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Headline“I am the spare driver” - Old video of Mahama pops up...

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“I am the spare driver” – Old video of Mahama pops up following Bawumia’s ‘driver’s mate’ statement

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An old video featuring former President John Dramani Mahama describing himself as a “spare driver” has 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.

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.

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“As Vice-President, I am like a driver’s mate. But if, by the Grace of God, you make me President, I will be in the driver’s seat with constitutionally mandated authority to pursue my vision and my priorities. Clearly, the initial conditions that we inherited in 2017 are not the same as will be in 2025. Therefore, my priorities will be different. We have done many good things, and I will be seeking to build on them,” Dr. Bawumia noted.

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.

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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.

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The contrasting descriptions have sparked a heated online debate, with supporters of both sides arguing over the perceived differences between a spare driver and a driver’s mate. Pro-Mahama supporters claim a clear distinction, while pro-Bawumia advocates accuse NDC members of hypocrisy and undue criticism.

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