This is not an attempt to embark on moral equivalence dialogue in that any reasonable Ghanaian knows the level of corrupt practices that unfolded under Mahama NDC administration was peerless; and, it is yet to be matched by any Ghanaian government, past or present. So, when as usual, the main opposition party led by its General Secretary Mr. J. Asiedu Nketia, in a hastily-organized press conference claimed “President Akufo-Addo lowered the bar for the fight against corruption,” the serious-minded among us started shaking our heads in comical disbelief.
Not only was the charge sounded so ordinary, inauthentic, but it was laughable. Since the smart Ghanaians sent then President Mahama's ruling NDC government packing into the opposition, the party has been trying hard to sound credible or different from the ghost of its incompetent past, but some of us know the NDC's true corrupt DNA test will always come back 99.999%. Every day the party's insult-laced communication team screams at some of the gullible Ghanaians so as to make NDC look viable “government-in-waiting” but the more ex-President Mahama-hijacked party tries, the more the leadership exposes its proverbial leopard's skin that is soaking wet in water, but its dark spots still remain.
The present NDC's leadership thrives in all kinds of mythologies. Many of them in the party's top hierarchy have persuaded themselves into thinking that by holding press conferences, almost on weekly basis, and telling Ghanaians “we-told-you-so” Nana Akufo-Addo cannot fix the messy economy we left him in 2017, Ghanaians will be so “naively forgetful” and bring back Mr. JD Mahama to continue his messy mess again. That is why it is so ridiculous to see the “darkest kettles” pretending they're going insane because they have come in contact with “black pots” from Jupiter. NDC under Mr. Mahama is the most corrupt regime in the nation's political history, yet these guys are walking around in sainthood garments.
Who are the Mahama-Ofosu, Ampofo-Asiedum, Nketia-NDC kidding here? Are they subtly mocking those bunch of Ghanaians the then President John Mahama once or twice quoted as saying “they eat today and become forgetful the next day”? Please, give us a break! Once again, this is far from invoking moral equivalence argument, because there is nothing here to draw any false comparison with. For when it comes to the science of corruption and mismanagement, Mahama's NDC stands uniquely on its own. Let some of us have moral courage and eschew cynicism, pettiness, and describe the “darkest kettles” what they look like.
As the “nonsense” lawmaker from the Assin Central, Hon. Kennedy Agyepong, recently rightly said in one of the TV stations, if anyone were to call or label Nana Akufo-Addo's government “corrupt”, the NDC spearheaded by Messrs. Asiedu Nketia, Kofi Adams, Ofosu-Ampofo, Ofosu Kwakye, or the ex-President Mahama and many others, wouldn't be the right credible or honest messengers to deliver that message. It is like hardcore armed robber casting stones at an orange thief. Indeed, the two events — armed robbery and stealing orange — both have adverse moral implications, yet they're light years apart.
So far, every public corrupt metrics indicate ex-President Mahama's government was worse than the current NPP administration. Honestly, I really don't follow or know much about the Transparency International, a non-governmental organization that tracks corrupt practices around Africa and beyond, but the body's latest 2019 report makes interesting reading. Among other comparisons, the organization takes a survey among Ghanaians (not foreigners) and the following are some of the findings: About 60% of those surveyed say President Akufo-Addo is doing a better job of fighting corruption in 2019 than in 2015 under Mr. John Mahama's 25% as president. The same survey reports that nearly 44% of Ghanaian business communities in 2015 were more engaged in corrupt practices than today's 22% under the present government. Then, the study shifts onto ordinary Ghanaians ability to wage war against corruption. Here, whopping 60% respondents today in 2019, say they can successfully fight corruption while 53% in 2015 during former President Mahama's regime said the same thing. In 2015, only 30% of Ghanaians said the government at the time was making great effort, under President Nana Addo, we have 71% Ghanaians saying the current administration is doing far better than its predecessor.
The foregoing information/statistics from the Transparency International may not mean anything to the corrupt crew of Honorable Asiedu Nketia or ex-President Mahama and his fawning cheerleaders, but we know there are still millions of Ghanaians home and abroad who know what the truth is anytime they are presented with one. Clearly, the present NDC has given different meaning to the modern concept of opposition in the multiparty culture. For instance, in the NDC's universe, opposition role is equal to misinformation; over-dramatization of unfolding events, manipulations of some of the media practitioners, including those Ghanaians the former president said they're too “forgetful.”
Let's clarify some facts at this point: When we talk about the corrupt NDC today, it is not necessarily about founder J.J. Rawlings, Joshua Amidu, Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, or the late Atta-Mills, and the few others' brand of NDC. Instead, we're referring mainly to the current flag bearer Mr. Mahama, Ofosu-Ampofo, Asiedu Nketia, and the like, who have hijacked the NDC from the original founding fathers/mothers of the party, and behaving as if the NDC cannot survive without Mr. Mahama and co.
As many Ghanaians may be aware, “this NDC” we're focusing on now is helplessly corrupt that its own main founder, the former President Rawlings appears to be so embarrassed and ashamed that he hardly says anything flattery or associates himself with many of the party's activities. Hence, it is a lie for anyone to claim Mr. Rawlings doesn't like the very political party he arguably founded. Based on many of his pronouncements, it's obvious he doesn't like the corrupt trajectories that have become the hallmark of his beloved NDC. This is the kind of opposition party that is exploiting Ghanaians' current socioeconomic insecurities it immensely helped to create. Certainly, the world is full of the “darkest kettles” but they will never stop calling the “pots black” because they would always have cynical and vulnerable audience, regardless.
Bernard Asubonteng is a US-based writer and a Ph.D. candidate for public/foreign policy.