The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute has stated that the 2012 elections is about how the local economy has been managed by President John Evans Atta Mills and how the high ground of visionary and component economic management can be seized again.
In a statement, Gabby Otchere-Darko said, 'Let no one attempt to fool you. Don't be distracted by the frustrations of the Rawlingses; nor talk about electoral violence. Don't be tricked by any attempt to revive the debased debate on drugs, God-fearism, morality, arrogance, character. While these topics may make the election 'exciting', since none of the main candidates is a stranger to us, we should protect the political space from being hijacked by the apostles of diversionism.'
According to him, 'Much of the problems afflicting the Ghanaian can be said to have flowed from the incompetent manner in which our economy has been handled by the Mills-Mahama-led team.'
In spite of the foregone, the institute pointed out that 'Ghanaians are being told everyday by government that they have never had it so good. Presumably, the claimed elimination of schools-under-trees, provision of boreholes, free school uniforms and Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS) have propagandally given voters a convincing reason to vote for four more years of a better Ghana.'
If propaganda could fly the think-tank, the Castle would be an international airport - and a very busy one at that.'
The description that best fits President Mills, he stressed, is that of an absentee president leading a ruling party that has lost touch with the concerns of the ordinary people and has neither the desire nor clue to reconnect with the real issues confronting the people.
President John Evans Atta Mills
Government did not focus on Dr Mahamudu Bawumia's seminal work on the real state of the economy but on the man and some academic debate over the integrity of the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).
'It was deliberate. They were not prepared to respond to the charges of corruption, high cost of living, high cost of business, unemployment and skyrocketing national debt.'
Commenting on the recent Research International survey, he observed that 'unless you are a worker or resident of the Castle and its affiliates, the findings of the recent survey by Research International would have come as no surprise to you. Like the speech by the vice presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Dr Bawumia, the RI poll only confirms what Ghanaians can feel in their pockets - coins of destitution.
The Institute pointed out that the rising cost of living was the main concern for 4,598 respondents sampled in every constituency across Ghana in March 2012.
'How come in every other country, I have lived in some four countries the rate of inflation bears direct relevance to the cost or standard of living of the ordinary person. Except in Ghana, where we need experts to explain to us why there is a marked contradistinction between cost of living and consumer price index,' he quizzed.
He observed that for the 4,598 Ghanaians polled, 1,241 respondents picked unemployment as the most important issue.
To them, he added, claims of 1.7 million jobs being created might as well be in reference to the Chinese, South Africans, Koreans or any other foreign nationals who appear to be winning more favours under President Mills than the suffering Ghanaian masses.
Poverty, he said, came third on the list of issues and this adds to estimates from the World Bank that Ghanaians would get poorer as a result of the policy options preferred by President Mills from 2009.
The four top failures identified in the RI poll included judgment debts, corruption, and unemployment, he noted.
He said the cost of corruption is there for all to see, adding, 'when a government opts to pay within one year over $450 million in judgment debts and allows the salaries of teachers and nurses to fall into two years of arrears, can such a government be said to have the interest of the people at heart?'
'When the same government makes a choice to pay GHC364 million to three entities- Woyome, Waterville and CP without any reasonable basis, and that same government can boast of contracting a loan of some 52 million euros (GHC126m) to fight maternal mortality, you begin to appreciate why we are where we are - poor and abused.
By A.R. Gomda