Former President John Dramani Mahama has said he was honest to Ghanaians about the state of Ghana’s economy in the run-up to the 2016 elections but the promises made by Nana Akufo-Addo swayed votes in his favour, resulting in the loss of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Durban, South Africa on Thursday, he noted that he had an “incumbency disadvantage”.
Mr Mahama who was sharing some of the things that led to his loss in the 2016 elections added that he had managed the economy and “I knew what the economy could give the people and I told the people the truth that we need more hard work to be able to get out of where we are; my opponent promised heaven and you have the constraints of not being able to promise all the rosy things he was doing”.
He continued: “…The people made a choice and voted me out.”
However, Mr Mahama pointed out that “it is part of the learning process for all of us”.
For him, “if he [President Nana Akufo-Addo] is able to deliver on his promises, good; if he is not able to, the people would have learnt that not all that glitters is gold”.
Meanwhile, Mr Mahama has charged leaders to be accountable to citizens in order to build trust in public institutions.
He explained that citizens are entitled to know what public funds are used for. For him, this is one of the important ways to build confidence in public institutions of the country.
“Every month when I work, part of my salary is taken as tax, so as a citizen I want to be sure that whoever has been elected into government is going to be accountable on how he uses that money to improve my life,” he said.
He was of the view that leaders must be held accountable to the people that voted them into office.