By Margaret Jackson
He got the nerve to describe a sitting president as visionless and without focus. And since he loves throwing words around, he even went further and stated that, that same sitting president is not marketable. Somebody who is seeking the highest office of the land, describing the incumbent president as not marketable? This is laughable. Where they are going to market that sitting president, nobody knows. But my wildest guess would probably be in Kyebi. In fact, he claims that he would turn Ghana into a first world in 4 years, something his NPP government of which he was part, could not do in 8 long years.
Like a man who is desperate to win a lady’s heart by all means, he has been going round like he did in 2008 promising the moon to Ghanaians to justify that if you bamboozle the electorate with loaded words they would conclude that you are indeed a man of vision. The other day he said during the 2012 Oppenheimer Lecture that Africa’s young and enthusiastic Facebook generation has no time for non-performing leaders. But charity, they say begins at home. Therefore, this man forgot to add that in any given responsibility, one has to perform creditably before he/she decides to seek a higher one.
The Ghanaian voting public knows this man very well; especially his signature tune which also qualifies as his key campaign promise which he sings or trumpets at every turn of event. In case you just tuned in, I am talking about Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the presidential candidate of the NPP for the 2012 elections. During his door-to-door campaigns in the regions (I will later bring you the untold story about those campaigns); Akufo-Addo informed Ghanaians that he was going to make education fee-free up to senior secondary school level when he wins the elections. This visionless and unattainable talk or promise by Akufo-Addo would have been considered laudable if he had told Ghanaians how he was going to do it, the cost involved and how he was going to raise the money for that tall order project.
At the Oppenheimer Lecture, Akufo-Addo, again did not fail to highlight his so-called vision on education, by stating that, “Africa needs a confident, educated workforce to be able to compete effectively in the global economy. That is why, for my part, I have made education the foundation for my vision to build a knowledge-based, industrialized economy in Ghana. Access to free, quality, basic universal education is our key to effective participation in the new global economy. Our human potential has not yet been developed to match and capitalize on our continent’s rich resources. Until we bridge this gap, we are squandering opportunities that could move us forever away from a culture of handouts to a culture of hand-ups and the creation of dignified and confident societies.” Beautiful and excellent talk!
But Mr. Akufo-Addo, I am a full-blooded Ghanaian, born and bred here, therefore, if you are really seeking the highest office of my dear country, and would want to do something that would uplift the lives of Ghanaians including me, why should I envy or oppose you? I would be all for it, if indeed it is something credible that could be tested and measured. But if your numbers do not add up or your programme falls short when it is put under the microscope, then I and every Ghanaian who have cause for concern are right on target.
Indeed, that concern was amplified when Akufo-Addo was interviewed on BBC’s “Hard Talk” programme on Monday, by Mr. Stephen Sackur. Answering a wide range of questions the over confident Akufo-Addo did not disappoint when he over-bloated his ego by bombarding the air with so many unattainable goals. But when Akufo-Addo thought he had hit a home run and was therefore, going to get away, suddenly and from nowhere, Mr. Sackur put him on the spot by asking him a question concerning his fee-free education signature tune.
Ladies and gentlemen, that was when Akufo-Addo was caged, floored and exposed by the BBC interviewer. I could not imagine someone who has been blowing hot air about fee-free education going on the BBC programme and cannot say how he was going to fund that over-ambitious project? When Akufo-Addo was again asked by Mr. Sackur how much the programme was going to cost, Akufo-Addo looked for the safest entrance and dashed through it by saying he would tell Ghanaians first. Heaven help this man, because he demonstrated during the interview that he does not have any plan for the fee-free education and that he has been deceiving Ghanaians.
If indeed Akufo-Addo has any credible information on the so-called fee-free education or the estimated or actual cost involved, he would have stated it there and then during the interview. Knowing Akufo-Addo as he is, he is only silent on issues which he has no answers for or guilty of. The exposure of Akufo-Addo by the BBC should serve as an eye opener and clear indication that Akufo-Addo is simply deceiving Ghanaians just to attract their votes but has nothing new to offer the country but would continue from where Kufuor and his looting brigade left off, if we should make the mistake of making him our next commander-in-chief.
In this world, nobody who has been trumpeting on an issue time and time again would fail to table it or hammer home on it to buttress his/her point when given the opportunity. Such chances do not come often, so when you get it you make very good use of it. But if you fail to do that, it gives a clear indication that you are not on top of that issue. It may also mean you are clueless of what you have been trumpeting.
I know the NPP folks would hit me hard for daring to say that Akufo-Addo is hollow and does not know anything about figures even though he studied economics at the university. But if they really love Ghana and wants to see it progress, the NPP folks should know by now that their man Akufo-Addo is simply not the best candidate they want to thrust on the throats of Ghanaians. Akufo-Addo is simply blowing hot air and this would not resonate with voters who are looking for workable and achievable programmes and campaign themes. The days when politicians come and con voters with unfeasible promises are over. Therefore, Mr. Akufo-Addo, please get real!