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Opinions of Monday, 19 January 2015

Columnist: Amankwah, Kwabena

NPP Should Not Bury The Issues In The Gutter With NDC

The National Democratic Congress as a political group has always been at the mercy of the New Patriotic Party when the political discourse in the country is elevated to issue-based.

Knowing this very well, the group has always desperately sought to bury the real issues that concern the people at any point in time in trivialities and frivolities. And this somewhat works in the interest of the party, since its record in government has always been very appalling.

That is why the General Secretary of the party, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, felt it made a lot of sense to waste precious time and resources to hold a press conference just to blame the NPP for the Ruby cocaine scandal, knowing very well that even a primary one kid cannot take him serious on his claims.

But, we want to draw the attention of the leadership of the NPP to the fact that the press conference held by the NDC was part of the strategy to divert attention from the many relevant bread and butter issues that confront Ghanaians and for which the government must be pushed to answer critical questions.

As at 2008, Ghana's total public debt stood at Ghs9.5billion. That was 33 per cent of our GDP. Within a period of six years it has been in power, the NDC government has engaged in ridiculously unprecedented borrowing to push the debt to over Ghs70billion, now over 60 per cent of the nation's GDP.

Strangely enough, there has not been corresponding development to match the over Ghs60billion the government has borrowed in the last six years.

Here is a political party that claims to have been in power for only two years (from 2013), yet has no sense of shame in citing projects that were executed from 2009 to 2012 as its major achievements.

Having inherited a sound economy growing at 8.4%, without oil, the NDC, now under the leadership of President John Dramani Mahama, has succeeded in lowering Ghana's economic growth to a projected 3.9% in 2015.

The NDC government has had access to the quantum of resources never made available to any government since the nation attained political independence.

We now live in country where an insensitive and corrupt government can be that bold to tell the suffering masses that it had used an amount of $29 million to rehabilitate the runway of the Kumasi Airport, to give it a so-called 'international status.'

This comes at time Ethiopia is constructing three new airports at an estimated cost of US$ 64.5m, while AngloGold and others have also built an airport at Obuasi at a cost of $4 million.

What has happened to the order by the Supreme Court for the retrieval of the over Ghs50million the NDC government doled out to Alfred Woyome for no work done? What about the Isofotons, the GYEEDAs, the SUBAHs, the SADAs, the STX waste and the rest?

Now that schools have started re-opening, how are parents going to pay the fees of their wards? Why has naked looting of the national kitty become the order of the day in recent times?

These and many other relevant issues are what should engage the attention of all well-meaning Ghanaians as we seek to hold the NDC government accountable for the mess it has created for the country in the past six years of its maladministration, mismanagement and national loot.

And we expect the opposition parties, especially the NPP, not to allow discussions about these issues to be buried in the trivialities and frivolities being spearheaded by Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

Burying the real issues in the gutter with the NDC is certainly in the best interest of Nketia and President Mahama, but not in the interest of the NPP, in particular, and the nation at large. NPP must therefore take note of this development and act accordingly.