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Opinions of Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Columnist: Newton-Offei, Justice Abeeku

Mahama-led gov't is inept, insensitive and ill-mannered

"Every tom, dick and harry gets up and is calling for a strike. If you don’t want the job Ghana is not a police state, take your passport and get out of this country; If you can’t sacrifice like what some of us have don’t then get out. If the kitchen is too hot for you, get out" - Nunoo-Mensah

In any civilized nation where political appointments are not based on mere ridiculous ability to shout the loudest in a praise-singing contest, a character as Nunoo-Mensah would have been shown the exit of the presidency, immediately he made that highly flatulently flatulent flatulence of a pronouncement at that public durbar on last Friday. Such a shameless utterance by a national security advisor, whose area of operation is supposed to be confined strictly behind closed-doors at the presidency and offering the commander-in-chief, up-to-date appraisals on what is going on in our security system and measures to curb any potential threat, Nunoo-Mensah has now transmogrified into a building contractor and an international philanthropist.

Corruption-induced crisis

I have lived and worked in Britain for years and therefore very much familiar with their system of governance. So, I always prefer citing examples from that society. Now, if for any reason, Britain should find itself in economic crisis where life has become so difficult for ordinary citizens and for that reason, people begin to complain, what the political office holders will do, is to be open with the people as to why the situation has occurred and concrete measures being put in-place to curb it.

First of all, there can never be a financial crisis in Britain which will be as a result of brazen massive corruption by way of GYEEDA-gate, WOYOME-gate, ISOFOTON-gate, WATERVILLE-gate and so on. So, with a genuine cause of a financial crisis, no British government official will dare stand in public, look at British people in the face and tell them to pick up their passports and leave the country if they think “the kitchen is too hot”. Any government official who will dare engage in this mindless act of crude rudeness will be swiftly dismissed and his obituary in politics will be written and hanged around his/her neck for generations.

The general uproar by ordinary citizens, politicians from even the person’s very own political party and the vociferously vociferous vociferousness of the British media will come upon the head of such a wayward government official and he/she will take a swift cover.

But, we currently find ourselves in a country, and under a government where truth, decency, integrity and self-discipline have been thrown out of the window, and in the place of these noble virtues, have been placed unbridled corruption, uncouth behaviors, reckless pronouncements, lack of self-control and matchless indiscipline. In view of this, nobody should expect Nunoo-Mensah to be reprimanded by anybody since the president himself actually expressed tacit support for what the man said at that gathering.

Impecunious Nunoo-Mensah

Now, this is the man who, during the Kufuor administration where Ghanaians enjoyed a functioning NHIS, free maternal care and metro-mass transit etc., while salaries of workers were paid on time, still complained of hardship because he couldn't afford to buy 3pieces of fresh tilapia at GHc5 on his way to his home-town of Winneba.

Again, this man actually appeared in NDC election campaign television advert in 2008, and asked Ghanaians to vote out NPP and bring in NDC because living conditions at the time were unbearable; he never found it prudent to ask Ghanaians to sacrifice, and that, anybody who wasn’t comfortable with his/her economic situation at the time could take his/her passport and leave the shores of Ghana. Nunoo-Mensah never found it prudent to pick up his passport and leave the shores of Ghana during Kufuor administration, when he claimed life had become so difficult for him to the point where he couldn’t afford 3-pieces of fresh tilapia at GHc5.

The question then is; where is this man now getting the cash, in the midst of current socio-economic holocaust sweeping across the nation like wild inferno resulting in even NDC activists committing suicide, to be building structures for schools?

Nunoo-Mensah was Atta-Mills’ security advisor when;

1. there was total civil explosion between the people of Gynigyni and Tuobodom, for weeks, and it had to take Asante-Hene’s expression of anger to step-in and deal with the matter before the state security apparatus even got to hear of it and rushed to Manhyia, with their tails in-between their legs, to lie prostrate before Otumfuo and asked to be forgiven for their crass incompetence.

2. Over 3000 Ghanaians fled from their homes in the northern region and ended up as refugees in Togo, for months, and it had to take an international relief agency, Oxfam, to bring the problem to government’s attention; and even that, Nunoo-Mensah denied that Ghanaians had fled to Togo to seek refuge as a result of ethnic clashes.

3. The sitting president died at the seat of government, and as we speak,Nunoo-Mensah,who was the man’s security advisor, hasn’t been able to provide a single answer to many questions still begging for answers as to how and when the man died.

A call for God’s divine intervention

Now, at Star of the Sea Catholic church in Accra on Sunday, 20th October, 2013, President John Mahama also said we should stop complaining and be mindful of the fact that even America and Britain once went through such economic difficulties but they came out of it in the long run. The president said Ghanaians should stop complaining and rather put their faith in God since with God, all things are possible, and that, there are better times ahead.

This pronouncement alone proves the point that, indeed, the president John Mahama-led administration has completely run-out of ideas as to how to steer the affairs of state and therefore shifting his responsibilities, as a constitutionally elected leader and commander-in-chief of our nation’s armed forces who is enjoying all the highly juicy trappings of the presidency, to the door-step of Almighty God.Now,how can a president be calling on God to come and sort the mess we currently find ourselves in, when God had absolutely nothing to do with NDC bogus “edey bee keekee” electioneering campaign slogan in 2012? It has become very much fashionable these days for both government officials and insipid NDC propagandists to throw dust into the eyes of Ghanaians by hiding what is actually causing the current huge wage bill. All the rot and incompetence contributing to the current wage bill is being blamed on implementation of SSSS.But what these officials are hiding from Ghanaians is that, Government is not even paying what it has agreed to pay on SSSS and that is what is pushing up the cost.

The truth about the wage-bill

It is not true that wage bill has suddenly become unbearable, because, in 2009, the wage bill was 52% of tax revenue. In 2012 after full implementation of SSSS, the wage bill was 53% of tax revenue. What it means is that tax has been increasing just as wages, like we saw under Kufuor, but what takes the cost of wages is non-payment of arrears owed to workers, it is that build up and the servicing of it that shoots up cost to some 70%. For example, wages were increased by 10% this year in line with the stated inflation, but that increase is yet to be implemented, so it is a new set of arrears building up.

But trust NDC propagandists to come-up with a well-rehearsed strategy to defend such a mindless utterance by Nunoo-Mensah and the president's subsequent shameful tacit support for that disgraceful spectacle; and this is where I expect all NPP followers to focus their attention by way of commensurate response, instead of this persistently persistent persistence of Alan and Nana petty squabbles.

The way forward

NDC has always failed to perform because they simply lack the intellect to do so. But the party and its antecedents have been in government much longer than any political party in Ghana. This therefore tells you that they never win elections as a result of track record in government, but because they have mastered how to rig elections.

And as we have now come to realize, we all thought NDC was going to rig the 2012 election by snatching ballot-boxes, but, they rather sprung a well-though-out electronic rigging strategy ever perpetrated anywhere on this planet, on the whole nation; and though it is clear NPP won the election, the party is still languishing in opposition.

This therefore must be a great lesson to all followers of NPP, as we go into 2016, since we don't know the type of trick these NDC people have up their sleeves. Asuch, all efforts must be made to bring everybody on-board to enable the party present a solid unified front to confront NDC.

Indeed, NDC has never meant well for Ghana; their desire has always been focused on only political power with an expressed purpose to loot state coffers. Such bunch of nation-wreckers don’t deserve to be in power so in whatever the followers of NPP do, as the party gears up for internal contests, let it be guided by utmost civility. NPP WILL BE BACK!!!

Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei