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Opinions of Friday, 23 June 2017

Columnist: K. Badu, UK.

Did the Botchwey’s report capture the unbridled corruption, incompetence and arrogance?

It should not take a rocket scientist’s superior powers of the mind, or a scientific query to determine that the erstwhile NDC government’s contemptuous nonchalance, the uncontrolled corruption, the unpardonable incompetence and the arrogance of power were some of the causes of their humiliating election defeat.

So, one would like to believe that Professor Kwesi Botchwey Fact-finding Committee’s findings include all the factors that have been enumerated above.

In any case, the selection of the research population or the focus group, whether multifarious (diverse) or homogeneous (restricted to only NDC members) will determine the research findings.

So far, the Committee has made public only the recommendations that spawned out of the report findings.

The Committee has besought the NDC Party to address the divisions in the party, especially among the party apparatchiks, the party’s internal biometric registration of members, the licentious electioneering campaign, diversion of campaign cash and materials, public perception of corruption and complacency among others.

Obviously, the factors that accounted for the NDC Party’s humiliating defeat are multifaceted. And, for the sake of balanced annotation, I will grub into the glaring thematic factors.

The unbridled sleazes and corruptions

Despite their much touted ethos of transparency, probity and accountability, we witnessed so much scheming guiles, sleazes and corruptions in the NDC administration led by former President Mahama.

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

Believe it or not, many discerning Ghanaians voted against the infamous bus branding, the Brazil World Cup, the 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.

And, rightly so, many observers believe that Ghana’s current economic downslide resulted from the unbridled sleazes and gargantuan corruptions perpetrated by the outgone NDC administration.

Take, for example, despite the scarcity 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”.

The incompetence

The erstwhile NDC government wilfully increased a GH9.5 billion debt in 2009 to a staggering GH122 billion, though with a little to show for in just a period of eight years.

The NDC government’s woeful errors in judgement shrunk Ghana’s GDP from $47 billion to $37 billion in a little over five years.

Their economic management was nothing to write home about, as they abysmally dragged an economic growth of around 8.4 per cent in 2009 to a squeamish 3.6 per cent as of December 2016.

Besides, agricultural growth was around 7.4 per cent in 2012, but the Mahama’s government reversed it to around 2.5 per cent as of October 2016 (GSS 2016).

Moreover, the outgone NDC government could not hold on to the late mills “unprecedented” single digit inflation as they somehow managed to move the inflation to double digits (15.8 as of October 2016).

Last but not least, the currency exchange rate was around GH1.65 to 1 U.S Dollar in 2011. But due to the erstwhile NDC government’s poor economic management, the exchange rate took a flight. The exchange rate was around GH4.45 to 1 U.S Dollar as of December 2016.

Based on the NDC government’s poor economic management, it would have been devilishly suicidal if Ghanaians voted one more time for the NDC Party in the 2016 general election.

The arrogance of power

Incredibly, whenever the suffering Ghanaians complained about the economic hardships, former President Mahama and his appointees would ungraciously chastise the same people who gave them the electoral mandate.

Believe it or not, the NDC’s ‘Babies with sharp teeth’ would insult every Ghanaian that would dare complain about their laissez faire style of leadership.

The discourteous NDC brats did not even spare their party founder, Rawlings, for voicing his opinion over the rampant sleaze and corruption in the NDC administration.

Yes, the ill-bred apologists kept castigating their founder, Rawlings, for expressing his arousing disgust over the rot in his party.

It would also be recalled that the NDC’s Babies with sharp teeth disgustingly abused the then flagbearer of the NPP Party and the current president, Nana Akufo-Addo, day in and day out.

The brats spewed all sort of lies about the eminent lawyer. The good people of Ghana somehow became fed-up with the needless abuse the uncouth NDC apologists were directing towards the unwearied Nana Akufo-Addo.

Ironically, back then, President Mahama claimed to be a humble leader, a very patient leader, a tolerant leader. Yet it was the same President Mahama who lividly told Dr Bawumiah, the NPP’s presidential running mate for 2016 general election and now the vice president of Ghana to shut up and cease criticising him (Mahama) because he (Bawumiah) had not been a president before.

Strangely, however, the much touted humble, patient and tolerant President Mahama was reported to have told the people of Ashanti Region that they are ungrateful and would never be appreciative even if all their roads are constructed with gold.

The people of Ashanti Region ineffaceably stencilled such unnecessary comment at the back of their minds and waited for an appropriate time to express their arousing disgust. Indeed, the right time was 7th December 2016.

On 7th December 2016, the good people of Ghana remembered the day when the humble, patient and tolerant President Mahama told them to cease their useless discussions over the suitable burial place of our departed former President Mills.

The good people of Ghana also recalled how the holier-than-thou President Mahama went about frolicking by giving needless epithet to the then flagbearer of the NPP Party and the current president, Nana Akufo-Addo, and the acting chairman of the NPP, Freddie Blay.

And what is more, whenever the good people of Ghana express their doubts over the much touted numerous infrastructural projects, the humble, patient and tolerant President Mahama and his vociferous communicators would reply: “It is only those that are blind that do not see the good work of the NDC government.”

As a matter of fact, the good people of Ghana stencilled the needless attacks on their mental sheets and waited for an opportune time to teach the vociferous NDC ‘Babies with sharp teeth’ a great lesson.

And, who said that 7th December 2016 was not the right time for the good people of Ghana to vent their spleen on the corrupt, incompetent and the disrespectful lots?

K. Badu, UK.