Akpaloo couldn’t have said it any better: It may well be disastrous to vote back Mahama

AKPALOO3 Kofi Akpaloo

Sun, 16 Aug 2020 Source: Kwaku Badu

It is an undeniable fact that former President Mahama had held various roles in the political scene, first as an assemblyman, then as a parliamentarian, a deputy minister, a substantive minister, a vice president, a stand-in president (following the sudden and mysterious death of President Mills), as an elected president of Ghana, and now as the 2020 flagbearer of the opposition NDC.

The all-important question on the lips of every well-meaning Ghanaian is: what else does Mahama want at the presidency?

Given the circumstances, it came as no surprise to some of us at all, when we heard the leader of the Labour Party of Ghana (LPG), Kofi Akpaloo, frankly emitting on Hello FM in Kumasi on Saturday 27th July 2019 that Ghanaians will live to regret in the unlikely event of voting Mahama back into power in 2020.

It is absolutely true that former President Mahama had more than four years to put Ghana on the world map. But the crucial question then is: did he really live up to the expectations?

Well, if he didn’t, why is he coming back? What can he do this time around? And, if he did what he promised, what else does he want again after being voted out of power? Your guess is as good as mine.

You may agree to disagree, but it would be extremely disastrous if Mahama was to reclaim the presidency, given the calamitous errors in judgement which led to the massive economic meltdown.

Dearest reader, despite all the harsh economic conditions amidst corruption allegations (Bus branding, Brazil World Cup, SADA, SUBA, GYEEDA, SSNIT, NCA, Ford Expedition Vehicle, amongst others) which led to his 2016 humiliating election defeat, Ex-President Mahama can still muster the courage to stage a comeback. Why?

So, why wouldn’t discerning Ghanaians like Kofi Akpaloo dread and emit grave concerns over the return of a former president who has more alleged bribery and corruption scandals hanging around his neck than any other president in the history of Ghanaian politics?

Let us be honest though, no true nationalist will ever shrill and thrill over the return of a former president who has serious questions to answer over the puzzling corruption scandals such as the STX housing deal, the Brazilian aircrafts, the Ford Expedition Vehicle and the Armajaro saga.

Take, for instance, somewhere last year, we read and heard that four courageous Ghanaians had petitioned the Special Prosecutor, Martin Amidu, to probe into the alleged E.O. Group’s $13 million corporate social responsibility fund towards the development of the Western Region which the petitioners claimed to have been diverted by Ex-President Mahama (See: ‘Mahama diverted $13m E.O. Group money; probe him – Four citizens petition Amidu’-todaygh.com/ghanaweb.com, 18/06/2018).

Why wouldn’t patriotic Ghanaians dread the return of a former President who can boldly accept a furtive gift of a brand new Ford Expedition vehicle worth over $100,000 from a Burkinabe Contractor called Djibril Kanazoe?

I recall somewhere last year, we were greeted by yet another news of corruption scandal in the erstwhile Mahama administration, on that occasion, an alleged oil money of GH40.5 million secret transfers to the presidency, via the then Chief of Staff (See: ‘Group explains why Amidu must probe Mahama, Debrah in GH¢40.5m BOST payment’; myjoyonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 19/09/2018).

It beggars belief that despite the wanton corruption, the arrogance of power and the crass incompetence exhibited by the erstwhile Mahama administration which resulted in massive economic collapse, the NDC faithful could still muster the courage to chastise Akufo-Addo and clamour inexorably for the return of former President Mahama.

Given the unpardonable rot in the Mahama’s administration, some of us cannot help but to giggle over the NDC’s faithful’s renewed zeal to return to power so soon.

Truth must be told though, the critics cannot be entirely correct for claiming that President Akufo-Addo has deliberately worsened the plight of Ghanaians since assuming power on 7th January 2017.

The fact however remains that Ghana under the erstwhile Mahama administration experienced massive economic downslide which regrettably brought to pass harsh socio-economic standards of living.

Given the circumstances, it will be difficult for any government to reverse such mess within a shortest possible time.

So, it is somewhat unfair and unreasonable to see the brassbound NDC faithful, who are currently enjoying uninterrupted electricity, low inflation, tax reductions (including import taxes), favourable economic growth and gargantuan savings on free SHS, amongst others, gathering the courage to censure the NPP administration.

It is, indeed, extremely baffling to keep hearing such ridiculous misconceptions from the NDC apologists, many of whom only follow narrow party coloration, devoid of patriotism and solicitude.

But then again, one has to contain his/her emotional intelligence, show unconditional deference and composure, for after all, sycophancy, partisanship and lack of patriotism have been our bane.

Indeed, we can logically conclude that vague understanding of patriotism exists in the minds of many Ghanaians, who prefer hero worshipping to defending the national interests.

Thus, some of our leaders, having first-hand knowledge of our hero worshipping gimmicks, tend to take us for granted and continue to provide us with mediocre leadership and services.

