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30.09.2019 Feature Article

Ghanaians could well face ‘the wrath of God’ should they betray the Free SHS provider!

Ghanaians could well face ‘the wrath of God’ should they betray the Free SHS provider!
SEP 30, 2019 FEATURE ARTICLE

Some of us were not in the least astounded when the vast majority of the NDC Delegates overwhelmingly threw their support behind Ex-President John Dramani Mahama during the NDC’s 2019 flagbearership race.

Critical observers cannot also stand accused of harbouring risible and inborn proclivity towards the former president for suggesting somewhat passionately that there are not many true nationalists who will gleefully shrill and thrill over the return of Ex-President Mahama given his calamitous errors in judgement which culminated in huge economic collapse.

And more so it is not farfetched for one to suggest that it is only the diehard supporters, many of whom probably laid hands on big chunks of the national cake, shared unequally by the former president, will clamour for the return of their ‘Messiah’.

Truth must however be told, the Mahama’s praise singing bandwagon never experienced the harsh socio-economic standards of living their ‘redeemer’ Mahama wilfully brought upon the nation. So, what do you expect? They will definitely clamour for the return of the spoon that over fed them.

If you may recall, during the NDC’s 2019 flagbearership contest, the other potential presidential aspirants emitted vehemently and inexorably that former President Mahama was the main reason why NDC lost the 2016 election.

Unsurprisingly, however, the multitude of concerned supporters within the NDC were in solidarity with the then aspiring flagbearers.

The aggrieved supporters uncompromisingly ventilated their illimitable indignations over the comeback of former President Mahama.

Bizarrely, while the sceptics were insisting that Mahama was not up to the task during his tenure in office and must therefore be replaced with a much more capable flagbearer, the Mahama loyalists were moving heaven and earth to have him back as the party’s next presidential candidate.

To be quite honest, some of us are struggling to get our heads around how and why anyone with reflective thinking prowess could aim accusing fingers at the critics for insisting that Mahama kept his eyes off the prize and therefore does not warrant another chance at the presidency.

In as much as former President Mahama commands some respect among the NDC foot soldiers and a section of ordinary Ghanaians, the sceptics could not be far from right for being doubtful over Mahama’s 2020 electoral chances.

Given the circumstances, it came as no surprise to some of us at all when a group of organisers within the opposition NDC beseeched the National Executives of the party to allow Mr Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin to go unopposed in the party’s 2019 flagbearership contest (See: Alban Bagbin must go unopposed – NDC organisers; ghananewsagency.org/ghanaweb.com, 12/03/2018).

“So many people in the party feel Hon. Bagbin is the best person to lead us into 2020 and the reasons are pretty clear: he is the exact contrast to former President John Mahama in the matter of marketability and yet retains the Northern extraction that will satisfy the need to have a Northerner complete an eight-year mandate.”

Back then, the spokesperson for the group insisted passionately that since corruption would be a key campaign theme in 2020, and the fact that former President Mahama administration had issues with corruption, Ghanaian voters would be forced to reject him if he was to be elected as the next flagbearer.

In fact, it is not only the aggrieved NDC organisers who have been expressing concerns about the corruption in the erstwhile Mahama administration.

Somewhere last year, the NDC founder and the former president of Ghana, J. J. Rawlings, audaciously came out and disclosed that the corruption in the Mahama administration was so pervasive to the extent that a former NDC minister licentiously bought two luxurious mansions worth at a staggering $3 million from an estate agent in Accra shortly after the Mahama’s government exited power (see: ‘NDC minister grabs two mansions’; dailyguidenetwork.com, 12/06/2018).

And more so prior to the NDC’s 2019 flagbearership contest, the Honourable Bagbin, the MP for Nadoli Kaleo and a contestant of the NDC’s presidential race, attributed the humiliating defeat of Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 general elections to bad governance (See: ‘Mahama's boys bought V8, built mansions in 4 years – Bagbin; myjoyonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 19/08/2018).

