Rawlings could not Differentiate Sound Economics from Propaganda

Sun, 25 May 2014 Source: Wiafe-Amoako and Sefah

It was laughable to recently read from Former Chairman J.J. Rawlings of the pNDC trying his propaganda best to trace the debilitating economic conditions in the last 5 years to having started in 2001. This propaganda is patently laughable because the last NPP government came in to meet about 50% inflation, the Cedi depreciating at an apocalyptic rate and the economy on life support, thankfully diagnosed by NPP as suffering from HIPC, left by none other than the Chairman's own pNDC government. Chairman Rawlings may only have been recalling his old pretend communist best in trying to compare the current mess as having anything to do with the NPP's last government. Perhaps, he was thinking of his own pathetic economic performance pre-2001, when he made the outlandish claim. However, Ghanaians will not be fooled about the truth in this case regarding the NPP's stellar 8-year development record juxtaposed against the pNDC's 24 years of retrogression.

After 8 years, the NPP transferred the economy it resuscitated from HIPC life support and bequeathed a prosperous and ambitious country to a pNDC government the people trusted again as being led by an Asomdwiehene (President Atta Mills). With enviable political, economic, and social advancements such as the NHIS, NYEP, LEAP, School Feeding Program, Capitation Grant, Free Maternal Care, unprecedented Cocoa Spraying Program and production, world class highways, Bui Dam, Black Stars' first World Cup appearance, new stadia across the country and refurbishment of Kumasi and Accra stadia, more roads tarred during this period than the total tarred throughout the history of the country, unprecedented democratic advancements (including the repeal of the criminal libel laws and handing over of power peacefully in spite of the closeness of elections in 2008, whereas the pNDC will likely have plunged the country into chaos, given the same circumstances the incumbent NPP government faced, culminating in the proud Obama visit), unprecedented real low inflation (as proven by the attendant low personal bank lending rates), the most stable currency ever in our nation's history, DISCOVERY OF OIL IN COMMERCIAL QUANTITIES, etc. The impressive list is truly endless. No Ghana government indeed has had a more excellent leg up handed it than what the NPP government handed over to the Mills/Mahama/Amissah-Arthur administration. So, what do we see? Instead of them owning up to their leadership ineptitude, the pNDC government puts up excuses and a week's splurge of the people's dwindled resources at a luxury resort to ostensibly come up with solutions.

This brings back the issue of the recently ended National Economic Forum (NEF) into focus. Surely, the debate surrounding whether the NPP's National Executives were right in boycotting the just ended NEF was a heated one within and outside the NPP family. We, in NPP Toronto, wish to reaffirm our full confidence in the judgment of our patriotic National Executives to make sound decisions for the party and in the interest of the nation and therefore fully support the party's decision not to participate. We will like to also take this opportunity to congratulate the new Executives for availing themselves to carry the party to the next level and to win the 2016 Elections to help roll back the suffering of the Ghanaian people. In the least, please accomplish what you campaigned to do. There is something we call "the Establishment" in party politics. Some of "the Establishment" are institutionalized in written form, while others are unwritten. For the party to move forward, some of these institutions need to be changed. When you settle for "the establishment," obviously the same results would be achieved. It is only when strategic changes are made, then will the party of progress see a different result, including winning the presidency and taking over parliament for the benefit of Mother Ghana.

The NPP National Executives gave very cogent reasons to buttress the point that the NEF exercise was recklessly expensive and not organised with the degree of seriousness one will expect from a government presiding over such an economic mess. After all, many ideas about fixing the economy has been shared by economic luminaries like Dr. Bawumia and Dr. Nduom, only to meet flippancy by a challenged President Mahama, such as that he will not relent in borrowing, even as he and his government have little positive developments to show for the unprecedented debt accumulated. Simply put, we believe the biggest problem facing Ghana is poor leadership and the solutions to our mounting problems will be found in the form of real leadership and not at a luxury resort. The NDC government needs to refocus so that things do not completely fall apart. This is our hope.

In 2016 Ghanaians will have another opportunity at a turnaround of our nation's leadership and we believe that it will revolve around the kitchen tables of Ghanaians. Ghanaians need to compare the pNDC and NPP's records and vote accordingly and massively for progress. The election should not even be close such that we risk disputes about who really won. What does the nation's GDP mean in a bowl of Fufu, Tuo Zaafi, or Akpele? What effect does the lack of energy have on a child's education? How does corruption affect the paycheck and income levels of Ghanaians? What does a good road network mean to one's personal advancement? Now is not the time for long talks and usage of sophisticated English language that the average Ghanaian cannot comprehend. Though these are basic questions that need to be answered and strategies put in place to help the economy change course, the pNDC is actually going to find it difficult to meet the challenges, looking at how they are currently running the country. Simply put, the ideas on what needs to be done to better the people's lives are there in abundance. For instance, Dr. Bawumia, Hon. Akoto Osei and others from the NPP’s solid team of economic leaders will still be highlighting solid ideas to rescue our nation’s economy, often, in case the government wishes to occasionally listen to good ideas. The real question is does the pNDC have the requisite leadership and skill to implement them? Unfortunately, we don't believe they do. Do you? Do you still doubt the ineptitude of the pNDC to govern our country?

It is clear that the NPP and pNDC divergent records of performance in government could not be more dissimilar, despite the desperate attempt by former Chairman Rawlings to drag the NPP down to the pNDC’s level of incompetence. As President Kuffuor famously said, a bucket of water and a bucket of alcohol may look similar but they are truly very different. Chairman Rawlings, don’t spread the poor pNDC performance unto the NPP because there is a major difference between sound and proven economic management and economic propaganda and Ghanaians know by now which of the two major parties is good at management and which party excels in propaganda

By Dr. Francis Wiafe-Amoako and Mr. Prince Ofosu Sefah.

Communications Team, NPP Toronto Chapter.

Contact: npptoronto@outlook.com

Columnist: Wiafe-Amoako and Sefah