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Seidu Musah writes… Is John Mahama calling for a “change” or a “return”?

John Mahama

John Mahama

Former president, John Dramani Mahama, in fulfilment of his long-held ambition to return to power, launched his campaign to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Volta Regional capital, Ho, on Thursday (2 March).

A visibly power hungry Mahama made several references to a certain “change” that he believes is inevitable in the 2024 election.

For the avoidance of doubt, page 8 of the speech delivered by the former head of state reads “this is because there is an increasing gap right now between the Ghanaian society and Ghana’s political system. And it is one of the reasons why a ‘change’ has become absolutely necessary.”

The question I ask myself, and I believe many Ghanaians are asking, is whether or not John Mahama is calling for a “change” or a “return”.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “change” as, “to make different in some particular way” or “to replace with another”. It also defines “return” as, “to go back or come back again”.

The Oxford advanced dictionary defines “change” as, “to make somebody or something different”. It defines “return” as, “to come back or go back from one place to another.” 

Looking at the definitions of “change” and “return” supra and taking cognizance of the good old cannon of literal interpretation of words, the former president must not be calling for a “change” but a “return”. 

Obviously, Mahama is craving for a return. A return to lead the NDC again and not a change to lead the NDC because he is the same man. A return, in the unlikely event, to the nation’s presidency because he is the same man.

This whole enterprise that John Mahama is embarking on, be it his goal to lead the NDC again or in the unlikely event that he becomes president again, does not constitute a change but a return, properly so called according to the rules of grammar. 

Perhaps, the statesman ought to revise his grammar lessons. Maybe, he is just obsessed with a non-existent change. The communications expert has misconstrued the meaning of change relative to his wanton desire to lead the NDC into an abyss.

If the statesman cannot differentiate between a return, in his case, and change, it constitutes a valid ground to conclude that he does not fully understand the whole text he read to his NDC supporters. 


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