You may agree to disagree, but the fact remains that our leaders, having first-hand knowledge of our hero worshipping gimmicks and servile compliance, tend to take us for granted and continue to provide us with mediocre leadership and services.
Some of us, as a matter of fact, cannot get our heads around as to how and why former President John Dramani Mahama would consider returning to the presidency given the apparent abysmal performance during his tenure in office.
It is also quite ironic to keep hearing and reading the NDC faithful’s pathetic excuses that the loyalists of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) maliciously lied about NDC’s incompetence and corrupt practices and deceptively pledged juicy, albeit unachievable Manifesto promises which led to their 2016 and 2020 landslide victories.
With all due respect with no hidden condescension whatsoever, the teeming supporters of NDC must engage in a carefully considered reflection and accept the painful fact that their dreadful errors in judgement which unfortunately sent Ghana’s economy deeper and deeper into the mire to some large extent, cost them the 2016 and 2020 elections and not the supposedly ‘wicked’ lies put out by their opponents.
The fact, though, remains that the rot in the erstwhile NDC government was as pervasive as the odour of garlic, which led to some diehard supporters emitting their displeasure and threatening to boycott the 2016 election.
I recall vividly how my long-term friend who had witnessed enough of the unpardonable mess in his beloved NDC government decided to walk out of the party.
My pal contended somewhat passionately that he had been defending and promoting the party’s much touted ethos of probity, transparency and accountability for well over twenty three years, but lost the zeal to continue, as the sleazes and corruption in President Mahama’s government reached immeasurable proportions.
My friend, however, maintained that the straw that broke the camel’s back was when President Mahama decided to behave as the benevolent Father Christmas and unjustifiably gave away large portions of Ghana’s scarce resources to apologists like Madam Akua Donkor of Ghana Freedom Party (two four wheel drive cars and a luxury bungalow estimated to cost a staggering $470,000) for no work done.
My mate’s beef stemmed from the fact that he had worked his socks off all those years for the Party to enjoy power, meanwhile he had nothing to show for his efforts.
My pal was, therefore, incensed that parasitic creatures like Madam Akua Donkor were needlessly being showered with all sorts of melodic gifts.
Unsurprisingly, my friend abandoned his role in the NDC prior to the 2016 election and confided in me that he did not even bother to travel to his polling station on the voting day.
My best mate, in fact, did not see the urgent need to vote for NDC and President Mahama, given the crass incompetence and the unpardonable corruption.
My pal was, indeed, distraught about the way and manner Mahama was handling Ghana’s economy.
You may believe it or not, in private discussions, my pal would seriously raise concerns about the bribery and corruption scandals such as the infamous Bus branding, the Brazil World Cup, SADA, SUBA, GYEEDA, SSNIT, NCA, MASLOC, the furtive Ford Expedition Vehicle, the Woyome’s 51.2 million dubious judgement debt, the Waterville’s $30 million wrongful payment, the Isofoton’s dubious payment of $325,000, among others.
My mate was, in fact, extremely worried about the GH200 million SADA funds spent on trees which were later burnt down and the guinea fowls that miraculously flew to the nearby Burkina Faso.
A large portion of Ghana’s scarce resources, regrettably, ‘decanted’ into the drains due to the irrevocable mismanagement and the wanton corruption perpetrated by the officials of the erstwhile NDC administration.
In Mahama’s time in office, the previously single digit inflation and budget deficit doubled astronomically.
The GH9.5 billion debt former President Kufuor and his NPP government left in 2009 ballooned miraculously to GH122.4 billion as of December 2016 with nothing or little to show for.
Ghana’s economic growth slowed for the fourth consecutive year to an estimated 3.4% in 2015 from 4% in 2014 as energy rationing (dumsor), high inflation, and ongoing fiscal consolidation weighed on economic activity (World Bank, 2016).
Moreover, President Mahama’s government nauseatingly dragged the economic growth from around 14%in 2011 to around 3.4% as of December 2016.
In addition, the high inflation rate remain elevated at 18.5% in February 2016 compared to 17.7% in February 2015, even after the Central Bank’s 500 bps policy rate hikes (the inflation stood at 15.4%as of October 2016).
