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Opinions of Monday, 19 December 2016

Columnist: Michael Jarvis Bokor

Is the NPP already preparing grounds for backtracking?

Michael Jarvis Bokor Michael Jarvis Bokor

Folks, you may already have heard in the news what Maxwell Kofi Jumah said in condemning the Coalition of Concerned Teachers (CCT) for demanding that the NPP under Akufo-Addo should fulfill its electioneering campaign promise of restoring teacher-trainee allowances within 100 days in office.

He was later reported to have apologized for his scathing verbal attacks on the group; but the implications of his reaction to the group's demand aren't lost on us.

Then, something new has emerged to cue us to how the NPP government of Akufo-Addo intends to do politics with its own pre-election promises.

The Kufuor team did same when Rawlings handed over to the NPP, saying that it had met empty coffers.

Dr. Busia had done so in 1969, which motivated his government's huge borrowing spree with the wisecrack that "Kafo didi" (meaning "no matter what happens, the indebted poor must also eat").

It is the penchant of the United Party (Progress Party/New Patriotic Party) to do political hedging; that is, making all kinds of promises while fighting for political power but quickly finding excuses to hide behind to not do what they had told the electorate.

We are given a small window to see how the in-coming Akufo-Addo administration will play its part in the drama of two-legs-bad, four-legs-good being turned upside down into four-legs-bad, two-legs good. And it is here:

"Ms. Gloria Akuffo, a member of the incoming government’s transition team responsible for legal affairs, says the Mahama-led government presided over many wrongs, posing a daunting task for the NPP government to surmount...

"... there are a lot of things to be done, too many things have gone wrong... In my life I have realized renovation is more difficult than to start from the beginning. Indeed there is a lot more to be done”. Then, Mike Ocquaye too, who claims to have been “humbled by the fact that there is work ahead.”



What were these NPP people thinking when they went about shouting that President Mahama was incompetent? What facts and figures did they have to support their vilification that they are now facing and afraid of as far as their own political fortunes are concerned? Too early in the game!!

Again, I recall my own admonition to the NPP camp not to capriciously raise hopes and expectations among Ghanaians while on the fringes. I remember very well cautioning that governance means more than meets the eyes, especially the eyes of those not in the corridor of power to know the enormity of the challenges facing the country and why previous governments couldn't solve all problems as expected.

Standing outside and looking in to see flaws t condemn is easy; but getting in to tackle those flaws is more challenging I went ahead to caution the NPP to tread carefully because if it succeeded in prevailing on the electorate to be put in power, it might end up being confronted with reality to be disillusioned and scared by what confronts it. Are we not there now, even before Akufo-Addo is inaugurated into office to see the slate that President Mahama will present to him?

The baton of office will spell it all out for him and his team to know that governance is, indeed, a labyrinthine engagement that goes beyond mere political rhetoric. We've been there before and are now prepared for the Akufo-Addo version.

From what has begun emerging from the NPP's side of the Transitional Team, I can see some al-Houdini tricks being spun already to present to Ghanaians and buy time when the challenges of the Ghanaian situation (not the problems created by the Mahama administration) make it difficult for Akufo-Addo to fulfil his promises.

It is the Ghanaian dilemma because whatever is being condemned as the failures of the Mahama team didn't crop up when it took charge of affairs. It has been with us since the pre-independence era.

So, isolating the Mahama-led administration for the kind of rhetorical vengeance that won Akufo-Addo the Presidency is misplaced in the first place. Beyond that, it ramifies into several concerns that portray the narrow-mindedness of Ghanaian politicians.

Yaw Osafo-Marfo has already raised false alarm and been condemned for it. What next?