Mr Bagbin was reported to have quizzed somewhat dejectedly: “Don’t tell me that the boys that suddenly came closer to the president within four years can build mansions and buy land cruisers and you say there are no resources, where are they getting the money, their salaries?”

The crucial question then is: is former President Mahama the only capable leader in the NDC?

In fact, some of us will not be surprised a bit if the teeming supporters of the other potential presidential aspirants revolt againstMahama during the 2020 general elections.

To be quite honest, some of us are struggling to comprehend how and why any real patriot would seek the return of someone who disastrously collapsed the country’s economy to the detriment of the poor and the disadvantaged Ghanaians.

So the Mahama loyalists would want us into believing that every single Ghanaian was oblivious to the happenings in the country prior to the 2016 general elections?

The fact of the matter is that the diehard NDC supporters were living in a denial about the harsh economic conditions prior to the 2016 general elections.

Back then, the vast majority of Ghanaians struggled to make a living or eke out an income. The dreadful errors in decision-making, the incompetence and the unbridled corruption culminated in untold economic hardships.

In fact, one cannot help but to agree with those who insist that former President Mahama lacks effective leadership skills.

The sceptics however argue that it was due to former President Mahama’s poor leadership qualities that a GH9.5 billion debt in 2009 rocketed to an incredible GH122.4 billion in just eight years.

Besides, the critics have been maintaining that former President Mahama’s dreadful errors in decision-making accounted for Ghana’s economic downslide.

Take, for example, Ghana’s GDP shrunk from $47 billion to $40 billion in just five years.

Somehow, Ex-President Mahama’s decision-making came under sharp scrutiny when he abysmally dragged an economic growth of around 14% in 2011 to a nauseating 3.4% as of December 2016.

It is also true that the NDC administration moved a gallon of petrol from GH3.69 in 2009 (Ghanabusinessnews.com/energypedia.info, 06/01/2009) to around GH18.00 in January 2017(See: Fuel prices increase by about 11%; cityfmonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 05/01/2017).

If you may recollect, former President Kufuor left the currency exchange rate at around GH1.20 to 1 U.S Dollar in 2009 and the NDC administration dragged it to GH4.20 to 1 U.S Dollar by December 2016.

If anything at all, the good people of Ghana cannot so soon forget and forgive former President Mahama for the business crippling dumsor in the last five years of the erstwhile NDC administration.

In his desperation to solve the problem, Mahama administration ambivalently sign a superfluous ‘Take or Pay’ Power Purchasing Agreements (PPAs) in which Ghana is needlessly paying over $600 million per year for extra power we do not need.

By woefully signing the excessive Power Purchasing Agreements and entering into ‘Take or Pay’ deal, Ghanaian consumers are unfairly being forced to pay exorbitant electricity tariffs as a result of the Mahama government’s negligence.

By and large, the critics insist that former President Mahama’s government remains the worst ever in the history of Ghanaian politics.

In spite of all these, the loyalists of former President Mahama are ridiculously holding on to a phantom hope that they could bring Ex-President Mahama to recapture power in 2020.

Even though some of us are not in a position to offer any advice to Mahama and his teeming supporters, judging from the harsh economic conditions Ghanaians experienced during Mahama’s coarse administration, it will take a miracle for discerning Ghanaians to easily forgive and vote Ex-President Mahama in 2020.

Given the unpardonable economic mess amid unmanageable high debt stock left by the erstwhile Mahama administration, it is extremely admirable for the Akufo-Addo’s government to seek to distribute the national resources equitably through the implementation of the costly poverty alleviation Free SHS.

In the grand scheme of things, Ghanaian parents are in a better position today than yesteryears, in the sense that the Free SHS is paving way for more than 500,000 children a year, including the over 190,000 children who otherwise would not have the opportunity to enter senior high school.

The good news however is that parents who have three children in SHS will be pocketing not less than GH16598.49 over three years.

So, we (me and my household) cannot turn around and blame God if we knowingly ‘ditch’ the poverty alleviation Free SHS for something else.

K. Badu, UK.

[email protected]

Kwaku Badu
Kwaku Badu, © 2019

This author has authored 869 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: KwakuBadu

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