It is absolutely not wrong to call attention to the selective and grossly misguided criticism of those who think that they reserve some Divine Kingship Rights to criticize Ghana’s most enlightened and most progressive government at whim. That was what the very reflective article by Ms. Elizabeth Ohene clearly sought to do. You see, gratuitous abuse of those entrusted with the affairs of our nation does not good governance ensure, especially when the Civil Society Watchdogs, so-called, show themselves to be far less interested in putting the government of the day on its toes than merely ratcheting up sheer political noise as a means of gaining public attention and making themselves appear relevant when, in reality, all they are interested in is getting attention for attention’s sake.
Governments, by their very nature, may be corrupt because each and every human, to varying degrees, is corrupt. So, what becomes significant and relevant, ultimately, is the relative or comparative degree of corruption, coupled with the base performance level of the government of du jour. As already adumbrated in Part 1 of this column, nearly all levelheaded observers of Ghanaian politics are in invariable agreement that this is the most progressive government of Ghana’s Fourth Republic, perhaps the most progressive government in postcolonial Ghanaian history. Which definitely explains why Candidate John “Airbus-Kanazoe” Dramani Mahama has been desperately traipsing the length and breadth of the country earnestly pleading with eligible and potential voters to give him another chance to “correct” his previous errors in governance, almost as if Ghana were a laboratory of guinea pigs or a playground for political playboys and novices trying to perfect the art of realpolitik. Or doling out taxpayer money to “Slay Queens.” We shall touch on this peevish latter subject in the offing.
Then also, there is this myth that, somehow, in trying to definitively resolve the protracted problem of poor and erratic energy supply in the country, Nana Akufo-Addo actually worsened the situation by causing the country to lose some $ 200 Million (USD), in what erroneously became known as the PDS – or Power Distribution Services – Scandal, in which the previous Mahama regime entered into a very sophomoric agreement with a Philippines-based power generation and distribution company, a patently bogus agreement in which the coequal foreign partner had invested absolutely zilch and therefore risked absolutely nothing if this corporate partnership went awry or burst up in flames, Dear Reader, choose your pick. What happened next, when President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assumed the reins of governance, was to promptly and wisely abrogate the noetic Mahama-brokered energy deal in order to make more productive and profitable.
What that meant, in the first instance, was to ensure that indigenous Ghanaian entrepreneurs would own majority shares of the hitherto wholly state-owned and poorly managed Ghana Electricity Company (GEC). The objective here was to make GEC more efficient and profitable. But that shares ended up being preferentially floated out to party bigwigs and other party and ideologically affiliated entrepreneurs and investors, was all the more to be regretted, even in some respects inexcusable. But it was nowhere near the mega-scam that was the Billion-Dollar STX real-estate deal that the now-Candidate John Dramani Mahama, as Vice-President, had negotiated with the South Koreans, the dumbest of its kind in Ghana’s history, that reportedly ended up costing the Ghanaian taxpayer some $ 300 Million (USD), without a sod being cut. That is how pathologically criminal and psychologically spacy the Bole-Bamboi native from the Akufo-Addo-created Savannah Region is.
But, you see, the present government could not hold out any hope of progressively and profitably collaborating with key operative of the previous Mahama regime, when all that the Mahama Posse had done was literally plunder our National Treasury, including publicly and shamelessly defending the moral respectability and legitimacy of the globally infamous Woyome Mega-Heist. In the PDS Affair, as expertly explained to the nation by Mr. Kenneth Ofori-Atta, the inimitably savvy Finance Minister, the long-term profitability of continuing to wastefully and unwisely support the agreement with the Philippines-based company, whose owners had invested virtually zilch into the GEC and therefore had no substantive stake or risk in the partnership, with the relatively insignificant sum of $ 200 Million (USD) that the operators of the US-funded Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) were dangling over the head of the Government of Ghana, to literally goad it into carrying on with a business agreement that was highly unlikely to benefit Ghana in the long haul. Remember, like his father, Dr. Jones Ofori-Atta, the Finance Minister also attended Yale University, right here in the United States. And before the latter, Columbia University as well.
You see, the Americans, the former colonial masters/overlords of the Philippines, had absolutely nothing to lose. In all probability, the Philippines-based partner in the PDS pact was a bona fide US national or citizen with close ties to Washington. Unfortunately, the kleptocratic operatives of the National Democratic Congress woefully lacked the requisite sophistication and high-end expertise to fully appreciate the deleterious long-term implications of the PDS deal. All the Mahama shills saw was money to thievishly divvy up among themselves, to the detriment of the quality of life of the average Ghanaian citizen. What is significant to point out here is that the loss of $ 200 Million (USD) or not, Ghana is the better for the opportune and savvy abrogation of the Mahama-rigged agreement with the aforesaid Philippines-based company.
That the previous Mahama regime-nurtured and supervised the industrially hostile and existentially lethal regime of Dumsor has become a veritable relic of the past, is what is most significant to take into account here, and not the rather intellectually and morally superficial fact that the worst that could have befallen our nation had been foresightedly and wisely averted. The sort of empty-barrel noises “jazzily” and incessantly indulged by these foreign-funded Civil Society Organizations, for the most part, is not helping anybody on the ground, as it were. This is what Ms. Ohene’s admonishment to these “All-knowing Neutrals” was unmistakably about. Let us hope that these self-righteous, foreign-underwritten and heavily influenced CSO pontiffs have learned one or two teachable lessons from Ms. Ohene’s intellectually stimulating and psychologically refreshing and morally edifying article.
*Visit my blog at: KwameOkoampaAhoofeJr
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
September 6, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]