100 Days: The Need To Keep Faith With Captain Mahama – Yaw Ampofo Ankrah Writes

By the way, managing a football team is not the same as managing a nation but same principles apply if you ask me.

This is not a football article so hold onto your ”football is not politics” reaction especially as you know where I am coming from and permit me to dig into the sporting archives.

When Sir Alex Ferguson took charge of Manchester United in November 1986, he initially appeared to have left his midas-touch success in Scotland. However, Ferguson was rebuilding the club in minute detail and revamped the youth system, stamping out the drinking culture at Old Trafford by shipping out many of the crowd’s favourites. It was the right policy but not a popular start.

The manager’s job was on the line as United went into a Third Round FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest having lost six and drawn two in eight games – and he was only saved by a narrow 1-0 win. That victory marked a turning point in fortunes for Ferguson and the club won the FA Cup in 1990, then the European Cup Winners’ Cup a year later. The rest as they say is history.

Would Manchester United be the glory club that it has become today if the prophets of doom had been allowed to have the final say? Perhaps an important lesson in life, which may also apply to politics, is never allow setbacks and challenges to convince you that all is lost even when things are going so bad.

Your opponents and sometimes even your allies will encircle you and try to convince you that you are failing or that you have failed.

If as football fans we can keep faith and have belief at 3-0 down, how come we cannot have faith and work for the good of the nation to heal and get better? Are we a nation of losers afraid to grind it out when the going gets tough?

From energy crisis to water nightmare, fuel crunch, parliament chaos, random strikes, to rifts arising from displeasure in ministerial appointments, Ghana is bound to recover.

After 100 days in office, President John Mahama has proven beyond doubt that he has a good chin and he can certainly take a punch or in this case so many punches below the belt!

Now the President must prove that he can lead his team to deliver the knockout blow and appease or silence his critics as well as the growing number of ”doubting Thomases”. It will not be easy but there is no other choice but to succeed.

I have not come across any mother who is not proud to have carried a pregnancy full term and successfully delivered a healthy bouncy baby.

In the same vein, the ultimate goal is to succeed. But there lies the problem. Not every Ghanaian wants this government to succeed and damn the consequences. Such is the confused intellectual madness that has married ignorant political exuberance. In print, on radio and online there is now even open talk of a coup d’ etat in Ghana. The way I see it is quite simple.

There are those who believe that when things get bad, they must also get bad if not worse. Is this not an ”All die be die” philosophy? Two ladies seeking the attention of a bachelor and one wins. The aggrieved woman does not attack her rival directly but rather goes to the man’s house to say goodbye and shoots him to death. If I cannot have him nobody will.

A true story for those who call themselves coup plotters to attempt a coup in Ghana and see whether or not Ghanaians will not rise up to resist such foolish talk. Ghana must burn because things are so bad. How insane!

I will not even waste your time and attempt an explanation to this scenario. I think it is a confused form of democratic rights where political and at times tribal interests are placed far ahead of the national interest.

Yet, as a proud member of the pro Mahama Movement, I have no regrets about putting my actions where my conviction was and remains. Simply keeping mute and pretending that all is well would be a grave mistake. Things are rough in our country. Let us address the hows and means to tackle our problems as a country.

I insist that the energy and focus of the new Mahama administration must not be stifled or arrested in its tracks but rather emboldened by the challenges and setbacks these past few months have taught us.

So has it really been 100 days of the NDC under Mahama already? Yes it has. Has it been successful? Not entirely.

Will things get better? Yes the current economic hardship must ease and it will with hard work and sound pragmatic policies driven by astute and well qualified patriots.

We must be balanced enough and un-ashamed to admit that we need to work much harder in order to translate the better Ghana philosophy into reality or pay the price of failure in 2016.

Like a new set of very good players, the pattern of play ”just ain’t clicking yet”. From my limited political background, I will keep offering sporting anecdotes….even Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United have bad patches but look at where they are now in their respective leagues. It is never smooth sailing but the rule is never throw in the towel.

My memory fails me not when I reflect that just a few months to the 2012 elections in Ghana, the depth and substance of the various Mahama movements was dismissed as nothing more than energetic euphoria that would not last or translate into meaningful votes when it really mattered.

The pressure will not ease because a good percentage of those who voted Mahama and ensured that he became President were not NDC supporters but Mahama admirers those who genuinely had and still hold onto the belief that Ghana needs a new dynamic and all inclusive leader to steer the country through the muddy economic waters.

As I have said before, the NDC won the 2012 elections against huge odds because at every turn, the party was flexible enough to change critical strategy and even critical personnel in the face of crisis after crisis. That is the mark of a durable team.

That is why even though I respect the reasons the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has given for filing a petition at the Supreme Court to contest the December 7th and 8th polls, they must surely know that they cannot run away from the real reasons for their defeat.

I am just wondering who within the NPP will be bold enough to announce that their captain was simply not good enough and that it is time to move on.

It is not my job to tell the NPP why their candidate failed to garner enough votes to defeat an opponent who only had FOUR months to campaign.

Challenges and problems will come and go thus we must have total faith and confidence in the team of players who shouldered the burden of delivering a one touch NDC victory to turn the country’s fortunes around. After only 100 days, this is not the time to panic or sit back. It is time to work even harder than we have ever done before.

Yaw Ampofo Ankrah is a sports media consultant and the convenor of Movement for Mahama (MFM)

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