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Opinions of Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Columnist: Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Do Ghanaians now eat development projects?

If it has to take Akufo-Addo this warped approach to regain public confidence in the NPP's stronghold, let's tell him that he has lost the game. Or let’s wonder whether under an NPP government Ghanaians eat development projects but won’t do so under an NDC one.

Folks, the Greeks must continue to be appreciated for telling us that "history repeats itself". I respect them as such and wish that you will too, particularly because of what we are being given to know about the Akufo-Addo government's approach to governance and how to win voter support, running around in circles only to end up eating back their own vomit. The NPP apparatus is a clear example of the shithole analogy made by the US' Donald Trump.

We have just been given to know that Akufo-Addo has begun a 5-day tour of the Ashanti Region (and we wonder why 5 days for that region alone when he spent three days touring the three regions of Northern Ghana and one day in others).

And surprise... surprise....!! The monumental act of deception on the first leg of that visit is the sod-cutting ceremony for the facelift of roads in Kumasi, Bekwai, and other major parts of the Ashanti Region (See https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Akufo-Addo-cuts-sod-for-greater-Kumasi-town-roads-project-675874).

As if no other government had ever built or rebuilt roads there or as if no infrastructural development ever took place there and that only what Akufo-Addo has stepped in the region to do is to be appreciated as an accomplishment for which he must be commended.

Jerry Rawlings did it long ago, beginning with the asphalting of roads in Kumasi and spreading it to other parts of Ghana from there, even as he was torn apart by his opponents speaking the tune that would put Kufuor in power.

(That tune: Ghanaians don't eat asphalt roads or development projects. In effect, then, the tune was "Whie wo asetenamo na tu aba pa" (Consider your living conditions and vote wisely!!)… and the voters did so to put Kufuor in power in 2000 and retained him at Election 2004. Living conditions, then, became the standard measuring rod, according to the Gospel of the NPP).

But the truth may be bent only, not destroyed for falsehood to reign supreme. In power, Kufuor had nothing new to offer but to depend on the very infrastructural development that he had damned about Rawlings' approach toward giving Ghanaians their fair share of the national cake.

Whatever he did was hinged on that approach, which he has consistently boasted of, even out of power. Interestingly, Rawlings hasn't thumped his chest that much on that score, leaving everything to Ghanaians to judge for themselves.

Clearly, the NDC has based its governance style and skills on the ability to give Ghanaians infrastructural projects, which Mills and Mahama pursued to a fault, costing the NDC that much but sustaining interest in it by the beneficiaries of such projects who can separate lies from reality.

What won political power for Akufo-Addo drew on the damnation of the NDC's over-concentration on development projects---which would make Akufo-Addo pin his hopes on uprooting the NDC from power on the basis of corruption regarding those projects. We have seen and heard a lot to that effect.

What is emerging now raises eyebrows. Isn't it bewildering that Akufo-Addo will now focus on infrastructural development as the means to claw back public goodwill, especially after his earlier visit to the Ashanti Region in the year had painted a gloomy picture of him as failing to meet the expectations of the electorate there?

We heard of discordant voices threatening to doom him at Election 2020 if he didn’t step up efforts to give the Region its fair share of the national cake. And that is what he has just hastened to do, even as complaints about the unbearable cost of living hit the high heavens. Do the people now eat development projects?

We read volumes of news reports damning him for neglecting the Ashanti Region (the bastion and birthplace of the NPP) and the threats to undo him if he doesn't serve the needs of the people.

Now that he has stood up to spend 5 days in the Ashanti Region to tell the people nothing but his resolve to provide infrastructural development, what does he portray of himself in the global sense?

After all, development projects aren't bad; right? So, why damn the NDC administration under Rawlings, Mills, and Mahama for expending public funds to provide such projects only to turn round to borrow more money to provide the same projects? Do the people now live/survive on development projects? What abysmal hypocrisy?

What is happening under Akufo-Addo is nothing but a gigantic scheme to plaster history and steal public funds. The architects know themselves just as we know them. What will clip their wings isn't far from reckoning. Ghanaians alert!!

Nkrumah provided development projects, which they condemned; Rawlings did so, which they pooh-poohed; Mills added his version, which they damned; Mahama did his best, which they repudiated.

Yet, they are quick to praise themselves for providing the same and urging Ghanaians to praise them as such. What manner of people are these?

I shall return...