NDC government practising 'Akonfem socialism' - Bawumia
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia does not understand how a government espousing social democratic principles should be "stealing" from the people when it is actually supposed to be serving them.
The 2012 Vice Presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has described this contradiction to mean the brand of socialism practiced by the NDC is "Akonfem socialism".
Akofem is a local term for guniea fowl. The description is linked to a controversial guinea fowl project initiated by the Savanah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).
Dr. Bawumia made thise statement while delivering the inaugural Alhaji Aliu Mahama lecture organized by the Alhaji Aliu Mahama Foundation to mark the 1st anniversary of the passing of the former Vice – President.
The NDC reinvented itself as a Social Democratic Party in 2003 seeking "to marry the efficiency of the market with the compassion of the state with all efforts geared towards protecting and supporting the vulnerable, the disadvantaged, and the marginalized and have-nots in society".
Contrasting the passion which social democrats have for welfare programs, Dr. Bawumia questioned the commitment of the National Democratic Congress for sustaining welfare programs like National Health Insurance Scheme, Free Maternal care, School Feeding, and the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA).
GYEEDA has been rocked with financial malfeasance and five persons are said to be indicted . The Economic and Organised Crime Office has been directed to prosecute officials cited in a report on the GYEEDA corruption.
He suggested that the NDC is nowhere near the kind of socialism practiced under Ghana's first President, Kwame Nkrumah, during which people-centered programs like free education, healthcare and state farms thrived.
Outlining different governments' commitment to social welfare programs, he said Ghana's second head of state, Dr. Abrefa Busia created a new ministry of Social and Rural Development, a National Service Corps, Youth in Action and a Voluntary Work Camps Association.
Under John Agyekum Kufuor, he said "poverty declined from some 40% of the population in 2000 to 28% by 2008". He noted it was also an era of the School Feeding Programme to provide food to pupils in basic schools, Capitation Grant to make education affordable and accessible and the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to provide accessible healthcare to the population.
But speaking of the NDC and President John Mahama, he questioned the state of promises by NDC to institute a one-time health insurance premium, payment of licensed teachers a professional allowance of 15% of basic salary, payment of technical-vocational teachers a professional allowance of 10% of basic salary.
He said the NDC also promised to pay teachers in deprived areas an additional allowance of 20% of basic salary, pay water and electricity bills of second cycle schools and double Tema Oil Refinery's capacity toward processing Ghana's oil.
In view of these unfulfilled promises, Dr Bawumia said the socialism practiced by the NDC-led government is only on paper because in action it is "akonfem socialism".
"Akonfem socialism is this new brand of socialism where the government officials engage in 'chopping' the meat to the bone. Rather than focusing on serving the people, our Akonfem socialists focus on coming up with schemes to steal money from the people", Dr Bawumia explained.
He adds, "the state has been defrauded of billions of Ghana cedis through the creation of schemes such as GYEEDA, SADA, Subah, Woyome, Waterville, Isofoton."
Story by Ghana|Myjoyonline.com|Edwin Appiah|[email protected]