The man who claims to be a practicing Christian but hails from a predominantly Muslin clan took his farcical political roadshow to the sacred Muslim celebration of Eid ul-Adha, the end of the Ramadan, at the Black-Star Square last Monday, September 12, 2016. It has been said, time without number, that politics makes strange bedfellows (See “Economy Will Take Off in My 2nd Term – Mahama” Classfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 9/12/16).
At the Black-Star Square, the man who selfishly and callously botched an otherwise prosperous economy handed over to him and his late boss, Dr. John Evans Atta-Mills, by President John Agyekum-Kufuor, is on the verge of taking Ghana down the excruciating and inglorious path of HIPC once more. But even amidst the torrential and killer rains, he claims that the country is experiencing a lot of refreshing sunshine, and that all his countrymen and women need to do is put up a couple of tents and umbrellas here and there, to realize the sort of heavenly bliss he has been talking about for the past four years, during which period he also claims to have been so bountifully successful in running our national economy down the tubes, in mainstream American parlance.
Among the auspicious foundations he claims to have laid for our national development are some 123 Community Day Senior High Schools. Well, the truth of the matter is that at the last count, the IMANI-Ghana think-tank, headed by Mr. Franklin Cudjoe, came up with only two completed Community Day Senior High Schools anywhere in the country. My elementary arithmetic knowledge readily tells me that those two completed school buildings amount to barely 2-percent of the projected target, and that is the most liberal count of the actual work done.
Then also, the former Rawlings Communication Minister claims to be building factories all across the country. But here again, the only completed project of this kind is the much-ballyhooed reactivation of the decades-defunct Komenda Sugar Factory (KSF), which his National Democratic Congress government operated for scarcely two weeks before the KSF was effectively shut down, once more, because the so-called genius activators had not been foresighted enough to work into the details of operation of the factory such matter-of-course and indispensable parts of the project’s revival as the sources of supply of regular sugarcane and other raw materials.
Indeed, we even heard it rumored that the species of locally cultivated sugarcane to be used in manufacturing sugar for commercial consumption at the KSF was of the least suitable type. And so far, after a miserly two-week operation, the KSF is back among the long list of failed public industrial ventures in the country, and may never see the light of day ever again. Another aspect of the spotty history of the KSF that is rarely hinted at or publicly discussed is the fact that the factory never really kicked into operation or production until 1967, a little over a year after the landmark overthrow of the dictatorial regime of the Nkrumah-led Convention People’s Party (CPP).
The former National Democratic Congress’ Member of Parliament for Gonja-West also claims that a legion of communities around the country are being supplied with clean potable water; the fact of the matter, though, is that at the last check, nearly none of these clean-water-supply projects, including that of Kyebi, the Akyem-Abuakwa traditional capital, was being funded by the Government of Ghana. Rather, the overwhelming majority of these projects were being funded by external agencies like the United Nations and other foreign donor agencies.
Then also, Mr. Mahama claims that his government is building roadways all over the country to smooth up transportation between villages and major towns and cities. But here also, at the last check, roadways to such commercially vital towns and cities as Akyem-Akwatia and Obuasi, Adansi, were barely motorable. And so it is not clear whether the President has not been vacuously projecting his dreams and wishes over the reality of human existence on our proverbial Ground Zero. It also quite amusing to hear the University of Ghana-educated third-class historian and Moscow-schooled media maven, so-called, wax pontifical about the beginning of some irrigation projects aimed at boosting agricultural production in the country.
Here again, this announcement comes barely weeks after Nana Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), promised to facilitate the construction of irrigation dams in nearly every township or community in the northern-half of the country. Mr. Mahama also claims to have espied an agricultural revolution on the country’s horizon. But the fact of the matter is that the agricultural sector of Ghana’s economy has taken the worst of hits in nearly 30 years of the effective domination of the country’s political landscape by the National Democratic Congress.
This inordinate penchant for scamming the people on the least chance may well have prompted one of the vice-chairpersons of the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party to call for the summary execution, by firing squad, of President Mahama in much the same manner that the NDC’s founding-father, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, summarily liquidated his ardent political opponents and personal enemies during the late 1970s and throughout most of the 1980s and early 1990s.
There was also something hypocritically curious about President Mahama’s taking his burlesque roadshow to this year’s otherwise glorious celebration of the Muslim holy day of Eid ul-Adha, at the same time that some prominent mainline Christian clerics have been virulently accused of flagrantly and unconstitutionally mixing politics with religion. Which leaves one wondering whether Ghana’s 1992 Constitution was crafted to specifically and exclusively rein in publicly vocal and rhetorically radical Christian prelates.
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Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
September 18, 2016
E-mail: [email protected]