You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2005 06 29Article 84681

Opinions of Wednesday, 29 June 2005

Columnist: Ampofo, Ofori

NDC, Can Not Be A Viable Alterative To NPP

Accra June 9th. GNA- The National Democratic Congress (NDC) in celebrating its 13th anniversary as a political party, claimed it still remain the most viable alternative to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The news item attributed to and signed by the acting general secretary of the party Mr. Bede Ziedeng said, the NDC was the only hope for the millions of Ghanaians waiting to be redeemd from the current economic hardships they were going through under the NPP Government . He accused the NPP government of gradually glorifying corruption as a virtue. In my reaction to the claim, I would like to bluntly say to Mr. Bede Ziedeng and the hierarchy of the NDC party that, the current economic hardships Ghanaians are going through has been the result of systematic twenty years economic decline out of mismanagement and corruption under PNDC/NDC government,under the leadership of former Chairman/ President Rawlings.The NPP unfortunately,is been made scapegoat receiving the whipping under the microscopic lenses of the press and the suffering people because, they have also not been able to come up with strategic policies that will bring cost of basic essentials down by any margin as a government; despite some of their good intentions. Despite all the failures of the NPP government, I still don?t see the reason why Ghanaians will vote at anytime to hand political power, over to the NDC again after twenty years of economic mismanagement, massive corruption, abuse of power and total disregard to the rule of law. Any such decision by Ghanaians, will be the greatest mistake in the political history of the country.

Mr. Bede Ziedeng claims Ghana under the NDC government witnessed massive infrastructure development in all sectors of the economy especially; Education, Roads, Telecommunication, Aviation, Harbors, Health, Agriculture, and Energy particularly Rural Electrification. Who is Mr. Bede Ziedeng fooling? Does he know or remember the infrastructure development under the CPP government between 1957 and 1966? That is the achievement Mr. Bede can describe as massive within a short period of time,just nine years under Osagyefo DR.Kwame Nkrumah.

The following are the areas mentioned by Mr Ziedeng which I will like to respond to.

1] EDUCATION: For twenty years under Rawlings, what level of educational attainment can the NDC be proud of?

2] ROADS: Which roads are Mr Ziedeng braging about? The PNDC/NDC failed to improve the road network in Ghana despite massive support given by the World Bank for this particular sector.I think Mr Ziedeng should do proper research to get facts straight.

3] TELECOMMUNICATION Is it the cell phones that are flocking into the country? that is nothing to be proud about there is no phone line in my District Administrative offices and the same may be said for other districts. However during the Nkrumah era, there were phone services in most rural post offices. Immediately after 1966 all rural and urban communication lines got destroyed and have since not be reactivated. What is Mr.Ziedeng proud about? Maybe he is proud about how the NDC government fraudulently gave away Ghana Telecom to the Malaysians.

4] AVIATION: The collapse of Ghana Airways, was a gradual kill from the NDC era; and the NPP couldn?t turn it around and save it from a final blow. What is Mr.Ziedeng proud about?The NDC systematically managed Ghana Airways to the ground with the help of the company's corrupt and incompetent workforce. What did the NDC do about Nkrumah?s harbors to take credit of? Absolutelly noting.

5] HEALTH: How many health centers were built around the country? Health care was the poorest sector under the twenty years rule of the PNDC/NDC government. The health sector is still poor so what is Mr. Ziedeng talking about?

6] ENERGY: Every Ghanaian knows very well about the corruption and mismanagement that went on within the GNPC under Tsatsu Tsikata. How many barrels of crude oil did twenty years of exploration bring home to boost the economy to be proud of? What is Mr.Ziedeng talking about? If not because of the incompetent administration of Justice under the NPP Government, a person like Tsatsu Tsikata shouldn't be walking freely,having caused a great deal of financial loses to the country.

7] RURAL ELECTRIFICATION: I always give credit where it is due. The only area which I will always credit the PNDC/NDC?s 20 years in government is the extension of the Akosombo power grid into rural areas, although the poor folks had to contribute to buy high and low tension poles and wires to make each project materialized. Even this Mr. Ziedeng shouldn?t be proud of.

