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Opinions of Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Columnist: K. Badu, UK

On Ghana’s unmotorable roads: Amidu may well have to prosecute the conspiratorial plotters

After spending a little over ten weeks and blissfully touring the length and breadth of Ghana for the first time in a long while, I would like to believe that this time around, my obdurate critics won’t accuse me of exhibiting risible and inborn predilection in my analysis.

On 1st December 2018, I commenced my fact-finding mission in the company of other family members. In retrospect, I managed to tour some remote parts in six regions, inter alia, Greater Accra, Eastern Region, Western Region, Central Region, Brong-Ahafo Region and the Ashanti Region.

In fact, some of the roads are so deplorable to an extent that we could not travel by saloon car. Suffice it to emphasise that we only managed to travel around in a Land Rover Jeep.

Dearest reader, I could not believe what I was witnessing. Barely 25 months into the NPP’s administration, Ghana’s roads have become unmotorable all of a sudden, despite the erstwhile NDC government’s much-touted infrastructural projects.

The fact of the matter is that the NPP government could not have deliberately messed-up the roads in the last 25 months, far from it.

We can, therefore, draw an adverse inference that the outgone NDC administration’s unprecedented infrastructural pronouncement was either a charade or a conspiratorial plot to dupe the nation.

Given the deplorable state of the roads, we cannot help but to conclude that some individuals within the erstwhile Mahama administration wilfully caused financial loss to the state.

Dearest reader, if you may recall, Ex-President Mahama and his vociferous NDC apparatchiks cunningly took refuge in their much-touted infrastructural projects after failing abysmally to initiate expedient policies and programmes to overturn the failed policies of agriculture, poverty reduction and resource allocation in the areas of healthcare, education, finance, supply chain management and security sector planning, amongst others.

I remember whenever the good people of Ghana expressed their grievances over the NDC’s maladaptive governance; Ex-President Mahama and his vociferous communicators would go berserk: aren’t we transforming lives by building roads, hospitals, schools, toilets, water facilities, amongst others?

It would, therefore, appear that most of the projects were not up to the required standards, albeit they were overpriced. They have indeed caused financial loss to the state.

Indeed, the former Minister for Local Government, under Mahama’s administration, Collins Dauda would attest to such assertion. He decried the NDC’s poorly constructed and often overpriced projects.

There was a time concerned Ghanaians complained about the poorly constructed roads in Kumasi and Ex-President Mahama was reported to have responded angrily: ‘You ungrateful lots, you would never even be appreciative if I constructed your roads with gold’.

In fact, Ex-President Mahama and his non-performing appointees were refusing to appreciate that exemplary governance is not all about putting up numerous infrastructural projects.

It is, however, worth stressing that excellence governance goes beyond the provision of social infrastructural and amenities. As a matter of fact, praiseworthy governance also involves continuous improvement of socio-economic standards of living.

In Ghana today, we have politicians in our midst whose rhetoric only deludes and proselytises millions of unsuspecting Ghanaians.

After attesting to so much scheming guiles and frequent propagation of propaganda, many Ghanaians have ceased believing such politicians.

Yes, we do need true leaders. Obviously, we need individuals who have vision, direction, and strength to reach our goals.

As a matter of fact, we choose to elect a government to oversee our national affairs. And, we, in turn, are obliged to pay taxes to the elected government so as to run the country to our satisfaction.

In addition, the elected government has our unwavering support to go for prudent loans to support the day-to-day management of the country. In effect, we (the citizens) pay for all the expenses pertaining to the management of the country.

It was for that reason that I was in agreement with President Mahama for suggesting poignantly in somewhere 2008 that it is an exercise in mediocrity for any government to take delight in infrastructural projects.

Apparently, Ex-President Mahama meant to suggest that every lousy government could easily undertake that role of governance. By inference, the erection of infrastructural projects is as easy as ABC.

No offence intended, though, Madam Akua Donkor of the Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) could put up more infrastructural projects if given the opportunity.

To be blunt, and rightly so, since discerning Ghanaians are obliged to pay taxes, it would be boundlessly unconscionable for any government and its teeming supporters to hide behind social amenities and infrastructural projects such as public toilets, schools, roads, water, electricity, amongst others.

After all, to whom much is given, much is expected. Suffice it to state that Ex-President Kufuor left a total debt of around 9.5 billion Ghana Cedis in 2009. However, our total debt ballooned to around 122.4 billion Ghana Cedis as of September 2016 with a little to show for.

This means that Mahama and his NDC government added more than 113 billion Cedis within a short space of time.

Regrettably, however, the erstwhile Mahama administration abandoned the vast majority of the uncompleted infrastructural projects, including the important Kumasi-Accra high road which former President Kufuor initiated.

Indeed, the NDC government blatantly failed to complete most of the projects former President Kufuor initiated, including ‘Sofoline interchange (Kumasi), all the affordable housing projects, the mini dams meant to provide electricity to small towns and many other abandoned projects started by the previous NPP government.

I must, however, confess that I unhesitatingly admire President Akufo-Addo and his NPP government’s enthusiasm towards completing most of the uncompleted infrastructural projects initiated by the NDC government and funded by the Government of Ghana.

It is absolutely true that we have over the years been electing terrible economic managers who cannot see their backsides from their elbows and have only succeeded in sinking the economy deeper and deeper into the mire through corrupt practices.

Unfortunately, ever since they lost the 2016 election, the brassbound loyalists of the National Democratic Congress, who are still nursing their wounds, have vowed to make the country ungovernable. Regrettably, however, they prefer to call themselves true patriots. How pathetic?

Believe it or not, a large portion of Ghana’s scarce resources, unfortunately, went down the drain due to the mismanagement and the wanton sleazes and corruption perpetrated by the officials of the erstwhile Mahama administration.

Back then, discerning Ghanaians raised concerns over many bribery and corruption scandals such as SSNIT, SUBA, SADA, Woyome, Bus branding, Brazil World Cup, NCA amongst others which invariably distorted Ghana’s economy, threatened the fundamental human rights and subverted the institutions that guarantee stability.

Nevertheless, Ex-President Mahama and his NDC government apathetically protected the corrupt public officials, including the crocodile tears shedding Brazil World Cup cabal who revoltingly bought a ball of ‘nkran dokono’ at an amazing price of $20.00, a whole coconut for $200.00 and paid the Brazilian escort an incredible $4000.00 per journey to a local market.

That notwithstanding, the loyalists NDC supporters would want discerning Ghanaians to believing that the erstwhile NDC government provided exceptional governance. Indeed, vague apprehension of patriotism exists in the minds of many Ghanaians, who prefer narrow party coloration to defending the national interests. How pathetic?

Well, whichever way you may place the argument, it is absolutely true that if discerning Ghanaians had not graciously intervened by showing the ravenous and phlegmatic NDC government the exit during the 2016 election, the dreadful errors in decision-making and the rampant sleazes and corruption would have wiped out Ghana off the world map without a trace.

I do not intend to be patronising, far from it. But if governance is all about putting up infrastructural projects, then I will dare state that even my unlettered and untrained mother would be able to perform exceedingly better than what the outgone Mahama government achieved with all the copious resources at their disposal.