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Opinions of Thursday, 21 October 2010

Columnist: Adamu, Tanko Balik

When is it ever NDC Government’s Fault?

October 20, 2010

Right off the bat, I do not want my bias to be lost on anybody reading this piece. With that said when was the last time anybody in the current NDC Administration said “It is me, I screwed up and I am sorry”? Say with me, NEVER! Before going on to catalog instances where if responsibility had been accepted, our country will not have been as divided as it is today. President Obama after the failed Christmas Day bombing in 2009 said “I am less interested in passing blame than I am in learning from it and correcting these mistakes to make us safer for ultimately the buck stops with me”. He then went further in the speech to layout his plan for how his government intended to make the American people safer. Other instances on which President Obama accepted responsibility and took steps to remedy a potentially damaging political blunders included when he made a comment about the arrest of a black professor in Harvard before learning the facts and the latest being when Shirley Sherrod of Georgia was fired after videos of her comment surfaced on the internet. In all of these instances, the president did not only accept responsibility but took steps to make them right. A story of the quotation has been told of President Harry Truman also of the United States who had that sign on his presidential desk. Indeed the buck stopped with him as a president. This quotation is used in the United States to signify the acceptance of personal responsibility for what people do. Now contrast that with our current crop of leaders!
NDC Leadership since assuming the reign of Government of Ghana has blamed everybody for the woes of our country but is yet to accept responsibility for anything. It goes without saying that they continue to blame the NPP Administration for the economic woes that the country finds itself in at this point in time. To begin with, our president is proud to be called professor “Do Little” as he thinks that is better than being called professor “Do nothing”. This pre-supposes that Ghanaians will tolerate “little” leadership. This is however not my beef with our president. My beef with him goes back to when he had a placard at a May day celebration to portray himself as a worker going through tough times like other Ghanaian workers who do not have the luxury of choosing between living in the Osu Castle or the Jubilee house or whatever its name is this week. He could have chosen to acknowledge the plight of the Ghanaian worker and go further to layout his plan on how to he intended to make their lives better. Do we have that as we speak? NO! My second issue with president Mills is his surprise visits. Do you remember them? Of course you have forgotten because they came with no substance. The President himself blamed CEPS Officials (Who probably deserved it) and Ghanaian smugglers for smuggling cocoa to Ivory Coast. He called them saboteurs (and maybe they are). What a responsible leader would have done instead of paying surprise visits to departments to intimidate poor innocent workers, would have been to study the situation and clearly layout a plan to deal with it. This plan could have been announced on one of such surprised visits if you so much wanted to visit Ghanaian workers. A plan of that nature would have included with it timelines and check points so that the populace will be able to ascertain for themselves the progress being made. We Ghanaians are still waiting for a presidential plan to address smuggling.
It is not surprising that the lack of responsibility on the part of our president is trickling down on his ministers. The first example of this is seen in E.T. Mensah who in the wake of the Anas Aremeyao videos, blamed Anas and accused him of having an agenda instead of accepting responsibility for not properly monitoring the Department of Social Welfare. After coming under fire all he could do is set up a committee to investigate the abuse of orphans that has been already fully documented. This issue should have become a police matter and culpable people made to pay the price. We are still waiting for somebody man up on this issue.
The story gets worse with the ministry of education. After blaming the NPP government for creating whatever problem they found with education in Ghana they made it worse by shortening the years spent in secondary or high school. This decision led to crisis in admitting new students and as a direct result of this some schools have refused to admit new students. The reason for the change as they say is because the NPP extended the years without providing the infrastructure needed. However by shortening it they have done the exact same thing and actually have created a problem for Ghanaian universities down the road. This obvious failure to plan is putting the future of Ghanaian youth at risk and the government of Ghana is yet to accept responsibility and pay the price for their failure.
Closely related to this is the recent effusion of Dr. Tony Aidoo on the members of UTAG. He trivialized their concerns on radio and accused of them of being politicians. He told Ghanaians the Lecturers were striking over $26 or is it 26 cedis? Other members of his government have accused the NPP Administration of causing the strike by clandestinely linking the pay of lecturers to the dollar. Whatever that means I don’t know but when is some adult ever going to accept responsibility and do the right thing?
A deputy minister of health blamed the media for recording his insults of striking health workers instead of simply saying I am sorry and move on. Ablakwa blamed the publisher of a story that he commented on after Madam Konadu registered her displeasure of his submission. He never accepted responsibility for what he said but blamed it on the story that was written without him in mind. Wow! Do you think these are all my examples? Far from right, they blamed international bodies for our recent credit rating. The World Bank, IMF and the UN have all not been spared blames by this group of leaders we have.
The biggest blame of all was that of the Attorney General and all of the NDC crazies. After presenting poor cases for the judiciary and losing them in succession, they refused to do the self introspection that most leaders will do. They started looking for people to blame and walaa! It must be the judiciary. The chairman of the party went to town to “kill cats”, the deputy Attorney General accused a judge sitting on a case of making a prejudicial comment and the biggest of all, the Chief Justice is corrupt and stole state lands and therefore not worthy of being the chief justice. Some of them concluded that the NPP Government packed the courts and there was no way they were going to win a case unless they “killed cats”. They haven’t looked at the merits of the cases they took to court nor have they examined the evidences they submitted to the judges. No review is ever made of the judicial notes of the judges that led them to conclude the way they concluded. Without this done how on earth is anybody going to learn any lessons for their next case?
It is always someone else’s fault. It is never us! It will amaze a patient reader to understand that as bad as this phenomenon is with NDC, they are not alone with this mentality. I think it cuts across the entire African continent. Over 50 years after independence, we are all still blaming the colonial master or the white man for our plight. We as a people haven’t done enough to hold our leaders accountable for the poor way they have managed our resources after independence. No African leader has been able to create an African system of leadership that will function outside the control of our parochial interests. Kwame Nkrumah tried but being power drunk that he was, he designed a system around him and when he was no more, everything went to ham in a basket.
Our governments until the early 90s changed through violent means. We are still killing each other over issues that sometimes is not worthy of our time. In all of these problems who have we blamed? the white man for supplying us with guns and dividing us along tribal lines and on and on and on. Yeah it may be true the white man had or has a role in our problems but isn’t the recognition of the problem part of the solution? Why are we not today spending our time to solve our problems?

If you love your country as much as I do mine, why not spare a thought into this and demand more from our leadership?

Thanks for the publication and to the reader, thanks for reading!

Tanko Balik Adamu
Safety Professional
Pittsburgh, PA. USA
tankobalik@yahoo.co.uk