Mr. Bede attributed the NDC?s loss in the 2000 elections to various factors including, the rising cost of crude oil on the world market, the fall in prices of our export commodities like cocoa & gold as well as irresponsible opposition, which was bent on using the difficulties of the time to make the country ungovernable. I hope the NDC in opposition is being responsible in dealing with NPP. I also hope Victor Smith, Tonny Aidoo and others are not agitating for military insurgency by their utterances to make the country ungovernable and unstable. I sincerely believe that the NDC lost both 2000 and 2004 elections because of the lost of trust,in them. Ghanaians were fed up and still fed up with the NDC. If four years is enough period for them to attack the NPP on Socio-economic issues, why should Ghanaians consider them as the viable alternative when everybody knows 20 years of PNDC/NDC rule did absolutely nothing to better the socio- economic lives of the vunerable and disadvantaged people of mother Ghana.

Mr. Bede Ziedeng further said that while the NDC have been in opposition, they have developed its philosophy of social democracy that stresses the centrality of the ordinary man in the development process and stressed the responsibility of state towards the poor, the marginalized and the disadvantaged. For the long 20 years that they were in power, they never developed their social democratic philosophy to help the poor,the marginalized and disadvantaged. These are all cheap politics and I hope Ghanaians who can read, write and comprehend will know the kind of political game Mr. Bede Ziedeng is playing.

In paying tribute to the founding fathers of the NDC, he also paid particular tribute to those who they claim to be victims for serving under the NDC government, and have been used as sacrificial lambs. Particular reference to the former deputy minister of finance Mr. Victor Selormey, who died April 2005 and was buried June 11 2005. At his burial grounds, it is believed emotions were high and that an NDC guru Mr. E. T Mensah intimated that, Selomey was killed by the NPP. How can any sincere Ghanaian make that kind of falsehood and irresponsible statement publicly? The NDC National organizer Mr. Ofosu Ampofo also said the late Victor Selomey was crucified for the truth. What truth? All these statements are unfortunate, irresponsible and simply cheap politics to win the sympathy of their supporters; but thank God, Ghanaians are politically matured these days than they were twenty years ago. Let me set the record straight and tell the NDC , NPP and all other political parties in Ghana that, Ghanaians are now fed up with the political games that they have been playing all over the years.

Kwame Pepera and Victor Selomey were put before the fast track court of law to defend themselves with legal representation. It wasn?t a Kangaroo court like the PNDC/NDC court which criminals and none criminals were not allowed legal representations. Both were found guilty after exhaustive deliberation of their cases and were found guilty by the law and jailed consequently.

Ghanaians have been deprived of socio-economic progress the past 40years as a results of such stealing and embezzlement of public funds by greedy government officials. It is unfortunate that Victor Selomey met his untimely death coming out of the prison walls. On behalf of all who care about Ghana, I send condolences to his wife and children and his extended family.The loss of every human life is sad indeed; but at the same time I believe I was one of the first people to criticize and condemn president Kuffour for pardoning the former finance and deputy finance ministers in part one of my article ?Save Ghana Now Politically and Economically.?

I view embezzlement and stealing of public funds as a serious crime against the people of Ghana and the punishment must be full restitution of the amount involved and plus a maximum prison sentence. Possible pardoning can only be considered only after full restitution is made into the National treasury. Ghanaians must learn to protect the Nation's finances for the benefit of all, rather than allowing economic criminals to get their way..

Ghanaians are in total economic hardship partly because of avarice, and selfish politicians. They steal money that should otherwise be used to develop infrastructure,for economic development.. The habit has been going on for years and we are obviously the devil of our own country but shamefully turn around to blame the western world for not doing enough to help Africa.

When the British Prime Minister Mr. Tonny Blair met with the US President Mr. George W Bush to discuss total African Debt cancellation by the G8, President Bush was hesitant initially claiming at a press conference that, there was no use giving moneys to leaders who will put them into their private pockets. That was well said and I supported him knowing how Ghanaian and other African political leaders shamefully behave when they manipulate the people and grab political power. God bless President George Bush?s heart as he has finally given in to the brainchild of his closest ally and friend prime Minister Tonny Blair. Thank you Prime Minister Blair, President Bush, the G8 and all that were involved in this glorious 40 billion dollars debt cancellation to deserving 18 countries including Ghana. What is left now, is to make sure leaders of those beneficiary countries, do not steal and have President Bush say ?I told you so?