Ex-President Mahama, as a matter of fact, did not work his socks off to improve on the socio-economic living standards of Ghanaians.
Take, for example, former President Kufuor worked strenuously and quadrupled Ghana’s GDP to a staggering GH28 billion in 2008, and the late Mills inherited oil in commercial quantities and managed to increase the GDP to GH47 billion by 2011.
However, President Mahama disappointingly dragged the GDP to an incredible GH40billion as of December 2016.
Ironically, former President Mahama and his NDC administration failed to end the dumsor, failed to implement the one-time NHIS premium, jobs were not readily available for the jobless, the economy sunk deeper and deeper into the mire, they reneged on their promise to keep ‘lean’ government, Ghanaians became poorer and poorer, sleazes and corruption escalated to immeasurable proportions, endless borrowings amongst others.
But in all this, the loyalists NDC supporters would want discerning Ghanaians into believing that the erstwhile Mahama administration provided exceptional governance.
Truly, clumsy understanding of patriotism exists in the minds of many Ghanaians, who prefer needless praise singing to defending the national interests.
The good people of Ghana, regrettably, witnessed so much duplicities, unbridled corruption, incompetence, and frequent abuse of power in the erstwhile NDC government, and hence the vast majority of Ghanaians have permanently lost trust in the NDC.
But despite the obvious economic meltdown back then, President Mahama and his apologists kept trumpeting their vague rhetoric , political insobrieties and meaningless slogans-‘Mahama Tuaso’; ‘We care for you’; ‘people matter, you matter’; ‘we are transforming lives’.
Suffice it to stress that the good people of Ghana struggled endlessly to pay their utility bills and could not even afford their children school fees.
Incredibly, back then, whenever the suffering Ghanaians complained about the economic hardships, former President Mahama and his vociferous communicators would ungraciously chastise the same people who gave them the electoral mandate for expressing their grievances.
Shockingly, the NDC’s ‘Babies with sharp teeth’ (as described by the late President Rawlings) would insult every Ghanaian that would dare complain about their laissez faire style of leadership.
The discourteous NDC brats did not even spare their party founder, the late Rawlings, for voicing his opinion over the rampant bribery and corruption in the NDC administration.
The disrespectful apologists kept upbraiding their founder, the late Rawlings, for expressing his arousing disgust over the rot in his party.
The NDC’s ‘Babies with sharp teeth’ (apologies to the late President Rawlings) disgustingly abused the then flagbearer of the NPP and the current President Nana Akufo-Addo day in and day out.
The brats spewed all sort of wicked lies about the eminent lawyer. The good people of Ghana rightly became fed-up with the needless abuse the NDC apologists were directing towards the unwearied Nana Akufo-Addo.
Ironically, back then, President Mahama claimed to be a humble leader, a very patient leader, a tolerant leader. And yet it was the same President Mahama who lividly told Dr Bawumiah, the NPP’s presidential running mate for 2016 general elections and now the vice president of Ghana to ‘shut up and cease criticising him (Mahama) because he (Bawumiah) had not been a president before’.
Strangely, however, the much touted humble, patient, and tolerant President Mahama was reported to have told the people of Ashanti Region that they are ungrateful and would never be appreciative even if all their roads are constructed with gold.
Consequently, the people of Ashanti Region ineffaceably stencilled such an unfair comment at the back of their minds and waited for an appropriate time to express their arousing disgust. Indeed, the right time was 7th December 2016.
What is more, whenever the good people of Ghana expressed their doubts over the much touted numerous infrastructural projects, the humble, patient and tolerant President Mahama and his vociferous communicators would reply: “It is only those that are blind that do not see the good work of the NDC government.”
As a matter of fact, the good people of Ghana put the needless attacks on their mental sheets and waited for an opportune time to teach the clamorous NDC ‘Babies with sharp teeth’ a great lesson.
It is also worth stressing that during the 2012 general elections, President Mahama and his NDC apparatchiks went berserk in their desperation to cling on to power. Thus they broke all conventions. Many government departments spent over and above their allocated budgets.
