I watched with horror and utter disbelief the recent video clip put out by the social media critic of the Akufo-Addo’s government, Kevin Taylor.
On the said video clip, the social media critic sought to imply that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) lied their way into power by giving supposedly unrealistic Manifesto promises during the 2016 electioneering campaign.
Shockingly, however, the vociferous social media critic, Kevin Taylor, condescendingly accused the good people of Ghana of voting with their thumbs instead of their brains in the 2016 general elections. How arrogant?
Dearest reader, it is quite ironic that despite all the harsh economic conditions amidst corruption allegations (Bus branding, Brazil World Cup, SADA, SUBA, GYEEDA, SSNIT, NCA, Ford Expedition Vehicle, amongst others), the social media fanatic can still go ahead and aim accusing fingers at Akufo-Addo of promising the electorates the moon which led to Mahama’s humiliating 2016 election defeat.
It would thus appear that Kevin Taylor and his ilk are still struggling to come to terms with the NDC’s humiliating election defeat.
So the likes of Kevin Taylor would want us into believing that every single Ghanaian was oblivious to the happenings in the country prior to the 2016 general elections?
In fact, no political communicator could have persuaded discerning Ghanaians to change their mind and vote Mahama, considering the rampant corruption and the irreversible incompetence.
The fact, however, remains that Kevin Taylor and his minions were living in a denial about the harsh economic conditions prior to the 2016 general elections.
Let us, therefore, remind Kevin Taylor that back then, the vast majority of Ghanaians struggled to make a living or eke out an income. The dreadful errors in decision-making, the incompetence and the unbridled corruption culminated in untold economic hardships.
But in spite of the apparent harsh socio-economic standards of living back then, former President Mahama and his teeming supporters kept trumpeting their vague rhetoric , political gimmicks and meaningless slogans: ‘Mahama Tuaso’; ‘We care for you’; ‘people matter, you matter’; ‘we are transforming lives’.
Meanwhile the good people of Ghana were struggling terribly to pay their utility bills and could not even afford their children school fees.
In any case, I do not want to believe for a moment that the most eloquent political communicator could have convinced the aggrieved Ghanaians to forgive Mahama’s government over the dubious judgement debt payment of GH51.2 million to Woyome, $30 to the Waterville, $325,000 to the Isofoton and other doubtful payments amounting to over GH800 million.
Indeed, the NDC communicators could not have solicited votes from Ghanaians who were extremely unhappy when President Mahama metamorphosed into ‘Father Christmas’ and fecklessly doled out large portions of Ghana’s scarce resources to party apologists like Madam Akua Donkor of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), who received two four wheel drive cars and a luxury bungalow (estimated to cost a staggering $470,000) for no work done.
Verily, no one would have listened to Mahama and his clamorous communicators when no meaningful efforts were put in place to retrieve the monies in the scandalous corruption cases such as GYEEDA, SADA, SUBA, Brazil World Cup, the infamous Bus Branding, the dubious GH51.2 million judgement debt to Woyome, $30 million to Waterville, $325,000 to Isofoton, amongst others.
The crucial question one may ask the likes of Kevin Taylor is: how was Mahama going to persuade the aggrieved Ghanaians to change their mind over the GH9.5 billion debt former President Kufuor left in 2009 which Mahama abysmally raised it to an incredible GH122.4 billion with a little to show for?
Trust me, Kevin Taylor, there was little former President Mahama could have done to convince unhappy Ghanaians when his administration wilfully shrunk Ghana’s GDP from $47 billion to $40 billion in five years.
How could Kevin Taylor and cohorts blame Akufo-Addo for NDC’s humiliating election defeat when Ex-President Mahama abysmally dragged an economic growth of around 14 per cent in 2011 to a nauseating 3.4 per cent as of December 2016?
If anything at all, the unrepentant critics such as Kevin Taylor, must engage in deep introspection and accept the fact that discerning Ghanaians could not have forgotten the dreadful errors in judgement which culminated in massive economic hardships amid the unresolved business crippling ‘dumsor’.
The aggrieved Kevin Taylor must get a grip and acknowledge the fact that the vast majority of unhappy Ghanaians voted against the NDC in the 2016 election due to the incompetence, the unbridle corruption and the unresolved dumsor which brought about harsh economic conditions.
Understandably, though, to constantly squall, censure, speak and write about the abhorrent state of Ghana’s economy during the erstwhile Mahama’s administration, which the party faithful blissfully perceive as innocuous or inconsequential issue, is to be regarded as a political fanatic, or even as a notorious conservative, mischievously seeking to discredit their beloved party.
