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Ghana Decides: Why Ghanaians Want Mahama Back As President

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By Eric Elezuo

Today, John Dramani Mahama is addressed as former president; after December 7, however, there is every tendency that he would be addressed as president-elect, and by January, he would resume the full status of Mr. President. That describes the extent the people of Ghana are desperate to return him to office, after he lost the election in 2016; a situation not just a cross section of Ghanaians have regretted four years down the line.

Former President of Ghana, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, is not a stranger when it comes to churning out people oriented programmes and initiatives. During his days as minister, vice president and subsequently, the president, Mahama’s landmark achievements have remained a reference point to administrators and would-be administrators. His feats have not escaped discerning minds and eyes, who have showered him with accolades from home and abroad, thus necessitating the loud clamour for citizens of Ghana from all walks of life to have him back on the seat of power. Mahama’s larger than life existence gave him a one in a million recognition when Nigeria’s premier private university, the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, on November 24, 2018 conferred him with an honorary doctorate degree for his foresightedness, infrastructural development and general achievements which have affected humanity positively.

Four years after leaving office, Mahama’s image has continued to bestride Ghana’s political landscape like a colossus, which he rightly is. Matters are made more pronounced even as his successor, President Nana Akufo-Addo, has been seen by many as living far below standard and expectation. They argued that the NPP man is yet to record any notable achievement to his name. In fact, most people have credited the cut throat business levy of about a million dollars against foreign business owners in Ghana, who are mostly Africans, as Akufo-Addo’s major stride so far.

To many, it is therefore, a done deal that Mahama is returning to the presidential seat come January 2021. His choice of a female deputy in the person of Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, has further boosted the technocrat’s chances of reclaiming his 2016 lost mandate.

A politician of great repute, Mahama was born on November 29, 1958, and has been privileged to serve in various civil and political capacities, culminating in holding the highest office in the land from July 24, 2012 to January 7, 2017.

Mahama started his primary education at the Accra Newtown Experimental School (ANT1) and completed his O’levels education at Achimota School and his A’levels education at Ghana Secondary School (Tamale, Northern region). He proceeded to the University of Ghana, Legon, receiving a bachelor’s degree in history in 1981 and a postgraduate diploma in communication studies in 1986. As a student, he was a member of Commonwealth Hall (Legon). He also studied at the Institute of Social Sciences in Moscow in the Soviet Union, specializing in Social Psychology; he obtained a postgraduate degree in 1988.

His catalogue of enviable services include serving as Vice President of Ghana from 2009 to 2012, and took office as President on July 24, 2012 following the death of his predecessor, John Atta Mills. He was also a Member of Parliament from 1997 to 2009 and Minister of Communications from 1998 to 2001. A communication expert, historian, and writer, Mahama is a member of the National Democratic Congress.

Though he was born in Damongo in the Damango-Daboya constituency of Northern region, he is a member of the Gonja ethnic group, and hails from Bole in the Northern region. His father, Emmanuel Adama Mahama, a wealthy rice farmer and teacher, was the first Member of Parliament for the West Gonja constituency and the first Regional Commissioner of the Northern Region during the First Republic under Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah.

After completing his undergraduate education, Mahama taught History at the secondary school level for a few years. Upon his return to Ghana after studying in Moscow, he worked as the Information, Culture and Research Officer at the Embassy of Japan in Accra between 1991 and 1995. From there he moved to the anti-poverty non-governmental organisation (NGO) Plan International’s Ghana Country Office, where he worked as International Relations, Sponsorship Communications and Grants Manager between 1995 and 1996.

In 1993, he participated in a professional training course for Overseas Public Relations Staff, organized by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tokyo. He also participated in a management development course organized by Plan International (RESA) in Nairobi, Kenya.

Mahama’s first triumph in politics came in 1996 when he was elected to the Parliament of Ghana to represent the Bole/Bamboi Constituency for a four-year term. In April 1997, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Communications, and barely a year later, was promoted to the post of Minister of Communications, and served until January 2001. During the period under review, he also served as the Chairman of the National Communications Authority, in which capacity he played a key role in stabilising Ghana’s telecommunications sector after it was deregulated in 1997.

As a minister, he was a founding member of the Ghana AIDS Commission, a member of the implementation committee of the 2000 National Population Census and a deputy chairman of the Publicity Committee for the re-introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT).

