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Opinions of Friday, 16 March 2012

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Watch out Against NDC's Political Campaign of Lies, Insults and Intimidations

The outrageous overheating of the political atmosphere in Ghana, unlike probably America and France, is reaching a crescendo. You and I know that the year 2012 is an election year in Ghana, much as it is in France and in the United States for their presidencies. Ghanaian electorates will exercise their franchise in December 2012 to choose their governing political party and President for the next four years starting January 2013. In anticipation of the national elections due for 7th December 2012 in Ghana, the contesting political parties are hysterically beating the drums, disseminating their campaign messages.

It is very normal for political parties and individuals seeking re-election or aspiring for the opportunity to form the next government to make electioneering campaign promises. Making a promise is one thing but delivering is another. We should all bear in mind that, "a promise is a debt to pay but not the debt itself" The importance of bearing the wise saying in mind could not be overstated.

However, the usual contemptuous manner in which the NDC treat the electioneering promises made by their political rivals, especially the NPP, leaves sour taste in the mouth. Before proceeding any further to discuss the deficiency of ideas by NDC, let me pause to take a deep breath. In the history of Ghana, political parties are fond of criticising and writing off the radical economic and developmental promises and policies made by their opponents, regardless of how essentially transformational they may be for the good of the country. The construction of the Akosombo Dam was criticised based on how Ghana stood to lose technically by being the bigger financier but the smaller recipient of to-accrue profit. The critics could be right as the financing and the disbursement of dividends must be in direct but not in inverse proportion as it was in this case. Nevertheless, the farsighted charismatic leader, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, went ahead with the construction of the dam that has today become the engine of development in Ghana's pursuit of economic emancipation and middle-income status.

The NDC criticised the then Presidential-candidate Kufuor's promise to abolish what was a medical death trap (Cash & Carry) if elected. The "Cash & Carry" was a medical system in operation where a patient was obliged to pay in advance for their health care needs before treatment, regardless of the severity and urgency of the patient's illness. When he promised to replace it with National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to make health care easily accessible to all, the NDC said it was not feasible. The NDC rubbished any major policy initiated by the Kufuor's administration. They always said it is not feasible. However, Kufour was able to achieve all those challenging policy initiatives taken. When the engineers took a sample of oil from the newly discovered oilfield to show to the nation, the NDC alleged it was not petroleum but cooking oil. The degree of portrayal of ignorance, deceit or malevolent propaganda by the NDC is amazing.

Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo-Addo plans to make education free to the SHS level. As usual, the NDC critics who are living in utter ignorance in the land of nothing-is-possible have emerged from the woods or nowhere to tease Nana Addo on this policy. They are questioning where he can get the money to foot that massive bill of free education. Yes, they are entitled to query the source of the fund but not in the malicious doubting way, they are carrying themselves about.

Let me answer the NDC in a very rudimentary way in which the NPP can raise money to foot the free education. The NPP will save money from government contracts by not bloating the cost. A six-room school block will cost the actual ongoing price but not at the bloated figure-sums as it is under the President Mills' administration.

The NPP will save money by not allowing their DCEs, MCEs etc to inflate costs, then take 10% from contractors as kickbacks. The corruption by the named officials denies the districts o sufficient money. It then puts pressure on government to provide services and projects that otherwise could have been provided by the money stolen in kickbacks. The oil from the Jubilee oilfields will not go missing but fully accounted for to yield more money to Ghana. Cars from the harbours will not be confiscated and sold without proper accounting. If the government impound cars really stolen from abroad, she will return them to their foreign owners who lost them to the Ghanaian thieves. The government will sell any genuinely confiscated cars and place the proceeds towards the free education. The government will put stringent measures in place to prevent Government Ministers and appointees from embezzling funds. I will volunteer to be a watchdog on embezzlement. Nana Addo will not countenance any official corruption. He will ensure any government appointee caught in the act refunds the money and jailed. There are many ways to raise money to meet the needs of the free education without putting unnecessary pressure on other sectors of the economy. The NPP government will not connive with individuals and or organizations to dupe Ghana of millions of Cedis in purported judgment debt payments as pertaining in NDC under the consenting watch of President Mills. I will go into advance methods of raising money for the free education when dealing with more discerning people than the mostly illogical NDC rented press and persons.

The NDC have resulted to politics of insults to bring Nana Akuffo-Addo down. They attack his personality. Politics is not about personality attack but all about policies, ideas and their successful implementation. Nana is far ahead of the NDC or President Mills when it comes to taking sound policies able to assist Ghana socio-economically. President Mills is sleeping on the oars whilst the ship is sinking. Mr President, please wake up for you have been in trance for far too long. When the tempest in the night became too unbearable with Jesus Christ fast asleep on the boat in the middle of the sea, the disciples woke him up. He chastised them for being faithless but also rebuked the storm to stop immediately and it did. What is President Mills doing when Ghanaians are telling him his government is awash in corruption? Is he saying it is just the hallucinatory speculation by the opposition members? Then let him keep on snoring while the nation sinks.

Some NDC radio phone-in serial callers assert that the military Special Forces seen for the first time in parade at the Independence Square in Accra are there to discipline any would-be NPP "all die be die" advocates and supporters. I am sure the Deputy Information Minister Okujedtzo Ablakwah, sorry for probably misspelling his name, shares same opinion. I will now leave out this issue of Special Forces as I intend treating it fully in a separate write-up.

I will entreat the NDC to accept the truth and eschew intimidation. They are to change for the better and aspire to make Ghana a proud nation worthy of living in by all citizens, irrespective of their tribe, political affiliation, educational background and or social status.

Rockson Adofo