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Opinions of Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Columnist: Amponsah, Jerry

Atta Mills’ “2011 Action Year” Lacks Stimulus Plan!

Prez. Atta Mills’ “2011 Action Year” Lacks Stimulus Plan!

PRESIDENT Atta Mills’ declaration of 2011 as an action year sounds as usual as
the NDC’s empty campaign promises. It came as a Christmas bonanza to throw the
country into ululate, dance, shake hands and give glory to God. The echo-chamber
failed to decipher the visible STIMULUS PLAN for the oink. It’s not just a
promise for a free lunch; it’s a promise for a magic free lunch.

The results of the under-performance of the Mills-Mahama government in virtually
two years in office are a combination of its sanctimony and myopia. The NDC
government is only playing games with the good people of Ghana. The economy is
doing extremely zilch. From time to time, figures and information are put
periodically by government, which pretends to tell us what’s happening in
reality. We have a government today who uses the taxpayers’ monies to pay
millions of Ghana cedis to his cronies to spew propaganda to the very good
people they promised paradise. Hence the publication of the recent book drumming
home the 50 ‘top’ achievements the NDC has chalked. The countrymen are the best
judges. The result of the “Bitter Ghana Agenda” is too hard for the good people
to swallow. The invisible achievements are being pushed hard down the throat of
Ghanaians through the NDC’s propaganda trail. In the early part of this year,
Mills-Mahama administration claimed it created 1.6 million jobs. On Thursday,
December 12th 2010, President Mills came out and admittedly said that his two
years have been marked by inaction. This pronouncement makes the former a true
lie! From the horse’s own mouth, Mills-Mahama administration has conceded that
“things have been SLOW, but Ghanaians should not give up on them yet.”

If we wade through the NDC government’s published 39 pages green book (the
political pander) achievement number 14 states that the government promised to
feed 5million school children. Only 670,000 are covered. The result here is even
less than 15% of the plan’s target. Achievement 16 of the green book, “a
sustained programme involving the Ministry of Education, GetFund, and other
resources allocated by the various District Assemblies has led to the
elimination across the country of almost 1000 schools under trees out of the
4320 schools under trees.” The 2010 Budget quoted 3427 for schools under tree.
Has the “Better Ghana Agenda” increased schools under trees to 900?
The plagiarized Savannah Accelerated Development Authority meant to be the bread
basket of Ghana is completely an ignominious failure. With the NHIS, both the
NDC 2008 plagiarized manifesto of deceit and the President’s state of the nation
address declared strongly to implement the one-time premium before the end of
this year. Strangely, the 2011 action year budget is mute on it. Sounds like
planned. The culture of pair trawling is still actively prevailing. The caption
of the country’s road construction in the country interestingly took eleven
pages out of the thirty nine, though the roads are “slowly” under construction.

Only God knows how much was invested in such a preposterously insensitive
project in a developing country in which unabated hunger stares in the majority
of the people’s faces. This is an obvious percentage increase in last year’s
1.6billion Ghana cedis for the Christmas hampers to some few selected media
They have already guesstimated how much they are going to bilk the nation, as a
result of the grave and the unendingly payable loan of which our newly
discovered national treasure – the oil – is being used as collateral. The
government’s impatient attitude towards the collateralization of the country’s
oil raises a lot of human eyebrows. The nation has withdrawn into shock, funeral
silence, a grave burden to Ghana. Only the most black-hearted cynics among us
will be in tandem with this inept government. The NDC government has totally
sidelined the obvious signals which can easily plunge the Western Region of
Ghana where the oil is deposited into the current picture of Niger Delta in
Nigeria. This doesn’t get inside the president’s head. More hidden issues
related to this very oil are being overlooked by our government although being
hinted. Already our president, Professor Atta Mills, has already described the
oil as a curse. So he cares less as to whatever mess happens as a result.

