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Opinions of Saturday, 10 June 2017

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

A commentary of NDC’s 25 years of awful economic management

Obviously, there is a lot to squall and scold about, with regard to the NDC’s twenty five years anniversary and the day-to-day management of Ghana’s economy.

However, I will largely grub into the NDC’s last 96 months administrations which culminated in an incredible economic meltdown.

Apparently, I made a few pronouncements during the 2016 electioneering campaign that the NDC founder, Ex-President Rawlings, a supposedly proponent of probity, transparency and accountability, might not vote for former President Mahama due to widespread corruptions and lack of accountability.

“Public accountability is the hallmark of modern democratic governance. Democracy remains a paper procedure if those in power cannot be held accountable in public for their acts and omissions, for their decisions, their policies, and their expenditures.

“Public accountability, as an institution, therefore, is the complement of public management.

“As a concept, however, ‘public accountability’ is rather elusive. It is a hurrah-word, like ‘learning’, ‘responsibility’, or ‘solidarity’ - nobody can be against it.

“It is one of those evocative political words that can be used to patch up a rambling argument, to evoke an image of trustworthiness, fidelity, and justice, or to keep critics at a distance” (Bovens 2003).

Let us remind ourselves that before the formation of the NDC Party in 1992, the founder of the NDC Party (Rawlings) and his coup making friends vowed to purge off the alleged widespread sleazes, corruptions and social injustices in the country, which instigated their coup d’état in 1979.

In their hasty attempts to lustrate the country of the perceived gratuitous maliciousness and injustices, they carried out what they termed “house cleaning exercise”,--they dealt with perceived offenders capriciously (instant justice).

The disgruntled coup makers proceeded with their intentions and callously exterminated eight prominent officers, whom they accused of committing sleazes and corruptions without trial.

Ironically, former President Rawlings is said to have founded the NDC Party based on the principles of probity, accountability and transparency. Yet sleazes and corruptions were so prevalent in his NDC government.

If we juxtaposed the alleged corrupt practices of the murdered army officers with the sleazes and corruptions which took place in the erstwhile NDC administration, we cannot help but to pronounce that the Generals were “shot for less”.

As a matter of fact, the corruptions pervaded every facet of the erstwhile NDC administration, hence earning the famous cognomen ‘create loot and share’.

Apparently, the ‘create, loot and share’ phraseology was contained in the verdict of JSC Dotse in Amidu versus Woyome.

“I want to remind people that we could not have possibly forgotten that Generals were executed. The greed, corruption and injustice of today is a thousand times more than what these Generals were executed for, and if we are unable to restore a firm measure of integrity into our dealings, then the blood of many would have been shed in vain” (Rawlings 2017).

Disappointingly, despite their much touted mantra of transparency, probity and accountability, we have been witnessing so much scheming guiles, sleazes and corruptions in the successive NDC administrations.

I will, however, dare state that the abhorrent practices were even worst in the erstwhile NDC administration.

We woke up every morning to hear and read fresh news about damning sleazes and corruptions in the outgone NDC government.

“Need I remind you that the NDC was built on principles and values that emerged as a result of circumstances that led to our birth?”

“The fallen heroes we honour today expect of us in the least, never to relapse into those same old days. But that has not been the case.

“In the wake of the revolution we made pronouncements that summed up the state of affairs that prevailed then.

“I admonished back then that; “Ghana should be a land where it will be accepted practice and norm that those who earn the privilege to govern, should administer in humility, conscious that they are the servants of the people and are ready to submit themselves and their actions to public scrutiny and accountability” (Rawlings, 2016).

Somehow, many observers hold a strong view that Ghana’s current economic downslide was as a result of the unbridled sleazes and gargantuan corruptions in the outgone NDC administration.

Take, for example, despite paucity 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.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, three civil society organizations (the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) accused the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) of using state resources for campaigning ahead of the 2012 December elections, arguing that it was a violation of Article 284 of the Constitution, which provides that "A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts or is likely to conflict with the performance of the functions of his office" (GII, CDD-Ghana and GACC 2012, 1, 3).

Their report said: “In the first two months of monitoring, the coalition presents in this first report various incidents of abuse of incumbency and electoral corruption.

“These incidents fall under three categories, the use of official public/state-supported or state-organized events for campaigning by the incumbent party, promoting the incumbent party by state officials in their official capacity and vote buying”.

Tell me, if this is not hypocrisy, what would then drive the same people who have previously tortured and exterminated people they suspected to be indulging in sleaze and corruption to cause the collapse of Ghana’s economy through wanton sleaze and gargantuan corruptions?

Bizarrely, the holier-than-thou NDC apparatchiks have been committing the same crimes (sleaze and corruptions) their party founders killed many innocent people for.

Yes, they have been committing numerous scandals such as the infamous bus branding, the Brazil World Cup, Woyome’s GH51.2M; the $200M STS largesse; Millions of Ghana Cedis embezzled by the officials of NCA Board, SUBA, GYEEDA, SADA and all the dubious judgement payments amounting to GH800M).

To me, there is nothing wrong for any individual to identify him/herself as an ideologue of transparency, probity and accountability.

But it somehow becomes extremely troubling and hypocritical when a group of people who claim to be the exponents of such ethos would then turn around and dip their hands into the national coffers as if there is no tomorrow.

Aren’t the NDC apparatchiks claiming to be the preachers of transparency, probity and accountability?

Why are they refusing to practice what they have been preaching to us all these years?

To be quite honest, I hate to admit the apocalypse of the unbridled bribery and corruption cases, but I am afraid, Ghana may not see any meaningful development, so long as we have political parties whose members primary objective is to enrich themselves through the national purse.