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Opinions of Friday, 26 January 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

Must we give NDC another chance in 2020?

It is absolutely true that there have been numerous broken Manifesto promises by the successive NDC governments, but the one that has indelibly stencilled on discerning Ghanaians mental sheets, is the one-time NHIS premium. That Manifesto promise, so to speak, was destitute of honesty and integrity.

Never before had we witnessed so much scheming guiles, alleged sleazes and corruption, arrogance of power and dereliction of duty by an elected government. Given their lacklustre approach to governance, it would be wholly unconscionable for anybody to suggest that to err is human, and therefore the terrible economic managers (NDC) must be pardoned and given another chance in 2020.

A few months ago, there was heated political debate between my cousin and yours truly. My cousin, who happens to be a die-hard supporter of NDC, ventured and suggested somewhat speciously that, although the erstwhile NDC government failed abysmally to rescue the distressed economy, the NDC government delivered some infrastructural projects and thus deserves another chance in government.

But upon my cousin’s impetuous, albeit inane argument, I put it to her: ‘what were you then expecting NDC apparatchiks to do for you when you voted them into power?

My cousin, however, retorted passionately and frankly that she gave her mandate to the NDC in anticipation that her life would be transformed through NDC’s policies and programmes.

In a state of unbelievable puzzled countenance, I put it to my cousin: well, my dear cousin, did your life ever transform positively by the NDC government’s much touted slogans -‘better Ghana agenda’ and ‘we are transforming lives?’

My cousin paused for a few seconds, coughed spontaneously and responded morosely by saying that her life and that of her associates never transformed as expected despite the so-called infrastructural projects.

Really! Cousin? I exclaimed in amazement. I posed: so where is your motivation for impertinently itching to give NDC another chance in government?

My cousin sighed deeply, cleared her throat in a rapid succession, and then replied disappointingly that, although her life never transformed meaningfully under the outgone NDC administration, she has been voting for NDC all the time and does not want to depart from such loyalty.

I gave an incredulous stare towards her direction, sigh heavily in a state of utter bewilderment, and then quizzed her: did I hear you right?

My cousin: what do you mean? I retorted: I mean did you mention loyalty? My cousin: yes I did.

Well, my dear cousin, hear me, since that loyalty could not transform your life during the NDC’s eight years of empty promises, why then hold on to such a vacuous belief? I enquired in amazement.

My cousin: well, I have been taught by my Pastor to be faithful at all times regardless. No, my dear cousin, debunk such transcendental teachings by the so-called ‘Men of God’, I retorted in absolute disbelief.

I enquired: my dear cousin, tell me, does your Pastor even offer you a meagre portion of the gargantuan church offerings? No. She responded.

I continued: let me tell you then cousin, even the kind-hearted Blessed Theresa of Calcutta would not have kept such unbridled loyalty.

My cousin: But aren’t all politicians the same? So why should I change from one to another?

No. You are wrong cousin, politicians have different levels of competence, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities, so they are never the same, I retorted.

I proceeded: my dear cousin, it would be unfair and incommodious for you to compare for instance, the achievements of Dr Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah to the achievements of President Rawlings.

For if nothing at all, Dr Nkrumah built hundreds of factories and only for President Rawlings to off load all to individuals through his preposterous Economic Recovery Programme.

Similarly, it would be boundlessly infelicitous to compare President Kufuor’s achievements in terms of social interventions to that of President Mahama and his NDC government’s accomplishments during their eight years in office.

Indeed, if for nothing at all, President Kufuor and his NPP government introduced the free Maternal Care, the School Feeding Programme, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Mass Transport System, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), the National Youth Employment Programme, now known as GYEDA and many other social interventions.

In the same vein, my dear cousin, it would be extremely unfair to compare Mills/Mahama’s eight years of average performance to Akufo-Addo’s twelve months of unprecedented social interventions.

Take my word for it, cousin, it is absolutely true that the outgone Mahama’s government licentiously spent excessively and above its means, and, in the process wilfully increased our total debt from GH9.5 billion in 2009 to GH122.4 billion as of December 2016.

Believe it or not, cousin, this means that there was virtually no money left in the national purse for the incoming NPP government to turn things around quickly.

Let me tell you, cousin, since assuming power, the Akufo-Addo’s government has taken commendable strides to improve the social mobility through implementation of poverty reduction policies such as free SHS, one district one factory, one million dollars per constituency, tax reductions, a dam per village in the northern part of Ghana, among others.

And despite the huge economic mess created by the outgone NDC government amid stunted economic growth, Akufo-Addo’s government has efficiently raised the economic growth from a disappointing 3.7 per cent as of December 2016 to over 7.9 per cent within a short space of time.

My dear cousin, if you care to know, since taking office, the NPP government has dramatically reversed the inflation rate to a little over 11 per cent from a little over 15 per cent as of December 2016 (GSS 2017).

There is no gainsaying the fact that Akufo-Addo’s government is tackling the erstwhile Mahama’s government economic mess head-on. Take, for example, a few weeks ago, the finance minister presented the 2018 budget, against the backdrop of an improving macroeconomic performance and falling inflation.

Have you heard the vineyard news, cousin? Cousin: which of the vineyard news are you talking about?

My dear cousin, the vineyard news is that, the conscientious NPP’s economic management team has uncovered incredible inflated contracts by the erstwhile NDC government to the tune of GH5.7 billion.

Clearly, cousin, President Akufo-Addo and his government are graciously delivering on their Manifesto promises to the delight of the vast majority of Ghanaians.

Well, my dear cousin, would you be kind enough and name just a single social intervention that has been implemented by your so-called social democratic party? I asked.

Cousin: Well, “I can’t think far”. No. I don’t remember the successive NDC governments ever implementing any social intervention.

You see, cousin, your so-called loyalty is baseless, so, I will beseech you to engage in serious introspection and change your ways, I propounded.

Cousin: You are really making sense more than my Pastor who has been urging me to remain loyal at all times.

I will definitely mull over your poignant message and then make a sensible move during the next election. Many thanks for your incisive counselling my brother.

It is my pleasure cousin. For it is my wish that you depart from your unbridled loyalty, I added.

Cousin: Well, it is my fervent hope that I toss such loyalty, for it cannot transform my life anyway.

As a matter of fact, I walked out of the debate with my head held high, as I somehow managed to persuade my inflexible cousin who has hitherto been clinging on to an apparent hopeless loyalty.

K. Badu, UK.