Palaver -- WHEN the NDC flagbearer, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, spoke at the University of Cape Coast a few weeks ago, he reminded his audience of some of the statements made by functionaries of the ruling NPP when they were in opposition.
It took a lot of research for the NDC flagbearer to discover these facts. This is what our journalists ought to be doing if we are to succeed in holding our politicians accountable. Without research like what the Prof. did, out current leaders will continue to take us for a ride because they know that we are incapable of holding them to their promises. They think we have collective amnesia.
We all remember the fantastic promises the NPP made when in opposition. They made us believe that they possessed some magic to make things better for all of us. They promised us jobs, better and affordable healthcare, excellent education with commensurate job opportunities, increased per capita incomes, affordable consumer prices, and decent housing!
In short, all we had to do was to vote for 'Positive Change' and all the aforementioned would be added unto us! We believed them because we were made to understand that unlike the 'brawn'-dominated NDC, the NPP had brains-lawyers, doctors, economists, political scientists, international politicians, consultants, etc.
These brainy individuals seemed to have answers to all our problems. For example, when junior doctors at Korle Bu went on strike in 1994, Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, then President of the Ghana Medical Association and now Minister for Defence, castigated the NDC government for ignoring the plight of doctors.
In a statement he issued, he said "What must be appreciated by the authorities at the Ministry of Health is that doctors are not trained as civil servants, doctors do not work like civil servants, doctors do not regard themselves as civil servants and doctors should therefore not be treated and paid as civil servants" (West Africa magazine, 9-15 May 1994, p.828).
We should be asking Dr Kufuor whether he has forgotten this statement and if he has not, what is he doing about it in view of the acceleration of the exodus of doctors from the country.
Unfortunately, what we have seen over the past three years of NPP rule is their haste to implement NDC initiated programmes/projects. Where they have tried to design their own, they have been too hasty, too partisan, too arrogant, and non transparent.
When they fail, they have been too eager to blame 'NDC saboteurs' in order to cover up their inability to deliver on their promises. They are now pleading for more time-four more years, but as a caller said on Radio Gold the other day, "we will all be dead if the NPP stays on for another four years term."
Part of the NPP leadership's problem is their arrogance and 'know it all' attitude. They find it difficult to admit mistakes and failure. Imagine the NPP assuring us that enough mechanisms have been put in place to cushion the impact of the astronomical increases in oil prices-$55 a barrel-without divulging the nature of the specific mechanisms.
For some reason, they take us for fools. They dare not increase fuel prices because of the impact it will have on the elections. It is as simple as that. They think we have forgotten that when they assumed office in 2001, they blamed the NDC for not raising fuel prices in 2000 when a barrel was less than $40.
Let all of us heed President Kufuor's advice "When the people honour you by putting you in government they have asked you to make life better for the people of this country, but when the politicians get into government and forget the people and impoverish the people, politicians must know Ghanaians will vote them out of power..."
In short, President Kufuor advises all of us, "Hwe w'asetena mu na to aba."