Feature Article of Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Columnist: National Democrat
The biggest calamity that can befall a man is when he lies to himself. When a man is poor but thinks himself rich, when he is wicked but thinks he is kind or when he is foolish but thinks himself wise; then he is in such a calamity that is beyond redemption.
To avoid such a calamity, it is important to often do a self-examination of one’s self. It is important for a person to sometimes stand outside himself to look at himself from the world’s perpective. Sadly, some people do not do this exercise and we believe that one of such persons is Paa Kwesi Nduom, flag-bearer of the PPP. Of all the flag-bearers vying for the Presidency, Nduom is the least inspiring. He is a man full of froth with no substance as far as politics is concerned. Only if he knows how the world perceives him!
Nduom thinks himself God’s divine gift to Ghana. Everybody else lacks vision for Ghana, except him. No one has the keys to Ghana’s success except him. After just a comparatively brief stint in government, he suddenly is the initiator of almost everything that is good in Ghana, including the George Walker Bush Highway!
Now, he is at his irritating best. In a facebook post on Monday, he claimed that “…there is no BETTER GHANA agenda anywhere”. Here him; “This government has failed because if you go to communities throughout the length and breadth of this country, many, many people are drinking disease infected water. The low quality of education is making many of our children fail examinations. They cannot advance their education and go to a higher level. “Electricity has remained a problem, and now we are experiencing the severe inconvenience of LOAD SHEDDING, which quite simply means, you are working and all of a sudden you have no power. You are holding an important event, and you must look for a generator. You look at the bad roads, the dangerous roads our people have to travel on. And in this 21st Century our people still are encountering and suffering from Malaria, Cholera, Guinea worm and we hear yellow fever has reappeared in parts of our country.”
A close examination of the argument he has put up on his facebook shows how hollow he is. Even A JHS student who is sincere to himself will not put forward this argument. Honestly, it is not untrue that there are communities throughout the length and breadth of this country where many, many people are drinking disease infected water as Ndoum claims. The question is whether those communities had clean water during the tenure of the NPP government of which he, Nduom, was a key member from 2001 to 2008? If villagers in Ghana have been drinking disease infected water, what did the NPP government do about it? What did Nduom do about it? Lest we forget, thanks to the collaboration between the then NDC government of Jerry Rawlings and the Carter Centre, Guinea worm was eradicated from Ghana by 2000 when the NDC was on its way out of office. This simply means that the NDC government found a way of ensuring that villages that hitherto depended on guinea worm infested water, one way or the other, had access to clean drinking water.
Now, it is a fact that by the time the NPP government and Paa Kwesi Nduom were leaving power in 2008, Ghana had once more become a guinea worm endemic country, second to only war-torn Sudan in the whole world! So, how is it that Nduom should be the one talking about a government having failed because people still drink disease infested water?
If people are once more drinking disease infected water, then Nduom should point accusing fingers at the NPP government of J.A. Kufuor of which he was a part. Here is a government which preferred to put up the Golden Jubilee House at the cost of over nine hundred billion cedis and splash billions more on the Ghana@50 celebrations at a time the vast majority of Ghanaians who gave it the mandate to rule were having less and less access to potable drinking water. Between water and the Golden Jubilee House, which is more important to ordinary Ghanaians?
Again, see who is talking about a government having failed because of load shedding! If load shedding is a pointer that a government has failed, then does Nduom accept that he and the NPP government were a total failure since Ghana went through the worse load shedding exercise in 2007 under J A Kufuor, an exercise that saw the collapse of many businesses in Ghana and swelled up the unemployment rate? Analyzing Nduom’s hypocrisy is one of the most painful exercises in the world because his brand of hypocrisy is nauseating. Hear him talking about roads being bad today! The simple question is whether the roads would have been bad today if the NPP government of which he was apart lived up to its loud promises and rehabilitated them. Today, thanks to the first NDC government, among many others, the road from the Tetteh Quarshie roundabout which runs in front of the airport, the Golden Tulip Hotel and passes in front of the Dutch embassy where the three-tier interchange was put up is still serving its purpose. Then there is the road from the Tema end of the motorway roundabout to the Habour, built by the NDC government and still serving its purpose. Let Nduom point to just one major road the NPP put up at in the capital for us all to see.
The Ako Adjei Interchange ( formerly Sankara interchange) was put up the NDC government of which President John Mahama was part to solve the vehicular traffic problem that had plagued that section of the road network in Accra. Can Nduom and the NPP government compare that eye-sore of a roundabout that they put up at the Tetteh Quarshie roundabout to the Ako Adjei Interchange? Has the eye-sore put up at the Tetteh Quarshie roundabout solved the vehicular traffic problem? Of course not! It has compounded it!
Tema residents have always voted for the NPP. Yet, throughout their eight years stay in office, Nduom and the NPP government could not rehabilitate even a kilometer of the roads in the harbor city. By the time the NDC took over, some of the pot-holes had become so big that one would think galamsey operators were mining on the roads. Today, many of these roads have been rehabilitated and asphalted. Let Nduom go to Tema and he will bow down his head in shame. It is an irony and an insult to Ghanaians that the PPP flag-bearer should be calling himself ‘adwumawura’ when the fact is that under the NPP government of which he was a key member, unemployment was created through policies that sent industries and companies collapsing. Does Nduom know the number of people who were rendered unemployed through the collapse of VALCO? Does he know how many people were rendered jobless as a result of the collapse of the Poultry, Textiles & Garment as well as the Rice industries in Ghana?
Democracy has enjoined Ghanaians to tolerate the likes of Paa Kwesi Nduom. He offers comic relief to many in a political atmosphere that has been made tense by the desperation with which some people want power so much that they are calling for the annihilation of some tribes, declaring the elections an ‘all-die-be-die”affair, have vowed to win “ at all cost” believing that the elections should be a “guerilla war” to which they can at least use pestles as weapons since pestles do not have to be licensed; moreover, every household has one. Nduom can continue to deceive himself that he is a Presidential material. The vast majority of Ghanaians know he is not, a fact that was made clear to him when he recorded less than one percent of total votes cast in the 2008 elections even though he stood on the ticket of the CPP, a party founded by the illustrious Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
It is just as well that Nduom left the CPP because he was beginning to turn the party into a laughing stock. With the likes of him out of the party, it (the party) for once, is having the wind of peace blowing through it. He has been good riddance to the CPP.
Every cloud has a silver lining! Even Nduom has one; comic relief. Ghanaians need more from him as we head towards the December elections where we know he will not even win a single parliamentary seat! He should re-examine himself – perhaps, he would have been Ghana’s answer to Warren Buffet, Roman Abrahmovich or even Bill Gates if he had chosen to be performing as a member of the Key Soap Concert Party drama group especially with his well designed moustache!