your entire family was going to consume it as well, will you give this brother just five minutes to prove it when he has asked for 20 minutes? Assuming your other brother decided to give such an ultimatum and you knew you could intervene would you have?

So why did Mahama sit by unconcerned when the NPP expressed misgivings with the results and allowed the Electoral Commissioner to go ahead and announce the results?

Oh, I know very well that my friends in the NDC will immediately jump down my throat with the excuse that President Mahama is not Chairman of the Electoral Commission, and yes granted he is not but he was the leader of the NDC at the moment. Could he have decided that he did not want a tainted victory and so he wanted all the grievances looked into before he was declared winner? Just for the avoidance of doubt and for the preservation of his most precious gift – his supposed good name.

But newsflash - Mahama did not care about his name. He wanted victory and he wanted it at all cost, even at the extent of a nation at war. What he wanted was to be declared winner and that was that. Is this a man who has integrity?

That answer is clear isn’t it?

Nana Kofi Oppong-Damoah
Policy Analyst

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