In his Chatham House lecture in London, UK, recently, former President John “European Airbus Payola” Dramani Mahama was widely reported by the Ghanaian media to have lamented the fact that under the present tenure of his immediate successor, namely, President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the country’s economy has witnessed a precipitous downward spiral to the extent of Ghana’s monetary currency, the Cedi, having been hit with a hyperinflationary rate of 54 percent (See “Widening Budget Deficits [Has] Characterized Ghana’s Economic Performance Since 2018 – Mahama” Modernghana.com 1/28/23).
Even more significantly, the former President went on to smugly assert that: “Our present economic situation, underscored by our bankrupt status, sharply contrasts with our fortunes a little over a decade ago. At the time, our economy posted some of the highest growth rates in the world with a robust and fast-growing non-oil sector.” The preceding quote is rather ironic because contrary to what he wanted his Chatham House’s audience to believe, the period that Mr. Mahama referred to was during the John Agyekum-Kufuor tenure of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, of which the now-President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had been both the Attorney and Minister of Justice and, subsequently, Foreign Minister and Minister in Charge of ECOWAS Regional Integration.
Mr. Mahama’s sanguine and hearty reference to the “Economic Bonanza” of a little over a dozen years ago was thus not achieved under the thoroughgoing grossly incompetent and hopelessly bankrupt President Jeremiah “Jerry” John Rawlings-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), which immediately preceded what the lecturer-critic called the “Golden Years” of Ghana’s economic or fiscal bumper harvest or bonanza. In other words, Mr. Mahama actually inadvertently exposed the perennially gross administrative incompetence of all three National Democratic Congress-sponsored governments in Ghana’s Fourth Republic.
We need to also emphasize the fact that it was under the tandem tenures of the late President Rawlings’ led National Democratic Congress’ government and, immediately prior to the latter date and period, the Rawlings-led junta of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) that launched the at once economically genocidal and suicidal deindustrialization of Ghana, with the sinister collaborative guidance and neocolonialist supervision of the twin Bretton-Woods establishments of the World Bank, that is, the Washington, DC-based International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
For those of our readers who may not already be aware of the inexcusably criminal destruction of the Nkrumah-established Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation (GIHOC), comprised of an excess of some 120 factories and industrial plants, it was the key operatives of the Rawlings-led tandem political establishments of the Provisional National Defense Council and the National Democratic Congress that effectively destroyed the seminal industrial base of Ghana, hitherto easily the most industrially advanced economy in the ECOWAS Subregion. In short, it was in the wake of the immitigably criminal and unforgivably genocidal bankrupting of Ghana’s economy that a newly elected progressive and visionary President Akufo-Addo found it necessary and existentially indispensable to launch his landmark “One District, One Factory” National Economic Development Agenda.
The former President needs to be told boldly, upfront and fearlessly that absolutely none of the auditors at his Chatham House’s comedic lecture was fooled by the gross and crass mendacities that he rather unwisely albeit predictably chose to volley at them or over their heads. Such slime does not a good and a progressive leader make. One hopes that Okugufo Yagbonwura Kwame Gonja is at the very least psychosocially and intellectually mature enough to sharply recognize this glaringly inescapable fact. Then also, rather than wax gratuitously about the yearly widening budgetary deficits under the tenure of President Akufo-Addo, we need to objectively conduct a comparative analysis of our relative development as a nation under the stewardship of both Messrs. Mahama and Akufo-Addo, and then we should be able to draw up the requisite forensically credible and economically sound arguments vis-à-vis the performance of our country’s two major political party establishments.
You see, there is absolutely no way that the newly elected President Akufo-Addo could have steadily and consistently run a budget surplus, when the celebrated architect of the historic Repeal of the Criminal Libel Law and the salutary deepening of Ghanaian democracy had to invest in excess of $2 billion (USD) in the resuscitation of the Mahama bankrupted John “Gentle Giant” Agyekum-Kufuor-established low-premium National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Legend has it that it was the flat refusal of the Mahama-appointed Executive-Director of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), Mr. Sylvester Mensah, to divert operational funds for the NHIS into the 2016 Mahama-for-President reelection campaign that resulted in the house arrest of Mr. Mensah and the seizure of the passports and the freezing of the bank accounts of the latter.
As well, the long overdue and historically unprecedented implementation of the Fee-Free Senior High School System, whose electioneering-campaign proposal the then President Mahama pooh-poohed as a practical impossibility that only existed in the delirious imagination of a megalomaniacal politician hell-bent on grabbing for undeserved power at all costs, had to be funded for the fiscally invaluable long-term benefit and the prosperity of the nation at large. For a politically elitist President Mahama, on the other hand, ready and fee-free access to our Senior High School System was a morally and civically unacceptable proposition that unwisely sought to enable the talented but lumpen-poor to favorably compete with the socioeconomically superior children and grandchildren of the Mahamas and their filthy rich relatives, friends and associates.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
January 28, 2023
E-mail: [email protected]