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Opinions of Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Columnist: Ayeboafo, Yaw Awuah Boadu

Chickens Come Home to Roost, a tale of a timid professor!

Quite too soon, it seems the NDC is facing the consequences of their mistakes or bad deeds or misinformation during the electioneering campaign. The sage goes, if you lay claim dishonestly or honestly, maliciously or graciously and forcibly or calmly you're given. However, whether it's kept with regret or in honour would be depended on the method of claim.

It's interesting to recall some campaigns the NDC waged during the NPP's two-term presidency and prior to the December 2008 general elections. The NDC spearheaded by their learned Professor now president of the Republic, Mills, incessantly and consistently criticized every policy of the NPP government using vile propaganda.

The canny or crafty nature of the NDC's misinformation hoodwinked or deceived the Ghanaian electorate. Lo and behold, the NDC won the elections. Credit to their strong misinformation, stirring up of unhealthy ethnic sentiments, populist or 'voodoo economic' analysis, the quick forgetfulness of a large section of the electorate and their success in getting the NPP always at the defensive.

Interestingly, only three months down the four year tenure, the reality of prudent management or governance is biting hard on the NDC's government as a mark against her populist campaign prior to the election. Justifiably though, the jury is still out, certain clues are beginning to emerge. Logically, if a party will be merrier, its inception signals.

Indeed, the chickens are coming home to roost! The NDC won the election with a CHANGE slogan crafted on a bundle of lies. One may want to know if the following are the CHANGE the NDC promised Ghanaians?

On size of government, the NDC promised a leaner one. In terms of numbers the NDC seems to have met this promise. However, in terms of cost and duplication it's worrying. For instance the budgetary allocation for the presidency has never been matched in the history of our country. It's increased the executive's budget from GHC110m to GHC290m. The NDC criticized the use of special assistants under NPP, however the chief of staff's office has three ministers,

four ministers at the ministry of information, agriculture, finance and a host of appointees at the presidency and ministries.

The NDC shunned the debate leading to parliament passing the National Health Insurance bill. They questioned its sustainability and our ability to fund it. The NPP after careful actuarial analysis passed the bill solely. The successfully implementation and the lives saved so far is a testament of the Ghanaian. The NDC during the electioneering campaign having had the wisdom of hindsight and the success of the NHIS, use their 'voodo' economic analysis and propaganda to promise Ghanaians a one-time payment should they be elected in the elections. It's worrying the NDC is shifting from this position having won the elections. The minister of health is quoted as saying that the one-time payment is unsustainable. Is this the CHANGE we're promised?

For political expediency, the NDC promised teachers a whole sale study leave policy when given the mandate. The NDC once again is reneging having won the elections. ".....the disconnection between their utterances and actions is worrying" laments,the Executive Director of the Danquah Institute.

The NDC supported by its propaganda offshoot, CJA, consistently demonstrated against the NPP on the pricing of petroleum products and the good professor was carried by the emotions to promise a "DRASTIC" reduction in petroleum products given the mandate. Ironically, the NDC reduced petroleum products by 5% in honour of her campaign promise, only to increase it by 10% in three weeks time. Is this the CHANGE we're promised? Read the NDC deputy energy minister, Dr.Kwabena Donkor “When prices go up on the world market, well the good people of Ghana would have to face that REALITY. What government can do, will be to again look at further reducing taxes and levies should we get to the critical point where that becomes necessary, but until we get there, I will not advice that the state subsidizes the cost of petroleum products, particularly, premium petrol.” Dr. Kwabena Donkor, when did this reality dawn on you?

Again, president Mills promised to hit the ground running and to be president or father to all Ghanaians. However, only three months in his administration he seems crawling. Many Ghanaians are losing their jobs, property and even lives through a grand strategy spearheaded by prof. Mills' boys which he seems to compromise. It's worrying over 500 Ghanaians have lost their Jobs in the security, rampant seizure of private cars or property, gross intimidation or abuse of people who are perceived to be against the NDC.

President Mills seems not to be in control, slow and sluggish to the extent that his own political mentor and party's founder has serious concerns and laments the country is moving in a "wrong direction". The professor's appointments is criticized as "MEDIOCRE" by Rawlings. Mr. Rawlings, come again! Professor Mills and NDC believe in propaganda to the extent that they reward the propaganda secretary of the NDC to a deputy minister of finance position. Mills, you can win election with propaganda but you can't win on managing the economy with propaganda. God help us! Where's the NDC leading Ghana to? Indeed, is this the CHANGE the NDC promised Ghanaians?

Finally, I disagree on so many issues with President Mills, however his appointment and recognition of the young talents in his party is commendable. It's interesting to recall ex-president Kufour and Rawlings had shots at our country's leadership at their very youthful days. Even though Rawlings' shot at it in the late 70's was by illegitimate means, I'm not sure by his mediocre criticism his concern was about the youthful appointments.

The NPP should learn and reform how it taps her youthful talents. Ex-President Kufour, though a product or beneficiary of youthful recognition in politics failed his party's youth when he had the opportunity. The old guard and the bourgeois took the centre stage of his administration. Still the NPP's leadership doesn't get it.

Truly, the jury is still out on the Mills' administration, but certain clues are beginning to emerge.

Awuah Boadu Ayeboafo Tepa-Ashanti