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Opinions of Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

NDC had better get ready for life in opposition

Short of the determined orchestration of a thoroughgoing rigged election by the Charlotte Kesson-Smith Osei-led “independent” Electoral Commission (EC), about the only way that the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) could win Election 2016 will be to ensure that only the votes of its registered members will be counted (See “NDC Not Ready for Opposition – Nketiah [sic]” / 6/14/16). In a recent radio interview, the General-Secretary of the NDC, Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, boasted that on the strength of its infrastructural development projects alone, the ruling party was poised to winning Election 2016 hands down.

Just what sort of “infrastructural development projects” he meant, the former Member of Parliament from Brong-Seikwa did not say. He could also not be specific on the details because the wiry cross-dressing man popularly called General Mosquito knows perfectly well that his party has absolutely no “remarkable achievements” to show for its unprecedently dismal performance. In the area of public education, for instance, the country continues to lag well behind most of its neighbors and counterparts on the African continent. Besides, whatever passes for the infrastructural achievements of the Mahama regime is easily dwarfed by its woeful inability to pay the salaries of Ghanaian public school teachers, among a host of other contractual obligations.

Likewise, rather than constructively focus on the prompt and adequate supply of learning materials, the policy wonks of the party prefer to focus on such cheap political point-scoring superficial policy measures as the seasonal supply of one-size-fits-all uniforms for elementary school pupils, as well as the bizarre supply of sanitary pads for girl pupils, thus effectively undermining parental responsibilities.

Conversely, at the same time that the preceding rag-tag measures have been expediently pursued, such equally significant long-standing progressive policy initiatives as stipends and professional training allowances for teachers have rudely and callously been discontinued, thus effectively guaranteeing that the best and the brightest of our youths would be turned away from seriously considering a long-term career path in public education, the indispensable cultural and intellectual nerve center of any nation serious about its rapid and steady development at all levels of endeavor.

We have also witnessed the same regressive policy measures in the paramedical field of nursing, where not only trainees’ allowances and stipends have been effectively halted, even as the government demonstrates its woeful inability to fully absorb recent nursing school graduates into the paramedical and allied-health professions. The NDC, were Mr. Asiedu-Nketia and his associates known for any remarkable modicum of honesty, would unreservedly agree with the fact that there is absolutely nothing about its national development policies that verges on its much-touted ideology of “Social Democracy.”

Rather, the NDC can be aptly envisaged to be a veritable political beehive of unconscionable “Social Darwinists” exclusively hell-bent on the wanton exploitation of the overwhelming masses of Ghanaian citizens, for the at once profligate and insatiable benefit of the privileged and politically well-connected few. And we have not even begun broaching the seemingly intractable question of Dumsor, the erratic power-supply regimen, that has virtually ground the nation’s economic development to a screeching halt.
And so unless he has cynically convinced himself that many an enterprising Ghanaian citizen and eligible voter has been hibernating, or sleeping, through most of the last seven-odd years, there is absolutely no rhyme or reason in General Mosquito’s characteristically presumptuous anticipation of overwhelming voter support for the reverse-geared government of President John Dramani Mahama.

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