On a recent electioneering campaign tour of the Brong-Ahafo Region, the wife of the vice-presidential candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) bitterly complained about the acute shortage of T-shirts with the party's logo emblazoned on them.
“I feel helpless in the face of such high demand for our party's T-shirts,” said Mrs. Lordina Mahama to a Ghana News Agency reporter. “But I am also encouraged by the fact that even those who did not receive any of our T-shirts said that they would vote for the NDC.”
Mrs. Mahama also promised supporters of the most criminal political machine in postcolonial Ghanaian history that the NDC intended to fulfill every single one of its legion campaign promises if voted into power (Ghanaweb.com 9/29/08).
Among the people of my constituency in Ghana, there is a common saying that: “If Mister/Miss Naked promises you a bolt of cloth, simply listen to his/her name.” In other words, if the P/NDC which ran the government of Ghana for twenty long and extortionate years, and incredibly and ineffably looted our national treasury cannot adequately supply its own supporters and sympathizers with cheap campaign T-shirts, how can anybody trust the chief operatives of the NDC to be able to fulfill their electoral mandate and obligation to the people, in the extremely unlikely event of its being accorded the nod at the polls?
What was even more risible was when Hajia Maeriam Sinare, the deputy national women's organizer of the NDC, promised to boost tourism in the Brong-Ahafo Region in the following terms: “We will enhance the tourism industry by encouraging individual entrepreneurs to build hotels and other tourist facilities that will also increase employment for the youth.”
Needless to say, it both eerily and luridly looks as if the NDC apparatchiks are desperately banking on the wholesale amnesia of the Ghanaian electorate in order to carry Election 2008. For, if anything at all, the NDC is best known for summarily bulldozing the hotel infrastructure and other commercial facilities of otherwise diligent and law-abiding Ghanaian citizens who are intelligent enough not to readily and unconscionably subscribe to the cynical ideology of “revolutionary” plunder and abject expropriation that are the hallmarks of the P/NDC political agenda.
In short, it would have, definitely, been far better for Hajia Sinare to have presented to the ardent supporters and sympathizers of her party, a comprehensive plan aimed at compensating those who have had their legally acquired properties and projects savagely and respectively commandeered as well as reduced to rubble by Dzelukope Jeremiah and his minions of the notorious Provisional National Democratic Congress (PNDC). And until such a compensatory plan, or agenda, is effectively set in motion, the P/NDC had better prepare to lose at least a full-half of its current 94 parliamentary seats in Election 2008.
In any case, it is not quite clear exactly what Hajia Zenaibu Mahama Joyce, the Brong-Ahafo regional women's organizer for the NDC, means when she affirms that the Rawlings Corporation “will fulfill every promise that we have made to the Ghanaian people and to ensure the full implementation of the contents of the party manifesto.”
According to Hajia Sinare, the NDC national women's organizer, the party intends to “revitalize agriculture and subsidize fertilizer.” It would, indeed, to be interesting to learn precisely how the preceding squares up with what widely came to be known as “Mr. Rawlings' Necklace” throughout the country a little over a decade ago.
It is also not quite clear precisely what the Ghana News Agency reporter meant by the rather propagandistic caption of “NDC T-Shirts in High Demand,” when the same reporter had also woefully failed to inform readers about the exact number of T-shirts brought along with the campaign train of Mrs. Lordina Mahama. Thus merely observing NDC campaign T-shirts to be in high demand has absolutely no measurable value in practical terms; unless, of course, such value judgment can be attributable to a credible source or witness. So far, the evidence does not seem to favor the NDC.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. His latest and 12th volume of poetry is titled “Reena: Letters to an Indian-American Gal” (Atumpan Publications/lulu.com, 2008). E-mail: [email protected]