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Opinions of Thursday, 5 April 2018

Columnist: theheraldghana.com

Which economy is Mustapha Hamid talking about?

The most difficult job for any communicator, no matter how good he is, is to work for a leader, who is long on promises, but short on delivery.

I do not for a moment envy Mustapha Hamid, at all, nothing ties the hands of any human being as fast as an inducement, once you stretch your hand to accept inducement, the hands get tied by the inducer.

There is something incongruous about the Minister of Information, he displayed an out of place character in the run-up to the 2016 elections, when he addressed a press conference to lie that, the former president, John Dramani Mahama, and his younger brother, Ibrahim Mahama, had bribed Daniel Bugri Naabu, to malign then candidate, Akufo-Addo.

As a Muslim scholar, a lot is expected of him, by way of moral character. He knew the truth about the Bugri Naabu story, but not only did he lie, he cried in front of the cameras, suggesting that, the country was in the wrong hands.

A man with two wives, must certainly know about the rising prices of goods and services. Foodstuff that used to be cheap and is affordable by all is now beyond the reach of the ordinary Ghanaian.

Perhaps it might help to reiterate what the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid posted on his Facebook Wall to mark the full 12-month cycle of the first budget of President Akufo-Addo and to begin the second quarter of 2018, Mr Hamid noted the indicators clearly show Ghana is heading in the right path.

“We are thankful for our increased economic growth. Ghana was the fastest growing economy in the world in 2017.

“We are thankful for the fiscal discipline in the management of our public finances which resulted in the government attaining its budget deficit target. The first time since 2006,” Mustapha Hamid stated.

He added: “Most importantly, we are thankful for the leadership and vision of the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Our economy under his leadership is only going to get stronger.”

In his 30-point statement, the Minister emphasised the economy is on a sound footing, because it has remained stabilised not to mention the constant decline in inflation and interest rates.

I respect my readers a lot to repeat the 30 things he listed as being thankful for, concluding it with the name of Allah, is what annoys me as a Muslim.

His basic premise was that the visionary leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is transforming the economic mess inherited from the John Mahama administration.

After almost two years in office, John Dramani Mahama, is still the most mentioned name in the mouth of this administration.

The tragedy of Mustapha Hamid is that he never leveled up with Ghanaians, who pay him, although he was appointed by the president. He allowed us to be lost in what T.S. Eliot called the shadow that falls between the desire and the spasm/ between the potency and the existence/ between the essence and the descent/. Now that his fortune has changed, he is trapped in Alexander Pope’s admonition that, “the higher you climb, the more your ass is showing.” Whose ass is showing today, as the Americans say, what goes around, comes around. Today, power has changed hands, the likes of Mustapha Hamid, who used to be spectators and have turned themselves into people who were all knowing, are today, exhibiting the highest form of incompetence, a word that they rode onto power.

The Information Minister, was thankful for 30 things he itemized as the achievements of his boss. The establishment of a ministry, which to many well-meaning Ghanaians, is a waste of scarce state resources, among others, including the setting up of the Office of Special Prosecutor, were all counted by our shortsighted Information Minister as achievements.

He cleverly and I grant him that honesty, chose not to include the fight against corruption in the list of things he is thankful for.

For the first time in the history of the Fourth Republic, corruption is fighting back through the very forces established to fight it.

The seat of government, which is the conscience of the nation, has become the clearing house for corrupt activities by members of this administration.

The problem with working for president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo entails lying for the government, he has added sycophancy to the list and Mustapha Hamid, has perfected the art of singing praises in the face underperformance by the appointing authourity.

The only promise this administration, has been able to fulfill is the implementation of the much touted free Senior High School (SHS), but even that, it is threatening to grind the second cycle institutions to a halt.

Mustapha Hamid, has so much time on his hands, the man was appointed without work schedule and the performance appraisal that, the president purportedly did, was nothing but a charade.

As everyone who cares about the progress of this country can attest, one of the areas of change needed in Ghana, is the enthronement of meritocracy and the disengagement of mediocrity from our public life.

You don’t need to be a progressive to know this. It is very fundamental. And that is the very first place that this government has failed.

The expectations of the people of Ghana are so low it is obscene. Knowing that, the Informtaion Minister, who is supposed to be the mouthpiece of the government, has set the bar of good governance even lower.

The pedigree of Mustapha Hamid and their likes, are troubling enough that a descent society would not hang its hopes on their types. From their upbringing, educational accomplishment, to their source of wealth, these men would be too ashamed to be in public life if Ghana, were a sane society.

The trouble with Mustapha Hamid, et al, is not that they are pretending to be the brightest crayons in the box. We can see from afar that they are not. The trouble is that they are invariably creating the impression that all the crayons in the box are as dull as they are. That is the trouble and our tragedy.