Unlike his main contender for the 2016 presidential polls, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is desperate and has vowed to become President at-all-cost, President John Dramani Mahama has yet again reiterated that he is not over anxious to remain head of state of Ghana.

President John Dramani Mahama
President John Dramani Mahama
The well-mannered second northerner to become president of the Ghana after the late Dr Hilla Liman, a close associate stated, ?will rather prefer to leave a Ghana that works again rather than being desperate remaining a leader of a nation just for its political convenience.

This bold position of President John Mahama was made known to The aL-hAJJ by a very dependable associate who pleaded anonymity.

In an exclusive chat with this paper on recent developments in the country, including the ongoing labor unrest that is threatening the survival of the Mahama-led NDC administration, challenges in the national economy and allegations of the President manipulating his party executives to impose his favourite parliamentary candidates, and to contest the November 7 flag bearer contest unopposed, the close pal of the President noted that, the former Bole-Bamboi MP ?remains calm, unshakeable and focused on his job of delivering on his promises to the people of the country.?

?The old man (President Mahama) is resolute and unruffled by all the ongoing machinations, especially at the labour front… He is not only firm and ready to take all the tough decisions in the best interest of the country, he is also mindful of the political cost. If you recall, he has persistently made it known that he does not fear losing the 2016 election insofar as he believes all his efforts are in the best interest of Ghana, so he will do what it takes to build a country that would be a safe haven for all of us and generations yet unborn,? he noted.

The President himself on several platforms in recent past has reiterated his stand on his political future. In an interaction with the Ghanaian community in Botswana early this year on the threats of unrest on the labor front in the country, President Mahama reiterate the point that he was in readiness for any threat of demonstration and agitations against his administration; and that, like the proverbial dead goat, he was not afraid of ?death?.

?I have seen more demonstrations and strikes in my first two years; I don?t think it can get worse. It is said that when you kill a goat and you frighten it with a knife, it doesn?t fear the knife because it is dead already,? he said, for which reason ?I have a dead goat syndrome.?

True to his words, and in reaction to ongoing strike by public sector doctors, the president, few days ago, told the striking doctors he was not going to authorize the expenditure of a single pesewa from the exchequer that has not been budgeted for this year regardless of the political implications.

Addressing members of the Ghana Registered Midwives Association at the launch of their 80th anniversary in Accra, President Mahama stated that conceding to the demands of the Ghana Medical Association will derail the efforts being put in place to achieve fiscal discipline.
“Any agreement that is reached in respect of allowances or conditions of services would have to be appropriately captured in the budget…and I want to say for emphasis I will not authorize any expenditure on wages and compensation not provided for in the budget.

“Fiscal discipline requires that not a single pesewa is spent on remuneration outside what has been budgeted for and this goes for both Article 71 Office holders and those on the single spine…I am determined to hold the line no matter the political cost?.

The first gentleman of the land, speaking exclusively on national broadcaster, Uniiq FM last week stated that government can only give the doctors what it has and nothing more since any attempt to give them preferential treatment will trigger chaos in the labour front.

?I think that the time has come when we have to do what we have to do and not keep an eye on the political ball. This government has taken some of the toughest decisions?

The president once again insisted that the strike action embarked upon by doctors in the public sector is ‘illegal’ and ‘does not make sense’.

According to President John Mahama ?A leader must take the decision that needs to be taken and I believe Ghanaians are discerning.

?The labour law states that nobody must negotiate under duress. Even before negotiations begun they declared strike. Nobody must die as a result of an illegal strike. The doctors strike is illegal? The doctors must go back to work while negotiations continue in good faith…

?We?re paying doctors their salaries and allowances as negotiated on single spine, but instead conditions of service…the budget would go to Parliament at the end of November…it doesn’t make sense,? he said.

On the issue of the president manipulating national executives of his party, the NDC, to skew the upcoming primaries in his favor, our source stated, ?Let me put it on record, that information is being churn out by people engaged in mischief. President Mahama himself has timelessly made the point that he is not afraid of contest and that he is not desperate to remain president, so why would he manipulate someone?

In any case, are you telling me President Mahama can manipulate Portuphy, Asiedu Nketsiah and the rest of the constituency, regional and national executives??

The source, however, added that, much as the president is not desperate to remain in power, he is, nonetheless, confident the people of Ghana will convincingly retain him and the NDC in power after the 2016 election, ?looking at what the president has achieved so far despite the challenges we?ve faced as government, you don?t need a soothsayer to tell you that president Mahama will win the 2016 elections hands down,? the source stated.

Rubbishing media reports alleging he is scheming with national executives to contest the party?s November 7 flag bearer contest unopposed, President John Mahama, told Radio Ghana last week that:

?The NDC is a very democratic party so we allow for competition at all levels of the party and therefore the party encourages that. This is why we are called the National Democratic Congress (NDC).?

?I believe in non-interference in the Parliamentary primaries because at that level such personal involvement could result in the choosing of candidates who will lose the general elections. Therefore it is always proper to allow for the people to elect their own candidates,? the president who is seeking a second term said.

It would also be recalled that, as a result of the ongoing debilitating power rationing that has crippled many businesses and brought untold hardship to many, sections of the Ghanaian populace have been threatening to vote out President Mahama and the NDC come 2016.

But speaking to this paper, an aide to the President said, ?the president is unmoved by these threats, instead he is committed to finding a long, lasting and permanent solution to the age long power crisis, known in the local parlance as dumsor, as against his political future?.

Not even threats to end his political career in 2016 due to some harsh decisions intended to put the country?s economy back on track has shaken the president, as he told some Senior Citizens at a Luncheon to mark the 55th Republic Day Anniversary that, he was ready to take all the tough decisions needed to make the economy buoyant.

The president assured the nation that his government has the political will to spend within its expenditure ahead of elections next year, ?I have the political will to see this through. Despite the fact that next year is an election year, and thereby the political season?I am determined to end the economic boom and bust that comes with every election cycle no matter the political cost. I ask for the support of all Ghanaians to help government to strictly adhere to a disciplined expenditure even as we approach an election year in 2016.?

Source : Al Hajj


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