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President Mahama was at an NDC rally at the Trade Fair Center at the weekend and spent quite some time making longing speeches, taking hefty swipes at his political foes in the NPP and punctuating his animated diatribe with the NDC foot soldier’s battle chant: Cho Boi!

The president appeared to lose his characteristic cool somewhat, and at one point, reached out for renowned economist and NPP Vice-Presidential candidate Dr Mamudu Bawumia by the jugular, for calling him and his administration incompetent. Some said the president should have passed his rival on to party propagandists to grill or barbecue according to fancy but not take Dr Bawumia’s on himself.

President Mahama said he and his administration have been the most insulted in the political history of the mighty republic. I don’t know about that but this much I know:

The man’s campaign to get elected president was probably, the most punishing presidential campaign ever in our electoral history and I was scared at one point: The human body can only take so much in extreme punishment, and then something usually gives.

Sworn almost hastily into office to replace the late President JEA Mills only four months to the end of his party’s term, he had to cram a year’s campaign into the last quarter of the election year. It meant driving his campaign with near super-human physical and emotional endurance on a rigorous, taxing and quite killing trek back and forth across the country.

President Mahama will go down in Ghana’s political history as the only president of the country to date, to have had his election disputed at the Supreme Court so that he spent much of his first year in office working in uncertainty while the legal battle raged on in court.

The jinx that has dogged him and his administration has been unrelenting in its onslaught: No sooner had the Supreme Court ruled that his election was legitimate, than his nightmare picked up even greater steam:

The nation’s energy crisis worsened; fires broke out repeatedly in markets across the country, an unprecedented epidemic of labour strikes saw doctors, teachers, nurses, pharmacists, university lectures and other categories of workers pouring out into the streets in protests against his government almost by the day.

The attacks on his administration and his person have been as unrelenting as they have sometimes been vicious. A host of political pressure groups and civil society organizations have made a virtual pastime of embarking on their own protests demanding everything from improved electricity supply to a new voters register.

 

President Mahama’s claim to being the most insulted president is however very debatable: The late Professor J.E.A Mills {the Lord rest his gentle soul} who was once touted by many across the political divide as genial, humble, principled and incorruptible politician suddenly became the very anti-thesis of all that the moment he became president!

Every head of state of Ghana since independence has had his fair share of criticism, insults and callous jokes but never before has a president of this republic been the stoic victim of a psychological mob lynching on such a grand scale as was experienced by the late president.

Presidents make most of the news all the time but in the case of the late President Mills, every news headline had his name in it: The stone-throwing from all compass points appeared to be well coordinated, judging from the frequency and intensity of the propaganda messages in those headlines.

Some of the headlines I collected while researching media coverage of his administration were appalling: Coming after the name Mills in some headlines were the following:  “...is a hypocrite”, “...is a divisive person”, “...is a dangerous man”, “...is a failure”, “...is a coward”, “...is an opportunist”, “ ...uses a juju {magic} ring”, “...accused of stealing our oil cash”, “...is ungrateful”, “...is hypocritical”, “...is a complaining president”, “...”, “...must resign” etc.

 

All the same, as has been explained, President Mahama  has indeed experienced many firsts as ruler of this republic, and those experiences make him an excellent subject for research into the capacity of a national leader, to absorb monstrous levels of physical, emotional and psychological pressure over extended periods!