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Opinions of Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Columnist: Ogya Nnipa

Ghana was hard before coronavirus came

It is often said that leaders lead, but have you ever pondered for a moment on where some leaders will lead us to? Ghana has seen many types and shades of leadership from right from independence till date and each type or shade of leader leaves a vivid impression that becomes deeply etched in our minds for generations.

He started his quest for political leadership of this country by knocking at the corridors of political power from 1996, 2008, 2012 and finally succeeded in 2016. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, a name when abbreviated gives you the acronym NADAA which is a word in Akan Twi language when pronounced literally signifies and connotes deception (ndaa-daa!).

NADAA was packaged by his spin doctors and placated as a man of integrity who was true to his words, a freedom fighter, a human rights advocate and above all a lawyer par excellence. On the political electioneering campaign trail NADAA often re-echoed and espoused all these manufactured attributes and false accolades where numerous memorable sound-bytes abound of NADAA making several juicy mouthwatering breathtaking political promises that are deeply etched in the minds of many Ghanaians especially during the run-up to the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Promises such as “free SHS”, “one district one factory”, “one village one dam”, “one million dollars annual pledge to every constituency”, “NPP will never run a family and friends government”, “NPP will operate a lean small-sized government were among some of the notable NADAA promises and pledges. NADAA literally promised that upon assumption of office by an NPP government led by him, their collective competence and experience would help quickly turnaround the fortunes of Ghana overnight are some of the NADAA pledges that readily come to mind.

A number of right-thinking Ghanaians questioned the capability (competency) of an NPP-Government to deliver (honor) and fulfill their numerous election campaign and Manifesto promises under a sacred “social contract” pact with Ghanaians” when voted to power and the mantle of political leadership of the country transferred to them. Sadly, the voices of reason of right-thinking Ghanaians were completely drowned out by vociferous jeers from NPP supporters and sympathizers that accompanied the sweet, juicy gargantuan promises made by NADAA and NPP on the 2016 election campaign trail.

When the mantle of political leadership and political power fell upon NADAA, his own criticisms and tagging of the John Mahama administration and NDC as being incompetent quickly began to haunt him, and redounded (backfired) as the manifestation of NADAA and NPP incompetence quickly showed up from the first day in office.

The hallmarks of NADAA and NPP incompetence literally showed up right from his presidential inauguration speech where his speechwriters blatantly and unashamedly copiously copied, and in an amateurish manner did “cut and paste” splicing and in verbatim, ditto-ditto style recitals of famous quotes and assertions cited in what was essentially a plagiarized inauguration speech without duly citing or mentioning names of the original sources of the quotations.

The fact that the words spoken by NADAA at the presidential inauguration were not his own shed light on the type of leader Ghana was going to have as NADAA exposed himself to be fake and this quickly shred the aura and image painted by his spin doctors. The plagiarism notwithstanding NADAA’s profound statement in the inauguration speech where he admonishes that “we should be citizens and not spectators' ' became a defining measuring rod to evaluate and measure NADAA leadership against other political leaders of Ghana.

From 2017 till date, the Akufo-Addo administration has portrayed nothing but their true colors and the Akan Twi rendition of the name NADAA (ndaa-daa!). Promises to build 350 Senior High Schools within 18 months of assumption of office from scratch are nowhere to be found. The unprecedented elephant-size government coupled with the army of presidential staffers and duplicitous ministries and ministerial appointments exposes NADAA and NPP for deception when juxtaposed against their criticism of the alleged large size of the Mahama-NDC government. Then the issue of family and friends, nepotism and cronyism has been taken to hitherto unprecedented levels by NADAA-NPP with the literal appointment of many of his Akim Kyebi and Akwapim Akropong relatives and townsfolk, and business associates and cronies from his law firm and businesses associated with those of his cousin Ken Ofori-Atta.

One of NADAA’s promise “one village one dam” was identified as a dug-out that became a venue for the NDC to hold a press conference. Factories that were never built or incepted under the “one district one factory” policy under a stimulus package from the government such as pre-existing factories like Unijay suddenly had billboard signage that read one district one factory comfortably replacing the promise of building one new factory in every district. One million dollar to a constituency channeled through the Special Development Initiative ministry turned out to be the construction of some toilet facilities just to serve the purpose of hoodwinking the voting populace as they claimed that the toilet facilities were ultra-modern.

As the country and the world at large battles with the Covid-19 virus pandemic, the NADAA virus continues to wreak havoc as monies meant to cater for the vulnerable in these times of the global Covid-19 pandemic remain unaccounted for. A government that criticized the previous regime of running to the IMF was the first to run to them (IMF) when Covid-19 struck, simply because apart from the stabilization fund left by (inherited from) the Mahama government, there was virtually no money in the national kitty to fall on. As a result of NADAA Ghana lost a golden opportunity to have the US invest in the energy sector.

The NADAA virus is deadly as it has brought untold hardship to many while NADAA himself continues to make fresh promises he knows very well that he does not intend to honor or fulfil.

By Ogya Nnipa, Accra, a concerned citizen

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