You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2018 09 22Article 686834

Opinions of Saturday, 22 September 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

Akufo-Addo’s appointees shouldn't give Ghanaians reason to repeat the 2008 mistake

Given the blue-ribbon performance amid favourable economic conditions back then, I would like to humbly submit that Ghanaians made a calamitous mistake by voting the NPP government out of power during the 2008 election.

In spite of the numerous programmes and policies initiated by former President Kufuor and his hardworking team which put the country in a highly favourable position, the NPP communicators, in all honesty, displayed sheer complacency and disappointingly failed to counter the NDC’s vile propaganda.

To his credit though, the late President Mills continued with the excellent economic foundation laid by former President Kufuor and his NPP government.

As a matter of fact, the late President Mills prepared adequately for the presidency, but in spite of his readiness to serve the nation to the best of his ability, the naysayers within his own Party needlessly kept shrieking, nagging and grumbling about his style of leadership.

The late Mills, in fact, would have been very successful in his short spell in government but for the shenanigans of the detractors that surrounded him.

Take, for example, it is a well-known fact that prior to the dubious Wayome’s judgement debt payment of GH51.2 million, the late Mills warned his appointees not to effect payment.

However, the incompliant appointees revoltingly disobeyed the good old Mills orders and uncharacteristically doled out the staggering amount to Wayome, who had no contract with the government of Ghana.

Disappointingly, though, despite his unmatched moral uprightness, the late President Mills somehow yielded to his appointees' shenanigans and allowed the create loot and share cabals to have their way.

Things apparently started to fall apart. It went from bad to worse following President Mills sudden and mysterious death. The conspiratorial plotters then had a field day leading to the 2012 general elections.

It is worth mentioning that President Mahama and his NDC apparatchiks went berserk in their desperation to cling on to power. Thus they broke all conventions. Many government departments spent over and above their allocated budgets.

Ex-President Mahama and his NDC apparatchiks regrettably failed to acknowledge the fact that corruption is a key element in economic underperformance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development.

The general belief back then was that they bought votes with the taxpayers’ money. They nonetheless clung on to power following the controversial election on 7th December 2012. Suffice it to state that their victory came with huge costs to the nation.

The previously single digit inflation and budget deficit doubled astronomically. The GH9.5 billion debt which former President Kufuor and his NPP government left in 2009 rocketed artificially to unpronounceable figures. Our total debt ballooned to GH122.4 billion as of December 2016.

Believe it or not, Ghana went into the throes of economic collapse due to mismanagement and wanton sleazes and corruption.

Take, for example, Ghana’s economic growth slowed for the fourth consecutive year to an estimated 3.4% in 2015 from 4% in 2014 as energy rationing (dumsor), high inflation, and ongoing fiscal consolidation weighed on economic activity (World Bank, 2016).

Moreover, the high inflation rate remain elevated at 18.5% in February 2016 compared to 17.7% in February 2015, even after the Central Bank’s 500 bps policy rate hikes (the inflation stood at 15.8 per cent as of October 2016).

Many observers unsurprisingly harbour a strong view that Ghana’s economic downslide came about as a result of the unbridled sleazes and gargantuan corruptions perpetrated by the erstwhile NDC government.

The cabals even managed to set aside judgement debt amount in the national budget (reported to be around GH800 million).

Sleazes and corruption, frankly stating, were so pervasive during the late Mills/Mahama administration.

Ex-President Mahama, as a matter of fact, was only compelled by the Ghana’s 1992 Constitution to ascend the throne he never prepared for, and, therefore had no burning desire or had little interest to move the country to the right direction.

Some schools of thought nonetheless argue that Ex-President John Dramani Mahama, unlike his predecessor, the late John Evans Atta Mills did not expect to be the president of Ghana, and hence never prepared for the highly important position.

That said, it could be true that the then Vice President Mahama had an ambition to ascend the throne one day, albeit his presidency came fortuitously following the sudden death of former President Mills.

Given the unprecedented economic mess back then, the good people of Ghana found in NPP, a redeemer, in whom they put their absolute trust to set them free from the NDC government’s economic bondage.

However, it would appear that some people who have been given the opportunity to serve in the current NPP administration are regrettably taking things for granted, judging from the unfortunate, albeit avoidable happenings at their work settings.

In so far as some of the allegations are mere flimsy work of the lousy opposition, the appointees cannot and must not keep opening themselves to obdurate tattletales, who are ever ready to pounce on insubstantial issues regardless.

Perhaps more than anything else, the appointing authority may have to put its foot down and do the unthinkable in the Ghanaian political landscape by dismissing the stubbornly impenitent appointees.

Let us be honest, it would only take a manful optimist to suggest that the NPP government has an absolute right to remain in power.

Believe it or not, President Akufo-Addo and his appointees have to work towards their re-election. That is by honouring the promises they made to discerning Ghanaians.

Discerning Ghanaians, so to speak, voted massively to bring the NPP government into power at the backdrop of unbridled corruption and dereliction of duty by the outgone NDC government.

Thus, we could draw an adverse inference that discerning Ghanaians will not forgive the NPP government if they failed to perform exceedingly better than the erstwhile NDC government.

Whichever way you may view the issue under discussion, the NPP government does not have the God’s given right to remain in power and could therefore be shown the exit by discerning Ghanaians if failed to deliver on its promises. That, indeed, does not require a superior mind on rocket science or transcendental powers to predict.

In a grand scheme of things, the NPP government has no option than to deliver the goods and thereby transforming the lives of the teeming Ghanaians. Suffice it to state that the NPP government will have itself to blame if failed to meet the expectations of discerning Ghanaians.

Verily, in as much as some of us do not have any supernatural powers to determine the outcome of the 2020 general elections, we can rightly pontificate that the ball is on the court of the NPP government from now till the next election to put things right so as to avert any calamity.

In ending, the appointing authority must not and cannot continue to spare the rod and thereby jeopardising Ghana and the NPP’s bigger political project.