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Opinions of Monday, 6 December 2004

Columnist: Poku, Kojo

Why Kufuor is Dangerous For Ghana

?.democracy and poverty cannot sleep together in the same bed. People are seeing that things are supposed to be better but they are not feeling better

Under the presidency of John Agyekum Kufuor, the following undisputed incidents have taken place and as a result, I think another 4 years for him will be an insult to the intelligence of all the people of Ghana

  • Ghana remains desperately poor, with 40 percent of the country's 20 million people -- mostly in the rural north -- living below the poverty standard of a dollar a day set by the United Nations and ranking 131st on the UN Development Index of 177 countries.

  • There has been a selective application Of Zero Tolerance For Corruption under President Kufuor. He?s helped in the jailing of Peprah and Mallam Issah of "Inshalla" fame, while Mallam Moctar Bamba, Wereko-Brobbey, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Apraku, Edumdze and Osafo-Maafo are all free?

  • Kufuor and his campaign team have been running a very expensive HI-TECH campaign; Electronic billboards, dropping flyers, moving boards, electronic car top adverts, helicopters etc. The opulence STINKS. It?s strange these people take loans to develop Ghana, but dig deep into their "corrupt" pockets to finance their campaign.

  • Kufuor was able to obtain $600,000 from the national treasury to spend on bulletproof cars for himself, without Parliamentary approval. He also spent $40,00 to $60,000 on pajeros for 72 ministers and deputies, $90,000 Benz for the speaker of the house, $560,000, while 90% of the Ghanaians roads are in dilapidated states.

  • Kufuor has politicized the HIPC process, structuring the distribution of funds to bypass parliament and allocating the bulk of the resources to his ruling party's central and southern strongholds instead of those most in need: the northern regions crippled by poverty levels reaching 70 percent.

  • It's only in the last 2 months that Kufuor realized he's the president of Ghana ... not a "Tourist President". He has made over 80 foreign useless trips in less than four years collecting $3000 Per Diem for a day, although the state pays for both his hotel and transportation. Meanwhile, 90% of working Ghanaian cannot make Kufuor's daily per diem in a year.

  • In Salt Lake City (Utah) Kufuor was given $40,000 which he failed to account to the people of Ghana? Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey was also there and was wheeled around by the Latter Day Saints Church protocol in appreciation for his fronting for the church. Like his boss Mr. Kufuor, Jake did not leave Utah empty handed. He was given a specified amount of money and scholarships to be given to needy Ghanaians to enable them pursue courses and programs at the Brigham Young University in Utah. The first beneficiary of these scholarships is Jakes own daughter who transferred from one of the low and unknown colleges in the U.S to BYU.

  • ? Kufuor has appointed most of his ?close? relatives to government. Some of them remain at their posts despite proving to be incompetent: E.g. Peter Osei Duah ? Nephew - Managing director of SIC, Veronica Kufour - Niece - Ambassador to Netherlands, Janet Acheampong ? Niece - CEO of Inland Revenue Services and Mr. J.H. Mensah Brother-In-Law Min. of Govt.Business/Chm.NDPC. Kufuor?s son, who could not make the cut in USA, is now a consultant with one of the fattest contracts in Ghana. Kofi Annans problems should ring a bell. Special govt advisors ? who happen to be mainly friends & relatives of NPP officials - get $2,000 to $5,000 a month, for doing NOTHING. Meanwhile, a doctor?s take-home-pay is $150/month and the government wants them to be patriotic and stay home.

  • Kufuor has connived and condoned with members of his party to defraud Ghana. He benefited directly from the following deals; Sahara Oil Deal, Car Acquisition from Nigeria, Telenor Deal, Ghana Airways/GIA deal, the Mango Gate Scandal, Sale of Ghana embassy premises in USA, Apraku's Diversion of GFZB Funds, IFC Loan, CNTCI Loan, Illegal appropriation of ?150 billion from Castle renovation project headed by Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey.

  • Kufuor either conspired with or had knowledge of the brutal murder of Yaa Naa

  • Kufuor?s idea of justice is to pack the Supreme Court with 17 judges, with the sole aim of making sure any case he sends there would be won.

  • Since Kufuor came to power, all tribal chiefs have been ignored with the exception of the Asantehene. He has been made the de-facto head of state since 2001. The circumstances surrounding the US$5 million ?ethnic agenda? loan from the World Bank to the Asanteman Council and the Akim Abuakwa Traditional Council is yet to be answered.

  • Kufuor and his advisers, connivance with the news media, to deliberately plant false stories in the media, E.g. Solving Ivorian crises, Osafo-maafo?s Award, IFC Loan, Chinese Barber Loan, Bambagate, Renovation Of Kufuor's House, Ghana Airways, Ya-Naa, MPs Car Loans and 100s of unverifiable stories on Rawlings, etc
If Ghanaians dare to give Kufuor a second term, he will be more divorced from reality than ever?that he will think the dysfunction of his first term was caused not by legitimate questions raised about his policies, but because some had the temerity to raise such issues at all.
As one Ghana said democracy and poverty cannot sleep together in the same bed. People are seeing that things are supposed to be better but they are not feeling better.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.