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Opinions of Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Columnist: Mubarak, Ras

"Slow but sure" is not good enough

Members and sympathisers of the NDC want the world to see our party as the party of candour, but their body language and attitude suggest otherwise. Their narcissistic behaviour is driving our government to the ground. The outbursts of insults and frantic efforts to paint critics of president Mills as enemies have much to do with hypocrisy and cowardice. Nobody in government ever shouted â"that is not right" when the Bureau of National Investigation under President Mills' watch wrongfully seized vehicles of some opposition members. On February 26, 2009, I wrote an article entitled "Ghana's FBI must apologise to opposition leader. In that article, I argued that the Presidency had no business issuing an apology to Nana Akuffo Addo for the manner in which his vehicle was sequestered. I also stated that the apology to Akuffo-Addo and other opposition member whose luxury vehicles had been wrongfully seized should have come from the agency that made the mistakes. Before that feature, I had in an earlier article complained against President Mills’ decision to exclude Tony Aiddo, Ekwow Spio, John Tia and other NDC stalwarts who had experience and stood by the party when others cowardly vanished. My position was that it was indeed exciting to pluck young people from obscurity to positions of great visibility and opportunity – Winston Churchill was 33 when he became a cabinet minister, Fidel Castro, Nkrumah, Walter Rodney, Jerry Rawlings, Jesus Christ and many others throughout history had done great things when they were younger – but it was important to cherry-pick and be sure those young men and women were up to the task.

On 13th September 2009, four clear months before I contested for the position of National Youth Organiser, I issued an open letter to President Mills where I described the government’s communications team as ineffective. I also challenged his government to repudiate claims that it was slow. My argument was that nothing is real without evidence; there were no polls to show government was slow and that government could turn the argument in its favour. I encouraged government and the NDC to revise its communications strategy, shake itself of that tag and perhaps move faster because the New Patriotic Party and its allies in the media have a strong political motivation to scuttle government’s positive agenda and would use the same trope about things being slow and ineffective to discredit it. Unfortunately for me, Professor Mills affirmed recently that he’s indeed “slow” though sure. I have openly questions many other decisions by government – the A-G’s inability to rein in the opposition’s orgy spending of the nation’s wealth under Mr. Kufour, The Vodafone deal, the inability of government’s communicators to keep negative stories about the corrupt practices of the Kufour government high up in the news, The Justice Douce Commission, government’s inability to quickly bring the perpetrators of Ya Na’s assassination to book and so on. I was the only one who publicly questioned Haruna Iddrisu’s abuse of his position as then National Youth Organiser and accused him of perfidy when he went round collecting signatures from TEIN students w ith the view to getting them to protest for government to make him a minister. I have also in equal measure praised government on many issues – I was the first to publicly challenge Lawyer Sam Okudzeto’s position of the seizure of Asamoah Boateng’s passport; I wrote an article challenging Lawyer Atta Akyea on his claims that government had broken its promises by increasing fuel price in March/April 2009, I endorsed government’s position on the Mabay and Johnson scandal, praised government’s successes in the Agric sector and so on.

Some people do not seem to struggle with the notion of how things really are. These pathetic cretins confuse the public with claims that I am critical of government because I lost an election. Where were they when I cautioned government in an article against appointing national executive members of the NDC as ministers because their appointment into government would create problems for the party?

Many folks have conveniently ignored the fact that my criticism of government didn’t start in January 2010 when I lost the election as a competitor for the post of National Youth Organiser. My criticisms and praises of the NDC government are available online and in print in the local press for everyone to reference. But a cad like Omane Boamah wants the world to believe otherwise. These are people who claim to fight for the masses but forgot about the masses as soon as they got into government. Some of them didn’t even have the courage to put themselves up as members of the NDC and would appear on TV discussions as “non aligned panellists”.

My concerns are that the opposition NPP could be in government in 2012 not because they have better ideas, but because disgruntled NDC voters and floating voters alike would simply stay at home if the train continues to move slowly. No amount of insults, lies and threats from government’s attack dogs, mealy-mouthed appointees, syndicated journalists and cowards hiding behind computers can stop me from expressing my approval or dissatisfaction with the style of any government of Ghana.

“Slow but sure motion” is certainly not good enough and certainly not the change the people of Ghana voted for.

Ras Mubarak Â