President John Dramani Mahama has debunked rumours circulating that he killed his former boss, President John Mills, ahead of the December 2012 elections, which saw him lead the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The rumour, which mainly came from the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by its General Secretary Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, was intensified when the Office of the President announced last February that it was moving the presidency to the Flagstaff House at Kanda.
His accusers, immediately the decision was announced, conjunctured that he was moving into the edifice built by former President Kufour because the ghost of the late President was chasing him out of the Castle and so he was running for cover.
But speaking on a special edition of Kweku Sintim Misa’s (KSM) “Thank God Is Friday” (TGIF) show on Metro Television last Friday, President Mahama said he had ears for every rumour and noted that he could not have runway from the Castle because he was being haunted by his former boss whom he described as “a father and a friend”.
He sarcastically said that if his late boss, in the unlikely event, wanted to haunt anybody, it would not be him but those who are making the claims.
“It is funny; I mean there is a lot of rumour mongering and gossips in Ghana, but there is absolutely no truth to it. Professor Mills was a father and a friend; I mean if he would haunt anybody, it would not be me.
“Those who would be hunted by him know themselves. But after Professor Mills died in July last year, I continued to work at the Castle as President. We only moved here, I think in February; so if I was being haunted I would not have stayed in the Castle and worked till February,” he said.
He told KSM he had earlier noted that in the likely event that the NDC won the December 7 elections, he would want them to move into that edifice which since its construction had generated many controversies.
“What had happened was that you know this had been built by the Kufour administration and I had always said that if we won power we should move into the Flagstaff House, after all the resources of Ghanaians have been invested into this premises, and I didn’t think it was right or conscionable to leave the premises to waste and so I took the decision and we moved and I think its fine”, he explained.
Speaking on a number of issues concerning his hundred days in office as head of state, Mr. Mahama acknowledged that indeed his term of office has been the “roughest rides I have known in history of constitutional governance in Ghana. Almost every democratic government that has come in power has had a kind of honeymoney…. but we didn’t have that luxury”.
Asked about what had been his toughest decision since he took office in January, President Mahama quickly mentioned the appointment of people to positions as ministers, as the toughest so far.
“I didn’t realize how difficult a job it is, you know. You have a pool of resources, Ghanaians are experienced, have so much expertise; but out of 24 million people you have 24 ministries and so you must select 24 people out of 24 million people, and that is a tough choice.
“And aside that too, you must pay attention to regional balance, you must pay attention to gender balance, so I have done it in the way that I think is the best to do and that is how I come to decision making. I consult widely, but eventually the decision I take is mine and I live with it”, he said.
He defended his decision to reshuffle all the ten regional ministers almost immediately they were sworn in, and his decision to appoint young people into his government, saying they need to be given the chance to develop the country together. He noted that when he was first appointed as Deputy Communications Minister, he was as young as these ministers and within a short period, he became the substantive minister.
He noted that it was the constitutional right of the three individuals who were challenging his presidency but was not perturbed by it, saying “God had a hand in my electoral victory and am sure his will would be done. I am focused on doing my work”.