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Opinions of Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

What does Huudu Yahaya know about social democracy?

I was in secondary school, when I first heard the name of Alhaji Huudu Yahaya. He was one of the key operatives of the Rawlings-led junta of the so-called Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC), that ruled the country with an iron-fist for about a decade, before firebrand democracy-loving activists and civil rights agitators like the now-President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and the latter’s maternal uncle, Mr. William “Paa Wille” Ofori-Atta, and Prof. Albert A. Adu-Boahen, both of blessed memory, among a plethora of others, forced Chairman Rawlings and his PNDC Abongo Boys to accede to the sort of democratic culture that Ghana presently enjoys.

I am detailing all the preceding to demonstrate that when the leftist likes of Mr. Yahaya assert that the best method for rapidly advancing African economies for the benefit of the working- and lower-classes is “social democracy,” he definitely does not understand what he is talking about. You see, contrary to what the leading main opposition National Democratic Congress’ members would have Ghanaians believe, under nearly 30 years’ rule of the country by the tandem governments of the Jerry John Rawlings-led PNDC and NDC, Ghanaians experienced the most precipitous depreciation in the quality of their lives.

In other words, Ghanaians fared far worse off than they had under any other government since March 6, 1957, when the country reasserted its sovereign status from British colonial rule. And so it simply couldn’t be that the sort of “Social Democracy” that Mr. Yahaya and his ideological associates have in mind has done much to remarkably advance the socioeconomic development of the country (See “Social Democracy Remains Africa’s Pillar of Progress – Huudu Yahaya” RadioGold905.com / Ghanaweb.com 8/15/17). Other than the very administratively and economically spotty Nkrumah-led regime of the so-called Convention People’s Party (CPP), that made quite remarkable socioeconomic gains, at least in its initial stages, the sort of touch-and-go “Social Democracy” preached by Mr. Yahaya and Dr. William Ahadzie, the second volume of whose book titled “Basics on Social Democracy” the former key PNDC operative recently launched in Accra, has actually contributed massively towards the regression of Ghana’s socioeconomic development.

For instance, under the neoliberalist and capitalist-oriented government of the John Agyekum-Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP), Ghana’s economy expanded four-fold. At the same time, the provision of social services to the very poor in Ghanaian society that was effectively nonexistent under Chairman Rawlings’ 19-year tenure, came to be nearly taken for granted. And so it is not clear what these self-infatuated stentorian P/NDC operatives mean when they talk about their brand of leadership – which the Supreme Court’s Justice Jones Dotse mellifluously and poignantly described as “Create, Loot and Share” – being the most conducive to the rapid and equitable development of the country. It never happened when Germany was partitioned into a socialist-oriented German Democratic Republic (GDR), and the far better economically developed and remarkably wealthier capitalist-oriented Federal Republic of Germany or the former West Germany.

The fact of the matter is that capitalist economies, by their very nature, are far more capable of producing enough public and private wealth that they are then able to be healthily spread out to remarkably induce marked improvement in the lives of the very poor and destitute. The quality of education has also been observed to have phenomenally improved under the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party than under the tenure of any of the three Fourth-Republican presidents produced by the faux-socialist Rawlings-minted National Democratic Congress. I have absolutely no doubt that Ghanaians are discerning and enlightened enough to readily cut through the cheap and tawdry propagandistic canard of Messrs. Huudu Yahaya and William Ahadzie.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D. English Department, SUNY-Nassau Garden City, New York August 15, 2017 E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net