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Opinions of Monday, 19 November 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

If NDC leadership cannot organise a national congress efficiently, how can they manage Ghana?

Despite the unobjectionable slothfulness and prevarication of the opposition, Ghana needs a perpetual opposition party. Thus we definitely need the NDC in our democratic dispensation to keep the incumbent government on its toes.

It was in that regard that leading to their recent National congress, some of us prayed fervently and ceaselessly to the Omnipotent God to avert the violent clashes that have characterised the Umbrella fraternity.

If you may remember, during their 2005 National Congress in Koforidua in the Eastern Region, there were violent scenes amid unfortunate blood bath, which led to the resignations of prominent party members, most notably, the then party chairman, Dr Obed Asamoah, who went ahead and formed his party.

Thankfully, however, the Omnipresent God mercifully listened to our prayers and averted any major incidents during their National Congress.

Our prayers, however, are with the injured party members, who unfortunately had an accident on their way to the congress grounds. We wish them a boatload of well wishes for a speedy recovery.

That said, the way and manner the organisers of the event managed the event leaves much to be desired. Indeed, they could not see their backsides from their elbows. They messed-up the event big time. A few hours programme turned into almost 48 hours.

Unsurprisingly, during the delivery of the annual report, the General Secretary of the party, Asiedu-Nketia, admitted the organisers lousiness and apologised to the Delegates accordingly.

What was more disturbing, though, was the treatment meted out to some NDC Delegates, especially, the Delegates from the Brong-Ahafo Region, who apparently had a genuine cause to complain bitterly about the harsh treatment they received at the hands of the event organisers.

Given the circumstances, some of us were not surprised a bit when some of the aggrieved Delegates vowed to pay back the organisers with their own coin at a later date.

It is, however, not clear as to what sort of revenge the unhappy Delegates are likely to dish out to the organisers. Are they planning to stay away from any future general elections? Well, your guess is as good as mine.

Clearly, the NDC as a party does not have individuals with the wherewithal to hit the ground running.

It is therefore not surprising that after taking over the mantle of leadership of the country from the NPP government in 2008, the NDC government managed to collapse former President Kufuor’s ‘brainchildren’-the NHIS, the Free Maternal Care, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), the School Feeding Programme, the Metro Mass Transport, GYEEDA, SADA,amongst others.

Indeed, it would only take a doubting Thomas to contend the fact that the NDC faithful, who have consuming desire for power, are not in the business of managing the country to the benefit of the masses.

We cannot deny or hide the fact that the NDC has a penchant for running down or cancelling crucial social interventions. It is a sad case of self-proclaimed social democrats who do not know how to initiate and manage social interventions.

It is an established fact that the erstwhile NDC government disappointingly cancelled/collapsed crucial social interventions such as the Nurse’s Allowance and the Teacher’s Allowance.

Many well-meaning Ghanaians rightly harbour a strong view that Ghana’s economic meltdown came about as a result of poor decision-making, the unbridled sleazes and gargantuan corruptions which took place in the erstwhile NDC administration.

Take, for example, the previously single digit inflation and budget deficit doubled astronomically. The GH9.5 billion debt which former President Kufuor and his NPP government left in 2009 rocketed artificially to unpronounceable figures. Our total debt ballooned to GH122.4 billion as of December 2016.

To be quite honest, Ghana went into the throes of economic collapse due to mismanagement and wanton sleazes and corruption during the NDC administration.

Take, for example, Ghana’s economic growth slowed for the fourth consecutive year to an estimated 3.4% in 2015 from 4% in 2014 as energy rationing (dumsor), high inflation, and ongoing fiscal consolidation weighed on economic activity (World Bank, 2016).

Moreover, the high inflation rate remain elevated at 18.5% in February 2016 compared to 17.7% in February 2015, even after the Central Bank’s 500 bps policy rate hikes (the inflation stood at 15.8 per cent as of October 2016).

Besides, the NDC’s maladaptive government dragged the economic growth from around 14 per cent in 2011 to around 3.6 per cent as of December 2016.

The outgone NDC government, so to speak, performed abysmally. They did not do enough to improve on the socio-economic standards of living.

Take, for example, former President Kufuor quadrupled Ghana’s GDP to a staggering $28 billion in 2008. And the late Mills inherited oil in commercial quantities and managed to increase the GDP to $40 billion in 2011.

Suffice it to stress that the erstwhile NDC administration disappointingly reversed the GDP to an incredible $37 billion as of December 2016.

By and large, the successive NDC governments have proven to be worst economic managers who can never improve upon the socio-economic standards of living of Ghanaians.

K. Badu, UK.

k.badu2011@gmail.com