In 2000, Mahama was re-elected for another four-year term as the Member of Parliament for the Bole/Bamboi Constituency. He was again re-elected in 2004 for a third term. From 2001 to 2004, Mahama served as the Minority Parliamentary Spokesman for Communications. In 2002, he was appointed the Director of Communications for the NDC. That same year, he served as a member of the team of International Observers selected to monitor Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary Elections. As an MP, he was a member of Standing Orders Committee as well as the Transport, Industry, Energy, Communications, Science and Technology Committee of Parliament.

HE John Dramani Mahama, former President of Ghana

Continuing to expand his interest and involvement in international affairs, in 2003, Mahama became a member of the Pan-African Parliament, serving as the Chairperson of the West African Caucus until 2011. He was also a member of European and Pan African Parliaments’ Ad-hoc Committee on Cooperation. In 2005 he was, additionally, appointed the Minority Spokesman for Foreign Affairs. He is a member of the UNDP Advisory Committee on Conflict Resolution in Ghana.

As Vice-President, he served as the Chairman of the National Economic Management Team, the Armed Forces Council of Ghana, the Decentralisation and Implementation Committee and the Police Council of Ghana in this capacity. Mahama is full of experience, having served at all levels of poltical office, and he brought them all to bear as President, giving out a sterling performance that could only compare with the very best. He was the first, and remains the only Ghana president to have been born after independence.

On March 30, 2014, he was elected to preside over ECOWAS. On June 26, 2014, he was elected Chairperson of the African Union’s (AU’s) High-Level African Trade Committee (HATC).

On January 21, 2016 on the occasion of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mahama became co-chair of the Sustainable Development Goals Advocates group which consists of 17 eminent persons assisting the UN Secretary-General in the campaign to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that world leaders unanimously adopted in September 2015.

He honourably left office on January 7, 2017 after losing to main opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo, in the general election.

In December 2016, he was part of part of the ECOWAS mediation team to resolve the post-election political impasse in The Gambia between the defeated incumbent, Yahya Jammeh and declared winner, Adama Barrow.

Mahama, now a member of the Assemblies of God, is married to Lordina Mahama, and they are blessed with five children namely Shafik, Shahid, Sharaf, Jesse and Farida.

Over the course of his career, Mahama has written for several newspapers and other publications both locally and internationally. Additionally, he is also a devotee of Afrobeat music, especially that of Fela Kuti.

Mahama is not new to awards and honours as his good works have paved a broad way for recognitions. He received an honorary doctorate in the field of Public Administration, from the Ekiti State University of Nigeria, formerly affiliated to the Obafemi Awolowo University in “recognition of his politico-socio economic development of Ghana and Africa at various stages of his political career. Later, the same university passed a resolution to name its Faculty of Management Science after him.

He was also honoured by the Cuban government with the Friendship Medal for his relentless advocacy for the Cuban cause.

Also, The General Council of Assemblies of God, Ghana, has honoured him with its Daniel Award.

The Graduate School of Governance and Leadership also awarded him the African Servant Leadership Award while the Institute of Public Relations recognized Mahama with a prize for his leadership acumen and technocratic flair.

In 2013, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) conferred on Mahama the Africa Award for Excellence in Food Security and Poverty Reduction.

In March 2016, University of Aberdeen held a special convocation to confer him an honorary degree of Doctors of Laws (LLD).

In December 2016, he was honoured with a Life time award by Ovation Media Group during its yearly Ovation Carol.

A Bill Gates Fellow, Mahama was awarded the Great Cross of the National Order of Benin, the highest award in Benin, by President Yayi Boni.

In February 2017, few weeks after leaving office, Mahama received the 2016 African Political Leader of the Year Award from the African Leadership Magazine in South Africa.

Mahama has touted the achievements of his government in the areas of power, roads, the economy, water and sanitation. While delivering his final State of the Nation Address to Parliament, he said the government had extended electricity coverage, increased water supply and improved roads.

As president, he deployed emergency plants and sped up the completion of ongoing plants resulting in the addition of more than 800 megawatts (MW) of power over an 18-month period. That, and many more had helped to stabilise the power situation in Ghana.

