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Opinions of Thursday, 20 October 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

NDC has already destroyed Ghana’s economy, little Dramani

President John Mahama President John Mahama

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

It is a crying shame and a pity that President John Dramani Mahama should so soon forget that it was the anti-people cash-and-carry policies of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that plunged the nation’s economy into the doldrums (See “NPP’s Manifesto Will Destroy Ghana – Mahama” / 10/13/16). Actually, what has destroyed Ghana is NDC’s shameless culture of bribery and corruption, and the nation’s good governance watchdogs’ woeful inability to objectively and frontally call the criminally profligate Mahama government to order and to account.

In the latest of such travesties, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), which investigated the abuse of the president’s office for naked bribery, in the infamous Kanazoe Ford Expedition Payola Case, rightly concluded that, indeed, the then-Vice-President John Dramani Mahama had used his office to illegally and criminally negotiate for bribes from contractors who had business dealings with the Mills-led government of the National Democratic Congress.

Curiously, however, rather than recommend disciplinary sanctions against the President, in order to ensure that the presidency upheld the high-minded qualities of leadership, CHRAJ literally congratulated President Mahama for being such a good payola negotiator and taker.

On the campaign trail, perhaps the country’s most corrupt leader seeks to deviously divert voters’ attention from the fact that his scandalous acts of bribery may well have cost Ghana billions of cedis in criminally inflated contractual agreements and thus unconscionably stalled our collective national development.

Instead, Mr. Mahama traipses the length and breadth of the country lying through his teeth by telling Ghanaians that it is the New Patriotic Party’s more economically progressive policy of putting more money into the wallets and purses of the people, through a drastic reduction of the NDC’s killer taxes, that will bankrupt and grind our national economy to a standstill if the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party is voted into power.

You see, under the Mahama regime, extremely high taxes have been imposed on Ghanaians with false promises of bringing more development to the people. But in reality, the humongous revenue generated from such prohibitive taxation have been almost exclusively used during electioneering campaigns to offer generous bribes, in the form of automobiles and outboard motors and buses, to our chiefs, fishermen and hitherto long-neglected public educational institutions.

In the case of our chiefs, the obvious objective is to get these traditional rulers to criminally violate their constitutional injunction not to actively participate in partisan politics, so as to enable President Mahama to deeply entrench his stranglehold on the Flagstaff House. This is the salient difference between the goals and objectives of the NDC’s 2016 campaign manifesto and that of the NPP.

Put in more simple terms, the spine-chilling irony here is that the more taxes the NDC government imposes on the people, the less the number of social intervention programs it is able to provide the most vulnerable and destitute in Ghanaian society.

Indeed, it is an open-secret that until the Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party assumed the reins of governance in 2000, there were absolutely no significant social intervention programs in the country, including the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) which has, as of this writing, virtually collapsed with the exit of President Kufuor from the Jubilee-Flagstaff House since January 2000. And so just how President Mahama thinks he can fool Ghanaians into believing that the NDC political machine operatives are better managers of the nation’s economy is anybody’s good guess.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs