Government & Politics

Must Know: Why John Mahama Is Three In One?

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Majority of Ghanaians are flabbergasted about why John Mahama is usually seen as a “three (3 in1) in one” personality?

This description is obviously tagged to JDM because he is the only living “Ex-vice president, Ex-president of Ghanaian of the fourth republic and the aspiring presidential candidate of NDC.

It is alleged that some Ghanaians called him “Mr. Greedy”. Those tags are because people see him being throned on most of the political high offices such as assembly, parliament, ministry and presidency. But to buttress on why his is odd or outstanding in Ghanaian political history since 1992, we need to reconsider some factors that are paving ways for his continuous political successes.Must Know: Why John Mahama Is Three In One?

Mr. Mahama is a politician, communication expert, historian and writer, born on 29th November, 1958 is a member of the Gonja ethnic group, Mahama hails from Bole in the Northern Region of Ghana and was born in Damongo in the Damango -Daboya constituency of Northern region into a political tradition dating back to the country’s First Republic.

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.

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Mahama had his primary education at the Accra Newtown Experimental School (ANT1) and Achimota School before completing secondary school 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.

After Mahama completing his undergraduate education, he 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.

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.

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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.

Mr. Mahama had his first Political appointment as Member of Parliament when he was elected in the 1996 elections to represent the Bole/Bamboi Constituency for a four-year term.

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In April 1997, Mahama was appointed Deputy Minister of Communications. He was promoted to the post of Minister of Communications in November 1998, serving in that post until January 2001, when the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) handed over power to the New Patriotic Party’s government.

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.

During his tenure as Minister of Communications, 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).

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.

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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.

On 7th January, 2009, Mahama became the Vice-President of Ghana after John Evan Atta Mills won the 2008 Ghana’s general Elections.

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He also 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.

Presidency of John Mahama in line with Ghana’s constitution, Mahama became President of Ghana on 24 July 2012 on the death of his predecessor, John Fifi Atta Mills.

In July 2012, he became the Ghana’s first president to have served at all levels of political office (Ghanaian and Pan-African MP, Deputy Minister, Minister, Vice-
President and President).

He said in parliament upon being sworn in: “This is the saddest day in our nation’s history. Tears have engulfed our nation and we are deeply saddened and distraught and I’m personally devastated, I’ve lost a father, I’ve lost a friend, I’ve lost a mentor and a senior comrade. Ghana is united in grief at this time for our departed president”- Mahama.

President of Ghana John Mahama held a bilateral meeting with the United States Secretary of State John Kerry. As a result of his elevation to the presidency, Mahama made political history by becoming the first Ghanaian head of state to have been born after Ghana’s declaration of independence on 6th March, 1957.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) held a Special National Delegates Congress on 30th August, 2012 and endorsed President John Dramani Mahama as its 2012 presidential candidate.

President Mahama, the sole candidate of the party, polled 2, 767 votes, representing 99.5% of total votes cast, to pick the slot for the party.

Mahama has stated that his administration is deeply committed to continuing the Better Ghana Agenda started under President Mills.

Mahama won the December 2012 general election with 50.70% of the total valid votes cast and a 3% winning margin beating his nearest rival, Nana Akufo-Addo of the main opposition New Patriotic Party, who polled a close 47.74%. This was just barely enough to win the presidency without the need for a runoff.

In addition, Mahama won the majority of valid votes cast in eight out of Ghana’s ten administrative regions.

Thirteen African Heads of State, one Prime Minister, two Vice-Presidents and 18 government delegations across the world attended his inaugural ceremony at the Black Star Square in Accra on 7th January, 2013, when Mahama was sworn-in to begin his own four-year term.

After his investiture, the opposition New Patriotic Party led by its 2012 presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo, running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and the party chairman Jacob Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, challenged the election results, alleging irregularities, malpractices, omissions and violations.

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The petition was heard by nine justices of the Supreme Court of Ghana. After eight months of hearing, the Court on 29th August, 2013 dismissed the petition by a majority opinion.

Mahama is one of Africa’s most-followed leaders on the social networking sites, Twitter and Facebook.

In May 2013, he stated that all of West Africa is under the threat of Islamist militancy.

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

On 21st January, 2016 on the occasion of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mahama became co-chair of the Sustainable Development Goals Advocates group which consisted 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.

With a mandate to support the Secretary-General in his efforts to generate momentum and commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030, the SDG Advocates have been working to promote the universal sustainable development agenda, to raise awareness of the integrated nature of the SDGs and to foster the engagement of new stakeholders in the implementation of these Goals.

On 9th December, 2016, Mahama was defeated by the main opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo to whom he conceded defeat earlier that day. Mahama polled 44.4% of the valid votes cast compared to Akufo-Addo’s 53.5%.

In December 2016, he was 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, Adam

These achievements are increasing his enthusiastic political career for him to hold the flag of NDC in 2020 presidential election. It is by no surprise he has been on all the highest seats of Ghanaian political offices. Those calling him “Mr. Greedy” and so on should now understand where he comes from and heading to.

But a bigger question is after wining presidential seat for his left four years, which office next for him?

By Alex Konlan,

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