Lens -- The provisional results of the EC make the NPP the winner of the 2004 elections- the whole country is awaiting the final results to know the exact percentage of that victory. But whatever the final results- one thing is clear- this nation is divided right in the middle with about nearly half opposed to the ruling NPP.
One question, which continues to exercise the minds of many people is: Did the NPP actually win deservingly or the party only took advantage of the lapses committed by the NDC to cling on to power? This is so because from all indications, the NPP had shot itself in the foot through its extremely insentive policies that created so much economic hardships to the ordinary Ghanaian.
Additionally, Corruption went through the roofs in the first term of the Kufuor-led NPP government. So disgusting was the incidence of corruption in the government that President Kufuor himself who started on the tough note of Zero tolerance for corruption balked away from it and started rationalizing corruption by stating that it had existed from the days of Adam. Corruption was so rampant that according to the president, he had to literally pinch himself again and again to remind himself that he had sworn to resist.
The culture of impunity under the NPP also shot itself to unprecedented heights. NPP activists can commit all crimes under the sun and go scot-free. Either they are not arrested at all or impediments are placed in the way of the law enforcement agencies so their efforts are thwarted. NPP persons arrested for illegal possession of arms, cocaine trafficking, electoral malpractices, murder and so on, are still freely walking along our streets today.
Lies and deceitful spinning was also institutionalized. Right from the presidency down to the NPP party, Ghanaians were subjected to unprecedented levels of blatant lies, fabrications, spins and half-truths. Decency, truth and sincerity in our body politic was thrown to the dogs and liars started assuming the stature of heroes in Ghana for the first time.
Mr. Kufuor's first term also saw the height of harassment of political opponents. The mother of it all was the persecution of the three former NDC government officials in the infamous Quality Grain case. The search for arms has been one of the conduits of the Kufuor government's operations in this regard. Unlawful arrests, intimidations, vilifications and frame-ups of political opponents have been the order of the day.
With their ill-gotten wealth, some NPP government officials resorted to snatching peoples' wives.
Instead of using their positions to maintain peace in society including homes, they have rather become agents of disaffection in marriages and in most cases caused the break up of these marriages.
Governance is about the welfare of the people. On the contrary, in the case of Mr. Kufuor and his NPP government, governance is appearing steadily to be about the welfare of the President and his government officials and together with its operatives and functionaries. The rest of the people are only being used to get to the ultimate. They have continued to live large on the resources of the nation to the detriment of the vulnerable in society. Yet, they loudly claim to be the messiahs of the people. It has been extraordinarily difficult to make ends meet. Generally, the cost of living has been extremely unbearable. School fees, fuel prices, utility tariffs and hospital bills have been difficult to pay.
The Kufuor-led NPP government has also managed to polarize this country beyond imagination. There has been the deliberate attempt to turn the Akans against non-Akan speaking ethnic groups. But for the vigilance of Ghanaians, this country would have been in a more dangerous ethnic turmoil already. Until the murder of the Ya Na, most youths of Dagbon, practically did not know of the existence of the Andani and Abudu gates. There has also been what has come to be known as the unofficial Presidential Initiative on the Media, where a media gang has been formed to do a dirty job for the Kufuor government. This gang known as the Coffee Shop Mafia, a network of individuals from both the print and electronic media, who are reported to be on a special government payroll, continued to deceive the unsuspecting members of the public.
How despite all these glaring facts and more, Mr. Kufuor managed to cling on to power remains the main question. The question is how? One obvious answer, which is becoming crystal clear is that even though the NPP was performance wise failing big time, they were leaving no stone unturned as far the entire electoral process was concerned- right from the registration stage through to voting day. They perfected the act and won it through some elaborate ways and means.