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Opinions of Thursday, 3 March 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

There are competent and Efficient Governments in Many Places

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Feb. 27, 2016

During his most recent lecture to the members of the Development Communication Students Association (DEVCOSA) at the Wa-Campus of the University of Development Studies (UDS), Mr. Haruna Iddrisu was reported to have said quite a lot of things, a couple of which have been rejoined by yours truly in a previous article. The present subject only came to my attention a couple of days ago, and I have decided not to let it pass without comment, in view of the fact that the Rawlings-minted so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC) has pontifically justified its existence and continues to do so on grounds that all the other postcolonial governments that have ruled the country were hopelessly corrupt and incompetent, including the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration whose development programs the noetic NDC operatives have shamelessly and doggedly pursued, such as LEAP and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which they initially pooh-poohed as a pie-in-the-sky policy agenda.

Now, rather than boldly and honestly acknowledge that it has miserably failed the Ghanaian people, Mr. Iddrisu, who is also the Tamale-Central NDC-MP and doubles as Employment and Labor Relations Minister, would have Ghanaians believe that the widely acknowledged gross incompetence of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress is perfectly normal, because “there is no perfect government anywhere” around the globe (See “There Is No Perfect Gov’t Anywhere – Minister” Ghana News Agency / 2/23/16). Maybe somebody ought to point out to Mr. Iddrisu that Ghanaians are too savvy and much too sophisticated to demand a perfect government. Rather, what Ghanaians are demanding, and which demand is their inalienable and inviolable right, is that President John Dramani Mahama resort to less vacuous propaganda flourishes and focus more on promptly and efficiently delivering good governance to the people. Parading a handful of beneficiaries of the Kufuor-minted LEAP or public assistance program to the poor and needy in Ghanaian society, during his most recent State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA), amounted to nothing short of the inexcusably hypocritical, especially when just over 7 years ago, the former Atta-Mills arch-lieutenant was vehemently railing against LEAP as a development policy program that left much to be desired.

It is also rather embarrassing to observe that most of the members of the Mahama cabinet have spent the last 7 years almost exclusively focused on their own personal academic and professional development, instead of the development of the country at large. Presently, for example, the Employment and Labor Relations Minister has been spending a considerable amount of his paid time and hours studying for a degree in Constitutional Law. Now, if this is not morally untenable and downright criminal, as well as one that clearly verges on a gross dereliction of duty, one does not know what else it is. In the recent past, we have had junior cabinet appointees like Mr. Agyenim-Boateng resort to the same irresponsible official conduct. And then not long ago, the National Women’s Organizer of the National Democratic Congress, Ms. Anita D’Souza, who also doubles as the Deputy National Coordinator of the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO), was widely reported to be contemplating on going back to school, even as she continued to hold these two full-time and generously salaried jobs.

And so it rather silly and annoyingly laughable for Mr. Iddrisu to be preaching blind patriotism to the students of our nation’s tertiary academies. He would also do himself great good to steer clear of issues relating to the Obama White House, particularly the latter’s present wrangling with the racist conservative Republicans vis-à-vis the pending appointment of a Supreme Court replacement for the recently deceased Justice Antonin Scalia, himself a dyed-in-the-wool “gentleman racist,” and focus on the equitable distribution of public resources among all the ten regions and people in the country, irrespective of political and/or ideological suasion.

Contrary to what he would have the rest of the nation believe, nobody can be credibly accused of miring the image and reputation of the Mahama government in mud, or slime, but people like Messrs. Mahama and Iddrisu themselves. I mean, wouldn’t it be a patently preposterous proposition for Mr. Iddrisu to expect Ghanaians to commend his boss for cavalierly permitting the routine use of the VVIP – or Presidential – Lounge at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) by globally notorious drug queen-pins like Ms. Nayele Ametefe?

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