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Opinions of Thursday, 2 October 2008

Columnist: Akrobs-Nyamadi, Hope Kwame

NPP Promises Heaven, Yet Unleashes Hell on the Electorate

Although January 7, 2001 would forever be remembered as the day Jerry John Rawlings peacefully handed power over to John Agyekum Kuffour, it would best be observed as the day that Ghana attained a new rank in her endeavors in democratic dispensation amongst her African peers. Courtesy of JJ Rawlings and the National “Democratic” Congress, Ghana was quickly crowned as the Model State of Africa and was not only envied, but equally hailed for her decades of socio-economic stability, tranquility, and overall prosperity in an era that saw most of her neighbors, if not the entire continent, practically in shambles.

Nevertheless, a greater majority of the population with a vivid recollection of Ghanaian history became skeptical to see power in the hands of John Kuffour and his New Patriotic Party, --both entities stemming from the UP tradition who were staunch adversaries of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his progressive policies, yet they had no choice but to allow democracy to manifest. So, they were all resolve to 'grin and bear it” with this new administration.

When NPP first came to power in 2001, they told Ghanaians to tighten up their belts, for it was going to be a rough ride; and, boy, what a rough ride it has been! They told Ghanaians that, for some peculiar reasons, things were going to get worse, before getting better. The citizenry albeit accepted the challenge, looked dead into each other's eyes, as they clinched on to their bibles, qu'rans, and superstitions to help them through an undoubtedly questionable future.

Looking at the horrible track record of the NPP over the past eight years, it is rather a joke, a very tasteless one at that, to make promises at the face of non-existent accomplishments. So one would wish Nana Akuffo Addo and his NPP stalwarts would spare the bruised, abused, confused citizenry all these Utopian promises, but the extraterrestrial promises fly off their lips uncontrollably.

COST OF LIVING

As the saying goes, Talk is Cheap! How cheap? Just listen to Nana Akuffo Addo:

While President Kuffour, ( Akuffo Addo, for that matter,) insults poor Ghanaians that they are all lazy, they turn around to tell them that they “Believe in Ghana”, or believe in this same Ghanaians.

To paraphrase President Kuffour, it is only lazy people who would complain that there is no money in the system or their pockets, let alone appreciate the economic advances of his administration. In otherwords, no money in your pocket? You must be very lazy!

The NPP government as a whole fails to recognize the fact that if salaries remain relatively the same (or not reflective of the rate of increase of basic goods and services), and the price of goods and services have steadily increase to about 800% to 1000% since January 2001 (ex., petrol went from 6,400 cedis to 57,000 cedis long before a barrel of crude oil hit $100 at the American Mercantile Exchange), how could President Kuffour have the reckless audacity to insult Ghanaians that the reason why they cannot afford the new prices of goods and services stipulated by his government is because they are not as hardworking, or perhaps not as crafty as him and his fat cronies.

It begs the question, how many jobs does it takes a Ghanaian to survive in Kuffour's Golden Age of Business. Better yet, what constitutes hard work? Is it when one has a brother, nephew, or uncle, who serves as the president of the republic, appoints that person as a member of the board of directors of state corporations --with no relative experience? Or, is it when one is granted big, big government contracts that is most often outside of one's expertise, where one is free to charge the state any amount just because it is his or her kin(s) who are in control?

It truly boggles the mind to hear NPPerns shamelessly proclaim, all is not well, but 'gone were the days when a bully/dictatorial president, in the person of JJ Rawlings, was telling people what to do' -- under some pretext of truth, justice, probity, and accountability. It is a no-brainer to opt for a president who painstakingly held himself above reproach and kept his ministers on their toes over an absentee president who callously jumps on the next available flight as he lives the the nation to his cronies and relatives to govern.

The NPP government has not only embezzled, but has ostensibly wasted uncountable public funds on impractical projects, such as $50 million sank into VRA, thanks to the president's cousin, Charles Wereko Brobbery aka Tarzan, over $500 million debt of Tema Oil Refinery despite high taxes imposed on petroleum products to cover losses, and the sale of state assets at flee market prices, yet they proclaim that they are moving the nation forward.

While the NPP government has deliberately crumbled all major sectors of the Ghanaian economy due to her incompetence and greed as demonstrated in the prolonged power crisis and corruption practices, and opportunistically, privately, cater for that very distressed market, they proclaim these are the good times, and render more promise of the better days ahead. It would be remembered that after the collapse of the Aveyime rice plantation, the president's brother, George Kuffour became the number one importer of rice and grains to Ghana. Some NPP guru quickly became chief importers of generators (with all the tax relief that came with it). Good Times, In deed!

While the NPP govt has not paid civil servants (teachers, nurses, etc) for well over six months at a time, Akuffo Addo promises to create ONE MILLION JOBS! The question remains, if the NPP government can not pay the employees that there are presently in the system, how could they pay the salaries of another million employees?

While the NPP govt falls short at building schools or any universities, Nana Akuffo Addict of the NPP promises to wipe out illiteracy in all of Ghana when voted to power as president of the republic?

