The record of the glaring incompetence of the leadership of the country’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is readily accessible to all who care to familiarize themselves with the same. So, we really do not need to waste our time debating the question of whether relatively speaking, it is either the NDC or the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) that is the better or the more competent manager of Ghana’s economy (See “ ‘It Will Be Difficult to Rescue Akufo-Addo’s Tatters[sic] Economy When NDC Wins Power – Sammy Gyamfi” Modernghana.com 6/14/22),
First of all, we need to critically examine the period from January 1993 to January 2001, when the late former President Jeremiah “Jerry” John Rawlings and the National Democratic Congress first held the reins of governance in what has come to be popularly and politically classified as Fourth-Republican Ghana. We need to examine the inescapable fact that it was the National Democratic Congress’ leadership that caused the massive “De-Industrialization” of Ghana’s economy by the blind and reckless implementation of the IMF-World Bank-supervised dismantling of the country’s Kwame Nkrumah and his Convention People’s Party (CPP)-created umbrella industrial establishment called the Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation (GIHOC).
The politically and strategically unwise dismantling of GIHOC, comprised of at least 107 factories and industrial plants dotted all across the country, but with a deliberate concentration of these factories and industrial plants in the specially created township of Tema, properly speaking New Tema, or Tema New Town, was capitalistically and euphemistically labeled as “Divestiture” or the economically progressive privatization of these hitherto state-owned factories and industrial plants. Now, what Ghanaians need to know here is the fact of just who ended up owning these “divested” hitherto state-owned factories and industrial plants, as well as the cost of their original individual establishments and their individual and collective contribution to the development of our national economy, as well as what happened with what has been described by one mordant NDC critic as the “Donkomization” or the “giveawaying” of these factories and industrial plant facilities.
This should enable us to know the fact of whether, indeed, the leadership of the National Democratic Congress is as capable as it claims, to be able to both salvage and significantly build up and improve upon the development of Ghana’s economy, in the highly unlikely event of the Mahama Posse’s being handed the democratic mandate of the Sovereign Democratic Republic of Ghana, come January 7, 2025. Next, we need to compare the general socioeconomic and political performance of the following 8-year period after the exit of the Rawlings-led regime of the National Democratic Congress and the auspicious entry of the John Agyekum-Kufuor-led government of the first Fourth Republican New Patriotic Party-sponsored Administration.
On the latter count, just for only one striking example, must be highlighted the fact of the abjectly poor human rights record of the previous democratically elected Rawlings’ regime, in particular, the landmark introduction of the Repeal of the Criminal Libel Law by the now-President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the time Attorney-General and Minister of Justice. You see, a realistic, wholesome and a holistic assessment of Ghana’s political economy must, perforce, take into indispensable account the human rights climate and record of the time. It is simply not and superficially merely about the rate of inflation or the value of the cedi on the global market which, by the way, not very long ago, renowned Ghanaian economist Dr. Nii Moi Thompson, the former Executive-Director of the largely white-elephantine Ghana National Development Planning Commission (GNDPC), a Mahama appointee and an NDC sympathizer, authoritatively observed has generally been better managed by the leadership of the ruling New Patriotic Party.
We also need to critically look at the design and implementation of social-intervention programs, such as LEAP or economic assistance for the poor, aged and most vulnerable in Ghanaian society, programs that are almost exclusively credited to the operatives of the New Patriotic Party, including the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), an Agyekum-Kufuor-established program, that was royally bungled by the double-salary drawing Mahama cabinet appointees, for which Mr. Sylvester Mensah, the Mahama-appointed Executive-Director of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), was strategically and conveniently scapegoated by his extant boss in the heated leadup to the 2016 General Election.
To the preceding, of course, must also be added the landmark and visionary implementation of the Fee-Free Senior High School System, which former President Mahama is on record as having witheringly pooh-poohed as a practical impossibility and the veritable pipedream of a desperate politician obsessed with dislodging Kwame Gonja from Jubilee House. The fact of the matter is that on absolutely no significant count vis-à-vis our national development agenda could the entirety of the kleptocratic leadership of the National Democratic Congress credibly claim to rival their counterparts of the ruling New Patriotic Party. National Security is also another area in which the leadership of the National Democratic Congress has eerily demonstrated that they are more of an integral part of the problem than competent or professionally astute and qualified problem solvers.
Which is why Mr. Gyamfi, the so-called National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress, may very well be telling the Gospel Truth, when the rookie lawyer confesses that if the democratic reins of governance were to be handed over from Nana Akufo-Addo back to Mr. John Mahama, for the second time, Ghana’s economy is guaranteed to completely collapse within a matter of weeks. Now, what this means is that, after all, Mr. Mahama’s earnest pleas to Ghanaian voters to be afforded a second chance to correct his past mistakes is sheer hogwash. The man has absolutely nothing new, progressive or meaningful to offer the Ghanaian people. He is decidedly effete and a spent force.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
June 14, 2022
E-mail: [email protected]