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Opinions of Sunday, 18 November 2018

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

On the Run: Mahama is only the Pope of Galamsey

He says that Ghana is a land filled with an abundance of wealth, but its citizens are needlessly hungry. He also, predictably, and conveniently, fails to tell us that in the 8 years that he and the man who handpicked him for residency in the Jubilee-Flagstaff House held the reins of governance, absolutely no significant social-intervention program was put in place to alleviate economic hardships faced by the bottom-third of Ghanaian citizens and residents. He would also actually go on to ungratefully and posthumously accuse his generous benefactor of having chauvinistically made him a presidential spare-tire. “Today, Ghanaians are worse off than they were under NDC government,” the pathologically self-preening and self-infatuated NDC machine operative smugly brags (See “2019 Budget: ‘Brace Yourself for more hardships’ – Mahama Predicts” Modernghana.com 11/6/18).

The problem with this Gonja-born megalomaniac is that former President John Dramani Mahama is grossly out of touch with the economic reality on the ground in Ghana. His main and sole idea of growing the country’s economy is the blind and reckless encouragement of the operatives of the Galamsey industry, which under successive tenures of National Democratic Congress’ governments rendered at least one-third of Ghana’s waterbodies undrinkable and unusable in any humanly possible way. Calculate the avoidable and wasteful cost of the country’s importation of potable water, and the wanton destruction wreaked on the country’s economy by criminally and pathologically self-serving leaders like the former Rawlings’ Communications Minister could not be more outrageous and traumatizing.

Indeed, among his very first scofflaw attacks against the newly elected Akufo-Addo-led Administration was to publicly and criminally and antisocially encourage illegal miners in the country to further poison more of our arable lands and waterbodies, on the grotesque pretext that the scarcely year-old Akufo-Addo government had not been able to create viable employment alternatives for these nation-wreckers. The fact that Mr. Mahama’s own government had not wisely and foresightedly enacted progressive policies that could facilitate the creation of more jobs for ordinary Ghanaian citizens did not seem to have bothered him the least bit. Mr. Mahama also adamantly refuses to take responsibility for the fact that it was his own gross administrative incompetence that brought about “Dumsor” and the massive collapse of private enterprises and businesses in the country. Indeed, as of this writing, the democratically ousted former President was yet to publicly apologize for this criminal act of gross administrative incompetence.

Instead, Ghanaians recently awoke up to hear Mr. Mahama conveniently and self-interestedly promise not to lie to them again. Precisely why he had so shamefully and disrespectfully lied to Ghanaians, in the first place, the man who has been desperately campaigning to have his party re-nominate him to lead the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) into the 2020 Presidential Election did not even bother to explain. Rather, he simply cavalierly and arrogantly expected Ghanaian voters to passively go along with his narcissistic proposition by facilely taking him at his word, without humbly or even politely explaining how he intended to regain the confidence of trust of these very people whom he once rudely told that they had absolutely no right, whatsoever, to criticize him, their legitimately elected President, for his abjectly poor job performance because, in the words of this Gonja petty chieftain, none of these bona fide Ghanaian citizens and eligible voters had ever been elected President of the Democratic Republic of Ghana.

In all likelihood, Mr. Mahama may very well gain a groundswell of support from his party’s delegates, but it remains to be seen whether Ghanaians as a nation are ready and willing to permit him and his younger brother, Ibrahim Mahama, to literally lay their otherwise rich, fertile and mineral-laden land to total waste and threaten their very livelihood and existence once again. The man says that he borrowed some GH? 40 Billion in four years in order to embark on a “massive infrastructure development [program] in terms of roads, hospitals, schools, and water and electricity projects” and has the evidence to show for it. But, of course, for his virtual bankrupting of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which was refreshingly and progressively resuscitated by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo only over the past year-and-half, we would be talking about empty hospital buildings which would be decidedly useless to the overwhelming majority of Ghanaian citizens.

But even more significant is the fact that he has clearly yet to stop lying to the people, to whom he also has yet to humbly and apologetically acknowledge the incontrovertible fact of having bequeathed to his successor a woefully insignificant number of hospital buildings that scandalously lacked an adequate supply of medications and state-of-the-art healthcare equipment and adequately trained and salaried doctors and nurses. Indeed, left to megalomaniacal robber-baron politicians like Mr. Mahama, the Rawlings-minted Cash-and-Carry health policy would still be pretty much the order of the day. And were it really true that he constructed quite a slew of school-building facilities under his watch, why would at least 30-percent of Ghanaian public school pupils still be attending classes under trees and poorly constructed buildings that can scarcely protect them from the massive downpours during the rainy seasons? As well as the implementation of the double-stream, attendance-staggered Senior High School system?

The fact of the matter is that in former President John Dramani Mahama, Ghanaians have a congenital liar who appears to believe that he is likely to die on the very day that he sobers up and decides to tell the truth. One only has to take a trip to the diamond-laden township of Akyem-Akwatia in order to give the lie to Mr. Mahama’s rather farcical claim that his regime had embarked on the construction of massive road-infrastructure projects in the country. I won’t even bring up the muddy marshes of the so-called Eastern Corridor Highway for good measure. I also don’t know that adding even a state-of-the-art Terminal 3 Wing to the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) is the equivalent of having a comprehensive policy or strategy for growing Ghana’s economy.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net