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Opinions of Friday, 20 July 2012

Columnist: Kpebu, Seidu

NDC Must Be Thankful To Rawlings & NPP

- Seidu Kpebu

“History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people” Martin Luther King Jr.”

Former President, Jerry John Rawlings and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), have since January 2009 mounted a scathing and sustained criticisms of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government led by Professor John Evans Atta Mills. They have had occasions to call him all sorts of derogatory names and descriptions, as the 'moral' society remained muted.

Rawlings, who is also the founder of the NDC, is the cheerleader in the criticisms of his own party and government, calling officials “greedy bastards” and corrupt. He does not also understand why the government of president Mills has failed to prosecute former NPP government officials.

To him, the Mills led administration has failed to deliver on their manifesto pledges to Ghanaians: providing development needs of the people. These include, but not limited to, water, healthcare, infrastructure, education, human resource development, probity and accountability.

He has expressed his frustrations in stronger terms on many occasions; it is not very clear if he will join the campaign trail of the NDC come December 2012 elections.

The NPP since 2009 have intransigently and actively been doing what they are good at: criticism of every action of government. They have devised a political strategy of attacking every policy of government and have largely used the ultra supportive media to advance their course.

They have resorted to creating doubts in people’s minds as to the competence of the President and his officials. They have mischievously used LIES and twisting of facts in an extraordinary proportion.

The NPP are even threading the dangerous idea that they are born to rule; this is in line with every right-wing political grouping including Conservatives in UK and the Republicans in America.

The behaviour and utterances of the NPP suggest that if they come to power they will once again exhibit their ruthlessness by prosecuting government officials. Kennedy Agyapong the MP for Asin North has already sent the warning signal by threatening Mrs Betty Mould Iddrisu of imprisonment if NPP wins the December 2012 elections.

In their efforts to prove both president Rawlings and the NPP wrong, the Mills led government has marshaled every sinew, girded their loins, put on their wellies and have so far successfully delivered many projects in the shortest possible time imagineable.

The success story of the Mills led government is largely attributable to the “clamor of the bad people” as against the “appalling silence” of the good people. The 'good people' talk only when it inures to a particular group of people in Ghana.

It must be said that since independence in 1957, anytime the NPP (UP) is in opposition, the government of the day has always succeeded in many areas of the national development efforts. How NPP (UP) does it, is simple; they will harass, intimidate, accuse, and scrutinize every policy and programme of the government. That tend to provide the government the needed opposition, though not perfect, but good enough to ensure the provision of the needs of Ghanaians.

Take for instance their opposition to Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana saw major expansion in infrastructure, education, industry, healthcare and housing which helped sustained Ghana’s economy till today. Similar situation can be said about both Kutu Acheampong and Rawlings’ regimes.

What it means is that the NPP is best suited in opposition and the situation is not different in the present NDC government led by President Mills.

It is therefore important for the NDC to be grateful to Rawlings and the NPP for providing them the needed opposition to ensure that they fulfill many of their manifesto pledges.

The expansion in water supply is one important achievement worthy of mention. There is a marked improvement in the provision of both urban and rural water supply. Electricity supply has improved remarkably compared with the period Ghanaians had to rely on toy generators imported by the NPP government and what was popularly called 'kufuor gallons' for electricity and water respectively.

The success story of the Mills led government is also due to their economic model. Simply, no ‘soft’ policy can be implemented successfully without the needed foundations. Instead of giving money to people to go on spending spree, albeit, 'import and sell' (sic) as was done by the NPP; the NDC is concentrating on infrastructure and industry which will serve as a driving force for the implementation of social intervention programmes across the country.

What NPP economic model meant was that, they gave money for people's pockets but no roads to travel on or water to buy. They provided school feeding without school buildings for the pupils to sit in to eat the food. They provided ‘free’ healthcare (NHIS) including maternal care but did not provide hospitals and doctors for Ghanaians to access the ‘free’ healthcare.

They set up the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) without fashioning out a skills based employment opportunities which serve as the exit route for the youth employed under the scheme.

The NDC has also benefited from the scathing attacks by Rawlings and the NPP to the extend that every action of a government official is under scrutiny, thus officials are very careful in pillaging national resources in commercial quantities as was witnessed in the erstwhile NPP government when pillaging was done with impunity, when graft was rife.

A journey around the country will attest to the level of massive infrastructural development undertaken within the last three or more years. Not only that, also the increase in salaries of public sector workers and the opportunities for self upgrade/development for workers.

Though much needs to be done, but considering the evidence in both urban and rural areas one can only conclude that the Mills led government has done remarkably well. Behind the propaganda lie the facts and the role of Mr Rawlings and the NPP in the success story of president Mills cannot be undermined.

The NPP is one political party Ghanaians must understand, that they are excellent in opposition but the case is very different when they are in government. The issue is that they feel they are technocrats who don’t need any advice from other members of society. That makes them perform below par when in government but interestingly perform excellently when in opposition.

Let me however draw NDC’s attention to the fact that it is NOT only the provision of the needs of the people across the country and the character of the president that will win the elections in December. Branding the party to make it attractive is extremely important and that can also be used as a selling pitch.

Source: Kpebu, Seidu -