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Opinions of Friday, 10 May 2019

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

Why are the NDC loyalists fighting tooth and nail to reclaim power?

Reflective observers have been ruminating endlessly over the rationale behind the NDC faithful’s desperation to return into power so soon after being rejected massively by discerning Ghanaians during the 2016 general elections.

“If you would look deeper, history is broad yet deep that binds the core existence of the world. Hence, history keeps the records of events that happened in the past.

“History is a lesson in the past but can also be the greatest regret of the future. Yet the reason why there is history is because of the events that were created by man (Hughes 2010).”

The fact however remains that the operatives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had had an ample opportunity to show discerning Ghanaians what they can do in government but disappointingly failed to do so. So, what do they want in government so soon?

Somehow, the NDC operatives are moving up and down the country and unfairly castigating President Akufo-Addo who is prudently fixing the unprecedented mess left behind by the erstwhile NDC administration.

Perhaps the NDC loyalists are holding on to the elusive belief that Ghanaians suffer from memory loss and therefore cannot recall the revoltingly ugly events which took place under their watch.

If that was not the case, what would then motivate individuals who wilfully brought the country to its knees through unpardonable decision-making to persistently accuse their successor who is doing everything possible to undo the massive mess?

After all, haven’t the NDC loyalists claimed that Ghanaians have short memory?

In fact, contending schools of thought maintain that NDC lost the 2016 election largely due to gargantuan corruption scandals (Bus branding, SADA, SUBA, GYEEDA, SSNIT, STS Housing deal, the Brazilian aircraft deal, Mahama’s Ford Expedition Vehicle, amongst others).

As a matter of fact, Ghana under the erstwhile Mahama administration went into economic throes which regrettably brought to pass harsh socio-economic standards of living.

During his calamitous administration, the vast majority of Ghanaians struggled to make a living or eke out an income. The dreadful errors in decision-making, the incompetence and the unbridled corruption culminated in untold economic hardships.

And, despite the apparent harsh socio-economic standards of living back then, President Mahama and his clamorous apologists kept trumpeting their vague rhetoric , political insobrieties and meaningless slogans: ‘Mahama Tuaso’; ‘We care for you’; ‘people matter, you matter’; ‘we are transforming lives’.

We could, therefore, argue that the diehard supporters of Mahama are living in a denial about former President Mahama’s popularity and competency.

Given the circumstances back then, some of us do not want to believe that anyone could have convinced the disappointed Ghanaians to forgive the NDC administration over the dubious judgement debt payment of GH51.2 million to Woyome and other corrupt practices.

It is absolutely true that the vociferous NDC communicators could not solicit votes from Ghanaians who were extremely aggrieved about President Mahama’s freebies to all sort of people, including Madam Akua Donkor of Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) two four wheel drive cars and a luxury bungalow (estimated to cost a staggering $470,000) for no work done.

The fact of the matter is that no one would have listened to the NDC’s electioneering campaigners when no meaningful efforts were put in place to stop the numerous sleazes and corruption.

Trust me, it will be easier for ‘a camel to go through the eye of a needle’ than for Mahama to convince unhappy Ghanaians to forgive him, when his administration woefully shrunk Ghana’s GDP from $47 billion to $37 billion in five years.

How would the Mahama supporters expect discerning Ghanaians to give Mahama another chance at the presidency when his government terribly dragged an economic growth of around 14 per cent in 2011 to a nauseating 3.4 per cent as of December 2016?

The Mahama loyalists must accept the fact that discerning Ghanaians could not have forgotten the terrible errors in judgement which culminated in economic hardships amid the unbridled business crippling ‘dumsor’.

Apparently, things started to fall apart after the 2012 general elections. It went from bad to worse following President Mills sudden and mysterious death in July 2012. The conspiratorial plotters then had a field day leading to the 2012 general elections.

Ex-President Mahama and his NDC apparatchiks went berserk in their desperation to cling on to power. Thus they broke all conventions. Many government departments spent over and above their allocated budgets.

It is an open secret that the racketeers managed to allocate judgement debt amount in the national budget (purported to be around GH600 million), with the sole objective to create, loot and share.

Unsurprisingly, therefore, many observers harbour a strong view that Ghana’s economic meltdown came about as a result of the unbridled sleazes and gargantuan corruption which took place in the erstwhile NDC administration.

The general belief back then was that they bought votes with the tax payers’ money. They clung on to power following the controversial election on 7th December 2012.

Indeed, their 2012 victory came with a huge cost to the state. The previously single digit inflation and budget deficit doubled astronomically. The GH9.5 billion debt which former President Kufuor and his NPP government left in 2009 rocketed artificially to unpronounceable figures. Our total debt ballooned to GH122.4 billion as of December 2016.

