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12.07.2009 Feature Article

Sarcastic J.A Kufour

Mr. J.A. KufourMr. J.A. Kufour

Sometimes if you have a shallow record full of big potholes you try to fend off questions by sounding sarcastic when put on the spot. Other times when you do not know how to defend your own record, you answer questions by being acerbic. I mean those who normally have nothing important to say to convince people about their so-called achievements that they have been trumpeting, have the tendency of just throwing jabs to fling people off the main issue. And that is exactly what ex-president Kufour did during an interview with Net2 TV, a station that was set up with the help of the NPP government.

In the interview meant to set the records straight or to throw more light on his so-called accomplishments, Kufour sarcastically stated that “You borrow to invest, not to buy kyikyinga”. If you look at this stupid and baseless statement from its face value one would think that he Kufour borrowed loans and used them to develop Ghana during his tenure of office, while President Mills is using his acquired loans to feast on kyikyinga..

Mr. Kufour has been saying it again and again that he has done more for Ghana than any other leader the country has ever had. This man got the audacity to state that he did more for Ghana than even President Nkrumah. I will not waste my precious time to comment on this statement which would even make Kufour's own kids laugh at him.

Again Kufour stated that US President Obama's visit to Ghana was the result of good governance that he Kufour exhibited during his 8 years in power. Wrong. Yes, Obama was in Ghana because of the good democratic governance that Ghana has exhibited over the years. But President Obama took into account the return to multi-party democratic rule by Ghana from 1992 to date. Obama's visit to Ghana was not based on Kufour's 8 years in power. The USA has noted the budding democracy which started 17 years in Ghana which is why President Clinton paid a visit to Ghana during the time Rawlings was in power. Therefore, Kufour should not go around talking as if he is the best thing that has ever happened to Ghana because he is not. I repeat he is totally not!

With this swagger and the way he has been patting his own back, Kufour therefore, does not understand why Ghanaians still come again and again to question him on his so-called transformation of Ghana and his accomplishments.

Okay, let's give Kufour the benefit of a doubt that he took Ghana to HIPC with good intentions and got so much assistance in terms of loans cancelations, grants and new loans. Again, let's say Kufour brought those monies to Ghana with the good intention of using them to improve the living standards of struggling Ghanaians. But can Kufour say with certainty that the monies that he received from the international community in terms of grants and loans on behalf of Ghana were all used for the benefit of Ghanaians? Can Kufour look into the eyes of Ghanaians and say that indeed even 50 percent of those monies were channeled to the right developmental projects and that no one from his government or he himself did not divert any of those monies?

If you have problems and you get assistance it makes sense for you to use the assistance to solve the exact problems you have. That is why during that friendly interview Kufour stated sarcastically that you borrow money to invest and not to use it for kyikyinga. But it is on record that Kufour after getting those huge grants and loans used less than 40% for the projects he has been amplifying, while he channeled the bulk of the monies elsewhere. This is what we Ghanaians want to know. Where did the rest of the monies go?

The Tema Oil Recovery Levy was set up with the view to using it to repay some of the huge debt owed by the Tema Oil Refinery. At the time Kufour left office the oil levy has ballooned to over GH¢720 million. But to the disappointment of many Ghanaians this huge amount cannot be traced by anyone. No one knows what the GH¢720 million was used for. The money has simply vanished into thin air. Can Kufour inform Ghanaians where the money is? You see these are the issues Kufour has to address to put the minds of Ghanaians at ease. Otherwise his silence over issues such as these would let many Ghanaians conclude that he and his NPP gang just came to seek and “raped” the country.

Last year workers of the Railways Corporation embarked on an industrial strike action to back home their demands for unpaid salaries. Since it was getting close to the 2008 elections, Kufour hurriedly informed Ghanaians that he was doing everything to improve the rail transportation system. And he added that his government has allocated $90 million towards the improvement of the railway sector.. But since the NDC government came to power, the sector minister cannot trace the whereabouts of the $90 million Kufour claimed he allocated for the rehabilitation of the railway sector. If there is a president who should earn the accolade “Sakawa President”, I think ex-president Kufour deserves that title and the earlier we start calling him that the better.

