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Opinion | Jan 9, 2019

Opinion: Here Comes Another Fulfilled Promise

Opinion: Here Comes Another Fulfilled Promise

I admire the Akans and the titles they give to their chiefs. Mention titles like Otumfuor, Daasebre, Osagyefo, Osabarima, Okatakyie, Odeneho, Osahene, Oseadeyo etc and you will realize that the titles bestowed on the chief comes with a certain responsibility.

If, for example, your title is 'Osabarima', you are supposed to be a warrior and a fearless one for that matter. When I decided to write this piece, my initial title was 'Oseadeyo Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo'. 'Oseadeyo' means one who does whatever he says.

During the 2016 electioneering campaign, then candidate Nana Akufo-Addo went to the Western Region and told the people there that when voted into power, he was going to carve out another region from the Western Region in order to bring rapid development to the area since the region is too big. He told them that apart from the Western Region, he would also create another five new regions. He said he was going to make sure the creation of the new regions was embedded in the party's Manifesto in order to make it obligatory. The people of the Western Region became so elated that wherever he went to campaign in that region the chiefs and people of the area pleaded with him to make do his promise since they had agitated for the division of the region for so long a time.

A few weeks after he had left the region, Mr. Mahama too rushed to the region and also promised that when he was maintained as the president of Ghana, he too would create six new regions, including the Western East Region. The man underrated the intelligence of the people of the Western Region. For the eight years of the NDC rule, the people had been agitating for the creation of a new region but their agitation fell on deaf ears and so when he told them in 2016 that he would create a new region for them they saw him as a 'political joker'. That was why they severely punished him at the polls. Anytime I hear Mr. Mahama and the NDC communicators talk of the NPP lying their way to power, I begin to think whether they do understand the meaning of 'lying'.

I do not want to waste your time to mention the many promises that the Akufo-Addo administration has kept because it is obvious to all Ghanaians. The man has been constantly telling Ghanaians that by the grace of God, he will redeem all the promises he made to Ghanaians and that to me is heartwarming.

The sages say if a blind man says he will throw a stone at you, he might have his foot on one. Considering the mess that the current administration inherited from the NDC government, one thought the new administration would fail the nation. If the Nana Addo administration had not exposed the NDC as far as the mess they caused is concerned, Ghanaians would have not known anything.

They say if you put a cube of sugar into the hand of a blind man, he will not know that it is a cube of sugar. In fact, he might think it is a stone. But if you put the thing into his mouth, he will realize that indeed, it is sweet. Nana and his team continue to pour sugar into the mouth of Ghanaians and as a result Ghanaians have come to realize how sweet it is.

If you completed teacher training college for the past four yours and you are still at home jobless and a new regime comes to employ you, or if the NHIS card is in your hand but you cannot access healthcare simply because the previous regime could not pay suppliers of medicines to health facilities and you have to resort to cash and carry, you will realize that the government has poured sugar into your mouth by paying these service providers, making it possible for you to access health delivery.

During the NDC era, Ghanaians foodstuff traders used to cross the borders to Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast etc to buy simple vegetables like cocoyam leaves, green pepper, cabbages and even fresh okro.

Today, because of pragmatic policies put in place by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghanaians rather export these vegetables and plantain to our neighbouring countries. The Planting for Food and Jobs is gradually taking shape and the result is very clear. As for the NDC communicators, all that they can say about this success story is that the rains have been favourable for the past two years. They make it look as if when the NDC was in power for eight years, Ghana experienced severe draught like what happened in 1983.

When I was composing this piece more than one thousand warehouses were under construction nationwide in anticipation of bumper harvest next year. It was not for nothing that Joseph charged King Pharaoh to build warehouses and store grains during the bumper harvest so that there would be enough food in case there was a draught in Egypt. It takes a dreamer like Joseph to achieve that feat. For the first time in the history of Ghana, plantain has been in abundance for the whole year. What is remaining is for the government to support the factory that produces Neat Fufu to produce more for the Ghanaian market, as well as the West Africa market. The factory will have to embark on very serious advertisement so that Ghanaians will patronize the product.

South Africa, for example, does not sell maize in its raw state. They are grinded in the form of flour and packaged in small bags and sold to customers who may use them for whatever meals that they want. The world is moving fast and Ghanaians should move alongside the modern world where technology is playing integral role in the affairs of nations.

In the early seventies, when the late General Kutu Acheampong introduced the 'Operation Feed Yourself' programme, food became abundant. As the programme continued to chalk up one success after the other, General Acheampong introduced the 'Backyard Gardening'. In those days, if you passed by the backyard of almost every house, you could see gardens full of plants like pepper, tomato, garden eggs etc.

Bank managers, medical doctors, factory workers, pastors etc got involved. It was a national call to duty and we responded accordingly. During those days, Ghana imported less wheat to make bread. Instead, corn bread was introduced into the system and Ghanaians preferred eating corn bread to wheat bread because corn bread was more palatable. They say necessity is the mother of invention. Because General Acheampong had told our creditors that he was not going to pay any debt Ghana owed foreign countries (Yentua!), he chose a home-grown economic style. That was why General Acheampong told Ghanaians that “he who has eaten enough food and satisfied does not need milk (Obi a wadidi amee ehia milk)”.

Looking Into My Crystal Ball

I believe in horoscope so I always look into my crystal ball. In fact, I am not irreverent Owusu Bempa so I do not prophesy doom and death. I believe in science and reality. So here I sit in my private laboratory looking into my crystal ball, trying to find what will happen in 2019. I could see train coaches being dragged by a modern train heading from Takoradi towards Kumasi and beyond. I could see Chinese and Ghanaian workers busily engaged in the construction of railway lines towards Paga, and others working beyond exhaustion to build the Takoradi to Accra railway line. Looking into my crystal ball, I could see factories sprouting like mushrooms on anthills and workers rushing to work.

When I turned my crystal ball, I could see 'kayayes' and other potters boarding buses to the Northern and Upper regions to get involved in the Planting for Food and Jobs programme in the cultivation of tomatoes, pepper, onions and other crops along the dams. I could see business women from the southern part of Ghana stopping over in the Northern and Upper regions to buy tomatoes, okro, onions and other vegetables instead of worrying themselves to cross the borders to Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso to buy such items.

In fact, I could see cattle herdsmen and their cattle grazing along the banks of the dams and children happily bathing in the dams. And when I turned the other side of my crystal ball, I could see old men sitting under a tree, chewing kola nuts, surrounded by their grandchildren with the moon shining brightly above them and telling the children tales of yesteryears when the situation used to be as they are seeing today – good harvest and happiness. I also saw an overhead bridge being constructed in Tamale, the hometown of Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader, who criticized the Sinohydro barter.

Before I retired to bed, I looked into my crystal ball for the last time and lo and behold I saw first year SHS students enrolling in various SHSs free of charge. I also saw the final-year students feverishly preparing to take their exams and singing the praises of President Oseadeyo Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Happy New Year to all my cherished readers, especially ex-president John Dramani Mahama!!!

From Eric Bawah

Eric Bawah
Eric Bawah, © 2019

This author has authored 71 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: EricBawah

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