Mahama’s hee-haw; Nana’s gaffe

It is doubtful that John Mahama hopes to win 2024.

 Either that or he does not believe that in Ghana, no single political party can with only its members, secure past 50 per cent of the votes, and that to win an election, a party or candidate needs the floating vote. 


In Ghana, it has been established that the floating voter population is made up of 60 per cent of intellectuals and 40 per cent civil society activists.

These are the folks who get put off by the smell of intolerant leadership.

In governance, intolerance first manifests in attacks on the Judiciary and the media. 


Former President Mahama’s promise to pack the courts with National Democratic Congress (NDC) judges, if elected in 2024, therefore, cannot be a campaign message: at best, it is an assurance to NDC lawyers who have the ambition to become Supreme Court judges.

Addressing the third annual conference of NDC lawyers, he vowed to balance out the situation where Nana Akufo-Addo has packed the Bench with New Patriotic Party (NPP) judges.

Lawyer Ace Annan Ankomah tells me that a President can pick their choice of judges from among private lawyers onto the Bench.

Must this prerogative, however, be so whimsically exercised?

Will a judge with conscience free a criminal merely on grounds of party loyalty? Are we not on our way to creating untouchable criminals in Ghana?

To know how death looks like, take a look at sleep, say the Fantes of Ghana.

Aren’t we disgusted already how political appointments to top positions in the public service are contributing to reducing the image of the proverbial efficiency and neutrality of the service?

There is no future for the staff who entered the service right from the university and have been faithfully marking time hoping to reach the top some day.

We don’t practise the US tradition where nominees for the Supreme Court are known members of the two dominant political traditions.

I remember Judges Clarence Thomas (1991) and Ketanji Brown Jackson (2022), both Democrats. 


In the Fourth Republic, all Presidents have made appointments to the Bench, up to the Supreme Court.

John Mahama is aware of this practice; indeed, he knows that his party has profited from it: was it only a rumour that under the NDC, Judge Marful Sau (RIP) was by-passed in appointment to the Supreme Court?

It is true Justice Ernest Yao Gaewu, appointed on July 4, 2022, had contested the Ho Central Constituency seat in 2016 on the ticket of NPP.

But rather than a sweeping generalisation, Mahama should have attacked lack of merit, if any.

Otherwise, we get to the bizarre point where a candidate, no matter how eminently qualified for the position, must be side-stepped merely because they are card bearing members of a ruling party.

Has the Judicial Council also been infiltrated?

JM may have a case, but in life, when complaints get too many, they become a whine, especially in JM’s case when folks might ask, “is this not the same Mahama who launched the most vitriolic attack on the integrity of judges of the Supreme Court who ruled in his Election Petition 2021?”


People who listened to that press conference without knowledge of the facts were mad at the judges.

But the “madness” ended the day Asiedu Nketia, vying for the position of party chair, confessed the sins of the NDC on Peace FM, conveniently admitting that the NDC did not have a case, after all. And why did he confess?

Because his opponent, Ofosu Ampofo, the incumbent, needed to be “exposed” for acting in ways that led to the party’s defeat.


The latest revelation by NDC stalwart Dr Kpessa Whyte is the latest to expose the hypocrisy.


Dr Whyte and Rojo Mettle Nunoo were the NDC representatives in the EC Strongroom on election night.

This week, he confessed that on election night, 2020, he became frustrated with his own party because he waited forever for figures that were not coming because the NDC election monitoring machinery had broken down.

Anybody with the knowledge of this play-back should be the last to mount another attack on the integrity of judges and the judicial system.

In character and in temperament, Mahama is no despot not even a benevolent one, but be he reminded that those who have so far respected his leadership are still watching and listening.


If for no other reason, they believe he has a chance to become President again.

That is why I want to personally plead: JDM, mind your language – o. 


And now to our sitting President.

I get worried when otherwise perfect gentlemen like Akufo-Addo lose their cool.

His attacks on Mahama was unpresidential, to say the least.

What is preventing him from prosecuting Mahama over the Airbus Scandal if he is convinced that JDM is Government Official One?

It’s 12 years already since the expose.

So far, we have not moved beyond insinuations and threats.

The writer is Executive Director,
Centre for Communication and Culture.

E-mail: [email protected]

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