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Opinion | Jul 25, 2018

Panting Like A Fish Out Of Water

Panting Like A Fish Out Of Water

There are three gentlemen in this country who fascinate me a lot. The three persons are currently managing the Ghanaian economy. They neither reply to criticisms nor open their mouths wide like the way Koku Anyidoho does. They have a mission to accomplish and that is what concerns them most.

The Akufo-Addo-led administration inherited a shattered economy. In fact, what they anticipated to be a bad economy during the electioneering campaign turned out to be worse when Nana Addo held the reins of power. Huge debts were left behind for the new administration to pay. Contractors were not paid even though jobs given to them were completed. The NHIS owed service providers huge sums of money, and salaries of teachers were in arrears for so many years. The economy was simply in tatters. In a record time, the President formed his cabinet and charged them to hit the ground running. Nine months into his regime, President Akufo-Addo introduced the Free SHS as promised and started paying off debts left behind by the Mahama-led administration.

In the face of all these difficulties, the Economic Management Team, led by Dr. Bawumia, continues to work beyond exhaustion to make sure things don't go bad because they promised Ghanaians to fix the economy. As the NDC communicators continue to prick the master economist, the man kept silent and stayed focused. Because of the magnitude of the job, Dr. Bawumia became a workaholic and ended up in a hospital because he over stretched his nerves. He did all these and continues to do more for the sake of the nation he loves so much. Sometimes I begin to wonder how Dr. Bawumia finds time to eat.

Anytime the name Dr. Bawumia is mentioned, the NDC apparatchiks act like a fish out of water. They begin to pant and insult him instead of paying attention to him. What they hate most is to hear people referring to the meek and mild economist as 'economic whiz kid'. The truth is that if the NDC had the opportunity to get a person like Dr. Bawumia in their government, the situation would not be the same as they found themselves before their disgraceful defeat at the polls in 2016. Mr. Kufuor left a buoyant economy but when the NDC took over power with then Vice- President Mahama as the Chairman of the Economic Management Committee things started going bad. The man knew nothing about economics and those who were supposed to help him out of the mess rather got concentrated in making money to the detriment of the economy.

The second person who also fascinates me is Mr. Ken Ofori-Attah. He seldom grants interviews to the media. In fact, you can't make him out of the crowd. The last time I saw him at the Jubilee House he looked so ordinary and well composed. Despite the noise being made by the NDC, the man has stayed highly focused; he is delivering to the joy of the President who appointed him. After all, if the sea is rough the fishes don't care. The man knows the bad economy the NPP inherited so he refuses to be distracted by people who did not know what to do when things started taking a nosedive. Whereas the NDC members were calling for the head of their Finance Minister in the person of Seth Terpke for not managing the economy well, the NPP is full of praise for their Finance Minister for bailing the economy out of the mess created by the NDC regime.

The third person who continues to surprise me is the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. Many negative things were said about him in the run-up to the 2016 general elections but he did not respond. He remained patient and kept focused until he got the ultimate to shame his enemies. They said he was old and as such if Ghanaians voted for him he could not rule the country well. Anytime he travelled outside the country to engage with NPP supporters abroad, the NDC sent their rumour mongers to tell Ghanaians that he had gone outside the country to change the blood running through his veins so that he would look younger.

Since he began his nationwide tour to access situations for himself, the same buffoons are saying he was on a campaign trail and that he should stay at the Jubilee House to govern the country. Apart from the few days that he stayed in London on a brief holiday, the man has been working around the clock to make sure things go right for this country with a population of more than 30 million people. What is most interesting is that his flagship programmes which he continues to roll out are being enjoyed by the NDC supporters. When the NDC told Ghanaians that the Free SHS was not feasible, I was expecting them to enroll their wards in private schools and pay school fees.

The NDC functionaries who live in comfort can continue to take their wards to prestigious private schools. Not so with Malam Mumuni, a staunch NDC supporter, who lives in my holy village and who has four wives and several children. As I am writing this piece, Malam Mumuni has four of his children in SHS One and they are all enjoying the Free SHS introduced by Nana. In fact, he also has three of his boys in teacher training colleges and he has never hesitated to thank Nana Addo for assuaging his suffering. He said the NDC misled them into thinking that the Free SHS could not be possible because even Dr. Kwame Nkrumah who had money left behind by the colonial masters could not make education free in the whole of Ghana. To him, he would be a foolish man to vote for the NDC in 2020 because he had heard some NDC communicators saying when the party wins power in 2020, they would discontinue the Free SHS programme.

Let's put aside the fact that Madam Akua Donkor is a barren woman. Such women cannot boast of having grandchildren. Let's focus on the ordeal Madam Patience Osafo went through. The poor woman has three children and the elder daughter who is 16 years was raped by an unknown person which led to a pregnancy. Poor Patience sells candles in Accra and decided to save at the Midland Savings and Loans with the hope that one day she will be given a loan facility to expand her business. Patience is the person who takes care of the child of her daughter who is epileptic. When she needed some cash, she decided to go to the Midland Savings and Loans to collect part of her money to buy food for her grandchild and also pay GH¢30 to a Good Samaritan who paid for one of her children's examination fees.

She tried several times but the bank continued giving excuses. This time around, she went to the place as early as 7:30am and waited until 4.00pm but the bank continued giving excuses that the network had broken down. When she was asked to leave the banking hall the desperate woman refused, insisting that until her money was given to her she would never leave the place. An overzealous scatterbrain policeman, who calls himself L/Cpl Frederick Amanor Skalla, put down his rifle, pounced on the poor woman and her grandchild and subjected them to severe beatings. I think he was visibly high on tramadol or marijuana.

Somebody videoed the despicable act and in no time the video went viral on social media. The action of the policeman incurred the displeasure of all sane Ghanaians except Akua Donkoh who foolishly supported him. Her reason is that the policeman was trying to save the bank from being robbed by armed robbers. What an idiot and a beast! And this is a woman who was given license by the EC to form a political party. When I was writing this piece, my wife asked me not to waste my time writing about somebody who cannot read or write, and I told her “somebody will read and explain to her”. Ghanaians have entertained this crook for so long a time and the time has come for us to call her bluff. She thinks she matters in the scheme of things. I don't blame her; after all, we have some media houses that use her to sell their papers.

I want to use this opportunity to thank President Akufo-Addo for supporting the IGP 100% for interdicting the foolish policeman. This will serve as a deterrent to others who think that as a policeman you have the right to trample on the rights of citizens.

By Eric Bawah

Eric Bawah
Eric Bawah, © 2018

This author has authored 73 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: EricBawah

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