Gratifyingly, however, despite the huge economic mess left by the outgone NDC administration, the Akufo-Addo’s government has raised Ghana’s economic growth considerably.

It must, therefore, be emphasised that no economist can undo the huge economic mess created by the Mahama government within a short space of time.

So, it is quite unfair for the NDC loyalists to expect Akufo-Addo’s government to conjure magic and fix the mess so soon when the NDC administration paid GH800 million dubious judgment debt, including the GH51.2 million to Woyome, $30 million to the Waterville, $325,000 to Isofoton which resulted in the drastic reduction of capital expenditure.

Somewhere last year, I thought I was dreaming when I chanced on the unfortunate news about the misappropriation of $175 million loan facility secured in 2012 which was meant to provide seven district hospitals. But I was not. I was wide awake. The NDC hierarchy indeed misapplied the loan facility on the blind side of Ghanaians.

Why must the brassbound NDC supporters expect Akufo-Addo’s government to use a few months to fix the 96 months massive mess left by the erstwhile Mahama government when the same people surreptitiously diverted $6 million of a government loan facility of $175 million meant to provide seven district hospitals into researching the then governing NDC’s chances of winning the 2016 general elections?

The furtive research was alleged to have carried out by the United Kingdom based SCL Social, the mother company of Cambridge Analytica.

According to the report, although SCL Social was given $6 million to carry out a nationwide survey to provide appropriate data for the proper planning of the healthcare needs of Ghana, the NDC government led by Ex-President Mahama deemed it fit to divert the loan facility for their internal research at the expense of the sick and infirm Ghanaians. How insensitive?

The contractors, SCL Social, admitted: “The work consists of two discrete political and public health elements. The political element is testing the attitudes and perceptions of the population towards contemporary issues faced in Ghana and public confidence in the capacity and competence of the current administration to implement appropriate timely solutions. As well as the current level of satisfaction regarding the performance of the NDC at district, regional and national level is also tested and the research incorporates how this may translate into future electoral success.”

If we do the arithmetic of the $175 million loan facility which was supposed to provide seven district hospitals, each hospital should have cost us $25 million.

Nevertheless, credible sources have it that out of the seven district hospitals, only the one in Dodowa in the Greater Accra Region received the full funding and was thus completed successfully.

The all-important question then is: where is the rest of the $175 million loan facility?

How can we advance as a nation when some conspiratorial plotters keep hiding behind party coloration, devoid of patriotism and rapaciously squandering our scarce resources to the detriment of the poor and disadvantage Ghanaians?

Since the birth of Ghana’s Fourth Republic (from 1993 to present), the nation has regrettably lost billions of dollars meant for developmental projects through unbridled sleazes and corruption.

If the rampant bribery and corruption, the stashing of national funds by some greedy opportunists , the misappropriation of resources and the crude embezzlement of funds meant for developmental projects by some public officials do not warrant criminal charges, then where are we heading as a nation?

Believe it or not, there is admissible evidence of gargantuan bribery and corruption cases, including monies which were given to parasitic creatures who did not render any services towards the national development. Woyome and Akua Donkor come to mind.

A large portion of Ghana’s scarce resources, regrettably, went down the drain due to the mismanagement and the wanton sleazes and corruption perpetrated by the officials of the erstwhile Mahama administration.

Take, for example, a few years ago, a competent court of jurisdiction convicted two of the numerous corruption suspects in the erstwhile NDC administration and sentenced them to six and twelve years respectively.

In fact, I share in the sentiments of the concerned Ghanaians, who have been maintaining all along that the sins of the two convicts are meagre in comparison with the other scandalous corruption cases which took place in the erstwhile Mahama administration.

In a related development, on 14th March 2018, the State filed a case of causing financial loss against the former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD and the CEO of Zeera Group of Companies and Agricult Ghana Limited, who have been accused of embezzling over GH260 million under the watch of former President Mahama.

But in spite of the admissible evidence of Mahama’s government’s unbridled corruption and incompetence, the loyalists NDC supporters would want discerning Ghanaians to believe that the erstwhile NDC government provided exceptional governance.

The good people of Ghana will attest to wanton corruption, incompetence and frequent abuse of power in the erstwhile Mahama government.

Take, for instance, but for the Honourable Agyapong’s whistling blowing prowess, former President Mahama’s sibling, Ibrahim Mahama, would have evaded import taxes in the tune of GH12 million. How pathetic?

Delightfully, the EOCO ordered Ibrahim Mahama to pay the GH12 million as all his previous 44 cheques were dishonoured by the respective banks. How bizarre?

As if that was not enough, the Mahama administration revoltingly sanctioned a 30 year bauxite mining lease of around 58% to Ibrahim Mahama and his partners on 29th December 2016, just a little over one week for his brother’s government to exit power. How pathetic?

Kofi Akpaloo could not have said it any better: it will be extremely disastrous to vote back Mahama into power given the dreadful errors in judgement which brought about unprecedented harsh socio-economic living standards.

K. Badu, UK.


Columnist: Kwaku Badu