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Opinions of Sunday, 23 November 2008

Columnist: Atitsogbui, Paul Parker

NPP Must Change, Yes we can

I will begin this writing by congratulating our black brother Obama the president-elect for making all African’s proud. Americans have changed their destiny into the capable hands of our black brother Barrack Obama, a change Americans can believe in. Now it’s the turn of Ghana and a change is a must. Ghana does not need a change because Americans have changed, but we need a change because mother Ghana needs a change, a change devoid of discrimination, a change that will bring hope to Ghanaians, a change that we can believe in, a change that will secure our future for ourselves, children and our grandchildren to come, and yes we can!!

Why do we need a change? And the simple answer is, the country has taken the wrong direction. Not because the country is in the wrong hands but because the capable hands we entrusted the country to have run out of ideas and therefore needs to be changed. NDC run out of ideas in 2000 and Ghanaians did the right thing by changing them, and now NPP MUST BE CHANGED yes we can!! It will be ungrateful on my part to suggest that president Kufour led government has done nothing as they want Ghanaians to believe NDC had done, however, given the economic and political environment that NPP inherited couple with the amount of funds that has come into the country and above all the goodwill that NPP has enjoyed from Ghanaians, one will expect that at least some basic problems would have been a thing of the past or reduced drastically, but trust me they have gone from bad to worst. About 70% of the total foreign assistance that has come into Ghana since attaining independence came under NPP administration. $80.7 billion of foreign capital (loans and grants) and $80 billion of debt relief (HIPC) coupled with unprecedented price increase in gold, cocoa and timber at the world market all these within just 7 years, is enough to see mother Ghana as an emerged economy. But what do we see? Hunger, unemployment, high cost of goods and services, souring crime rate, and profligate spending and luxurious living by the NPP gurus and their cronies. Now we leave in a country where few people can afford 20 posh cars at a go, while majority are struggling to buy pure water, and when ever you complain, you are termed a lazy person. Do we think it’s by chance or fun of it, for the UK government to sponsor free antenatal care? Or for the USA to finance malaria eradication project in Ghana? No!! It’s because the situation is getting out of control. According to the UN report: maternal death has risen more that 125%, malarial related death has risen by over 100% between 2001 to 2007, yet NPP is seeing these benevolent act as an achievement and pride themselves with it.

Casting my mind back prior to the P/NDC, Ghana was like a hell to live in, our shops were empty, common sugar, milk, bread and etc became luxurious commodity. Money lost it value because there was no commodity to exchange with. No water in our taps, education, health facilities were virtually non existence, absolutely nothing was right in Ghana, GDP was recording negative, the political instability worsened the situation by serving as disincentives to foreign capital, yes it was that bad. And that was the time all the NPP gurus find it appropriate to desert mother Ghana. It took the toil and sacrifices of Rawlings and others to put the country into the shape we are enjoying today while those who claim to believe in Ghana today were living in their comfort in abroad. The former president whom the NPP administration has all this while trying to paint black was in the gutters cleaning up, on the rail track helping and carrying cocoa at his back. Yet he is perceived to be the reason for our woes by the so-called political saints.

During the PNDC’s reign, the ex-president survived 23 attempted coups, yet he managed and guided the country trough thick and tin to democratic dispensation of which we are all beneficiaries today. The least we talk about the ordeals he went through prior to his reign the better. In deed, this is a manifestation to the fact that the Lord ordained him as our savior, just like he has ordained the Asomdwe hene to see us to the promise land.

The country saw a massive transformation in all the various sectors of the economy raging from education to infrastructure. The economy saw the reversal of the negative trend to positive growth rate, our shops were stocked with goods and for the first time my grand-mother could watch television in her village through the national electrification project which extended electricity to about 75% household country wide. Several roads were constructed including the asphalt in Kumasi Township, to the admiration of the NPP big shots. And when they became dazed by the rate at which development was spreading at that time they started their propaganda, by asking Ghanaians whether roads, electricity and water are food. But today their messages are: we have build roads and extended electricity so vote for us. Sorry Mr. Akuffo Addo, Ghanaians today are wise-of and know what is good for them.

Education were not left out, the SSS system replaced the O/A level system by reducing the number of years at school, 7 polytechnics and 3 university were established across the country to increase the intake into the tertiary education, besides private universities were licensed to operate. Science centers were built across the country. All these and many more happened under the NDC reign, despite the fact that the foreign capital inflow was virtually non-existed. Pres. Kufour drives from his house to castle and back every morning on a road constructed by the ex. president, yet he has the gust to claim the former did nothing. What a mischievous character.

The NPP spin-doctors are telling Ghanaians that the economy is resilient today than under the NDC regime and that explains why more business are coming into Ghana today and their followers who are politically blind, ironically, believe them.

The number of businesses that incorporated during the NDC regime is more than that of the NPP. For instance, today the major booming sectors are the banks and the telecommunication industry. And apart from the traditional banks, 80% of the new banks came under the NDC regime, again apart from the Glow which is yet to start operation in Ghana all the telecommunication business started under NDC regime so what are they talking about?

Another interesting and funny propaganda the NPP spin doctors are spreading is the fact that health insurance and basic education are free. Is it because they don’t understand the meaning of the words INSURANCE and FREE or because they see Ghanaians as fools? How will one pay for a services and enjoy it free at the same time? What is the premium and the VAT we pay for? In the UK there is nothing like health insurance, all you need to do is to walk straight to the clinic or the hospital without a dime. No registration fee, no VAT and no premium, that is what we call free. Pupil/students there get free uniform, free books and free food. Education is absolutely free, nothing like exams fee, PTA dues or text books fee. The sad aspect of it is that almost all these NPP gurus have one or the other leaved in the UK and knows what a free medicals and education is.

One of the messages being peddle about is that Ghanaians are better today than before. If I am better off today, do I need someone to tell me I am better-off, are we that stupid that we can’t tell when we are better-off. Everybody in Ghana today is suffering including their own people. They try to portray Ghana as heaven when they travel abroad, but I am daring those NPP supporters who are leaving in abroad to come and spend just three months in Ghana and see how “happy” people are. You should not stay in abroad and make noise about Ghana, come and see for yourself. I don’t want to mention names but I know some of you will prefer to be incarcerated in abroad than your mother country where you claim to be heaven.

Fellow Ghanaian, with all humility, I am appealing to you to join the crusade of change in your mother land. Our mother Ghana is in a distress state and the time to change the destiny of our country is today and yes we can!! If a black person is going to occupy the “White house” then we can also drive the wicked elephant into the bush, yes we can!!

Paul Parker Atitsogbui