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Opinions of Thursday, 20 July 2017

Columnist: K. Badu

Ex-President Rawlings’s candid articulations and the NDC’s perpetual opposition

It is on record that prior to the formation of the NDC Party, J. J. Rawlings and his cohorts annihilated people they perceived to be corrupt and intentionally hijacking the progress of the nation.

Ironically, if we Juxtapose what happened back then to what took place in the erstwhile NDC administration, one cannot help but conclude that “the suspects were shot for less”.

Indeed, former President Rawlings recently justified the preceding assertion in his June 4 address.

Former President Rawlings laments: “The principles of June 4 are not alien or has never been alien to mankind. They are no different from the most basic religious or human values. Probity, accountability and social justice would on any day liberate the overwhelming majority of our people from the bondage or difficulties they find themselves in.

“The fight against corruption, greed and avarice has however been at great cost. Noble soldiers have died; noble civilians have died for it and so many of the noble ones have suffered and continue to suffer all kinds of indignities for their principles and convictions.

“I want to remind people that we could not have possibly forgotten that Generals were executed. The greed, corruption and injustice of today is a thousand times more than what these Generals were executed for, and if we are unable to restore a firm measure of integrity into our dealings, then the blood of many would have been shed in vain.

“Not too long ago I thought we heard the jockeys claiming the horses were responsible for this disgraceful failure while one of the horses was bold enough to lay the failure at the doorstep of the jockeys.

“For me, we lost our masses because we betrayed the values of June 4. However if this horse – jockey business cannot be resolved comprehensively, allowing integrity to prevail, then let both of them step aside and allow for fresh leaders with solid integrity to provide the needed leadership” (Rawlings 2017; myjoyonline.com).

Make no mistake, there are politicians whose primary objective is to clasp political power by the hook or by the crook so as to advance their vested interests.

Just take a look at our political landscape and you would agree with me that most of our politicians harbour vested interests, and, have no empathy whatsoever.

If that was not the case, how could a group of politicians conspire and surreptitiously import about 43 vehicles at a staggering cost of $9 million at the blind side of the incoming administration?

If those politicians aren’t heartless and insensitive to the plight of the impoverished Ghanaians, how come they conspired and paid dubious judgement debts to a tune of GH800 million?

If they are morally upstanding, how come they created loot, and, shared all the monies belonging to GYEEDA and SADA which were meant to transform the lives of the needy in society?

Where are their honesty and integrity when they squandered funds meant to transform the lives of the penniless in society through cloudy deals such as the Brazil World Cup, the infamous bus branding, SUBA, among others?

During the 2016 electioneering campaign, we witnessed how the seemingly unhappy former President Rawlings kept grumbling and raising concerns about the rampant sleazes and corruptions in ex-President Mahama’s administration.

Nevertheless, the brass bound NDC Party loyalists kept castigating their founder Rawlings for expressing his arousing disgust over the rot in his party.

“Jerry John Rawlings also has to give accounts as former head of state. He took people monies from them. Whom did he account too?

“He is the first person to give accounts if he is calling for probity and accountability. He has no moral rights at all in calling for accountability unless he also gives accounts of monies he received from former Nigerian Head of State Sanni Abacha” )Alhaji Sani; mynewsghana.com).

Considering that the vast majority of the members of the current NDC Party executive were proselytised by the Ex-President Rawlings, one would have expected an outright condemnation of the incessant insults directed at the founder of the party, but that was not the case.

However, the alleged sour relations between the founder and some of the current national party executives, the indefatigable Rawlings unconditional love for his brainchild (NDC) has not tapered off, not by any stretch of the imagination.

This is the man who is said to appall corruption so much so that, he once tortured and exterminated some people he perceived to be syphoning Ghana’s scarce resources.

So based on his supposed conviction, one could easily predict during the 2016 electioneering campaign that he was not going to endorse an alleged corrupt NDC administration despite his devoted attachment to the party.

It is however on record that former President Rawlings did not spare some prominent politicians and business men and women he suspected of hijacking the progress of the nation through unbridled sleazes and corruptions.

Suffice it to stress that many of the suspects alleged crime was to lawfully secure banks loans to expand their businesses.

Thus I anticipated back then that no matter how corrupt the NDC administration turned out, their punishment was not going to come in the form of barbaric firing squad used effervescently by the NDC Party founder, former President Rawlings to settle a score with the perceived incompetent and corrupt lots.

But rather, I envisaged back then that the supposed corruption exponent, former President Rawlings, might punish the perpetrators through the universal adult suffrage.

On the margin, of all the reported bribery and corruption cases which took place in the erstwhile NDC administration, it would be unfair and unconscionable for anyone to accuse the NPP government of deliberately witch-hunting the nation wreckers.

It is, therefore, bizarre that the Builsa South MP, Dr Clement Apaak, could beseech the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government not to use its war on graft to persecute appointees of the former government (See: ‘Stop witch-hunting us - Clement Apaak urges NPP government; classfmonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 26/05/2017).

“His call is on the back of President Akufo-Addo’s comments that he will not shield public officials caught in corrupt practices despite pressure being mounted on him to do so and the arrest of some customs officials responsible for the loss of GHS1.2 billion in revenue to the state.”

Clearly, one cannot help, but to agree with those who insist that former President Mahama’s catastrophic errors in decision-making sent Ghana’s economy tumbling.

The sceptics, however, contend that it was due to former President Mahama’s poor leadership qualities that a GH9.5 billion debt in 2009 rocketed to an incredible GH122.4 billion in just eight years.

Moreover, the critics maintain that former President Mahama’s errors in judgement accounted for Ghana’s economic downslide. Take, for example, Ghana’s GDP shrunk from $47 billion to $37 billion in just five years.

Apparently, Ex-President Mahama’s decision-making came under sharp scrutiny when he abysmally dragged an economic growth of around 14 per cent in 2011 to a nauseating 3.6 per cent as of December 2016.

Still, the sceptics argue that former President Mahama and his government’s woeful economic management and alleged corrupt practices resulted in excessive public spending, less efficient tax system, needless high public deficit and destabilization of national budgets, heightened capital flight and the creation of perverse incentives that stimulate income-seeking rather than productive activities.

By and large, the critics contend that former President Mahama’s government remains the worst ever in Ghana’s history.

But despite all the mess, the loyalists of former President Mahama hold a faint hope that they could bring him back and recapture power from the NPP in 2020.

Judging from the harsh economic conditions Ghanaians experienced during Mahama’s coarse administration, it will take a miracle for discerning Ghanaians to vote the NDC Party back into power anytime soon, let alone forgiving Mahama and his indecisiveness.