I have been reading the 2020 "May Day" message of the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
The message which was a Facebook post among other things catalogued 37 things which the Vice President had touted as Government's achievements.
I must say that midway into the post, a favorite quote of a friend and a brother, Anthony Dela Bedzrah aka Odjah (late) came to mind.
"If you want to perpetrate falsehood, do so and be sure it falls behind you so that you would never have to walk into it or be confronted by it someday", the quote reads.
Memories of Odjah; he was a great guy, popular among his peers in Ho but that will be a whole topic for another day.
Back to Dr Bawumia's post, particularly the 37 touted achievements, will realize Dr Bawumia could not "tell the lies to fall behind him" but rather did so to fall ahead of him and now having to wade through same.
What is more than revealing under the circumstance is that, the much touted 37 achievements of Nana Akufo Addo/Dr Bawumia Government is a far cry (meagre 35%) from the 103 achievements same Dr Bawumia parroted 3 years ago (on April 17, 2017) during the 100 days assessment of the Akufo Addo-led Government.
In 2018, two years into the Government, same Dr Bawumia put up a post on New Year's eve (New Year message) to Ghanaians, in that message, he detailed 41 achievements (which is another meagre 39% reduction of the earlier 103) touted as Government's successes. Not striking?
What is more striking? Comparing the achievement lists, Dr Bawumia, clever as he would want to be seen to be, chose not to include as achievements in the list of 37, projects/issue such as the $2billion Synohydro loan/projects, fight against illegal mining, sole-sourcing of contracts and restoring discipline in the Management of Public Finances, obviously because of the crass failures, 'dubiousness in nature' of some and or the controversies surrounding all of them today.
While at that and borrowing a favorite quote of Ekwu Owie that "vindication is in the womb of time" to drum home the point, it is equally important to set some records straight on some of the projects Dr. Bawumia touted as Nana Addo's achievements;
1. Revival of the Railway sector; fact is President Akufo Addo cannot claim any credit for the transformation in the Railway sector since all the major works; Sekondi - Kojokrom rail-line rehabilitation and procurement of new train coaches for the route have been NDC/John Mahama legacy just as the $398m Indian EXIM facility for the construction of Tema - Akosombo - Mpakadan rail line meant for the transportation of goods from Tema through the Volta Lake to Buipe in the Northern Region for onward transportation to the landlocked countries.
It is equally important to note that the Tema - Akosombo - Mpakadan Railway is never the first phase of any imaginative Railway project to Burkina Faso.
To put another matter on record, the rehabilitation of the Takoradi - Tarkwa rail line, Ghana Manganese Company (GMC) provided the Akufo Addo Government Gh10m to finance the project to help Manganese haulage to the Takoradi port.
3. Increasing Peace Keeping Allowance of the Military & Police from $31 - $35 per day.
As to why Dr Bawumia would want to appropriate this to the Akufo Addo regime beats one's imagination. Now, reading from page 150 of the 2016 Manifesto, this was what the NPP stated and it settled the matter on Peacekeeping Allowance: "The NPP, under President Kufuor, in keeping with our tradition of enhancing
the welfare of military personnel, increased the troop contribution
allowance normally paid to the soldiers from US$16 to US$27 a day, an increase of about 69%.
President Mills increased it by 11% to US$30. President Mahama
increased it by just US$1 to US$31, being a mere 3% increase, in all a
total of 14% increase over the 8 years of the NDC Government.
After announcing the US$1 increase, it was rejected by the military
personnel, and under pressure, John Mahama was forced to increase it by
another US$4 to US$35.
The NPP commits to adjusting upwards the allowances in line with new increases by the UN, and will ensure that personnel, who serve in UN Peacekeeping Missions are paid at their duty post".
4. Restoration of Allowances; Dr Bawumia and the NPP keep deceiving unsuspecting members of the public with this. It is an undeniable fact that the students who entered Colleges of Education in 2018/2019 and 20219/2020 academic years are not taking trainee allowance but students loan from Students Loan Trust Fund (SLTF).
It is also a fact that the 2017/2018 year batch who are the only beneficiaries of the trainee allowance don't get their allowances regularly as it (allowance) sometimes take 5 months to be paid and by the time it get paid, all sorts of deductions are made, leaving a meagre Gh200 per month, far less than the Gh450 per month it used to be which candidate Akufo Addo promised to restore.
5. Dr Bawumia's claim that 1 District 1 Factory (1D1F) is on course. Per the timelines indicated and captured in the 1D1F document, 171 new factories were to be ready and operational by December 2019 but as we speak, not a single new factory is functional under the 1D1F. The Ekumfi pineapple processing factory which became the Government's only success story is having challenges as the raw materials (pineapple) produced are not enough to feed the factory.
6. Dr Bawumia's claim that 350,000 jobs have been created in the public sector and much more in the private sector. Here, available records rather points to the contrary, that between 2017 and now and as a result of Government's deliberate collapse of banks and hounding out staff perceived as non-NPP, a ban on legitimate mining, vindictive closure of radio stations, exorbitant cost of doing business etc led to over 1.2million Ghanaians losing their jobs.
"Comments are free but facts are sacred" - C.P. Scott
Koku Mawuli Nanegbe (The writer is the News Editor for the Catalyst Newspaper)