Working on the standard mantra of achieving “water for all by the year 2025”, Mahama put in extra effort to achieve the target well in advance of the set date by increasing investment in the provision of clean drinking water, citing of boreholes, small town water systems and major urban water treatment. Consequently, by the end of 2015, excess of 76 per cent of both rural and urban residents have access to potable water.

President Mahama contended that his tenure of office had seen some of the most massive investments in the road sector in the history of the country.

While he completed road projects he inherited, such as the Achimota-Ofankor, Awoshie-Pokuase, Sofoline and Tetteh Quarshie-Adenta, he also commenced and completed the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, fast-tracked the construction and opening of the Kasoa overhead bridge, completed the Airport Hills/Burma Camp network of roads, as well as the 37-El Wak-Trade Fair road and a host of others.

His trail of achievements are endless. Mahama is just another name for administrative excellence!

There is no gainsaying therefore, that when the Ghanaian populace steps out to the polling booths come December 7, all eyes and thumbs would be directed to #2 on the ballot paper.

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Arsenal, Man United Grab Away Wins over Sheffield, Tottenham

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The Gunners secured their first ever EPL win away at Sheffield United at the fifth attempt, with goals from Alexandre Lacazzette (brace) and Gabriel Martinelli breaking the duck for the North London club.

Sheffield United stood tall at the beginning against the visitors but the Gunners took control halfway into the half, with Martinelli twice going close while Callum Chambers also missed at the far post.

Mikel Arteta’s men deservedly took the lead on 33 minutes through Lacazette who finished off a brilliant team move.

The French striker started and finished off a one-touch passing sequence, firing into the bottom corner for his 12th league goal of the season.

The visitors then secured all three points with the second goal on 71 minutes. Nicholas Pepe intercepted a poor pass and his low shot was spilled into the path of Martinelli, with the youngster tapping in for 2-0.

Lacazette added further gloss to the scoreline with his 50th league goal, stroking home Thomas Partey’s brilliant through ball from the edge of the area.

Arsenal’s first win in three league matches move them up to ninth position on 45 points, while Sheffield United are rooted to the bottom of the league with 14 points from 31 matches and destined for relegation.

Second half blitz lifts Man United

Manchester United scored three second half goals to overcome Tottenham Hotspurs 3-1 despite suffering a dubious VAR call and losing at halftime.

Scott McTominay was adjudged to have hit Heung-Min Son in the face in the build up to Edinson Cavani’s disallowed goal, and Tottenham took the lead on 40 minutes through Son’s low strike at the far post.

It was mostly United in an excellent second half performance, with the equalizing goal coming through Fred’s rebound on 57 minutes.

Cavani eventually got his goal with a diving header from Mason Greenwood’s inch-perfect cross, before the youngster’s powerful near post shot sneaked in to seal the win for United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men reduced Man City’s lead to 11 points and still have a game in hand while Tottenham languish in seventh place.

Elsewhere, Kelechi Iheanacho, Super Eagles of Nigeria forward, scored a brace but could not prevent Leicester City from losing 3-2 to West Ham United in London.

The 24-year-old flashed in a 22-yard left-footed strike on 71 minutes before smashing another into the net in added time to complete his brace.

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Reason Behind IBB’s Annulment of June 12 Election is “Bad Belle” – Obasanjo

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Abiola, the Social Democratic Party candidate, was leading Bashir Tofa, his National Republican Convention rival, by a wide margin but the exercise was stopped ahead of the final announcement of results.
The annulment of the election threw the country into chaos as protesters hit the streets, calling on Babangida to step down.
Abiola was later arrested by the regime of Abacha and he died in detention.

Speaking on Sunday after his investiture as a trustee of the Abeokuta Club, a sociocultural organisation of Egba people of Ogun state, Obasanjo lamented the annulment, saying it was done out of “bad belle,” a pidgin word for jealousy.

Abiola was also awarded a posthumous vice-patron of the Club.

Obasanjo said the cancellation of June 12 election results denied the people of Egbaland the privilege of having three of its sons occupy the seat of president.

Seemingly referring to Ernest Shonekan, former head of Interim National Government(ING), himself who ruled as military head of state and later as civilian president, Obasanjo added that Abiola would have become the third, if the 1993 election was not annulled.

“When Abeokuta Club was in the process of being birthed, things in Abeokuta were not as rosy as they are today,” Obasanjo said.