It is good that we saw some roads in Ghana rehabilitated. It is also good that we saw some schools in Ghana being rehabilitated under the GETFUND. Kufour even challenged Ghanaians or his critics to go to the University of Ghana , Legon to see the level of infrastructure his government undertook, adding that it's the most outstanding since independence. But Kufour failed to tell Ghanaians that the University of Ghana , Legon has perennial water problem which his government failed to fix during its 8 years in power. Therefore putting huge buildings without running water for students is not a good strategy or smart move.

The capital city of Accra has so many areas without running water for years. Did Kufour know that? If for 8 years Kufour could not fix the perennial water problem in Accra , the seat of government, then he has no business telling Ghanaians that he is the best when in fact unfolding events tend to prove otherwise.

I want to add the traffic lights situation in just Accra . What has happened to the traffic lights in Accra some of which have not functioned for years? I am reliably informed that the NPP contracted a contractor who was paid huge sums of money every month to service the traffic lights in Accra, yet many traffic lights have not been working for years while that contractor continued to cash his cheque every month for no work done. Can Kufour provide answers to Ghanaians?

Kufour always spring up to talk about the improvement of infrastructure that he did in the educational sector. No one is challenging him on that. At least those buildings are there for all to see. But while Kufour is always bragging about what he did in the educational sector, is he aware that there were thousands of school kids learning under trees especially in the northern sector of the country during his 8 years in power? Is Kufour aware that school kids were made to write on the bare floor due to lack of slates and exercise books? I will not even talk about lack of teachers during Kufour's tenure of office.

Judging by the amount of money Kufour got from the international community; he should come out and tell us how many factories he built in Ghana , the number of jobs he created and the number of hawkers he moved from the streets in the major cities of Ghana into gainful employment. Look at the shanty town and the filth that Kufour left in Accra . Yet Kufour who cannot face any credible press in Ghana to justify some of the things he did is walking free thinking he is the best leader Ghana has ever produced.

Kufour has always been mouthing his way out to friendly newspapers that he created an ownership society in Ghana . Again, he is entitled to his opinion just as I am entitled to mine. But can Kufour produce just 10 people from each of these groups: nurses, taxi and trotro drivers, teachers, artisans and carpenters among others to testify to Ghanaians that they benefitted in the same vein like his cronies and party members under the ownership society? How many people from these groups were able to acquire loans with lower interest rates to build their own houses? Or what programs did Kufour put in place to assist these groups?

Kufour rode to power in 2000 saying it's the golden age for business in Ghana . Good and well said. How many Ghanaians were able to establish their industries which added value to the raw products in Ghana under Kufour's watch? Even his President's Special Initiative which saw the establishment of the Ayensu Starch Factory tanked under his big watchful eyes. Come on, Kufour! At least we are not babies and can distinguish between mere talk and proper accomplishments.

If you turn Ghana into virtually a buy and sell country, whereby Ghana imports virtually everything under the sun, Mr. Kufour, I want to challenge you by stating that this is not proper development or something you should blow your horn about. I would even qualify it by saying that it is nothing to write home about.. It's a misplaced priority and you have to be ashamed of yourself. Seeing stores littered at every corner, is not proper development, it's a waste of human resources. Yes, Kufour who claimed to be a lawyer but never practiced but turned into a so-called businessman thinks that when you see many stores around with people selling all kinds of foreign goods that is development. Kufour should tell Ghanaians exactly what he did to move Ghana from a buy and sell country into a semi-industrialized country whereby more Ghanaians were assisted to produce some of the local foods that we consume or for export.

It is shameful that during the time Kufour was spending a whopping GH¢71 million on the so-called Ghana @ 50 celebrations, Ghana was importing used ladies panties, used towels, used bras, used pillows, used mattresses and junky and expired foods to Ghana. Is this part of the so-called achievements he is going round trumpeting? Mr. Kufour, the Fantes have a saying which they use to dismiss people who accomplish little yet brag about it always. The Fantes use to say, “Ma ye pe hen dokon bi ndzi”, to wit “Spare us the noise and let's get our kenkey and eat”.

President Mills has not acquired any loans and used them for kyikyinga if that is what Kufour wants Ghanaians to know. One of President Mills' Ministers, Alhaji Muntaka goofed and was disciplined. At least Ghanaians can testify that President Mills did not behave like Kufour. He asked the BNI to investigate the matter and when the man was found guilty of some of the charges, President Mills replaced him. President Mills did not ask anybody who has anything against Muntaka to go to the police as Kufour did during his tenure of office. Mills did not behave like Kufour who when Dr. Richard Anane was found guilty Kufour found some huhudious ways to exonerate him and brought him back to serve in his government.

Mr. Kufour, I want to tell you that President Mills would not bring back Muntaka and if you have a spine in your back you would shut up and enjoy your loot because you know very well that you are not clean or at best, you are corrupt.

In that same interview with Net2 TV, Kufour defended his decision to build the presidential edifice saying that it was a step in the right direction. I am not contesting that, but just ask Kufour how much money was initially voted for the project and how much money his government had spent at the time he left office and see whether this clueless leader who became president of Ghana would have any credible answer for you. This man has lied so many times to Ghanaians that he himself has lost count.

In talking about the presidential palace, Kufour stated during the interview that he decided never to stay at the Osu Castle ( Christianborg Castle ) because it is a slave castle. To the best of my knowledge slaves were never transported from the Osu Castle to the New World . If Kufour did not have a history teacher he should find somebody to school him before making a mockery of himself.

Ghanaians should be the judges on what I am going to say next. Kufour said he did not live at the Osu Castle because it was a slave castle, yet he gleefully accepted the invitation to have breakfast with Presidents Mills and Obama and other dignitaries at the same Osu Castle which he considers as slave castle. Does this man have any sense of shame or conscience at all? I would not condemn a place of being a slave castle not worth living in and then turn around to accept an invitation to eat at the same place.

Mr. Kufour, another thing I would want you to know is that President Mills would not act like you who went round telling Ghanaians that if they have any information of corrupt practices against any of your appointees they should go to the police with evidence. You should feel shameful that you appointed people to serve in your government and then turned round to ask ordinary Ghanaians to police them.. You should feel ashamed of yourself that you turned into a coward who did not have the guts to discipline members of your government who were alleged to be corrupt. Forget about Mallam Issah, former Sport Minister. He was jailed by you because he was not a member of your party.

Mr. Kufour, I also want to drum home into your ears that President Mills has a spine in his back so he would not waste state resources by jumping on cheap international invitations which you used to transport your concubines some of whom fought for your attention. I would want somebody to add up the number of trips that Kufour embarked on during his 8 years of presidency, the money he spent on those travels and the so-called investment he brought back to Ghana , for Ghanaians to see whether it was worth it. We need to set the records straight..

Mr. Kufour you claim you did a lot for Ghana . We know that because you are on record of being the only known Ghanaian leader whose wife commandeered an SUV vehicle and drove it to the Kotoka International Airport tarmac to remove Gifty Anti from the plane which was about to take you to one of your numerous trips because Mrs. Kufour got the hint that there was something fishy going on between you and Gifty Anti. Ms. Gifty Anti, who fought with Oboshie Sai over you in far way Kenya , was shamefully axed from the plane by your wife. Mr. Kufour, was that another of your accomplishments?

Mr. Kufour, please do not provoke me to expose some of the terrible things you did. If you and your family and your cronies have looted the country, just leave us alone but do not bruise our sore by trying to prove anything to us. We know you are phony and that even some lead members of your own party have regretted big time of pushing you to the top of the party.

Some top members of the NPP have not stopped blaming you Kufour for NPP's 2008 electoral defeat. They say it all the time that you are the most selfish person they have ever associated themselves with. Some even go further in stating that when it comes to grabbing money and property you did not use only your hands. Your mouth, feet, kneels and elbows were all deeply entrenched. Kufour, if you don't know, most NPP die-hards detest you big time, so if I were you I would just keep quiet and eat my kenkey.

By Ekua Kwansema
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Ekua Kwansema
Ekua Kwansema, © 2009

The author has 75 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: EkuaKwansema

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