I Was Taken Out Of Context – Majority Leader Clarifies His Statements On Mahama Era, Dumsor
The Majority Leader in Parliament, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, has clarified his comments on the former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, in relation to how he handed over power amidst the ‘dumsor’ era.
Reacting to a news story carried by GhanaWeb, with the headline, “Despite dumsor, Mahama handed over a rising nation to Akufo-Addo – Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu admits,” he explained that what he said about the former president was taken out of context.
In an interview with GhanaWeb, he explained that his comments were made during a meeting with some members of his party, during which he referenced past governments and their performances with the economy.
The Majority Leader, who is also the Member of Parliament for Suame, further stated that his comments focused on the complacency of governments during their second terms.
“I was painting a picture of the state of the economy; NPP officers, the party officers, polling station executives and constituency representatives had met to listen to one of the presidential hopefuls, who is engaged in water testing, and who had come into my constituency. So, I was talking to them and relating to the state of the economy.
“I related to what President Kufuor did, what Mills-Mahama, and also what Akufo-Addo did in his first term, and I said when Kufuor was leaving, the growth in the economy as captured by the usual standard of assessment – GDP, inflation, interest rates, and so on… yet in spite of that, it was difficult to break the 8. There were a few things, and the fact that party faithful did not work hard enough, we got a bit complacent,” he explained.
Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu continued to explain that the era of the intermittent power crisis (dumsor) under the John Dramani Mahama administration should have been a lesson for him to relate to Ghanaians better.
He, therefore, stated that what he said was in no way a praise-singing of the Mahama era but rather only a reference point to a bigger explanation he was giving on the performance of governments.
“Then I related to the era of President Mahama when he succeeded Mills and won another term for the NDC. ‘Dumsor-dumsor’ had affected us, yet, in 2015, when the growth of the economy registered about 2.2%, which was the worst growth in 30 years until that time.
“Now, the next level, he managed to grow the economy from 2.2 to 3.4%. I was just saying that, that increment in the growth rate perhaps caused John Mahama to be complacent, which was why as the president and presidential candidate, who mounts a political platform, instead of addressing the challenges of the economy and talking to Ghanaians who were listening to him about what he was going to do to escalate growth, he was behaving like, excuse my language – the language that I used, that it was like a Concert Party was playing out…
“So, I was saying that in 2017, 2020, we all saw what were doing. The first three years of Akufo-Addo’s regime, doubling overnight the growth in the economy, averaging 7% when John Mahama averaged 2.8% in his last three years, we averaged 7% in the first three years…” he explained.