President John Dramani Mahama has for the first time proffered answers to some of the nagging issues agitating the minds of Ghanaians over his last 100 days as president; days he himself described as tempestuous.
Amongst them, and most difficult include, selection of ministers, the ongoing court case challenging his legitimacy, rumours of him being haunted by the late President Mills’ ghost, his normal day and his relationship with arch-opponent and 2012 flag bearer of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo Addo.
In his first major interview since becoming president with Ghana’s ace satirist and host of the popular ‘Thank God It’s Friday’ on Metro TV, Kwaku Sintim Misa, aka KSM, last Friday, April 19, the president whiles acknowledging his first hundred days in office have been turbulent, said, he was grateful to God as the experience gathered within these challenging times has prepared him for the years ahead.
He denied the opposition’s claims that he was having a sleepless night over the Supreme Court petition challenging his legitimacy but rather maintained that his problem was with the energy and water situation.
He said it is God who enthroned him as President adding “I am focused because I know it is the will of the Lord that I become president of this country at this time and I have no doubt in my mind”.
He emphasized “God had a hand in my electoral victory… Ghanaians have given me the mandate, I am the constitutionally elected president and I have been duly sworn into office”, insisting, he is focused on leading Ghanaians to the ‘Promised Land’.
When asked whether he relocated his office to the Flag Staff House because he was being haunted by late President Mills’ ghost, a usual calm and unassuming President Mahama retorted, well, it is a national property which should not go waste adding: “President Mills was a father and a friend so if he will haunt anyone it won’t be me. Those he will haunt know themselves”.
Answering question about his relationship with NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, President Mahama said though they were not that close friends during their twelve years stay in parliament as MPs, if they are privileged to meet they may probably discuss other issues including the court case.
“I wouldn’t say Nana Addo and I have been close pals but who Knows, when we meet today we may probably stand and discuss issues including the court case.”
President John Mahama conceded to KSM that selecting his ministers was his most difficult task as president. According to him, the country is endowed with a pool of talents and choosing 24 ministers out of a population of twenty four million people is no easy task.
He however strongly denied assertions, mostly by the opposition that his decision to reshuffle the regional ministers after they were duly sworn into office was a mark of indecision.
The president explained that as someone who has been an MP, served as a deputy mister and then minister before, he is not oblivious of the various tribal, societal and family factors that time and again obstruct one from concentrating on his core mandate as government appointee, hence the decision.
President conclude the interview saying his day starts at 6 am with morning devotions after which he visits the gym, and then holds meetings at home before arriving at the Flag Staff House by 10 am.
According to him, his usual working day ends between 7pm and 9pm before he goes home to spend time with his family before finally retiring to bed.
On where he wants to see Ghana at the end of his tenure, the eloquent but humble president said “I want to build a Ghana of equal opportunities… where there will be equal opportunities for all regardless of ones’ social or political standing”.