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Opinions of Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Columnist: Eric Bawah

Shut up for Nana to fix the mess you created

President Akufo-Addo President Akufo-Addo

Ghanaians are patient. They are so patient that they can allow themselves to be bullied, intimidated and kicked like dogs but when the time comes for them to act, no one, including even the Asantehene or Yaa Naa, can stop them from pursuing their inordinate desires.

For eleven years, a group of usurpers calling themselves ‘Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC)’ held the nation to ransom and bulldozed their way to whatever they surveyed. Corporals could command generals, and a private army called 64 Battalion was set up to put fear into the hearts of the regular army. As for civilians, we were made to look like chickens before hawks. We bided our time, awaiting deliverance from the Lord God of Host.

Then a prophet of the Lord like Joshua – in the person of the late Professor Adu Boahen – rose up in Ghana and called Ghanaians to rise up because we were living under a ‘culture of silence’. He encouraged us to speak out because we were being cowed into unnecessary submission. That simple call to duty turned Ghana upside down. General Arnold Quainoo, a beneficiary of the revolution, threatened that there would be inferno if anyone tried anything funny. Because once bitten twice shy, Ghanaians recoiled in fear, living the poor old professor to carry his own cross. His house was raided by soldiers but by the grace of God, he was absent.

Then the World Bank did bare its teeth and forced Mr. Rawlings to go for democracy else the loans would no more becoming. He obliged and did put down his military uniform and started wearing ‘agbada’ and smock. Before the cock could crow twice, he and his cohorts, led by Obed Asamoah, formed a party called National Democratic Congress (NDC). The commandoes – Rawlings’s private army – still remained at post, brutalizing and maltreating Ghanaians even though we were supposed to be in a democratic dispensation. During the 1992 general elections, the commandoes went on the rampage to ensure a one-touch victory for Mr. Rawlings in the elections. The same thing was repeated in 1996, yet Ghanaians kept silent, with the belief that ‘no condition is permanent’.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) realized rather too late that for the 19 years that Mr. Rawlings ruled the nation, he left behind a total mess. Former President Kufuor and his team who took over power from Mr. Rawlings worked beyond human endurance to fix the economy. He introduced poverty-alleviation programmes such as Free Maternal Care, National Health Insurance Scheme, Captivation Grant, and School Feeding Programme. Besides, the Kufuor government built highways, schools, teachers’ bungalows, and introduced the Kufuor buses, which conveyed old men, women, and schoolchildren for free, including Cocoa Mass Spraying, LEAP, Community Police and a host of other initiatives to alleviate the suffering of Ghanaians. Kufuor left behind a solid foundation for a quantum leap of the economy to higher pedestals. The biggest mistake that Ghanaians made was when they voted the NDC back into power in 2008. That is why sometimes I agree with Mr. Mahama when he told Ghanaians that they are forgetful and shortsighted.

The late Prof. Fiifi Atta Mills and John Mahama came storming as if they had something extra to offer Ghanaians. Unfortunately, things started moving backwards. Corruption, which was unattractive during the Kufuor era, became a state policy. Hard drugs which the ex-president tried to fight by introducing ‘Operation Westgate’ was abandoned, thereby opening the floodgate for massive exportation of cocaine and other hard drugs to foreign markets. It came to a point when a small girl called Naa Ayele and her girls were able to use the VVIP gate at the Kotoka International Airport to export the stuff to the United Kingdom (UK). The machine which was installed at the Kotoka International Airport to track drug traffickers was quickly removed, allowing drug barons to do their things and laugh their way to the banks. Mr. Akrasi Sarpong who was put in charge of NACOB became a toothless bulldog. He could be termed as the worst NACOB boss so far.

Enter Mr. Fixer

Anytime I hear the NDC communicators saying Nana Addo has not kept his promises to the good people of Ghana, I begin to wonder if indeed they do understand the meaning of a promise. In the run-up to the 2012 and 2016 general elections, candidate Nana Addo promised the people of Ghana that when voted into power, he would introduce free SHS so that every Ghanaian child would get the opportunity to attend senior high school free of charge. I must admit that even those of us who were ardent supporters of the NPP were skeptical of the pronouncement, because even Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who inherited some money from our colonial masters after independence could only implement free secondary schools in only two regions out of the then nine regions in Ghana.

Barely nine months after holding the reins of power President Akufo-Addo and his able team of competent technocrats and ministers introduced the programme to the surprise of everybody. Today, apart from attending SHS free of charge, students are given free hot meals a day. Because SHS was free, thousands of children who would have been roaming the streets aimlessly are in school, pursuing one course or the other. When the Double Track system was introduced to accommodate the teeming number of students, the NDC got ants in their pants, pissing everywhere. Now that things are working according to plans, they have kept silent.

Then he promised that when voted into power, he would make sure teachers/nurses allowances would be restored. Ex-President Mahama told Ghanaians that what candidate Nana Addo said would happen over his dead body and that the teacher trainees and nursing trainees could decide to vote against him because he would never do that.

When Candidate Nana Addo promised that he would give each constituency one million dollars to embark on developmental projects, the NDC took him to the cleaners because, according to them, it was impossible. All the promises made by Candidate Akufo-Addo were bastardized by the NDC because, according to them, they were not feasible. Recently, the Minister of Finance announced that GH¢275 million dollars had been released to all the constituencies to embark on projects through the ‘one constituency one million dollar’ project.

All these and many more promises came to reality in a matter of two and a half years. The NDC apparatchiks don’t seem to have any sense of shame. They spoiled it and Nana, the man of action, is fixing it. One by one, we are all going to Canaan’s shore.

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