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16.09.2020 Feature Article

Why Prof Alabi Too Got It Wrong

Prof Alabi
LISTEN SEP 16, 2020
Prof Alabi

Hello Prof, permit me to tease your mind a little.
I'm pretty sure you remember this line by one of the leading members of National Democratic Congress (NDC ). Your party!

"If they (referring to the NPP) win this election where would they get money to govern the nation?'

No, I didn't make this statement up. This statement was made in the build up to the 2000 historical general elections. And I choose not to name the individual who made that infamous statement. Just remember, though, he who does it smells it as he who carries it feels it. The fellow knows himself.

What happened after the polls?
Well, the NPP then in opposition won the election. President John Kufuor found the national kitty empty. Indeed it wasn't a joke. The minister was right --Ghana was broke! The debt left behind was astronomical.

So, we'd to join this league-- Heavily Indebted Poor Countries-- HIPIC.

Was President Rawlings made to pay those debts?
No. It took a prudent government and a visionary leader to right the wrong and put Ghana's economy back on track. Suffice to say one party created the mess and the other party raked the muck.

So what's this fuss about debts servicing?
The Mills-Mahama administration like the previous NDC government also left office with a mounting debt.

Yes, it was humongous! Did the nation ask them to service the debts individually? The answer is a big NO.

No individual head of state or past presidents was asked to pay the debts they bequeathed to the nation.

If so, why are the two drawing blood from natural order of things? Mr. Mahama walks the streets of Accra everyday as a free man. Doesn't he? Did he leave office as a debt-free president? Has he been arraigned before the courts of the land t o account for his stewardship?

Let me remind you Sirs if you guys have forgotten.
This election is about assessment and evaluation.
It's about credibility and it's about track records.

Who should Ghana reward? The faithful servant or the servant who 'plays it safe" always? Is it the risk-taker-- the one that implemented the improbable Free SHS programme or the one who says he'd legalise the 'nuisance Okada biz?

Certainly, one will be rewarded positively.
Prof do you really want to know what natural order of things mean? I present to you the parable of the Talent or Minas. In two of the synoptic gospels( Matthew 25:14 & Luke 19:11) a parable is told of a master who set out on a trip. However, before the journey, he put his servants in charge of his wealth. And according to their abilities he gave each servant something (money). He was gone for a long time, the account said.

Upon his return he assessed the stewardships of his servants. Not only that but also, he evaluated them based on how faithful and diligent each was in making wise investments. The account continued that two of the servants increased their talents tenfolds or more but the third servant playing it safe as usual didn't trade with his money. Why?

He feared his boss would punish him if he incurred huge debts. Does that ring a bell? Interestingly the master rewarded the faithful servants positively because they increased their earnings while the lazy servant was given nothing .

So where do you stand Prof Joshua Alabi?
Are you still doubling down the 'errs' of former. President John Mahama? May I ask ypu again now that you've found yourself neck-deep in the natural order of things pool, and your flagbearer also trapped in the quagmire what's your game plan?

I think if you put your priorities right you won't waver neither ponder as to who will be responsible for debts settlement when you're dead and gone. In fact, the nation will move on and move forward without you.

Prof Alabi maintains he sees nothing wrong with that assertion by the former President because he was stating what was obvious. And he gives a classic example citing himself, as a father with children. If I go about borrowing knowing very well that I may never be able to pay before God calls me...the children will be responsible for the debts. Yes, your children will pay the debts if you play the game like the third or the lazy servant in the above story.

See, it's not all about the debts after all NDC left huge debts behind in the years 2000 and 2016 for the NPP. That muck had to be raked by the faithful servants. The servants Ghanaians trusted and still trust they can steer the nation better, wiser and safer. I think the electorate will choose wisely come December 7 2020.

Mr Mahama got himself entangled with some hypothetical or 'non-fa' arguments, suggesting that President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has a shorter life span than him. The comments attracted lots of backlash.

The incident happened in northern Ghana. And while addressing the chiefs and elders of the Nadowli traditional council, former president John Mahama urged Ghanaians to demand accountability from the Akufo-Addo-led government with regards to expenditure of borrowed money. He made an allusion that President Akufo-Addo will not live long enough to pay the over GH¢137bn his government has borrowed since assuming office in 2017.

In his own words: “If we follow the order of life, the path ahead of Akufo-Addo is shorter than all of you, young people. If you go to the market, you’ll see a small goatskin and an old goatskin. Young people can die I agree but if the natural order is to be maintained somebody who is twenty years old is going to live the next fifty years," said Mr. Mahama.

He continued: “At my age, I’m going to live shorter, Nana Akufo-Addo is going to live shorter because at his age, in the natural order of things, he has shorter time so that debt he is not going to pay."

So why is Prof Alabi downplaying this ?
Or why does he think Mr.Mahama's comments aren't wrong? This is what he told Citi News: “I tell my son all things being equal, I’ll leave him unless the exceptions…it means that you should have an interest in what I do; which will have an effect on your life.

So that is the context…Let them say; in Ghana even when you marry one they say trouble, two they say trouble, three trouble so let them say…so if I’m a leader today you should have an interest in what I leave for you. So if I go about borrowing by heart you should have an interest…” he concluded.

By Gordon Offin-Amaniampong

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