Ghana is a country whose economy was extremely affluent and buoyant after her independence in 1957. According to the history about the then financial sources and facts, our British colonial masters, together with our founding fathers, put up a frugal financial strategy from 1951 to1956 to accumulate a surplus in reserves of a huge physical financial excess of over five hundred (500) million pounds. This was the legacy which was handed over to our first and late President, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. And just imagine a small country like Ghana with a manageable population of a little above six (6) million people with a huge financial backbone in the late 50s; but within a short space of nine (9) years, the nation’s economy became depleted, making her so weak and sick to the point of staggering like a frail drunkard heading towards a ditch.
That outcome propelled the nation to change her currency from Ghana pounds to cedis and was consequently devalued mercilessly. So may be, this and many other factors like the amendment of Ghana’s constitution to make Ghana a one-party state with Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as the life president, prompted the military to stage the first coup d’état in Ghana on 24th February, 1966.
After three (3) years of bitter military rule and in 1969, Ghana conducted another general election; a political tree of the NPP, then known as the Progress Party (PP), emerged as the winner to sit on the executive thrown of the State with the late Prof. Kofi Abrefa Busia as the Prime Minister. Being the pace-setter in the nation’s politics, economy and prudent national policies, the late Prof. K. A. Busia’s government began the process of resurrecting the derailed and messy economy of Ghana through a gradual steering back towards normality. At that time, the late Mr. J. H. Mensah was the minister of finance and economic planning. To be honest with all, the nation’s reduced inflation and economic improvement were conveniently felt by Ghanaians; I remember very well that my school fees in the secondary school was just forty-four (44) cedis per term and all secondary schools in Ghana at that time had a superb dinning menu of three sumptuous square meals per day.
Ironically, the pace-setter work of the PP government (a political tree of the NPP) in changing the economy of the nation came to an abrupt end, because another military coup d’état was staged by a disgruntled small group of some of our power-drunk military officers, led by one Gen. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong on 13th January, 1972. The beginning of Ghana’s political and economic woes started from that year and has in combination with all military mutiny, haunted the nation for about twenty-one (21) years of unconstitutional rule. Personally, I feel that when it comes to the administration of a nation, there is nothing good about any military government. The plight of the Ghanaian politics and her poor economy can all be attributed to and blamed on the successions of her military tyrannies especially, that of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC).
Ultimately and happily enough, Ghana’s economy began to spring up again during the era of another pace-setter branch of the tree of the NPP government headed by His Excellency, Mr. John Agyekum Kuffour. Inflation dropped to single digit, prices of goods became cheaper, life became very comfortable for everybody, interest rates reduced to the minimal, banks were running after Ghanaians to persuade us to obtain loans, businesses became so attractive, free school feeding of pupils and students was implemented, national insurance policy was established, free maternal care for all women became physically operational. In fact, Ghana was moving towards an unimaginable “utopian” system of government until the electorate was deceived to believe and adopt a falsehood, which plunged us into an unpalatable and unpatriotic system in our constitutional rule.
Again, the pace-setter government for Ghana came to an end and Ghanaians were ushered into an eight-year (8) period of extreme hardship and bitter time. Teacher-trainee and nurse-trainee allowances were brutally cancelled damned the consequences; a group of teachers worked for thirty-six (36) good months, yet were given only three (3) months’ pay which could have led to some teachers hanging themselves if they so wished; Ghana experienced an uncomfortable eight (8) years of the thickest darkness in history as a result of poor electricity supply; incidentally an Akan word, “dumsor” was coined which has become an accepted English word internationally; Ghana’s inflation sprang up to an unprecedentedly unconscious state; deliberate over-bloated cost of national projects with the hidden agenda of filling the pockets of some party officials was the order of the day. Painfully enough, the national cake became a booty for the inner circle of the party’s “aristocrats.” Ashanti region suffered a severe underdevelopment for eight (8) years; all the ongoing projects commenced by the Kuffour administration paced even slower than the crawling of a snail; in a sarcastic statement, the then President openly disclosed to the Ashanti community that “nothing good from the NDC government would be appreciated by the Ashantis.” Then again, he teased Ghanaians that we are mentally sick of a syndrome of very short memories; Ghanaians have been healed, so now many of us do not have that short memories again.
Generally speaking, Akufo Addo’s six (6) years in government have resurrected the pace-setting inheritance prowess of the PP/NPP tree. Free Senior High School education has boldly been introduced; one district one factory policy has been put into effect; one village one dam has been implemented; one district one fully-equipped ambulance has been introduced and is now operational, so over two hundred and seventy (270) ambulances have been distributed to all districts in Ghana; teacher-trainee and nurse-trainee allowances have been restored; construction of the highest mileage of better roads in the history of Ghana has been achieved; best inflation rate and fiscal policies made Ghana one of the fastest growing economy in the world, but for the covid-19 pandemic/the Russia-Ukraine war that affected all nations; digitalization system in Ghana has been introduced in almost and several government departments; national identification authority has come to stay; unemployed graduate associations have crumbled; planting for food and jobs policy is operational; “dumsor” has been strangled and has no breath any longer. All these are pace-setting policies of the New Patriotic Party. The question is: “Which other party in Ghana has ever in the history of the nation achieved this great feat?” Come out now, but not with propaganda and insults.
With the ongoing facts, Ghanaians should be very patient, because we will soon begin to tread on the lofty path of financial comfort as long as the pace-setter government is still in power. No one should stoop so low for deception; Ghana can survive and become a comfortable abode under the pace-setter – NPP.
Finally, as the pace-setter in Ghana, the NPP should amend her constitution to allow all card-bearing members of the party who have paid their dues in full and are in good standing to vote from the constituency to the national level. This will permanently kill the diabolic monetization immorality of some members of the party. Maintain the pace-setter DNA of the party. We should always set the best examples for others to follow; again, I definitely believe that majority of the members seriously frown against the act of some aspirants paying huge sums of money to corrupt delegates before winning election to the party’s offices. Many of those who kick against this amendment are the unfaithful and greedy ones who crept into the party unaware and are seeking for their own personal gains. Our newly elected officers should fight tooth and nail to maintain the good reputation of the party. NPP expects only the best; monetization in election is a cancer so its incision at its deepest origin and root should be operated out from the party’s system.
My conclusion, as a suggestion, is that the delegate system of voting in the party should be amended to pave way for clean, free, fair, devoid of money enticer. And by this, properly qualified candidates would be elected to the party’s “throne” in a reverently manner, corruption-free.
Long live NPP. Long live, all those who think well and pray for the success of the New Patriotic Party. Long live Ghana.
By Philip Akwasi Opoku