John Dramani Mahama became the first occupant of the presidency without contesting for an election.
That was possible because he was sworn in on the night of July 24, 2012 when his then boss, John Evans Atta Mills died at the 37 Military Hospital.
He saw out the remainder of Mills’ presidency (first term) before securing his own full term after winning the 2012 elections.
Kennedy Agyapong, Member of Parliament for Assin Central during a recent interview on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana programme claimed that Mahama stayed in office for six years, between completing Mills’ term and his full term.
Agyapong who is an NPP flagbearer hopeful said: “If you compare the two governments, Akufo-Addo and Mahama, Mahama is not an alternative to Ghana because the man has been fortunate to succeed Atta Mills for two years.
“He has been fortunate to go one term which is four years, six years and we saw what happened in this country, so, what is he going to tell Ghanaians again. What is Mahama going to tell Ghanaians?” he asked.
Our probe and findings:
Mahama spent six full months of the Mills tenure – i.e. July, August, September, October, November and December. A total of 184 days in that stretch.
If we compute the remaining six days of June that he was in office plus seven days of January before he formally took office for his first term we get 13 more days.
That added to 184 gives him 197 days in total before January 7 when he was sworn into office.
Mahama cannot be said to have been in office for six years, which will mean he spent two years of the Mills administration before his own full four-year term.
The race to 2024
Mahama has been referred to by many within and outside the NDC as the presumptive presidential flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) going into the 2024 general elections.
This is ahead of May 13, 2023 presidential primaries that are expected to formally elect the NDC’s flagbearer for 2024.
Mahama, who was president between 2012 and 2017, lost two successive reelection bids in 2016 and 2020 to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and will be looking to get it right on his third bid. Akufo-Addo is not contesting come 2024.