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Opinions of Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

This is exactly why Ghana cannot entertain NDC ever again! (III)

I am of the firm conviction that if the corrupt officials of the erstwhile NDC government had not squandered the funds meant for various developmental projects, Akufo-Addo’s government would have rolled out the free SHS to cover all the students in forms 1 to 3.

Have we pondered over how the huge funds involved in the bribery and corruption scandals in the SSNIT, SUBA, SADA, GYEEDA, Woyome, the Brazil world cup, the infamous bus branding,NSS, amongst others would have funded a lot of developmental projects including the free SHS?

I have never been, and will never be an NDC apple-polisher, but I will forever highlight the late President Mills unparalleled adherence to moral principles.

Of course, the late President Mills had his infelicities yet, he was morally ahead of the other insensitive NDC apparatchiks.

For instance, it is on record that prior to the dubious Woyome’s judgement debt payment of GH51.2 million, the late Mills warned the ‘create, loot and share’ cabals not to effect payment.

Yet the cabals incredibly disobeyed the good old Mills’ orders and doled out the staggering amount to Woyome, who had no contract with the government of Ghana.

Disappointingly, though, the late President Mills somehow yielded to his appointees shenanigans and allowed the create loot and share cabals to have their way.

Upon the late Mills’ capitulation, the conspiratorial plotters started dipping their hands into the national coffers through dubious judgement debt payments and other cloudy deals as if there was no tomorrow.

The racketeers even managed to allocate judgement debt amount in the national budget (reported to be around GH800 million), with a view of creating, looting and sharing.

Let us admit though, that bribery and corruption cases were so pervasive during the NDC’s eight-year administration.

Before his sudden demise, the late Mills exhibited unmatched rectitude and inquisitiveness when he constituted an Investigative Committee to probe into the acquisition of aircrafts from Brazil.

It would be recalled that during his State of the Nation Address on 19th February 2009, the late President Mills informed the Parliament that his government was looking into the decision to acquire two executive Presidential jets.

However, the late President Mills was somehow indecisive over the acquisition of the aircrafts and thus observed: "Ghana simply cannot afford the expenditure at this time and we certainly do not need two Presidential Jets" (thestatesmanonline.com, 16/06/2016).

Astonishingly, however, while the late Mills was joyfully delivering his euphonious state of the nation address in the parliament, the Vice President John Mahama, who also happened to be the chairman of the Armed Forces Council, was gleefully entertaining delegations from Brazil and negotiating the acquisition of five jets, including the most expensive hangar without the knowledge of the late President Mills.

Unsurprisingly, the late President Mills became suspicious of the whole deal and decided to put a committee together to review the deal, according to Mr Martin Amidu, the former Attorney General under President Mills.

Well, could the minority NDC anti-corruption crusaders tell us whether they took any interest in the work of the committee set up by the late Mills?

Unfortunately, President Mills mysteriously departed from life in July 2012. Per Ghana’s 1992 Constitution, Vice President Mahama was the next in line to take over the presidency.

On assumption of office, things started to fall apart. It went from bad to worse after the 2012 general election.

Regrettably, though, Ghana’s total debt ballooned astronomically following the unbridled spending in the 2012 general election and the numerous corruption scandals involving GYEEDA, SADA, SUBA, Bus Branding, dubious judgement debt payments and many others.

The Progressive Nationalist Forum (PNF) for example, estimates that monies lost to corrupt and dubious transactions under the presidency of John Dramani Mahama, amounted to over GHC5billion.

Thus, it did not come as a surprise at all to some of us when President Nana Akufo-Addo disclosed during his state of the nation address that Ghana’s total debt has rocketed to a staggering GH122 billion as of December 2016.