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Opinions of Saturday, 18 September 2010

Columnist: Amankwah, Kwabena

Mills' failures Won't trigger Nana's victory

Kwabena Amankwah



The verdict out there in the
streets of the cities, towns and villages of Ghana is that the Mills-led
National Democratic Congress government has been a damn failure – indeed a
disaster.

This has even been the verdict of
many key figures in the NDC, including Dr Sekuo Nkrumah, son of the first
president of Ghana, and no less a person than former President Rawlings,
founder of the ruling NDC.

It was on the basis of this that
the founder of NDC bemoaned a couple of months ago that he had been badly led
down by the man he moved heaven and earth to put at the presidency, because he
did not know the kind of message he would give the electorate during the 2012
electioneering campaign.

While campaigning for the
people’s mandate in 2008, then candidate Mills and his NDC promised to deliver
heaven on earth to the electorate, but now in government the people say
President Mills and his party are delivering real hell to them.

The failures of the government have
found expression in the inordinately harsh economic realities foisted on the
people, making it extremely difficult for many to even get their daily bread;
the erratic supply of essential commodities like gas and kerosene; the slow,
but sure, collapse of pro-poor policies like the National Health Insurance
Scheme, School Feeding Programme and others.

The failures are also evidenced
in the state of anarchy the nation is being slowly, but surely, plunged into as
a result of the government’s inability to contain its lawless activists who
have been let loose to hold the nation to ransom – putting the lives of many
innocent people, and even top government appointees, in jeopardy.

Oh, so this is the “Better Ghana”
they claim to have brought to the nation? What a pity! What a shame! Isn’t it
even childish and imbecilic that instead of acknowledging their failures and
thinking outside the box to identify measures to salvage the nation, they are
rather fighting over who originated the concept many Ghanaians now see as
“Bitter Ghana”?

You can tell a ripe corn by its
look, just as a chick that can grow into cock can be spotted the day it is
hatched, so go two popular Nigerian dictums in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.

It is clear from President Mills’
shortsightedness and uninspiring nature, as well as the inability to
initiate pragmatic policies that will give the people hope into the future,
that the failures of his government will be quite monumental at the end of his
tenure of office.

This is what convinces many political
watchers, including former President Rawlings, who have kept tract of Ghana’s
politics since the return to multi-party democracy in 1992, that President
Mills is set to make history as the first one-term president the nation has
produced.

This is something Apostle can
safely predict with appreciable amount of certainty – Mills had long been
billed to be a one-term president of Ghana. But, as to whether the NDC
(II) government he heads will also be a one-term administration or not will
largely depend on how the New Patriotic Party tackles the Victory 2012 Agenda.

The most likely thing that will
happen is Vice President John Mahama becoming the next presidential candidate
of the NDC. I therefore expect Nana Addo and the NPP to give serious
consideration to this scenario in their strategic planning for the 2012
electioneering campaign.

One would have thought that 2012
would be a “cool chop” for Nana Addo, no matter who he is pitched against. Many
Ghanaians are indeed yearning to see the return of the NPP to the corridors of
power with Nana Addo as the President. Indeed, many are those who have
regretted not voting for him in the 2008 election. They have now indicated
their preparedness to support him to win the 2012 election.

This ordinarily should make Nana
Addo the next President of Ghana. But, one thing is certain – the glaring
failures of the Mills-led NDC government will not translate into automatic
victory for Nana Addo and the NPP.

Developments in the country,
including the episodes of the Chereponi, Akwatia and Atiwa by-elections, as
well as the extreme arrogance of power being exhibited by power-drunk functionaries
of the NDC, should be enough to convince the NPP that an extremely daunting
task awaits us in the 2012 elections.

The NDC, by these developments,
has indicated clearly that it will employ all foul means possible, including
the use of brute force and all forms of political chicanery, to remain in power
to perpetuate its maladministration.

“Even though the generality of
Ghanaians appear not enthused about the performance of the NDC government, and
are clearly gearing up to vote it out in 2012, the Atiwa experience has
confirmed the intentions of the ruling party to employ foul means to hold on to
power.” (Nana Attah Boamah, member, African Commission, city of Newark, New York,
US. The Daily
Searchlight, Vol 7 No. 309, Monday, Sept. 6, 2010).

Let us not forget that Dr Kwadwo
Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission, has strengthened the hands of
the NDC by saying that he and his men will not hesitate to count the ballot
papers no matter the means by which they get into the ballot boxes.

Our major source of hope as a
party is that the suffering masses are prepared to support us realize our
Victory 2012 Agenda, just as they did in the 2000 elections. Our only duty is
to position ourselves well, and devise all the strategies to deal with the
scheme of the NDC.

All members of the party should
know that a divine responsibility is imposed on us to sacrifice to salvage the
nation from the hands of the political vampires who parade themselves as avid
preachers of probity and accountability, but practice the worse forms of
corruption and pursuit of materialism. Oh yes, they preach pulpit virtues, but
practice street vices, all in pursuit of their populist nonsense.

Even though many individuals and
groups that sacrificed to bring the party to power in 2000 were never
recognized in our eight-year stay in power, we are being called upon again to
sacrifice.

Apostle believes this is a worthy
call that demands our unconditional and instant response. Let those who have
the physical strength use it when it matters most; let those with the mental
ability use it where required – those who can write, especially our
communication officers, should pick their pens from the limbo of forgotten
things and begin to write; those who can shout like Francis Essiam and Adomako
Baafi should continue to do so.

Let me, however, draw attention
to the fact that there is a limit to which every individual can sacrifice –
continuous shouting on empty stomach is certainly an unpleasant experience with
a limit – and so it is imperative for those with the resources to make them
available to support the fight.

The task ahead requires the
collective effort of all members of the party. Those at the helm of affairs
therefore need to ensure that everybody is brought on board – there is no need
for “we” and “they” at this time that people are going to work virtually on
empty stomach.

Again, in assigning
responsibilities to people, let us relegate all parochial considerations to the
background – especially, we need to forget whatever people had said in the past
about some people – and consider people who have the experience, stamina and
pedigree to deliver the goods.

Let’s make sure the right people
are given the right jobs to execute – there is no need for cronyism at this
time. I will for instance find it extremely difficult to understand why people
like Dan Botwe and my good friend Kwabena Agyapong should not be considered
above all others when picking people to be in charge of the two most sensitive
positions in the campaign team.

Mills and his NDC government have
failed; they cannot deliver because the capacity to do so is simply not there.
But, we will be badly disillusioned to think that the failures of the Mills
government will trigger Nana Akufo-Addo’s automatic victory in the 2012
elections. Development in the country has confirmed the task ahead will be a
Herculean one. But our hope is in the assurance that the discerning people of Ghana
are ready to help us achieve the Victory 2012 Agenda.

With extreme sacrifice, unity and
solidarity, strategic thinking and planning, as well as using the right people
for the right jobs and with God on our side, Nana Akufo-Addo will surely be
sworn in as the next President come January 7, 2013.



Kwabena Amankwah is a freelance
journalist, a member of the E/R NPP Communication Committee, former TESCON-UCC
Secretary and Campaign Correspondent, Akufo-Addo for President ’08.
amaskwabena@yahoo.com 0244-217504.