If our leaders and politicians steal or misappropriate our money, they must be punished. It is unfortunate that Victor Selomey felt sick in prison and later died. However, the claim by the NDC, that the NPP government killed him should be ignored by all Ghanaians. It is nonsense and unfounded unless Kwame Pepera, Selomey?s accomplice can publicly come out to prove that they were tortured and dehumanized in any way, while they were in prison. Why didn?t Kwame Pepera die as well, if the NPP intended using them as sacrificial lambs as being claimed? ?According to the Joy FM source, the NDC claims that "they will put all NPP officials before the fast track court and jail them if they win back power in 2008. They have killed Selomey for being an NDC member, we are not worried, we will show them one day.?FELLOW GHANAIANS,CAN WE MOVE FOWARD WITH THESE KINDS OF POLITICAL ANTAGONISMS? NO WE CAN'T.

Countrymen, I have said in one of my feature articles and I will repeat it here again that if the NPP is not able to bring cost of living in Ghana to affordable level to enable the poor to afford at least two meals a day, then certainly not the NDC. Ghanaians must plug their ears to the political cheap talks Mr. Bede Ziedeng, Mr. E. T Mensah and others are drumming on. They make no sense and doesn't fit; and if they don't fit , they must be thrown out. Fellow Countrymen and all political party supporters, thousand of Ghanaians have died one way or the other since 1979 for no crime against the country. Why should the NDC blame the natural death of Selomey, an economic criminal on any body? WE MUST LEARN TO TELL THE TRUTH LIKE IT IS TO MOVE THE COUNTRY FOWARD; MY PEOPLE. Mr. E. T Mensah charged that Selomey who the NPP accused of having stolen money was not able to afford his hospital bills, and therefore supported by the NDC members of parliament; they had to contribute to buy medicine for him. Who does E. T Mensah thinks he is fooling? Doesn?t he know that Ghanaians are more sensible and smart enough to know that what the NDC parliamentarians were doing, if it was true, was a political cover up? Ghanaian Politicians always have friends who pays their children's school fees in overseas intuitions of learning etc. They never have money but we know their tricks and we knew who most of them were before they entered into politics and know how they are now 15 to20years in politics. I guess an average Ghanaian knows those politicians who are wealthy and those not wealthy (I think it's difficault to find a Ghanaian politician who is not wealthy anyway}

No one is above the law, therefore if any member of the NPP government falls himself into the trap of the NDC, yes that person has to be justifiably dealt with by the law.In any case however, I want to tell the good and brainy people of the coumtry of our birth that, for 48 years we have had enough of Lies,Deceit,Greed,Corruption,Nepotism and all the social vices that have retarded the progress of our beloved and dear country Ghana from the same old political elite.They have nothing after 50 years to offer the country except to steel. The prosperity of Ghana three years from now, 2008, is definately not in their corrupt and tainted hands. I therefore proclaim that the NDC is definately NOT THE MOST VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO THE RULING NPP GOVERNMENT; as asserted by Mr. Bede Ziedeng, the acting general sectary of the Party. THE BIGGEST POLITICAL MISTAKE GHANAIANS WILL EVER MAKE IS TO VOTE FOR THE NDC IN 2008. THAT WILL BE CATASTROPHIC AND UNPARDONABLE MISTAKE. Fellow countrymen,Ghana's best hope for economic and political salvation, now lies in the hands of your own sons,daughters,brothers and sisters in overseas, with the help of those at home who are SUFFERING and really do care about the economic salvation of Ghana. WE ARE COMING HOME TO STEER THE SHIP OF STATE TO SAFTY IN 2008 BECAUSE WE ARE TIRED AND FED UP WITH POLITICAL DECEIT AND LIES TO OUR VULNERABLE POOR PARENTS AT HOME SINCE 1966. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. GHANA HAS TO MOVE FOWARD AND YES, I SINCERELY PROMISE WE SHALL NOT FAIL. WE ARE THE MOST VALUABLE ALTERNATIVE TO ALL THE CURRENT POLITICAL PARTIES. WE HAVE TRIED ALL OF THEM AND CANNOT RELIE ON THEM ANY LONGER. THANK YOU, THE GOOD PEOPLE OF GHANA.

MAY GOD BLESS OUR HOMELAND AND OUR PEOPLE

OFORI AMPOFO (NEW JERSEY)

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.