“And the sons of Abeokuta, who were in Lagos, put their heads together in late Chief Sobo Sowemimo’s residence to think of what they could do to improve the development of Abeokuta as a city.

“I pay tributes to all those founding members, those who have departed this world and those who are still here.

“I want to thank the club for this honour being bestowed on me and the honour being bestowed on my school mate, MKO Abiola, which he richly deserved.

“Kabiyesi, the Alake (of Egbaland) alluded to it. Normally, when you win a cup three times, you keep that cup. Isn’t it? If not for bad belle, Abeokuta would have produced President of Nigeria three times, in which case, we should have kept it permanently.

“But be that as it may, we have a great heritage. And we should be proud of our heritage. On this note, I will say on this occasion, I thank the President, the patron and grand patron, members of Board of Trustees, the executive.

“I want to say this, I will continue to contribute my quota to the development and growth of this club and by extension, the development and growth of Abeokuta, of Ogun State, of Nigeria, of African and indeed the of world in whichever way I could.”

TheCable

 

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Ebube Agu: South East Governors Float Own Security Outfit

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Governors from the South East of Nigeria has announced the establishment of a security outfit called EBUBE AGU to tackle the insecurity in the region,

The governors disclosed this after an emergency meeting held in Owerri, Imo state on Sunday, April 11.

According to a communique put out by governors of the Southeast, the agency is to oversee and monitor the activities of vigilante groups in the region. Chairman of the Southeast Governors forum, Dave Umahi who read the statement after the meeting, said the headquarters of EBUBE AGU security outfit will be in Enugu state.

Read the full text of the communique below

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY SOUTH EAST GOVERNORS AND HEADS OF SECURITY AGENCIES AT THE END OF THE FIRST SOUTH EAST SECURITY SUMMIT HELD IN OWERRI ON SUNDAY APRIL 11th 2021

After exhaustive discussions on the current security challenges in the South East and with valuable contributions from participants at the first South East security summit in Owerri on this day Sunday April 11th 2021, it was resolved as follows:

1. To strongly and unequivocally condemn terrorism and banditry in any part of Nigeria, particularly in the South East. The meeting strongly condemns the burning of police stations, violent attacks on custodial centres with the unlawful release of inmates, and the killings including security personnel, natives/ farmers and headsmen.

2. That the five South East states are on the same page with the federal government on the issue of security challenges in the country. To this end, the meeting makes it absolutely clear that the South east will stand resolutely with the federal government to fight terrorists and bandits to a finish

3. That the political leadership in the South East has resolved to bring together all the arsenals at their command, as one united zone, to fight and flush out criminals and terrorist from the zone.

4. That the summit resolved that to achieve this, there is a need to galvanise all the relevant stakeholders in the south east, the political class, the business community, the bureaucrats and the intelligentsia to provide all necessary support to security operatives in the five south east states to ensure total success in the fight against criminality in the zone.

5. That the heads of all the security agencies in the south east have resolved to exchange intelligence in a seamless, effective new order that will help to checkmate crime in the zone.

6. That to fast track crime-busting in the south east, the heads of security agencies have been mandated to draw up a comprehensive list of their logistics and material needs for sustainable success in the fight against criminality, for the immediate provision by the leadership of the South East.

7. That a committee made up of security personnel, government officials and relevant stakeholders be set up to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the south east joint security platform.

8. To applaud the initiative of the South east security summit and to make it a statutory summit that will convene every quarter while its hosting shall rotate among the five south east states.

9. The meeting resolved to maintain a joint security vigilante for the South East otherwise known as Ebube Agu.

10. The meeting appreciated the formation of South East joint security outfit co. Named Ebubeagu. Headquarters in Enugu to coordinate our vigilante in the South East.

11. South East Governors requested the Acting IGP to stop the influx of IGP monitory units but to allow cps and state and Zonal commands to handle their cases.

12. Meeting approve that the acting IGP and other security chiefs do invite the leadership of Ohaneze Ndigbo and CAN to find out the reason for increasing insecurity of the South East .

13. Meeting agreed that military policing in the South East should be adequately funded and become effective.

14. Meeting agreed that open grazing has been banned and security agency should implement the ban.

15. The meeting encouraged a peaceful coexistence of farmers and headers to allow Governors to succeed in the fight against criminality.

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