The real reason John Mahama is refusing to concede defeat in 2020 polls: Opinion Piece

John Dramani Mahama


John Dramani Mahama (JDM), Ghana’s ex-president lost again in the last December 7 election to the sitting president of Ghana, Nana Addo Danqua Akufo-Addo (NADAA). JDM refuses to accept Ghana’s electoral commission (EC) declaration on the basis that the election was flawed and among other accusations that the sitting President’s win was premised on figures generated out of the EC’s imagination.

For the followers of JDM, you would not feel comfortable knowing the real reason he rejects the EC’s results which has been widely affirmed by the media in Ghana as well as independent electoral observers such as CODEO etc. The man could simply be playing by the books of politics and personal aggrandizement. His main contender, NADAA, employed the same tactics in his political career and the end results catapulted him into the highest seat of the land. NADAA, prior to being elected as the flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had to feistily compete against about 17 other candidates. The stakes were high for him as a politician who had always harbored the dream of being the President of Ghana. He unfortunately lost out to late John Evans Attah Mills in the 2008 national presidential elections.


In 2012, the NPP again settled on NADAA to compete with JDM, who would be a new candidate on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). What was different was that the stakes were way higher for NADAA as that would be his second attempt at the presidency. If he lost, would that be the end of the road of pursuing the lofty footsteps of his father, Edward Akuffo-Addo who was the President of Ghana in the Second Republic? Surely, the membership base of the NPP, particularly among those who had opposed him during the party’s primaries in 2008 would have finally settled on a reasonably convenient basis to douse his dream. The 2012 national presidential election was a very close contest which narrowly saw JDM clinching victory. The outcome of that election was rejected by NADAA who railed against the EC’s handling of the electoral processes, citing various forms of irregularities. According to him, the election was rigged in favor of his main opponent, JDM.

NADAA sowed seeds of doubts among the NPP base with regards to the credibility of the 2012 elections by heavily panning the EC for carrying out what he considered a sham election. He demonstrated his resolve by petitioning the Supreme Court (SC), pre-occupied the party’s base with the forlorn hope of overturning the outcome of that elections. Members of the NPP would have been left adrift, languish in sorrow had he easily conceded defeat following the second loss of the NPP to the ruling NDC. In 2016, the NPP delegates unanimously selected NADAA unopposed to contest JDM again. By this, NADAA would be given perhaps his last chance to make a shot at the presidency. Political pundits believe that the reason underlying this unopposed selection could be his demonstration of commitment and drive to keep the party around a common cause: 2012 election petition. Could it be that NADAA intentionally or inadvertently deployed Laws 3, 6 and 27 of Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power?

Law 3: CONCEAL YOUR INTENTIONS. Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you were up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelop them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.

Did NADAA foresee that if he easily conceded in 2012 given his defeat in 2008, the NPP would also easily abandon him and settle on a new candidate? Remember, other candidates who lost out to NADAA during the 2008 tumultuous primaries were basically praying he lost again in his third attempt at the presidency in 2016 so they could also get the chance to lead the party.

Fast forward to 2020, the tables have turned and JDM is now on the other side. He is on a freewheeling mission, inciting the NDC’s base to not only lash out at the media and the EC but also reject the outcome of the just ended election. Is JDM also concealing his real intentions of gaining widespread acceptance among the NDC membership in order to ensure he is allowed to go unopposed in 2024 following his second defeat to NADAA? For students of politics, his continued criticisms against the EC and outright rejection of the outcome of the 2020 elections could simply be a smokescreen, a means of weakening the guards and defenses of serious contenders for the NDC leadership.

Do not be naïve to think that JDM’s contenders in the persons of Mr Alban Bagbin, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Prof. Joshua Alabi, Mr. Sylvester Mensah have buried their ambitions of leading the party in order to eventually reach the pinnacle of their political careers.
Readers are encouraged (particularly those not familiar with Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power) to further read on the other laws.

LAW 6: COURT ATTENTION AT ALL COST. “Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing. Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion. Stand out. Be conspicuous, at all cost. Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious than the bland and timid masses.” Is JDM courting the attention of the NDC and the country at all cost? Remember, precious lives have been lost already owing to his rejection of the election results.

LAW 27: PLAY ON PEOPLE’S NEED TO BELIEVE TO CREATE A CULTLIKE FOLLOWING. “People have an overwhelming desire to believe in something. Become the focal point of such desire by offering them a cause, a new faith to follow. Keep your words vague but full of promise; emphasize enthusiasm over rationality and clear thinking.” Is JDM offering NDC foot soldiers and stalwarts a new cause by way of unrelenting attacks on the EC and the media with the hidden motive of leading the NDC again in 2024? Is this an agenda to continue to engender the party’s membership faith in him?

In conclusion, NADAA won the 2020 election fair and square. Discerning minds can see through it that the clouds of doubts being cast on the EC and the results of the election through unrelenting press conferences by JDM is just a means of occupying the minds and hearts of the NDC members so they can unconsciously select him unopposed for 2024!

Paa Kwasi Kumi


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