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Opinions of Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Columnist: K. Badu

The return of NDC’s Messiah and NPP’s possible sixteen years in power

It would appear that the NDC’s humiliating 2016 election defeat has really unsettled the party loyalists, judging from their weird posturing.

Indeed, we can bear witness to reactive emotional responses from the brassbound NDC Party supporters since losing the 2016 election.

And more so we have been observing keenly how the NDC Party loyalists have been beseeching their leaders to do something about their painful election defeat.

Strangely, however, the grieving supporters of Ex-President Mahama have been lamenting persistently: "We’ll not vote if you failed to bring “the former president” (Mahama) back ".

The all-important question we should aske then is: is Ex-President Mahama the only popular and competent leader in the NDC Party?

You may believe it or not, but the fact of the matter is that there is an ongoing tug of war over the choice of a popular and capable flagbearer to lead them to recapture the elusive victory in 2020.

We hope and pray that the tussle does not turn into something nasty. Indeed, we need strong opposition to keep the incumbent government on its toes.

That said, we will urge the die-hard supporters of Ex-President Mahama to do a serious introspection and cease their needless blame game.

Well, I do not want to believe that anyone could have persuaded the aggrieved voters to vote Mahama, considering the rampant corruption and the irreversible incompetence which culminated in economic hardships.

The fact is: the diehard NDC supporters were living in denial about the harsh economic conditions prior to the 2016 general elections.

Back then, the vast majority of Ghanaians struggled to make a living or eke an income. The fact of the matter is that the awful errors in decision-making, the incompetence and the rampant corruption culminated in untold economic hardships.

And, despite the apparent harsh socio-economic standards of living back then, President Mahama and his apologists kept trumpeting their vague rhetoric , political insobrieties and meaningless slogans: ‘Mahama Tuaso’; ‘We care for you’; ‘people matter, you matter’; ‘we are transforming lives’.

While they were singing the meaningless renditions, the good people of Ghana were struggling terribly to pay their utility bills and could not even afford their children school fees.

Thankfully, however, President Akufo-Addo and his government have graciously implemented the poverty reduction free SHS policy to the delight of many parents.

The fact of the matter is that we do not require superior powers of the mind to determine that the unbridled corruption, the unpardonable incompetence and the arrogance of power which permeated every facet of Mahama’s government culminated in their humiliating election defeat.

Predictably, therefore, Professor Kwesi Botchwey Fact-finding Committee’s findings should include all the factors that have been delineated above.

We are well aware that the Committee has come public with only the recommendations, while the main report has been put under secured lock by the General Secretary of the party, Asiedu Nketia.

And credible sources have it that the Committee has besought the NDC Party to address the divisions in the party, especially among the party apparatchiks, the party’s internal biometric registration of members, to consider putting a stop to their ostentatious electioneering campaigns, diversion of campaign cash and materials, public perception of corruption and complacency among others.

Obviously, the factors which accounted for the NDC Party’s humiliating defeat are multifaceted, and, for the sake of balanced annotation, I will grub into the glaring thematic factors.

In spite of their much touted ethos of transparency, probity and accountability, we witnessed so much scheming guiles, sleazes and corruptions in the NDC administration led by former President Mahama.

As a matter of fact, the sleazes and corruptions pervaded every department of the erstwhile Mahama administration, hence earning the famous appellation ‘create loot and share’.

Youu may believe it or not, but the truth is that many discerning Ghanaians voted against the infamous bus branding, the Brazil World Cup, the Woyome’s GH51.2M; the $200M STS largesse; Millions of Ghana Cedis embezzled through SUBA, GYEEDA, SADA and all the dubious judgement debt payments amounting to GH800M.

Many observers thus believe that Ghana’s current economic downslide emanated from the unbridled sleazes and gargantuan corruptions which were perpetrated by the outgone Mahama administration.

Take, for example, despite the scarcity of resources, the Mahama administration spent over and above our means during the 2012 electioneering campaign, hence Ghana’s budget deficit and the total debt took an astonishing flight.

Shockingly, the erstwhile Mahama government wilfully increased a GH9.5 billion debt in 2009 to a staggering GH122 billion, though with a little to show for in just a period of eight years. And what is more, the Mahama’s government woeful errors in judgement shrunk Ghana’s GDP from $47 billion to $37 billion in a little over five years.

Truly, Mahama’s government's economic management was nothing to write home about, as they abysmally dragged an economic growth of around 8.4 per cent in 2009 to a squeamish 3.6 per cent as of December 2016.

Besides, agricultural growth was around 7.4 per cent in 2012, but the Mahama’s government dragged it to around 2.5 per cent as of October 2016 (GSS 2016).

What is more, the outgone Mahama government could not hold on to the late mills “unprecedented” single digit inflation as they somehow managed to move the inflation to double digits (15.8 as of October 2016).

Last but not least, the currency exchange rate was around GH1.65 to 1 U.S Dollar in 2011. But due to the erstwhile Mahama government’s poor economic management, the exchange rate took a flight. The exchange rate was around GH4.45 to 1 U.S Dollar as of December 2016.

Indeed, based on the Mahama government’s poor economic management, it would have been devilishly suicidal if Ghanaians voted one more time for the NDC Party in the 2016 general election.

Incredibly, whenever the suffering Ghanaians complained about the economic hardships, former President Mahama and his appointees would ungraciously chastise the same people who gave them the electoral mandate.

Astonishingly, the NDC’s ‘Babies with sharp teeth’ would insult every Ghanaian that would dare complain about their laissez faire style of leadership.

With all due respect, former President Mahama and his teeming supporters must accept the fact that his dreadful errors in judgement which sent Ghana’s economy deeply into the mire cost him the presidency.

I bet even some NDC supporters at his own backyard will not endorse his candidacy, let alone the masses who are enjoying the free SHS, something they were denied under Mahama’s presidency.

As a matter of fact and observation, President Mahama and his NDC government fecklessly collapsed the economy. Indeed, they broke their promises, thus the bonds of trust was infringed.

To be fair, if President Akufo Addo managed to keep most of his campaign promises, I will daresay that he could easily complete two terms in office.

Take, for instance, President Akufo Addo would have done well if he implemented the Manifesto promises of one District one Factory, one Constituency one Million Dollars, free SHS, one Village one Dam in the Northern part of Ghana, tax reductions, including taxes on utility bills etc.

I am of the opinion that Akufo Addo’s NPP government will deliver on its promises as done by the previous NPP government led by former President Kufuor.

If we take a stroll down memory lane; Kufuor’s government kept the Manifesto promises and introduced social interventions such as the free Maternal Care, the School Feeding Programme, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Mass Transport System, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), the National Youth Employment Programme, now known as GYEDA, and many other social interventions.

I would therefore like to conclude that President Akufo Addo could complete his two terms in office as prescribed by Ghana’s 1992 Constitution upon satisfactory performance and then pass on the baton to either John Alan Kyeremanteng or Dr Mahmoud Bawumiah.