When you listen to the former Minister for Trade and Industry under President John Dramani Mahama speak so suavely and sophistically out of context, Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah makes quite a lot of sense; but once you put his largely cheap and tawdry political point-scoring arguments into the proper context and perspective, it readily becomes obvious that Mr. Spio-Garbrah may be the most hypocritical operative on the frontlines of the Mahama 2020 Presidential-Election Campaign trail. Well, I had the chance to listen to one videoclip embedded into the website of Ghanaweb.com and could reach no other conclusion than the above.
In the aforesaid videoclip, titled “GHȻ 400 M Allocated for Compiling Register Can Build 400 Factories – Spio-Garbrah,” the former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization says that one of the greatest policy blunders of the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is the latter’s failure to complete development projects started but not completed by the previous Mills-Mahama-led tandem regimes of the National Democratic Congress. The most logical question to pose here is the following: How many uncompleted development projects left behind by the John Agyekum-Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party (2001-2009) were promptly taken over and completed by Presidents John Evans Atta-Mills, late, and John Dramani Mahama? And the most correct answer is Zilch or Zero!
He may have so soon and conveniently forgotten this, and so somebody with a much sounder memory capacity like yours truly had better remind the former Rawlings-appointed Education Minister what Dr. Anthony “Tony” Aidoo had to say shortly after then-President-Elect John Evans Atta-Mills assumed the democratic reins of governance in 2009, and the former Anthropology lecturer from the University of Cape Coast was named Minister for Policy Monitoring and Evaluation, and the critical question of uncompleted projects and the continuity of the national development agenda came up for discussion. As I vividly recall, Dr. Tony Aidoo vehemently opposed the very idea of President Mills’ taking up as part of the development policy initiatives of his government, some of the most significant and vital projects left uncompleted by the previous Agyekum-Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party.
To be certain, even robust and functional Kufuor policy initiatives like the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) were either callously or grossly incompetently left to go effectively bankrupt. It would take the massive electoral victory of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to get the National Health Insurance Scheme working at an acceptable level to healthcare providers again. It was also about this time that something called “The Asante Project” came up in the news and was widely attributed to President Mills. In a gist, the preceding, reportedly, had to do with President Mills’ disdainfully claiming that Ghanaians of Asante ethnicity thought that the entire nation was their private property – some sort of Asante Supremacy – and that all the most significant development projects in the country, somehow, needed to be focused on or concentrated in the Asante Region.
Well, as fate would have it, President Mills would promptly follow through with the “Tony Aidoo Ideology” or Doctrine by not only abandoning all the projects left uncompleted by former President Agyekum-Kufuor, but especially totally ignoring all projects in the Asante Region that were initiated by President Agyekum-Kufuor but had been left uncompleted for lack of time. In the main, the “Tony Aidoo Doctrine,” the more preferred terminology, maintains that if a successor government concentrated a remarkable amount of its time and the resources at its disposal on completing the uncompleted projects of the previous regime, especially if that regime happened to have been sponsored by a different political party, come election time, four years down the pike, as it were, the successor government would not have an adequate number of its own originally initiated and/or implemented projects to showcase for its achievements and be able to confidently brag about the same during its reelection campaign to the voters and the citizenry.
Significantly, however, unlike the previous Mills-Mahama regime that staunchly and studiously pursued the “Tony Aidoo Doctrine,” President Akufo-Addo has completed a remarkable number of development projects that were begun by the Mills-Mahama government but never completed, such as the Ejumako-Sunkwa Health Center or Clinic, in the Central Region; the Kumasi Kejetia Market; Terminal 3 of the Kotoka International Airport, and at least two or three other major projects, including a Kente Village, in the Volta Region. There may be two or three more in Kumasi, or the Asante Region in general, that might have escaped yours truly. As well, there may be a host of other projects around the country that have yet to be brought to our attention by the communications operatives of the New Patriotic Party.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
January 19, 2020
E-mail: [email protected]
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs