I REMEMBER reading a book titled “Great Expectations” written by Charles Dickens. (It was a long, long time ago so I stand to be corrected if the author was not Charles Dickens).
I decided to use this caption today because of what is happening in Ghana after the general elections. Even before President Mills could assemble his ministers, Ghanaians have started to remind him of the wild promises he made when he was on his campaign tours.
For the first time in the political life of the ordinary Ghanaian, people are holding fast to the manifesto of the ruling party. They simply want to pin the ruling government down on her promises.
The expectations are so high that the new President will soon find himself in hot waters. Apart from the problems of who should be appointed to which position, President Mills has to keep his promise of changing certain things within hundred days of assumption of office.
In less than three months' time, the hundred days will come knocking on our doors. We expect all the refuse dumps in the country to go.
We don't expect to see any filth in Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and other big towns in the country. Agbobgloshie, Nima, Maamobi and other slums in Accra will be clean and smell like Washington DC or Tel Aviv. Good times await us as we come closer to the hundred days mark.
But come to think of this: will the NDC and President Mills for that matter have the moral right to drive street hawkers, dog chain sellers, beggars and street traders from Kumasi, Accra and Takoradi? They blamed the NPP government for impoverishing traders by driving them from the streets where they earn their living.
That was even the more reason why the people of Accra voted against the NPP government. So you see, we are going to experience crowded streets in our big cities because Mills dare not lick back what he spat. In the coming months, I will spare some time to visit Accra to see the situation at Tudu and the Kantamanto areas.
As for Kumasi, the streets of Kejetia are already experiencing a mammoth crowd made up of traders, hawkers, beggars, mad men and women, truck pushers and all sorts of persons. The promise of “No more harassment by City Guards” is gradually taking its toll. Nsesamu aba! (Change has come!)
The NDC has stated categorically in their manifesto that when voted into power, they will rather strengthen the National Health Insurance Scheme. In their case, they said premium will be paid once in one's LIFE TIME. Splendid!!
This means when my Mutual Health Insurance expires this year, I will renew it and that will take me to my grave. Don't tell me that they will increase the amount to be paid as premium.
No, that was not what they told us and that will not work because where even we are paying twelve Ghana Cedis, less than fifty percent of Ghanaians have been able to register. Majority of Ghanaians can not register for financial reasons.
Maybe they will go for a loan to pay our premium for us! But the truth is that no country in this world will give you loan to pay health insurance premium for the people of another country when her own citizens are not insured freely. Taxes? No, that too is a delusion, because Mills said he will rather reduce taxes. So you see where we stand?
Dear reader, permit me to add here that I am an optimist and as such I do not doubt the ability of the NDC government to keep her promises because when the NPP people were campaigning in 2000, they said they will do away with the killer Cash and Carry system. In their case too, they did not tell us that they will introduce any National Health Insurance Scheme.
It was their trump card and they pulled it at the appropriate time. Who knows, the NDC too might have a trump card in this respect.
Maybe Hugo Chavez and Brother Ghaddafi will roll out the dollars to bail the NDC out. What the NDC must remember is that we the people of this country will not take any explanation or excuse except for them to honour their pledges. We voted for them based on the juicy promises they gave us and that is all. Simplista!
We don't expect to hear anything about armed robbery or cocaine when a new Minister for the Interior is appointed. The cocaine and armed robbery menace were issues raised during the 2008 electioneering campaign, and then candidate Mills promised us that when he came to power armed robbery and cocaine issues would be a thing of the past.
As for the issue of not having money in our pockets, Ghanaians can not complain anymore in the years to come because the good old professor promised us that times were hard and the worker was suffering.
He particularly mentioned teachers, nurses, doctors and drivers and went on to assure everybody that we will be smiling to the bank anytime the month ends. A promise is a promise, so says the preacher man.
Dear farmer, get your land ready because as we enter March and April, the rains will start coming and it will be time for planting. President Mills promised us that if he was given the nod, he would drastically reduce the prices of farm inputs like fertilizers, ammonia, cutlasses and the rest.
Good days await cocoa farmers too because according to the NDC manifesto, they will “extend services to include brushing of their farms, pest/disease control, shade management, pollination and fertilization”.
According to them, “70% of the world market price, but not including the cost of pest/disease control, roads, scholarships, technology for production and bonuses, will be paid to the farmers”.
For the fishermen along our costal areas, they will no more see pair trawling on our high seas which was a big campaign promise by Mills when he visited the area. Premix fuel will be so cheap and they will be given loans to purchase outboard motors, so said Mills when he went to visit them.
What then do the farmers and fisher folks need more than the above mentioned fine promises? Who say man no dey?
Alas, the umbrella people are back, all covered with basketful of promises!!!