If you may remember, Ex-President Mahama and NDC gave a cornucopia of Manifesto promises, inter alia, making dumsor a thing of the past, putting money in Ghanaians pocket, creating more jobs for the jobless, stabilising the economy, protecting Ghanaians from the menaces of galamsey and Fulani herdsmen, bringing an end to dubious judgement debt payments, fighting the rampant sleaze and corruption, working with ‘lean’ government, getting rid of the filth in Accra within 100 days, introducing free SHS, implementing one-time NHIS premium etc.

Consequently, the good people of Ghana bought into the NDC’s Manifesto promises and then gave them the needed electoral mandate in the 2008 and 2012 general elections respectively. Unfortunately, however, the successive NDC governments failed to honour their promises.

Take, for instance, the NDC promised wholeheartedly to make ‘dumsor’ a thing of the past, if voted into power.

Back then, Haruna Iddrisu, the then Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, boldly asserted: “If voted into power, the NDC government would have no excuse to keep Ghanaians in dumsor”.

Nevertheless, the dumsor got worst following the NDC’s victory. Discerning Ghanaians rightly fretted thy souls with disappointments and curses, and, demanded answers as to why President Mahama failed to bring the dumsor under control.

However the dire consequences of the dumsor, President Mahama and NDC government could not fix the dumsor. The dumsor continued to cripple hundreds of businesses. The dumsor indeed contributed to Ghana’s economic downslide.

Besides, Ex-President Mahama and his NDC government pledged to implement one-time NHIS premium. That Manifesto promise, so to speak, was destitute of honesty and integrity.

The NDC government failed woefully to implement the one-time NHIS premium to the utter dismay of Ghanaians.

It would also be recalled that the NDC told Ghanaians back in 2008 that the NPP government under President Kufuor had sunk the economy into the mire, so Ghanaians should give the NDC the opportunity to put the economy back on track.

Nevertheless, all the available evidence suggests that the NDC government under Ex-President Mahama rather managed to worsen the socio-economic standards of living than any other government in the history of Ghanaian politics.

Whenever the good people of Ghana decided to express their grievances over the never ending harsh economic conditions, Ex-President Mahama and his vociferous communicators would go berserk: aren’t we transforming lives by building roads, hospitals, schools, toilets, water facilities and many other social infrastructural projects?

Most of the projects were regrettably not up to the required standards, albeit the projects were often overpriced. The former Minister of Local Government, Collins Dauda would attest to such assertion. He previously decried over the NDC’s poorly constructed and overpriced projects.

Disappointingly, when the concerned Ghanaians complained about the poorly constructed roads in Kumasi, President Mahama would angrily respond: ‘You ungrateful lots, you would never even be appreciative if I constructed your roads with gold’.

The fact, however, remains that Ex-President Mahama and his appointees refused to appreciate that exemplary governance is not all about putting up numerous infrastructural projects.

Excellence governance goes beyond the provision of social infrastructural and amenities. As a matter of fact, praiseworthy governance involves continuous improvement of socio-economic standards of living.

Take, for example, former President Kufuor quadrupled Ghana’s GDP to a staggering $28 billion in 2008. While the late Mills inherited the discovery of oil in commercial quantities and managed to increase the GDP to $47 billion by 2011.

Unfortunately, however, President Mahama reversed the GDP to an incredible $37 billion as of October 2016.

Besides, the late Mills left an economic growth of around 14 per cent, but Mahama succeeded to asphyxiate the economic growth to an amazing 3.4 per cent by December 2016.

Moreover, President Mills left an agricultural growth of around 7.4 per cent in 2012, while President Mahama dragged it to around 2.5 per cent as of October 2016.

It is also true that President Mahama wiped out the late mills “unprecedented” single digit inflation and replaced it with double digits (15.8 as of October 2016).

More so the late Mills left a fairly stable currency exchange rate-it was around GH1.65 to 1 U.S Dollar in 2011. However, the exchange rate stood around GH4.20 to 1 U.S Dollar as of December 2016.

It is absolutely true that former President Mahama and his government broke their earlier promises, thus the bonds of trust were infringed to the utter chagrin of discerning Ghanaians.

However hard the NDC faithful will try to upbraid the incumbent NPP government over the economy, the fact remains that Ghana is heading towards a favourable economic growth.

The fact though, remains that under Akufo-Addo’s presidency, Ghana’s economic growth has moved from a disappointing 3.4% in December 2016 to a favourable 8.6%.

And the previously double digit inflation (15.8 in December 2016) has been reduced drastically to around 9% as I write.

It is, therefore, quite bizarre that the NDC loyalists who are currently enjoying uninterrupted electricity, reductions in electricity tariffs, low inflation, tax reductions, favourable economic growth, gargantuan savings on free SHS amongst others, are gleefully clamouring for the return of Ex-President Mahama and their beloved NDC.

In ending, the NDC faithful should take a deep introspection and accept the fact that the vast majority of aggrieved Ghanaians voted against the NDC in the 2016 election due to the incompetence, the unbridle corruption and the unresolved dumsor which brought about harsh economic conditions.



k.badu2011@gmail.com