More precisely, as according to NDC's John Mahama on both parties' eight-year-record in the educational sector:

1) if the NDC built 6,321 pre-schools, while the NPP only built 2,362; 2) if the NDC built 12,335 primary schools, while NPP only built 1,013; 3) if the NDC built 6,414 JSS/JHS, while NPP only built 853; 4) if the NDC built 264 SHS, while NPP built paltry 19; 5) if the NDC built 110 Science Resource Centres, yet NPP had not been able to build any over the past eight years; 6) if NDC built seven Polytechnics, yet NPP had not built any, zero, Nada, zilch; 7) if the NDC has added three internationally accredited universities, while NPP can shamelessly lay claim to the increase to enrollment to be of her making -- Ladies and Gentlemen, how on God's or Darwin's green Earth would Nana Akuffo Addo and his Akyem-led NPP eradicate illiteracy with such an abysmal or utterly worthless record?

Someone please tell this short man, obviously suffering from numerous complexes that it takes more than big, big promises and cheap, cheap talks to be able to accomplish anything, let alone become a president.

HUMAN RIGHTS AND PEACE

How could the NPP govt conspire to the murders of not only Yaa Naa Yakubu, the king of the Abudus, but also forty (40) of his kinsmen; mandate the murder of Alhaji Molbilla, the CPP chairman, for his lack of support for the NPP, but, rather the largest opposition party, NDC; alleged to be involved in the killing of jounalists, like Samuel Annin for his divergent views of the corrupt and deceptive NPP government; not to mention the cold blood murder of deputy bank manager of GCB, Rokko Frimpong, who threatened to blow the whistle on corruption and embezzlement in the currency denomination project, thus implicating the top echelon of the ruling NPP government; proliferation of arms to its supporters to resolve chieftency disputes in Anloga and Bawku, and Tamale, and Accra (Ga Adamgbe) – yet Kuffour can actually proclaim on BBC HardTalk that he has an excellent Human Rights record?

It begs the question, whether a shiny three-piece-suit and extra-long alligator shoes, and presidential cocktail dinners with world leaders with questionable reputations readily purges a president's horrendous records at home; that, must a president only wear army fatigue/attire or enrolled in the armed forces to commit human rights abuses?

What if that president adorn himself in the most expensive western-style attires, yet appoint his pediatrician-brother, as the Defense Minister and his in-laws as the Interior Minister in his cabinet (or vice versa), could that president or establishment pose any threat to the people?

What if that same pediatrician-brother of the president doubles as the Head of Security of the political party, be it constitutional or not, amidst deadly flash spots and pocket of conflicts, and political clashes, could such obscene display of nepotism and conflict of interest pose any threat to the democracy, peace and tranquility on the land? Your guess is as good as mine.

ELEPHANTIASIS OF THE NATIONAL DEBT

Not to digress from the topic of NPP promises ala political-cum-election-fever hallucinations, it boggle the human mind that notwithstanding the $6 million dollars in international dept forgiveness and HIPC declaration, the NPP government has ostensibly elephantized/fattened the national debt to the tune of 90 trillion old cedis, or 9 billion Ghana cedis/US dollars. This is a far cry from the 4.6 billion dollars that dates back to the 1957.

While the means of repayment of this staggering debt, acquired in such a short period of time, remains a nightmare that haunts the conscientious citizens of Ghana home and abroad, the NPP government, specifically through its flag-bearer, Nana Akuffo Addo, is promiscuously “promising” to build universities in every region – although none built in the past eight years; to build factories in every district –while more factories have collapse due to the dry economy and the strangulating and sporadically unceasing electricity power crisis of yesteryear; and once again, the promise of “suit-and-tie” ala office jobs for everyone. Yesu Christo!

CONCLUSION

Speaking of NPP governments hypocrisy in the educational sector, it would be remembered that in April 2007, thereabouts, the boarding students of University of Ghana at Legon, staged a protest against the lack of accomodation and the new IN-OUT-OUT-OUT [sic] residential policy of the institution.

At the height of the protest, while the student government body was engaged in a meeting with the staff of the Legon, President Kuffour paid a surprise visit and his only words to the students were that the riot police that they see before them were just as educated, if not more educated, than they are; that, any aggression on the part of the students would be met with serious disciplinary (para-military) action, and before he walked away, (I quite remember) he begged the police force to do their very best to prevent the use of “rubber bullets”. Could that be a display of power or a compassionate plea? I think this narration best depicts the nature of the cunning NPP government.

Last, but not least, one would wish Nana Akuffo Addo would cite his accomplishment --just in the past eight years in power --to substantiate his pronouncements as he goes on his electoral promising spree.

WAKE UP, MY BELOVED NATION, FOR YOU ARE UNDER SIEGE!!!

NPP, SPARE US THIS YOUR UTOPIAN PROMISES O......

author: Hope Kwame Akrobs-Nyamadi aka Fela O Fela of NDC New York.