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Opinions of Monday, 27 March 2017

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

It is about the nation, not NDC, stupid!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

It is quite obvious that had the leaders of the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) not been as vigilant as they had been in the 2016 general election and allowed the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) to steal its way back into the Jubilee-Flagstaff House, it definitely would have been tragic, as well as catastrophic, for the long-term well-being and development of the country. So narcissistic are the key operatives of the NDC that nearly 4 months after the party’s crushing defeat at the polls, they are still blaming divisions among the party’s leadership, rather than their lackluster policies, or the abject lack thereof, which found the already unacceptably high youthful unemployment rate in the country get even worse, for their political debacle (See “More Cracks in NDC than NPP in Opposition – Yaw Boateng Gyan” / 3/23/17).

If they had paid sedulous attention to their party’s obnoxiously self-righteous patriarch, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, on the critical question of rank corruption among the top leadership of the party, the NDC might have fared a little better in the polls, but they would still have lost Election 2016, for the simple reason that the decision of the average Ghanaian voter was squarely predicated on the strength of the economy and the latter’s direct impact on the quality of life of the ordinary citizen.

Instead, President Mahama and his NDC apparatchiks decided to focus their attention on road construction, when it was quite obvious that a person without a job had absolutely no use for good roads which, by the way, only these robber-baron thieves of state-owned vehicles could enjoy. Likewise, the Mahama Posse could not credibly talk about having acquitted themselves creditably in the area of infrastructural development, when “Dumsor,” or the erratic power supply, had destroyed the overwhelming majority of privately owned small and medium-sized enterprises.

Likewise, taking potshots at individual cabinet appointees like Dr. Edward Omane-Boamah, the notorious scofflaw and former Communications Minister, would not get the disgruntled likes of Mr. Yaw Boateng Gyan anywhere. And it is because, as already adumbrated above, the problem of the National Democratic Congress’ leadership is one of the abject lack of any visionary and cohesive development agenda for the country.

Over the past 24 years of the country’s Fourth-Republican dispensation, what the NDC leadership has decisively demonstrated that it knows how to do better than any of its competitors is to voraciously rally and scheme for power. Once in power, it had been all about “create, loot and share.” But even here, I am not sure that the Mills-Mahama Posse, and later the Mahama / Amissah-Arthur political machine operatives, had either the capacity or flair for the creation of any substantive and/or meaningful wealth as such.

All they knew how to do best was blindly and summarily mortgage the country’s oil resources for loans, which they ravenously divvied among themselves. But, of course, Mr. Boateng Gyan, the former NDC National Organizer, is right to acknowledge the fact that the NDC in opposition is more divided than the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party.

You see, in the case of the former Attorney-General, the enemy was clear in both his intentions and purposes. The enemy was insidiously factional and squarely focused on the primitive and regressive politics personal destruction. And so it was always clear from the get-go what needed to be done to disarm that internal enemy. But, make no mistake, it was not that easy to disarm an enemy whose raison d’être was the seemingly incurable, and intractable, pathology of ancient petty tribal resentments suavely repackaged as a purposeful and progressive political strategy.

In other words, what the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party has which the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress woefully lacks is a well-focused development policy agenda. The NDC has a manifesto whose ultimate objective is to simply grab power. Once in power, the NDC leadership has scandalously demonstrated time and again that it has absolutely no consistent and cohesive development agenda for the country, besides a theatrical pretense to the same.

In sum, if they want to be taken for more than political clowns and unconscionable kleptocrats, the key NDC operatives had better meticulously understudy the workings of the Akufo-Addo Administration. And this is likely to take at least 16 years, or up to the end of the Bawumia Administration. And that is conservatively speaking.

English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
March 24, 2017
*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

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