But whatever the case, I, for one, won’t abandon my duty as a bona fide Ghanaian, far from it. I will rather stick to my guns, be true to the faith and keep upholding and defending the good name of our beloved Ghana.
It is, indeed, extremely disheartening to keep hearing such ridiculous misconceptions from the NDC apologists, many of whom only follow narrow party coloration, devoid of patriotism and solicitude.
But then again, one has to contain his/her emotional intelligence, show unconditional deference and composure, for after all, aren’t sycophancy, partisanship and lack of patriotism been our greatest nemesis?
Well, given the circumstances, we can logically conclude that vague understanding of patriotism exists in the minds of many Ghanaians, who prefer hero worshipping to defending the national interests.
Thus, some of our leaders, having first-hand knowledge of our hero worshipping gimmicks, tend to take us for granted and continue to provide us with mediocre leadership and services.
The good people of Ghana, so to speak, witnessed so much duplicities, corruption, incompetence, nepotism, cronyism and frequent abuse of power, and hence the vast majority of Ghanaians have permanently lost trust in Ex-President Mahama and the NDC.
A Brief Annotation of Ex-President Mahama’s Performance
After failing to improve upon Ghana’s economy, President Mahama and his vociferous apparatchiks cunningly took refuge in their much touted infrastructural projects.
Paradoxically, though, it was the same President Mahama who gleefully pontificated somewhere in 2008 that every government undertakes infrastructural projects and therefore it would be an exercise in mediocrity for any government to hide behind infrastructural projects in the face of economic collapse.
Unfortunately, the manipulating politicians have succeeded in brainwashing the unsuspecting voters into believing that all that an elected government has to do for its citizens is to provide social infrastructures and amenities.
Obviously, such a notion is specious. For good governance indeed goes beyond the provision of infrastructural projects.
To be quite honest, good governance also involves the implementation of advantageous policies with a view to stabilising the socio-economic standards of living.
Although provision of infrastructural projects is an important aspect in the nation building, any serious and a committed government would not only focus on putting up more meaningful and meaningless projects, but would rather focus on both infrastructural projects and the implementation of pragmatic policies that will propel the economy.
Ghana’s massive economic downslide took unexpected flight after the sudden and mysterious death of President Mills.
Unbelievably, during the 2012 electioneering campaign, the late Mills successor, Ex-President Mahama and his NDC apparatchiks went haywire in their desperation to cling on to power. Thus they broke all conventions. Many government departments spent over and above their allocated budgets.
The previously single digit inflation and budget deficit doubled astronomically. The GH9.5 billion debt which former President Kufuor and his NPP government left in 2009 ballooned to GH122.4 billion as of December 2016 with a little to show for.
Ghana’s economic growth regrettably slowed for the fourth consecutive year to an estimated 3.4% in 2015 from 4% in 2014 as energy rationing, high inflation, and ongoing fiscal consolidation weighed on economic activity (World Bank, 2016).
In addition, the high inflation rate remain elevated at 18.5% in February 2016 compared to 17.7% in February 2015, even after the Central Bank’s 500 bps policy rate hikes (the inflation stood at 15.8 per cent as of October 2016).
Unsurprisingly, therefore, during the epoch of Mahama’s maladministration, some concerned patriots like the late Jake Obetsebi Lamptey of blessed memory, lamented: “Ghanaians are worried because the economy is being handled in a manner reminiscent of the NDC’s mishandling of the economy in 2000. “We do not need to return to HIPC status.”
Former President John Dramani Mahama’s government failed terribly to initiate expedient policies to overturn the failed policies of agriculture, poverty reduction and resource allocation in the areas of healthcare, education, finance, supply chain management and security sector planning, amongst others.
If my memory serves me right, it was Ex-President Mahama who once bizarrely claimed that they, (NDC government) had licentiously consumed all the meat on the bone. That was weird and uncharacteristic of a supposedly serious, a committed and a forward-thinking government.
Apparently, former President Mahama was explaining Ghana’s unprecedented economic collapse as a result of mismanagement and rampant corruption under his watch.
It is, therefore, extremely baffling to keep hearing and reading from the same people who wilfully collapsed the once thriving economy up in arms and shouting from the roof top about the supposedly slow pace of development barely 32 months of the NPP government assuming power.
It is, however, gratifying to note that despite the massive economic mess left by the Mahama administration, the Akufo-Addo administration has commendably raised the 3.4% economic growth under Mahama to around 8%, and moved 15.4% inflation to 7.8%.
Given the unpardonable errors in decision-making which resulted in massive economic meltdown, some of us must not and cannot stand accused of persistently upbraiding President Mahama and his NDC government.
K. Badu, UK.
Columnist: Kwaku Badu