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Opinions of Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Columnist: Appiah-Yeboah, Kwame

Part II: Eight Years of Kufuor's Presidency

Part II: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly- Eight Years of Kuffour’s Presidency:

This is a continuation of a three part series on the Presidency of Kuffour. Part II explores some of the ‘bads’ of Kuffour’s administration.

“The Bad”

Reading the first part of this narrative, one cannot help but conclude that the man Kuffour has indeed ‘‘done some’’ (waye bi). But there has been some noticeable failing by the Gentle Giant and his administration. The first that comes to mind is the passive response to the killing of the Ya Na. This killing will be on Kuffour’s conscience like a palm nut soup stain on a Christmas shirt. It has been almost eight years and no justice for Ya Na and his dependents killed with military (read government) complicity. Also, the killers of Alhaji Mobilla, former Northern Regional Chairman of the Convention People's Party (CPP) have not been brought to justice (same military/government complicity).

On the economic front, the much bragged macro stability has not been felt in the pockets of the people. The rich keep on getting richer and the poor keep on getting poorer. Investment flow and private sector participation in the economy of Ghana is still low. For a president who has spent millions of taxpayer’s money on investment promotion, the result has been a spectacular failure. Kuffour and his government spent (read wasted) $20 million to celebrate Ghana’s 50 years of independence. Fifty years with nothing to show except continuous begging for AID and donor support. The $20 million could have been put to far greater use. It could have been used for hospitals, schools, roads, etc. I am not against celebrating milestones, but definitely against spurious celebrations. Twenty million dollars could have built a teaching hospital for the University of Cape Coast (UCC). I bet Kuffour does not care about a teaching hospital at UCC. Afterall, he and his cabinet excluding Asantehene Kwaku Dua are flown abroad at tax payer expense to have their bloated prostates examined by the best doctors. If I were God, I will set up a policy in heaven (applicable in hell as well). Anybody flown at tax payer expense for medical treatment outside Ghana will not get back to Ghana alive. After the first five people die (These people are so thick headed it will take at least five deaths for them to see a pattern), we will see how government will equip hospitals in Ghana. Alas, God is not like an Alata man: He is All Merciful, All Forgiving, etc.
Additionally, $157 million was spent on hosting the African cup of nations. Speak of misplaced priorities and this is a perfect example. It is true that the Chinese pre-financed the building of the stadia, but do we have to mortgage our future just to host CAN 2008? The building of the stadia I can accept, what I cannot accept is the $30 plus million to build a new presidential palace. Thirty plus million dollars to house a president! I hope all future presidents who live in that building develop incurable kooko (The kind that makes visiting the bush extra painful). If Kuffour wants to build an edifice to memorialize his presidency, he should erect a statue of his black face (read asss) in his village. Tweakae: A $30 million plus presidential palace for a country that depends on donors to fund 30 to 40 percent of its annual budget. Begging nation with no shame!
While armed robbery decreased in the cities, there was resurgence in the countryside and on the highways. This is fixable. Extend the patrols to all corners of the country. What is good for Dichemso in Kumasi is also good for Amuana Praso somewhere in the Eastern Region. What is good for Dansoman is also good for Etwereso, Akotikrom, Fa Nnkyene Bra and Fa Bodie Be To Mi Chalk. No wonder all the rural youth are moving to the cities in search of non-existent jobs. Is anyone surprised that all traffic lights and major intersections have been turned into street Supermarkets-proper drive-through?
While external debt was reduced due to HIPIC and other debt forgiveness programs, internal debt keeps on growing. Internal debts are growing like a ‘Lactogen Baby’ on steroids. Interest payments on internal loans are so much higher than budgetary allocation to several ministries. Ghana Commercial Bank was almost crippled due to massive debt overload by Government of Ghana.
Certainly there is work to be done by Kuffour and his NPP administration. The remaining 10 plus months can be dedicated to fixing a lot of the above goofs. There is hope for lame duck President Kuffour.

Kwame Appiah-Yeboah USA
About the author Kwame is not licensed in any field. The only license he holds is to drive in the 48 states of the United States and a license to drive people crazy.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.