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Opinions of Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Columnist: Al-Hajj

Is the government under a spell?

-NDC Actively Courting Peoples' Anger

Story by Alhaji Bature Iddrisu & A.A Yayra

Whereas it may sound weird for any ruling political party the world over to have enjoyed power so much so that it is eager and indeed, in a haste to make way for its opponents ahead of an election; that is the true state of the ruling National Democratic Congress of Ghana.

Events unfolding under the present National Democratic Congress government, which is invariably self-induce suggests as though the Mahama-led administration is in a hurry to hand over power to the opposition New Patriotic Party come 2016.

Steadily rolling down the slope like a drunken rabbit with its forefinger poised to press the self-destruct bottom, the NDC, which has dominated Ghana’s political space from the start of multi-party democracy, has since the inception of the Mahama government been dangerously courting the anger of the citizenry instead of enhancing its political fortunes for 2016.

The government’s management of the economy, it’s handling of persistent youth unemployment and lifeless fight against corruption and the creeping arrogance of power leaves much to be desire.

As if under spell to cause its own destruction and slim its chances ahead of the next general elections, the Mahama-led NDC administration has also been engaged in series of avoidable blunders, engaged in atrocious and provocative roll-out of polices that tend to fade the social democratic credentials the party has touted as its philosophy.

The National Democratic Congress government under President Mahama won the 2012 elections on the back of numerous promises to Ghanaians of better days ahead, but massive over-spending in the 2012 fiscal year as a result of the election has disturbed the nation’s fiscal arithmetic.

The lack of direction of the economy and the indecisiveness in trimming the 2012 fiscal deficit has plunged the economy in serious trouble, with Cedi, the local currency facing its worse depreciation resulting in the current escalation of hardship staring Ghanaians in the face.

Indeed, many Ghanaians are also complaining about the Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper’s style of managing the public purse. They say the frequent increases in fuel price, water and electricity tariffs and removal of subsidies, the fall of the cedi and unemployment is exacerbating the hardship they are currently going through.

Whiles it is expected that in these trying moments when Ghanaians are complaining of untold hardships, which the President himself has admitted on several platforms, and which is largely due to government policies, some members of the current administration to the chagrin of the populace, are seen to be living extravagant lifestyles rather than commiserating with the suffering masses

The general feeling among Ghanaians, which is occasioned by how government functionaries carry themselves in public, is that President Mahama and his team are living a comfortable and deserving live whiles the larger populace struggle for a square meal a day.

Pissing off tendencies

It is difficult to forecast how the NDC government will wriggle itself out of the current self-destructive predicament and win back the confidence of Ghanaians. It is also becoming obvious and clearer by the day that Ghanaians are getting visibly angry and unhappy about the flaws of this administration and the scores of alleged corruption scandals.

Indeed, Ghanaians including core NDC members have been complaining about the frequent foreign travels of President John Mahama. Those against the President’s love for overseas travels argue that, at a time the country is faced with many difficulties and economic hardship, the President ought to remain in the country to lead in confronting the issues.

Enters the Vice President’s convoy

Reports from the Northern region have it that, residents of Tamale could not help but frown on a recent show of opulence by no other person than the vice President, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah Arthur who rode into town with a very long motorcade last Thursday.

Shocked and enraged by the vice President’s lack of appreciation of the prevailing general economic hardships, the pomp and pageantry that usually characterized such entry by high-level government officials was reported missing.

This prompted an aggrieved NDC supporter based in Tamale, Prince Dobia Zangina to write on his facebook wall, Thursday;

"Well, you can say I'm too known but I no biz at all. I witnessed a convoy of the Vice President of Ghana entering Tamale at exactly 4:37pm today around the Gukpena's palace. I got shocked, scandalised and could read disappointment on the face of people around me. I breathed out painfully after I lost count of the number of state cars as his (Veep) convoy. A gentleman walked closer to me and asked in Dagbani if H.E JM is coming to Tamale tomorrow, I angrily replied him "Aayi Gaddafi" (No Gaddafi). It's totally needless to have all those state vehicles as his (Veep) entourage. I believe that we (Government) must show some remorse and also simplify most of our public actions. It's a fact that things are difficult as a result of the global economic challenges. The President and his team must be seen to understand it more than the ordinary people. #UncleAttaInMaMind#. R.I.P”

NDC Headquarters turns Ghost town

Following these worrying developments in the current government, information gathered by The aL-hAJJ indicates that due to pressures from party supporters from the various constituencies, national executives of the ruling party are hardly seen at their desk at the party’s Kokomlemle headquarters.

The national officers of the party themselves feeling crestfallen, handicapped and possibly out of steam to confront the overwhelming complaints and issues coming from party folks across the country, the headquarters of the ruling NDC, according to sources is almost turned into a ghost town.

Party sources say in instances where the national executives happen to be around the party headquarters, “they keep a distance at ‘hideouts’ to meet their important visitors who are there to see them.”

This is said to have generated intense tension within the rank and file of the party, who are utterly disillusioned by what is happening to their once high-flying party.

A house divided against itself

Surprisingly, some notable persons in the media whom NDC supporters and sympathizers rely upon for information and inspiration when the going gets tough or when the party comes under attack from opposition elements; are also beginning to turn their guns at the government, scolding the Mahama administration for doing little to lessen the burden of the masses.

“Konkonsa Reporting” and “Coporal Babanao’s Good Morning Mr. President” both political satirical programs on pro- government Radio Gold noted for their defense of government policies and inspiring supporters of the NDC, have themselves begun knocking the government and warning it of dire consequences if officials do not turn-over a new leaf.

Last week, Coporal Babanao on his ‘Good Morning Mr President’, aired every morning on Radio Gold’s breakfast show at 7’45 openly admonished the government that “the ground is not good”.

Obviously sounding a note of caution to the President, Coporal Bababao on Thursday warned President Mahama that Ghanaians were peeved with his style of governance and would not mind voting his government out come 2016 election.

On his part, Konkonsa a day after Coporal Bababao’s warning bemoaned how the Mahama government has marginalized some gurus of the party who suffered to bring the party to power. And as characteristic of Konkonsa, he warned that if things should continue this way “my mouth will run amok ohh”?

Generally, these developments are said to have contributed to President Mahama’s plummeting approval ratings whiles the opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo’s image soars.