An open letter to John Mahama

The deputy director of communications of the NPP Ernest Kofi Owusu Bempah Bonsu has written an open letter to Mahama following his recent speech on the state of the economy

Dear ex-president Mahama,

Although you are facing political turbulence in your bid to return to power, you will hopefully be heartened to know that the “dumsor economy” that you left behind has relatively been turned around. Yes, our lights are on even under the prevailing post pandemic global recession, thanks to President Akufo-Addo’s resilience and know-how.

We may not be exactly where we all want Ghana to be but steadily, we are rising.

Respectfully, sir, your speech at the Ohene Konadu Auditorium, University of Professional Studies (UPSA) last night had all the semblance of CBeebies Bedtime Stories and an easy charm of a sedated train operator gearing up for his 300th delivery of the epigram.

It was all the same jaded, tired and frail Mahama on display. Nothing new, nothing interesting. New wine in old bottle. That’s the verdict of most right thinking Ghanaians.

Even the NDC propagandists honking about how supremely sensible you are might have to decide how real they like their realpolitik.

Like me, you may have read a quite mind-boggling load of bollocks about new dawns and second chances, but you do have to set it against the fact that as president, you were woefully inadequate and handicapped on the job.

Yes Mr ex-President, your previous practice of appending your signature to reckless government spending led to the accusation that you were too amateurish.

Those days are certainly in the past. I don’t ask for a lot – it saves time – but I do like politicians who look convincingly able to exit their own front door in one take, which is why it is important for us to set a few records straight here.

We all saw your real output and performance when multiple crises piled up on all fronts even as the country slid deeper into the “dumsor economy.”

Indeed, we witnessed pure chaos, which demonstrably and measurably caused your downfall.

From the healthcare associated problems to the economic situation, to the energy issues and discontent on the labour front, you were found wanting on all fronts.

It occasionally feels like you are living in an alternative universe given the chaos that engulfed your presidency and caused your downfall in 2016.

For all your habitually coy language, one thing is abundantly clear: you’re incompetent even with your contradictory messages. You spoke eloquently about the fact that our current difficulties cannot be blamed on COVID-19 pandemic, and yet not long ago at the 24th Africa Business Conference in Harvard Business School on 23 April 2022, you blamed the pandemic for Africa’s woes.

These are your words, Mr ex-President:

“Data from the economic commission of Africa, ECA shows that COVID-19 created the continent’s worst recession in 50 years with real GDP shrinking by an average of 3% in 2020. Before the pandemic, poverty reduction was already a major challenge ”


“Like governments all over the world, it became necessary for African governments to take action to shield their population from the effects of the pandemic. This meant in many cases an increase in deficits due to unbudgeted expenditures. This has devastated many African economies and sank them deeper into unsustainable debts and economic downturns. The pandemic has had a general deleterious effect on the economy of African nations.”

It would, of course, have been gratifying for you to have been consistent. But you’re Mahama, and rightly so, a leopard never changes its spot.

Although you also waxed lyrical about the need for Ghanaians to not only patronise Made-in-Ghana goods but consume them in droves as part of your solutions to dealing with our challenges, you were clearly unaware that the fabric you wore on the night happens to be a foreign one. Even your wife, Lordina Mahama, was also draped in imported clothing.

One would expect that for someone who is desperate to ‘save’ Ghana from its economic woes, you would lead by example by draping yourself in locally-made clothes. You and your wife rather wore imported ones. Is this the alternative you are offering?

In waffling away mechanically about our current economic challenges, you displayed a woeful ignorance of the facts as we all know it.

Truth is, there is a general recognition that President Akufo-Addo has shown great resilience, given that he successfully guided Ghana through good times and still running the show in this difficult times. Notwithstanding the doom and gloom merchants, the problems of the recent past are being resolved satisfactorily, and an increasingly bright future beckons. It is now clear that Akufo-Addo’s policies will continue to shape our fortunes in the years ahead.

Away from your UPSA bubble, it does appear to me that you would like the world to believe you’re the real deal for Ghana, or you stand for the national good. It is all a big joke. Your exaggerated opinion of yourself and importance will sink you again.

There is obviously much to be said, but I would rather you open your eyes to the happenings around you or better still, clear the cobwebs off your eyes so as to see clearly even as you struggle to engage in excessive negativity and obstructionism.

My paternal grandmother once told me that, I must be wary of marital advice from people who have been thrice divorced. Mahama has been at it with his economic lectures and solutions to our problems since he was humiliated out of office. But then, the good people of Ghana are wary of political and economic advice from a man who was voted out of office based on incompetence, graft and mismanagement.

Mr ex-President, you may not fully realise it yet, but you are now yesterday man.

Let Ghana be.
Yours sincerely,

I Ernest Kofi Owusu Bempah Bonsu

Deputy Director of Communications, NPP

28 October 2022


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