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13.07.2005 Feature Article

Letter From The President: Useless opposition

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Countrymen and women, loyalists and opponents I think the guys at the CDD deserve an award for the excellent research they recently conducted.

According to the results of the survey, many Sikaman citizens think that am not doing very well. In fact, a significant portion of citizens think that their conditions have worsened since I became president. There are others who say that corruption has increased under my watch. They complain that I've not fulfilled my promises and that despite their pleas, I increased petroleum prices. All things point to the fact that the citizens of Sikaman are a discontented lot. But – and here is my best part of the research – they like me.

According to the CDD research if elections were held today, I'd win by a landslide, despite the fact that am not performing to expectation. True to form, the NDC are ranting and raving about the survey results, calling the CDD by all sorts of names. I don't see anything wrong with the CDD survey – not because it seems to favour me but it validates my long-held notion that the NDC is not doing itself (and our country) much good.

The NDC know why the people like me in spite of my inability to deliver. But they prefer to behave like lazy ostriches. The point is that the people know that my leadership and my ability to deliver leave so much to be desired. But they also know that the alternative – if there is any at all – is worse. The NDC – and the other opposition parties – have not provided any viable alternatives to my government's proposals, programmes and policies for resolving the many challenges that confront our nation. The NDC, being the largest opposition group in the country, has shown time and again that it is one of the most useless opposition parties in the world. As for the other “opposition parties”, I think they are only pretending to be “there” but in my view they are just “there”. So let's focus on the NDC for now. The NDC lacks direction and focus. They do not even know who their leader is. Is it Jerry Boom or Tata Mills? While Tata Mills tries to portray himself as a moderate, open-minded statesman, Jerry Boom still parades as a firebrand revolutionary and both of them are fighting for the loyalty of party members. Those who believe in the NDC are therefore confused – they don't know whether they should follow Jerry Boom or Tata Mills. This is the fundamental weakness of the NDC – and indeed most of the other opposition parties. They are still swimming in the little glories of the past, failing to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities of the present and the future. The NDC, especially, needs to cut Jerry Boom lose if they want the citizens of this country to take them a little more serious.

The NDC does not even seem to have learnt any lesson from the fact that the Central Region (the home region of their presidential candidate in the last election) voted against them. The people of the Central Region made a strong statement that they are tired of Jerry Boom.

The NDC is so steeped in its past that they have even refused to acknowledge and apologise to the citizens about the incompetence, misrule and gross violations they forced us to endure for the best part of two decades. Instead of saying “sorry” to the citizens and asking for forgiveness, they are pretending that they did everything right – expecting us to forget their misdeeds. But the citizens of Sikaman do not have short memories. If they look back at the (P)NDC misrule, they say “never again”. Who wants to go back to the days of identification haircuts, gross governmental impunity, total misrule, blatant corruption, lack of transparency and total insensitivity? Never again! To make their case worse, the NDC has so far shown that it enjoys being a nuisance rather than a viable opposition. They take delight in holding unnecessary press conferences and needlessly issuing press statement. Am not saying that they should not be doing these but I think it's become very annoying that they issue statements and stage press conferences over the most trivial of issues? Recently, when the APRM report was issued and we were all debating as a nation, the NDC decided to organise a press conference to literally heap insults on two eminent professors in the country for daring to state that a non-partisan deliberation on the report will help us all. The NDC have lost the value of what it means to be in opposition. They just oppose for the sake of opposing. Instead of suggesting alternatives, they often just criticise government policies and expect us to come up with new ideas. Honestly, sometimes, I hit the wall with my ministers and our minds just go blank and we are unable to think afresh. One would expect that being in opposition and having very little to do, the NDC will always bring fresh perspectives to all issues to help our nation forge ahead. Am sorry, this is not to be. The NDC minds seem to be even more tired than our own. No wonder, the citizens do not want to vote for them – never again.

Instead of pouring vitriol on the CDD and treating its research with contempt, I think the NDC will be better advised to take the survey results in good faith. They should use it to renew their party and make it more attractive. It's very ironic for a people to say that “we are not happy with our government but we don't like the alternative”. It hardly happens anywhere. But thanks to the NDC's lack of focus, their arrogance and unrepentant posture and their needless criticisms, it has happened in Sikaman. Our country needs a viable alternative and the earlier the NDC provides us with one the better. Otherwise, we risk returning to the days of one party rule – where government's become arrogant and incompetent. I know that my democratic credentials are impeccable but I won't be in the presidency for long. Who knows, the one who comes after – assuming the elections were held tomorrow – might not be as level-headed as I am. That's when we'll need the opposition to keep the government on its toes. But if you are incompetent in opposition, how will you perform when you are handed the reins of power.

Excellently yours,

J. A. Fukuor Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

PS: Please join me to totally condemn the bomb attacks on London last week. Am still putting my facts together and my next letter will be on the terrorist outrage in that beautiful city.

J. A. Fukuor
J. A. Fukuor, © 2005

The author has 204 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: JAFukuor

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