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Opinions of Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Columnist: K. Badu, UK

Why Ghanaians voting NPP out in 2008 remains the biggest mistake ever

President Kufuor, so to speak, exerted dint of critical thinking, worked assiduously for eight solid years, laid an auspicious economic foundation and retired honourably in January 2009.

President Kufuor and his government managed to quadruple Ghana’s GDP to a favourable $28 billion by 2008. Plus, the NPP government left an encouraging economic growth of around 9.1 percent.

Moreover, through hard work and forward thinking, Kufuor’s government managed to discover oil in commercial quantities, which eventually helped moved Ghana to Middle Income Economy.

But in spite of all the numerous programmes and policies that put the country in a highly favourable position, Ghanaians disastrously bought into the NDC’s propaganda and voted out better economic managers in 2008.

Back then, the NPP communicators, in all honesty, displayed sheer complacency and disappointingly failed to counter NDC’s political gimmicks.

Subsequently, President Kufuor admirably passed on the baton to the late President Mills on 7th January 2009, following his victory in the runoff election on 28 December 2008.

The late President Mills commendably continued with the excellent economic foundation laid by former President Kufuor and his NPP government.

The late President Mills, as a matter of fact, prepared adequately for the presidency, but in spite of his readiness to serve the nation to the best of his ability, the detractors within his own Party needlessly kept shrieking and grumbling about his style of leadership.

It is, however, worthy of mention that the late President Mills inherited a moderate debt of GH9.5 billion and a propitious economic growth of around 9.1 percent from the Kufuor’s government in 2009.

Indeed, the late President Mills was very fortunate to have taken over a favourable economic foundation laid by zestful former President Kufuor and his equally hardworking team.

Three years after former President Kufuor’s NPP government had laid hands on oil in commercial quantities, the late President Mills had an enviable task of switching on the valve at an offshore platform in December 2010 to pump the first commercial oil.

Ghana subsequently moved to the camp of the petroleum exporting countries. And believe it or not, Ghana started to export crude oil and thus boosted the economic growth.

And, lo and behold, the economy grew blissfully from around 8.4 percent to around 14 percent by 2011, and, Ghana subsequently reached the Lower Middle-Income status.

Ghana’s GDP grew exponentially from $28 billion to a staggering $47 billion by 2011.

Ghana was then rightly acknowledged by the international community as the world's fastest-growing economy in 2010 (Economy Watch, 2010).

“Ghana's economy grew at a blistering 20.15 percent at a point” (Economy Watch).

To his credit, though, the late President Mills prudently continued to improve upon the excellent economic foundation laid by former President Kufuor and his NPP government.

As a matter of fact and observation, the late Mills would have been very successful in his short spell in government if not the shenanigans of the detractors that surrounded him.

Take, for example, it is a well-known fact that prior to the dubious Wayome’s judgement debt payment of GH¢51.2 million, the late Mills warned his appointees not to effect payment.

However, the defiant appointees impertinently disobeyed the good old Mills orders and doled out the staggering amount to Wayome, who had no contract with the government of Ghana.

Disappointingly, though, despite his unmatched moral uprightness, the late President Mills somehow stooped to his appointees' shenanigans and allowed the create loot and share cabals to have their way.

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

The cabals even managed to set aside judgement debt amount in the national budget (reported to be around GH¢800 million).

Bribery and corruption cases, as a matter of fact, were so pervasive during the late Mills administration.

Take, for instance, before his sudden demise, the late Mills displayed unparalleled rectitude and inquisitiveness when he constituted an Investigative Committee to probe into the dubious Brazilian aircraft deal.

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, whilst 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, therefore, the late President Mills had a gleam of suspicion on his mind and decided to put a committee together to review the deal, according to Mr Martin Amidu, the former Attorney General under the late President Mills.

Unfortunately, whilst the Committee was carrying out his directives, President Mills departed from life under mysterious circumstances.

The late Mills, I must admit, was an excellent human being and a real patriot who meant well for his country. But he was somehow disappointed downright by the very people he reposed his trust.