Presidential staffer, Miracles Aboagye, has criticised former President John Mahama by comparing him to a spare driver who is essentially idle and inactive.
This comes after an old video featuring former President John Dramani Mahama describing himself as a “spare driver” resurfaced, adding fuel to the ongoing debate sparked by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia’s analogy of being a “driver’s mate” in the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government.
Dr Bawumia, in a recent statement on his plans for Ghana as a presidential candidate, likened his role as vice president to that of a driver’s mate but emphasized that if elected President in 2024, he would be in the driver’s seat with constitutionally mandated authority.
The emergence of the old video has intensified the debate, with both Mahama and Bawumia being presidential candidates for the 2024 elections. Critics argue that Bawumia’s analogy was an attempt to distance himself from the failures of the current government, while Mahama’s supporters contend that Mahama took responsibility for his role in the Mills-led government.
In the 2012 video taken during a presidential debate organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Mahama, who succeeded late President John Atta Mills, urged Ghanaians to vote him as president for his second and final term, portraying himself as the “spare driver” completing Mills’ unexpired term.
“The NDC government has done a lot in four years. Our constitution gives our president two terms, take it that I am the spare driver, caretaker or whatever; Prof. Mills of blessed memory started the process, and I am finishing his unexpired term. I believe that the NDC government deserves a second term to be able to build on the foundation it has laid in these four years, and I am certain that Ghanaians would vote for me and turn me from the spare driver that I’ve been described as, into the actual driver of the bus leading us into the destination that we want to go to,” he stated.
In reaction, Mr Aboagye in a post on X wrote, “A spare driver is that back up driver who does nothing but whose role is only to wait for the moment the driver is indisposed/unavailable then he can take the driver’s place. This understanding is basic and doesn’t need further explanation.
“A Drivers mate cannot drive the car for the journey. Like we experience in our Ghanaian setting, the best the mate can do in terms of touching the steering wheel is to park it well or take it to the washing bay close by.”
According to him, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has not distanced himself from the results this government has churned out, be they positive or negative.
“No where and at ano time has @MBawumia disassociate himself from his government. That assertion only exists on NDC Platforms. Mahama says I wasn’t the Driver but the spare Driver. Bawumia says I am not the Driver but the Mate.”
He noted that Mahama has corroborated the surmise that the Vice President role is not as effective as being assumed.
“Clearly, Mahama supports the constitutional view that, the Vice President’s is never the Driver. Mahama has just been caught in the usual double standards and that explains your plenty twists. But we understand , we don’t need your explanation.”