Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko
Leading New Patriotic Party (NPP) Strategist Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko has said there is no way former President John Dramani Mahama can unseat President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the December polls considering his abysmal performance in office.
Mr. Mahama is leading the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to recapture power after losing miserably as incumbent to the then candidate Akufo-Addo and his NPP by over one million votes in 2016, and he has said several times that he is determined to correct his mistakes when given another mandate.
However, Gabby said on Citi TV ‘Face to Face’ programme on Tuesday that Mr. Mahama and the NDC were wasting their time in that the performance of the Akufo-Addo administration would earn it a second term.
“You have a candidate who just lost the last election to his successor. This is the third time they will be meeting. It is not about what they promised the voters, but it is about the candidates. The promise must be measured against what one did when he was given the opportunity to serve,” Gabby said.
“If Akufo-Addo comes today and he says he will deliver free SHS, you will have to find out what he promised and whether he delivered. If John Mahama comes today and he says he will manage the economy better, I will ask him some serious questions because he inherited an oil-rich economy and within a matter of two years, he had sent us to the IMF for rescue,” he added.
He stated that the NPP administration had performed far better than the then Mahama-led NDC administration, and Ghanaians would renew the NPP’s mandate to continue its good performance.
Family & Friends
Gabby parried claims that President Akufo-Addo is running a family and friends government as the President’s opponents have continuously pushed a charge of cronyism and nepotism, saying all those the President has appointed are doing their best to help develop the country
He downplayed a widely-held view that he is hugely influential in the Akufo-Addo administration despite having no official portfolio, describing it as pure propaganda.
He said “my critics had to create something for me because they expected that Akufo-Addo was going to appoint me when the NPP assumed office.”
He further said those who follow his influence in governance do so “because they think I merit it,” adding that any political appointment granted him would have been justified because he is competent.
He did not also deny the fact that he had been influential in the political space with different presidents over the past two decades, saying “it just happens that this time, the President (Akufo-Addo) is someone that I am known to be very close to.”
“If I had been offered an appointment, would it have been fair for any Ghanaian to say it was due to nepotism? No, I would have merited it,” he indicated.
He defended the appointment of Lauretta Asante as one of the Directors General at SSNIT and the purported beneficiary of nepotism because she is also the sister of Nana Bediatuo Asante, the President’s Executive Secretary.
“Look at SSNIT and look at the gains it has made … in terms of increasing the number of people who are actually paying contributions,” he said.
Though the current government made similar accusations against the Mahama administration, Gabby Otchere-Darko said he never went that route.
“As the President, you have the right to choose the people that you think can deliver for you. Are they delivering or not?” he asked rhetorically.
By Ernest Kofi Adu