Feature Article of Sunday, 2 December 2012
Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.
By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Saturday, December 1, 2012
If Ghanaians make the mistake to elect the NPP’s Akufo-Addo into office next Friday, they will be sealing their own doom and confirming long-held opinions that they are the architects of their own plight.
Take it from me. Akufo-Addo hasn’t given us any convincing justification to warrant his being elected President. All he has done is to bandy about extravagant and fulsome promises, hoping that what he is dangling will be snapped up by the electorate.
For all these years that he has been campaigning, nothing concrete has come from him to recommend him as a better substitute. It’s all about promises. Take away the promises and he falls flat on his face. What is the compelling reason to endorse him, then? None, I say!
Ghanaians deserve better than such a monomaniac as their President!
Akufo-Addo hasn’t given enough to confirm that he is a better quality administrator to be at the helm of affairs. Despite all the huge promises he is making and the vociferous acclamations coming from his followers, I daresay that he still comes across as ill-suited for the highest office of the land. And he has nothing to recommend him apart from his fly-blown promises.
Every sane person should be very much shocked if the electorate buy into these vain promises to elect him. The explanation is simple. Having complained bitterly about the late President Mills’ inability to fulfill the 2008 electioneering campaign promises—and using that as the main grievance against him, based on which most threatened not to vote for him—what justification will there be for the electorate to vote for Akufo-Addo who is doing nothing different but glibly pouring out promises to lure votes?
Haven’t Ghanaians been bitten more than once to be more than twice shy of such empty promises as a political bait to lose their guard and be ensnared by this conman parading as their saviour?
What is troubling is that Akufo-Addo hasn’t anything new up his sleeves to offer anybody apart from those promises. Rejecting him will serve a better cause.
Since leaving Kufuor’s government—driven by the morbid ambition he is now pursuing after an unimpressive performance—he hasn’t added any value to himself nor purged himself of all the obnoxious impressions that have dented his public image thus far. I reject him and won’t have him as my President!!
If, however, the voters go ahead to give him their mandate, it will lead to only one conclusion: that Ghanaians will deserve the kind of government to be formed and led by him. Based on the bombastic and extravagant promises that he has so far made, I am tempted to conclude that any electoral decision that favours him will only confirm my hunch that Ghanaians like being deceived and led to the gallows!
Aren’t Ghanaians ever going to be tired of saying “Had we known”? This is the time to break away from that.
Some may fault President Mahama too for basing his campaign on promises; but I disagree with them for the simple fact that unlike Akufo-Addo, the President isn’t waxing in promises and gushing them out at will. He isn’t using that approach as the main political bait, unlike Akufo-Addo who is all over the place, effusively making promises just to hoodwink the gullible segments of the electorate.
President Mahama is only reiterating existing promises yet to be fulfilled or others already being fulfilled to reassure Ghanaians that a renewal of his government’s mandate will help him pursue the “Better Ghana” agenda to its logical conclusion. He isn’t adding anything new. Not in the case of Mr. Freeman Akufo-Addo.
The other day, he said he would build hostels for “Kayayei”; then, he looked the Asantehene right in the eyes and told him that he would build the Kumasi Airport into an international one; not long thereafter, he was abroad with the promise to find a solution to the Dagbon crisis that he himself helped escalate; then, he would re-name the Tamale Sports Stadium after the late Aliu Mahama; and just yesterday, he announced the promise to build industrial parks for all the regions to promote local business ventures.
All these promises to be fulfilled in 4 years—or if he survives to have a second term, in 8 years? All coming against the background of his own claim that no government can drastically improve living conditions in less than 10 years, which the NPP’s national Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey corroborated!
It is not just the act of making the promises that bothers me, but the quantum of promises so far made—and the fact that he is not done yet. Indeed, there is little wrong with promise-making as a political manouevre, but what has issued forth from Akufo-Addo so far is not only dizzying but it is clearly a cheap means to reach out to the electorate.
Having made the promise of free SHS education the prop of his campaigns, he has done nothing to assuage concerns on how funding for that venture will be done. Merely telling us that revenue from the oil industry will support it is woefully disappointing.
And arrogantly insinuating that even if all the all revenue is exhausted in pursuing that agenda he would be happy that his government had used it to educate Ghanaians is insulting and unbecoming of a politician who should have known better not to inflame passions with such unguarded utterances.
Is education at the SHS level more important than the major problems bedeviling Ghanaians?
That’s not the problem with Akufo-Addo. One expects that having made the free SHS education the main campaign message, he would by now have broken issues down to provide specific cost-benefit analyses and to reveal to Ghanaians how this promise will be fulfilled in the short- and long-terms.
We have been told by his opponents that any rush into implementing anything of the sort will not only distort the economy but it will also collapse the system of education entirely, apparently because of the huge expenditure that the policy entails and the fact that there is no clear planning being done for it.
The existing structures can’t support such a “huhudious” venture. Akufo-Addo hasn’t even given us any idea on how he will add new structures to the existing weak ones. He is not even talking about strengthening state institutions to support his administration. All he is doing is making one promise after the other till Election Day. What sort of madness is that? And is that what should attract anybody’s vote?
We already know how difficult it is to provide much-needed services or even pay remuneration to public-sector workers. If there were enough funds, why should that be a problem?
Those NPP simpletons referring to the Woyome judgement debt as evidence of availability of funds to support such ventures are clearly ignorant of government business.
I reiterate that Akufo-Addo hasn’t sufficiently explained how he will do what he is promising all over the place and doesn’t deserve anybody’s nod to be in power.
I am being brazen here and won’t bat an eyelid over the usual insults that I expect from his followers. My hunch is that they just don’t know where they are pushing themselves and their sacred cow.
I am Michael J.K. Bokor; and I approve of this message!
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