Former President John Dramani Mahama has opined that his defeat in 2016 was based on an exaggerated negative perception of his government and person.
Speaking to Accra based Joy News, the former president indicated that the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) used the power of social media to spin lies and propaganda against his government.
He lamented this created a negative perception in the minds of Ghanaians about his administration.
He disclosed that when the NPP started spinning their lies and propaganda on social media, his government ignored it thinking that Ghanaians would be able to quickly spot the lies but “you know somehow perception is larger than reality.”
“Sometimes in politics you have these upsets and it is based on a certain reality, a perceived reality. In 2016, social media was coming into its own, we had recognized the benefits but we didn’t know it would be used as a campaign tool. And the NPP used it very effectively to really create the perception – exaggerated – of our administration that the economy was in a big mess,” John Mahama said.
He continued: “They used a lot of propaganda on social media to tar us with the brush of corruption, incompetence, and telling a lot of tales that I was the owner of DKM. Today you see a picture and the owner of DKM is walking with the Interior Minister very comfortably in an NPP T-shirt, but they made people believe that Lordina and I owned DKM and that we brought it to fleece the people of Brong Ahafo and the places where DKM operated.
“They said that I had a hotel in Dubai, I challenged them recently, I said ‘look, lets’ go and then find the hotel. We can sell it if it’s mine and bring the money to help the economy’. They didn’t take up the challenge. There has been a loud silence.
“They said I have ships in Tokyo harbor. Myself and Lordina diverted 300 million dollars World Bank money to a Swiss account, I had impregnated my housemaid, I mean it was just… they had troll factories that were just manufacturing these stories.
“And the mistake we made was we said ‘O but Ghanaians will know this is not true’ and so we didn’t really come out to defend and explain so we just left it. And you’d assume that these are things people will realise that they’re not true but you know somehow perception is larger than reality so…”
Mr. Mahama who is seeking re-election said his administration laid the foundation for a buoyant economy and that the economy would have been better off if the NDC had been retained in the 2016 elections.
“Meanwhile in 2016 we had laid the foundation. We had created two new oil fields, new revenues were coming in 2017. We had created ESLA; we had left 270 million dollars in the Ghana infrastructure investment fund as seed money; we had left 300 million dollars in the stabilization fund; we had left money in the sinking fund; 200 million dollars to pay off the Kufuor debt.
“The economy was coming onto its own and created a platform for a new government to take off. But they really had messed up the opportunity.”
“They get 5 times more revenue from oil than we did, everything we did in this economy was with one oil field, Jubilee. This government has had Jubilee, Ten field, Sankofa; three oil wells with revenues coming from these three oil wells, and yet they’ve not been able to create the kind of economic buoyancy that is needed.”