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Feature Article of Friday, 7 December 2012

Columnist: Edusei, Eric Kwabena

Where Is Our $14 Billion, Mr. President

The NDC Administration has mismanaged this economy and will eventually paralyze it beyond repairs if conscious people do not ensure a regime change, by voting them out of office. This Administration has recklessly contracted loans over US$14 billion for purposes that cannot be justified by any stretch of imagination when cost to value is factored in. Have Ghanaians so soon become economic entities without a dream that we should succumb so easily to gifts instead of questioning our leaders about their qualities, vision and capabilities, before relinquishing our sovereignty to them? As we speak, our oil has been collateralized for the next 10 years and we (Ghanaians) will start paying for the US$14 billion loan very soon without any monumental development to show for the amount. Corruption, conspiracy and greed are the reigning elements subverting the economy. This is a serious scenario that should trouble any well-meaning Ghanaian instead of some of us deliberating on petty issues about the President being nice looking, youthful, etc. If the late President Mills was alive; healthy and an NDC candidate for the 2012 Polls, would the sitting President consider him unsuitable for Presidency? Today, the majority of Ghanaians specially our rural folks lives in hopelessness and survives in extreme poverty, as if they are not part of the nation’s dream. What did the President see on his tours in the villages to win votes? Are we not ashamed to contact these miserable people for their votes when we have helped to reduced them to economic entities without hope and vision? Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital has no oxygen and water as people die like rats, do you call this “the better Ghana agenda?” What is going on in this country that is preventing conscious people from seeking answers to the most important questions that determine the destiny of our nation? Is the media alive or they have also been bought? The Mills-Mahama Administration in 4 years has expended over US$ 14 BILLION, an amount greater than all loans contracted since independence. This is a period covering the last 55 years since the country’s independence, including the Presidency of Dr Nkrumah through General Afrifa, Col. Acheampong, Flt. Lt. Rawlings, Dr. Limann, Dr. Busia to President Kuffour). Given that there is nothing to show for this huge expenditure, isn’t it absolutely strange that nobody is asking the sitting President to explain. Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of blessed memory inherited less than $1 billion and was able to transform our nation in infrastructural developments which can be attested to by all and sundry. President Mahama, if you cannot display any appreciable development in this tiny country of ours (size of Oregon, USA) with GC28 BILLION in expenditure, then we need to consult the oracle for answers. This stems from the fact that your priorities are misplaced and your “Better Ghana Agenda” Programme, if allowed to continue will plunge this nation into the land of the departed. Dr Nkrumah, the man of many parts built a whole city (Tema), 3 huge universities, 28 secondary schools, industries, huge hospitals, roads, airline (Ghana Airways), shipping line (Black Star Line), factories and many others. What the public want to know, Mr. President, is to what projects did you INVEST our $14 billion in 4 years? Is it the Kumasi –Accra road; schools under trees; our railway lines or what? It is a piteous spectacle for Ghana, a nation endowed with a lot of natural resources and human capital, to move rapidly on a perilous journey to ‘economic doom’ characterized with deprivation because of corruption and mismanagement. What is going on in our political setting that has enticed the media to belabour issues of trivial nature while we allow issues of “gargantuan” proportions to slip by unnoticed? I watched and heard Nana Addo Danquah, the flag bearer of NPP questioned President Mahama on this issue without response. Dr. Bawumia also raised this issue with the Vice-President, Mr. Amissah-Arthur without any answer and the media has also quieted down. IS IT TRUE OR NOT, MEDIA MEN AND WOMEN should probe for answers? We need answers before we surrender our sovereignty to any person. What nation are we building; what society are we developing because most of us have been transformed into economic entities without dreams, idealism, vision and passion. This is an attempt to find favor with the chiefs, student leaders now have cars, voters IDs are now being bought, varied gifts i.e. cloth are going out, football teams i.e. Eduana have become puppets resulting in low patronage for their games, students getting computers, etc. Some media people have lost their direction and everybody is cashing in as the monies flows. Everybody is being bought which reduces most of us into