Unsurprisingly, many observers harbour a strong view that Ghana’s economic meltdown came about as a result of the profligate spending, unbridled bribery and corruption that took place during Mahama’s administration.
Dearest reader, let us take a critical look of some of the alleged wanton bribery and corruption cases.
- The dubious Embraer 190 aircrafts deal which prompted the late President Mills to set up a Committee to investigate the then Vice President Mahama.
- The $300 million bill we incurred on the unsuccessful STS housing deal which was spearheaded by the then Vice President John Dramani Mahama.
- The puzzling GH800 million judgement debt payments.
- The undeserving GH51.2 million judgement debt payment (create, loot and share) to Woyome.
- The questionable $30 million judgement debt payment to Waterville, which the Supreme Court of Ghana ruled as unconstitutional and ordered the NDC government to retrieve, but to no avail.
- The wrongful $325,000 judgement debt payment to ISOFOTON, which the NDC government failed to retrieve despite the Supreme Court’s order.
- The scandal (create, loot and share) at the National Service Secretariat which cost Ghana millions of Ghana Cedis.
- The SADA scandal which deprived the people of the Northern Region millions of Cedis meant for development.
- The SUBA scandal which cost Ghana millions of Cedis meant for the improvement of the economy.
- The GYEEDA corruption scandal which deprived the youth of Ghana millions of Cedis meant for the creation of jobs.
- The amount of $250 million from the Euro bond which was meant for infrastructural development, and yet lodged surreptitiously in an unauthorised bank account.
- The inflated costs of infrastructural projects (which the former Minister of Local Government, Collins Dauda allegedly raised concerns).
- The NCA scandal which a competent court of jurisdiction convicted and sentenced two former NDC appointees to prison.
In fact, the list is not exhaustive, but time and space constraints would not allow me to enumerate all of them at this juncture.
Somehow, President Mahama and his NDC apparatchiks failed to acknowledge that corruption is a key element in economic underperformance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development.
The general belief back then was that they bought votes with the tax payers’ money. They clung on to power following the controversial election on 7th December 2012. Suffice it to state that their victory came with a huge costs to the state.
Regrettably, former President Mahama could not work his socks off but only managed to undo all the excellent performances put in by his predecessors.
Take, for example, Mahama moved the economic growth from 14% to 3.4%, GDP of GH47 Billion was reversed to GH40 billion, Agricultural growth of 7.5% was dragged to 2.5%, and single digit inflation was moved to 15.4%.
Prior to the 2012 general elections, Haruna Iddrisu, the then Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, asserted: “If voted into power, the NDC government would have no excuse to keep Ghanaians in dumsor”.
Ironically, however, the dumsor got worse following the NDC’s controversial victory in 2012.
However the dire consequences of the dumsor, President Mahama and his NDC administration could not fix the dumsor. The dumsor continued to cripple thousands of businesses. The dumsor indeed contributed to Ghana’s economic downslide.
Back then, whenever the good people of Ghana expressed their grievances over the never ending harsh economic conditions, President Mahama and his vociferous communicators would go berserk: “aren’t we transforming lives by building roads, hospitals, schools, toilets, water facilities and many other social infrastructural projects?”
Meanwhile, most of the projects were not up to the required standards, albeit the projects were often overpriced. The former Minister of Local Government, Collins Dauda would attest to such assertion. He was alleged to have decried over the NDC’s poorly constructed and overpriced projects.
Somehow, Ex-President Mahama and his vociferous communicators refused to appreciate that exemplary governance is not all about putting up numerous infrastructural projects. But excellence governance goes beyond the provision of social infrastructural and amenities.
As a matter of fact, praiseworthy governance involves continuous improvement of socio-economic standards of living.
There is no gainsaying the fact that the good people of Ghana experienced economic hardships due to former President Mahama and his NDC administration inability to improve upon Ghana’s economic fortunes.
With all due respect, Madam Akua Donkor, a devoted farmer with no classroom education, should be able to steer Ghana to the right direction with all the copious resources at her disposal.
K. Badu, UK.