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Opinions of Thursday, 22 January 2009

Columnist: Kuyini, Ahmed Bawa

NDC will be Mad to approve Kuffour's retirement package

Ghanaians are all outraged about the content of the retirement package for ex-president Kuffour, which was approved by the last parliament. However, more outrageous is the statement purported to have been made by Hanna Tetteh (Spokesperson of President Mills’ transitional team) that the NDC government cannot do anything about this greedy and irresponsible package but to implement it. It would make more sense if the NPP-led parliament showed some measure of principled judgement by considering our weak economy and the precarious situation of our nation’s health, educations and other social services.
I hope Hanna Tetteh is not serious about this conclusion and that it is not the final decision support by President Mills. If Hanna is serious, then the NDC government will be mad and we then need to be asking:
Is the NDC government, which we voted massively for, as step towards curtailing the irresponsible abuse of power by the NPP administration, got no guts to make bold decisions?
Is Hanna Tetteh saying that anything approved by parliament even if it is outrageous, unreasonable and suicidal to Ghana as a nation will be left unchanged? Imagine that the parliament had approved a bill saying that Ex-President Kuffour should be provided with a private jet, will that also be implemented?
If we have to accept anything that the parliament approves then we will end up one day with a situation where a bias parliament will approve a bill to sell for example the Volta Dam to Togo and the entire Upper West Region to Burkina Faso. In such a situation, will the NDC government do nothing but implement the decision?
Many people think that this bill was presented to parliament without Kuffour’s knowledge, but I personally believe that the genesis of this entire irresponsible proposition rests with Ex- president Kuffuor himself. The content of the proposed retirement package has Kuffuor’s desires and fantasies written all over it. For example, The foreign travel proposal is his attempt to continue to milk our confers for his useless travels where he can indulge in all luxury for 65 days at the expense of our hospitals, schools, and school feeding program. Secondly, the idea of a giving him a house outside Accra and money to set up a foundation are aimed at creating a perpetual gold mine in his home town.
This is the scenario if this retirement package is approved. Kuffour will ask that our tax payer’s money be used to build another Egyptian or pharaoh-like palace similar to his so called Jubilee house in his hometown. He will then ask the Asantehene to make him a chief and then when foreign dignitaries come to see the Asantehene, they can see him too and he can say contribute to my foundation which was set up with the lazy Ghanaian’s tax payer’s money. Since many of his colleagues at the his new IMF /world Bank job will visit Ghana, they will continue to contribute to his ‘GOLD MINE’ foundation and he and his children and grandchildren will live ever after in a pool of gold.
Well, it is clear that as a nation we have the right to disagree with our parliament in circumstances where its conduct justifiably calls for us to stand up and request a reversal of an irresponsible decision. This man Kuffuor whom I had genuine respect for over many years has turned out to be the most greedy and irresponsible leader of all time in my reckoning. As I said in my article on “Does the NPP need political astuteness or morality to rule Ghana…..” Kuffuor has descended to the lowest level on the moral scale and his moral decadence infected the NPP and it went down on in one big heap of total guilt pronounced by the citizens of Ghana.
We voted massively for the NDC to effect a change for the better of Ghana and for this reason it seems any fool can advise President Atta-Mills. However, what we need to conscious of it the fact that President Mills should not listen to all the advice he receives from some fools. The president needs to take bold decisions which are in the national interest. No nation in the world, with a similar economic position as Ghana is that lavish with former presidents. Why would we do that? I think the NDC has capable men and women who will make bold decisions in the interest of all Ghanaians and we should not forget what happened to the party in 2000 election.
Fellow Ghanaians, let us urge President Atta-Mills and our parliament t revoke the decision of the NPP dominated parliament which cunningly tried to kill Ghana off at the behest of Kuffuor.
I am calling on Ghanaians of all political persuasions to join the call for a review this package, even if it means setting aside our constitutional provisions for once. This we should do, not for anything else but for the future of our children.
The win for democracy as eloquently demonstrated in the last few weeks(through an electoral process) gives us an opportunity to use our hard worn social capital to foster better development for all citizens through a chorus call for upholding an unshakable sense of responsibility in Government. This we can achieve if only we understand the power of the capital which is in our hands as Ghanaians. Let us to free our minds from our tribal imprisonment mentality, lest we will all go down like the big elephant. I entreat all of us again to remember my earlier proposition to change our thinking from being tribe first to being ‘First, GHANAIAN and second, TRIBE’.
Dr. Ahmed Bawa Kuyini For Crescent Educational & Volunteer Service (CEVS-Ghana), Tamale.