The reality is that while President Atta Mills tries anew to push forward his
selfish interest of the collateralization, the toughest threat still lingers.
The most delicate issue among is the secret hovering of the Movement for the
Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) along the coast. This is the largest
militant group in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. It is well organized and
resourced umbrella of an organization, consisting of several armed groups, which
is often paid cash and guns to launch heinous attacks. Among other nefarious
crimes they engage in are theft, kidnapping, murder, property destruction,
sabotage, guerrilla war detonation of explosive devices. This is the group that
came to mind when Ghana first learnt of its oil discovery in commercial
quantities. So the influx of the militant group, the MEND, has not been ruled

Nigerians have already invaded the Cape 3 Point and its environs. They have
bought lands and developed it. They are gradually numbering in the Western
Region which will soon be Ghana’s economic powerhouse. And the MEND is the most
visible militant group in Nigeria. Their presence in Ghana is quite critical to
the national economy, peace and security. If measures are not taken on time to
prevent their invasion, it will eventually cost us Vietnam, just as it cost the
U.S.A. They will certainly turn the “Blessing Oil” into a “Blood Oil” if they
are to gain roots in the country.
Ghana government has relegated the prime interests of the very people, but damn
seeking its selfish interest (collateralization) for the sake of political
expediency. It’s kind of elitist thrusting its demands on the commoners. It’s an
absolute nuisance to its highest level. The NDC government is doing all it can
to cow Ghanaians into buying into their selfish deeds. How eerily the NDC
thoughts and actions parallel those of current President Robert Mugabe’s
Zimbabwe. It’s a suicidal choice as the government of the day can no longer out
of patience relies on the piecemeal from the oil. The evil we have got today is
muscling out the vast interests of the entire nation with its own into plunging
the nation into a reckless doom – chronic debt. This is an extreme disdain
against our own people who voted the politicians into power. Instead of
addressing the sensitive issues confronting the people, the government is rather
making a mockery at the people.
They will recruit the native inhabitants, psyche them and train them as well.
The news of the rebels’ presence on our shores has gain wide publications but
the NDC government has issued no statement on it, let alone takes concrete
measures in dealing with it at its prime stage.
The Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Musiliu Obanikoro, has intelligently
furnished the Ghana government over the presence of MEND. This information even
gingered the honchos of the MEND to react to the High Commissioner’s hint
through holding a press conference in our country. Rewind, the rebel group, the
MEND, had the audacity to organize a successful press conference in Ghana to
rebut the hint. What is the National Security doing about their visible presence
in Ghana? Nothing has been done about the intelligence relayed. The NDC
government is just playing games and gambling with the nation’s security. Our
hospitality and tolerance is being mistaken to be the country’s weakness.
As we gingerly make a way in becoming more economically competitive and vibrant,
the need to consult countries that have been trailblazers in the oil business to
aid us. The government is in office and still playing politics to its finest
level, as it sees itself as a political worker bee. Nothing could stir the NDC
government. The Osu Castle is as radical as its “propaganda.”
There’s almost a code that the minority should not talk loud. Making all efforts
to for the minority to chill out and swallow their own words. The NDC government
frowns upon outward display of disagreement from the opposition. The whole
country has been thrown into a state of skepticism over the nation’s hoggers
briskly running helter-skelter to collateralize Ghana ‘last-hope’ without a
second thought – a whammy on our dear country. The Atta Mills led-government is
highly bourgeois in attitude. Tony Aidoo, Head of Policy, Evaluation and
Oversight Unit of the Government, is an obvious exception. Ghana is sadly
reviled by his ugly lexicon. Power is power. Our moribund country is driven by
solitary thinkers. They have no national developmental plan mapped out, yet has
an electoral one ahead of the 2012 general elections. The nation’s
commander-in-chief recently blew his own trumpet, claiming vehemently that 2011
is an “Action Year” but has no bases for his empty promise. His first two years
in the presidency has been an obvious fiasco. This has generated an
unprecedented rivalry in his political party (National Democratic Congress)
which still remains unhealed. Evidently, the Cantata dramas that the people are
witnessing now within the NDC political party are finger-pointing, blame games,
endless attacks and etc. This is an unprecedented political kumbaya at its peak
in Ghana’s politics. The vice president John Mahama has largely distanced
himself from the Mills’ presidency as he nurses his presidential ambition for
2012. We all witness his underground campaign at the Atiwa bye-election. Make no
mistake. That was not his political voyeurism, but meant business. He does not
want his presidential ambition to be tainted with the ineptness of the present
administration. He strongly repudiates the name “Mills-Mahama administration.”
The country is growing more and more frustrated with the government’s inability
to keep Ghana prosperous and fair.

As the NDC government officials together with their families and friends tipple
a beer or two in the yuletide, they should think of the need to come out with
the stimulus plan for the “2011 Action Year.”
The Atta Mills’ declaration is totally legless!
I’d have a lot more respect for Atta Mills if he came out and said, “ You know
all that stuff I said about doing everything possible to achieve the ‘Better
Ghana Agenda?’ Well never mind.”

Jerry Amponsah (Sabbato)
Communications’ Group
NPP, New York,