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29.05.2019 Feature Article

Politicians may look alike, but have crania and brains of their own!

Politicians may look alike, but have crania and brains of their own!

It is an indisputable fact that we choose to exercise our voting rights in an expectation that our lives would be transformed positively by the government of the day.

But that said, it is prudent to vote according to the prevailing socio-economic standards of living, and not through the whims and caprices of some selfish and unprincipled politicians, who are bent on manipulating the unsuspecting voters.

Some of us are of the firm conviction that the unbridled devoted attachment is not the way forward, but electorates should rather look beyond the narrow political lines and assess the bigger picture.

That is by thinking about the way we can develop exponentially; which political party can take us forward as a nation, and more so the right political party that would not embezzle our resources anyhow.

Let us however be honest, it is somewhat fallacious for sceptics to argue that all politicians are the same when in power and therefore they don’t see the need to change from one to another.

To be quite honest, the sceptics feeling of indignation with the current political dynamics is something shared by many Ghanaian electorates.

But that said, the critics disposition is specious, because politicians have different levels of temperament, competence, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities, so they are never the same, so to speak.

In fact, there is enough evidence to counter the sceptics who insist that politicians are the same when in power.

Take, for instance, President Kufuor, who helped to move Ghana from the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) status to a Lower Middle Income status when he took over from former President Rawlings in 2001 cannot be seen as a laid-back leader.

It is well-documented that “during the year 2001, debt as a percentage of the GDP was not only unsustainably high and crippling but also deprived Ghanaians from money which could have been used for needed developmental and social projects”.

The fact though, is, the benefits of the HIPC were “unprecedented during the Kufuor’s regime from (2001-2008).

Macroeconomic indicators begun to stabilize and Ghana’s debt stock was significantly reduced by about $4 billion within that period (BOG).

There were Rapid infrastructural developments as well as social and policy reforms. Ghana was then moved from an HIPC economy to a middle income economy under the Kufuor administration (Mutaka Alolo, 2012).

By the end of 2008, Ghana's economy had been quadrupled to US$ 28 billion, a period of eight years under the NPP. The average GDP growth of the NDC from 1993-2000 was 3.8% while that of the NPP from 2001-2008 was5.2% with economic growth reaching 6.3% in 2007 (Daily Guide, 2016).

Disappointingly, however, during the Mills/Mahama’s eight years, they managed to uproot the good foundation laid by President Kufuor and his NPP government.

Take, for example, under NDC government, Ghana’s total debt ballooned from GH¢9.5 billion to a staggering GH¢122.4 billion by the end of December 2016.

This means that about 93% (i.e. GHC113 billion) of Ghana’s total debt since independence was accumulated under NDC government from 2009-2016.

As a matter of fact, it would be most unfair to put for instance, Dr Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah and J. J. Rawlings in the same basket and compare their achievements.

For if nothing at all, Dr Nkrumah was a chivalrous industrialist who built hundreds of factories and only for President Rawlings to off load all to his cronies through his somewhat infelicitous Economic Recovery and Divestiture Implementation Programmes.

In the same vein, it would be boundlessly unconscionable to put President Kufuor and President Mahama on the same pedestal in terms of the implementation of social interventions.

For if nothing at all, President Kufuor and his NPP government pragmatically introduced the free Maternal Care, the School Feeding Programme, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Mass Transport System, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), the National Youth Employment Programme, now known as GYEDA, and many other social interventions.

Likewise, it will be extremely unfair to put Akufo-Addo and Mahama on the same pedestal. This is because, if anything at all, the former has introduced important policies and programmes in less than three years in power, while the later failed to introduce a single social intervention in eight years.

In addition, under Akufo-Addo’s presidency, Ghana’s economic growth has moved from a disappointing 3.4% under former President Mahama to around 8%.

And the previously double digit inflation (15.8 in December 2016) has been reduced drastically to around 9.5% as I write.

My dearest reader, would you be sincere enough and name just a single social intervention that has been implemented by President Mahama and his NDC Party apparatchiks who claim to be social democrats?

In fact, it would only take a disputatious character to challenge the fact that the NDC faithful, who take pride in the social democratic ideology, are not in the business of promoting the welfare of the masses.

One would have thought that individuals who pride themselves as social democrats will be extremely empathetic to the needs of the masses, but this is not the case with the NDC as a party.

It is an open secret that the NDC has a penchant for running down or cancelling crucial social interventions. It is a sad case of social democrats who do not know how to initiate and manage social interventions.

There is no denying or hiding the fact that the erstwhile NDC government wilfully cancelled/collapsed the Nurse’s Allowance, the Teacher’s Allowance, SADA, GYEEDA, NHIS, the Maternal Care, the School Feeding programme, the Mass Transport System, amongst others.

Since the inception of the Fourth Republican Constitution, the self-proclaimed social democrats have been opposing social interventions that have been proposed by the successive NPP governments such as the Free Maternal Care, the NHIS, the Metro Mass Transport, the School Feeding Programme, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), , the Free SHS, amongst others.

Let us face it, it is not entirely correct for anyone to assume that all politicians are the same, once they are in their comfort zones and therefore it is an exercise in futility to go out there and vote.

The fact of the matter is that if you refused to go out there and vote massively for a positive change, someone else will elect ‘a semicircle’ of corrupt and incompetent representatives who will only continue to sink the nation deeper and deeper into the mire.

In sum, Ghanaians should not make the catastrophic mistake by putting all politicians in one basket and rejecting a charismatic leader who can put forward expedient policies such as one district one factory, one village one dam, one constituency one million dollars, Free SHS amongst others.

K. Badu, UK.

[email protected]

Kwaku Badu
Kwaku Badu, © 2019

The author has 871 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: KwakuBadu

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