economic entities. This is a serious period in our history that requires serious men and women with conviction and fortitude to shepherd our mother Ghana to the promise land. Many people do not understand the position of former President, Mr. Rawlings and Mr. Martin Amidu, former Attorney General in reference to the devouring nature of corruption in the country, but I do. People have died and others have been paralyzed socially and economically fighting the cause to ensuring accountability, probity and development of the ordinary citizen. The irony of the situation today is that people who are in the fore front of the PNDC baby, the NDC, do not understand the history and ideology of the party and are amassing wealth at the expense of the mass, social democrats indeed. How come that people who label themselves as social democrats will vehemently fight against a social program, FREE SHS POLICY, which tends to ensure a solid foundation for our economic take off. Japan and America have proved that development is not about natural resources but Human capital, brain bank, to develop and manage life towards economic development. Governance is about one’s vision, belief and policy direction. If the current Administration can blow $14 billion without any exhibits then they should keep their mouth shut and allow others with direction to champion our cause to the promise land. President Rawlings and Mr. Martin Amidu can never vote for NDC and so will I and all well-meaning people with sober conscience who believe in Ghana. This is the time for the vociferous team of communicators, Samuel, Felix, Mutala, Omane, Kojo, Fiifi and the rest to come out and explain to the discerning Ghanaians the whereabout of our $14 billion in public debt. Loans are not free and have to be paid in future with interest, and we should have reasons to do so now because posterity will not forgive us. Ghanaians are a miserable bunch of people, we have so much in endowments but we have leaders who cannot take care of themselves let alone the populace. This explains why we are the 9th worst mismanaged economies in the world because if our leadership cannot show any tangible proof for $14 billion in public expenditure then we must be doing something seriously wrong. To date, we have paid an amount close to $1 billion in judgment debts, a saga which saw public officers defending nation wreckers (vampires). Ghana, a miserable country, witnessed the conspiracy to dupe the nation, which saw the actors and perpetrators walked freely. Where is the justification in our jurisprudence when a goat thief gets a 5 -year term in prison while the million dollar trickster takes a walk? How and why should we reward incompetence as a nation by voting NDC party to power for the second time when they cannot account for their stewardship? They have mismanaged this nation and do not deserve our sovereignty and mandate for reason of poor leadership. The Better Ghana Agenda has only benefitted the few greedy bastards and deprived the greater portion of our populace of opportunities and good life. At a time when most of our defenceless citizens in villages have no access to drinking water, party functionaries are driving Lexis Land cruisers, each costing over $100,000.00. As we speak, 6.9 million people of our population live beyond the poverty level and we call it Better Ghana Agenda Money has lost its value and only the few people in the zone have acquired unprecedented wealth to the detriment of the whole nation and another 4 years of this outrageous governance will send the economy to the ghettos. Our leaders should remember in passing that President Mills has passed away including the Vice- President, Mr. Aliu Mahama, Hon. Baah Wiredu, Hon. Courage Quashigah and so will we. We have the opportunity as conscious people to be of service to humanity and God or perish in shame with our ill-gotten wealth because this world will surely come to an end for everybody. No person of sober conscience can genuinely speak for NDC because they have misappropriated our resources. President Rawlings, Mr. Martin Amidu and many others cannot identify themselves with the current Administration for reason of gross incompetence and corruption of gargantuan proportions. NDC has destroyed Ghana with gargantuan loans (remember Greece) and will paralyze our economy beyond repair because they lack ideas, judgment and are corrupt, and to vote for them is to reward incompetence and corruption. If they have expended over $10 billion and there are nothing monumental to show for them how much more do they need? If NDC does not lose this election then it would mean that crime and corruption have no consequences which will be an indictment on the intelligentsia. We have to remember that we are the 9th worst mismanaged economy in the world and we are currently heading towards HIPC as a nation despite our oil. I have nothing against President Mahama but love Ghana more. ERIC K. EDUSEI, USA

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