Ghana's 'Kume Preku' economic hardship and the danger of Akufo Addo's renewed commitment

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo   Police. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Thu, 13 Jan 2022 Source: Iddrisu Abdul Hakeem

In 1945 after the USA detonated "fat man" and "small boy", the first atomic bombs ever unleashed upon man, on Nagasaki and Hiroshima respectively, and later followed up for the arrest of General Tojo alias The Razor, for war crimes, who masterminded the Pearl Harbor attacks in 1941 during the Second World War, one thing the USA army noticed was the callous manner the Japanese committed suicides over the impending and gradually unfolding doom.

The majority of the Japanese fell of cliffs when it became apparent that Japan had lost it all. Whether it was out of shame they were committing these suicides or fear of America, it was unclear. However, the trauma of watching a fellow man as a "walking corpse" days after the detonation of the bombs, and the spontaneous hardships that ensued made the majority of Japanese close the window of hope, and opted for death rather than the torture of hardship borne out of the cataclysmic disaster.

With the rise of suicide commissions among Ghanaians due to the abrasive and scabrous economic fiasco and naked hardships, the infamous "Kume Preko" demonstrations of 1995 keep refreshing and flipping through our minds.

It should be recalled that the so-called cost of living in 1995 which was purported to have been compounded by the imposition of the Value Added Tax (VAT), led to what later became the Mother of all demonstrations in the Ghanaian political ambiance, at least under this fourth republic - the "Kume Preko" demonstrations.

His Excellency, the sitting president, Nana Akufo Addo is often credited and eulogized as a democratic combatant for his participation in that infamous demonstration that immediately turned bloodletting in 1995, leading to several deaths, injuries, and loss of properties.

Fellow Ghanaians, without mincing words, history teaches mankind that those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword. That's why it is often said that kings are nothing but slaves of history.

I must have been in diapers in 1995, but I suppose the high cost of living then is no way comparable to that of the current economic quagmire, doldrums, and as the title of this article puts it, "Kume Preko Hardships" that have become more suicidal than Mybet.com in the country.

Truth is, the anxiety of Ghanaians keeps snowballing day by day under the stewardship of President Akufo Addo. Whether the man is under some sort of both esoteric and exoteric curses or what could possibly be the problem, under him as president, the problems come in battalions.

Indeed, the evil men do shall live after them.

Today, it is no longer the problem of an intellectual property theft an inaugurating president subjects his citizens to that buried much saner and intelligent heads of Ghanaians in shame nor is it about the overwhelming national harassment of cacophobia Ghanaians go through in the international front due to the anatomy presentation of president Akufo Addo. Rather, there's a new version of an inescapable feeling of secondhand embarrassment that has gripped every Ghanaian due to stinking leadership punctuated with the naked robbery of citizens which has occasioned the brand new unacceptable octopus of hardships that is strangulating the country to death softly.

While it remains a vicarious trauma, and a proxy responsibility of every Ghanaian to brace themselves for the wobbling and tumbling economy, the creators of this economic anathema (the leaders) cannot escape the blame for the evilest, greediest and laziest economic policies they implemented to create this smelling mess.

It is a shame that some government officials will still have the shameless audacity to contest for the NPP flagbearership race having partaken in the engineering of what is known in Yoruba parlance as "Penkelemess" (Peculiar mess) coined by Wole Soyanka in one of his memoirs he launched in London in 1986 titled "Ibadan: The Penkelemes Years."

While I agree that it is not commonsensical for passengers to voluntarily wound themselves having been involved in a train accident they survived without wounds, sometimes they can rebuke the causer of the accident especially if it was out of negligence, carelessness and most unforgivably, out of debauchery.

His Excellency has been rather the most careless, negligent, and debaucherous "driver" (president) I have witnessed. Personally, if I have been told or read about Akufo Addo in history books I would have been quick to dismiss that history as being unkind to him. But the man's rotting legacy is unfolding in our very eyes.

Peter Strople was right when he said that, "legacy is not leaving something for people, but leaving something in people."

Fellow Ghanaians, apart from pain what else does president Akufo Addo have left IN us. As for what he has left FOR us, don't go there! The man has left a gigantic debt our political ancestors will not spare him with when he eventually joins them.

Say what you will, President Akufo Addo's careless, clueless, and reckless acrobatics management of the Ghanaian economy has brought us this pain. Yet the man won’t accept responsibility. We should blame Wuhan?

It is indeed true that the pandemic has left a serious toll on every economy but Ghanaians would have certainly survived it if natural disasters' economic policies were not incompetently being implemented at normal times – placing square pegs in round holes.

Obviously, the government wanted to score cheap political points with the empty if not vacuum growth of the economy it touted by using economic policies that were meant for disastrous periods like this. Ghana would have been able to take care of her citizens through stimulus packages for her unworking citizens like other countries are doing elsewhere for their citizens. But lack of transparent leadership, honesty, prudence and the judicious use of the Covid-19 funds that are still being tampered with by government officials including in Hospitals, is what has triggered this suicidal hardship.

Is it not amazing that while food is being discounted and monthly Covid-19 stipends are paid to citizens somewhere, we in Ghana have the opposite story even though we mobilized billions of cedis of Covid-19 funds? Where is the money Mr. President?

Apparently, luxury flights are what the money has been used to chat for the president for his aimless and fruitless travels.

Fellow Ghanaians, the one in the “driving seat” in this our confused leadership voyage is Mr. President Akufo Addo who, as once a national spoilt brat and a prodigal son of the state, is not only far placed above the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian taxpayer, but presumes he's further placed above blame. What chicanery is this?

Should we blame His Royal Highness the Asantehene then? And that is very deep if only readers were to put on their thinking caps.

Appealing to grounds of political decency and fairness, the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, once said that "when there is a failure (in governance), the principal responsibility will be that of the President and no one else."

Fellow Ghanaians, it is chest-paining, bellyaching, and it makes a mockery of the suffering masses of Ghana, the recent presidential rant and cacophony of noise in which the president has severely hallucinated in his wildest imagination about his renewed commitment to tackle the "Penklemess" his incompetent and thieving economic management has orchestrated in this country.

Without gainsay, President Akufo Addo is the only president who has at his command financial resources no other president or government ever possesses since the advent of his government in the last six years. Yet, unprincipled leadership coupled with unrestrained access to the vaults of the Bank of Ghana has depleted most of these resources in the most phantom circumstances that subsequent government must investigate and interrogate.

Today, as we have come to the point where the only option left for many Ghanaians is suicide, the best thing and favor president Akufo Addo can ever do for Ghanaians is to respectfully vacate the presidency. Walahi. He must do us a favor and shelve this latest madness of a renewed commitment, and return all stolen cash of Ghanaians back to them.

The Ghanaian taxpayer has been robbed enough by the marauding criminals of President Akufo Addo's government he presides over as the ringleader. We can no longer brief. Let president Akufo Addo take his knee off the neck of the meager resources left for Ghana.

Ridiculous. I mean what form of commitment again? A commitment or a direct robbery of the masses again?

In any case, who needs the commitment of a government that doesn't know the value of anything and has been most clueless on how to raise legitimate revenues except digitally pickpocketing its citizens through absurd and bizarre taxation policies?

As I stated at the beginning of this epistle, history is not just a recount of the past for amusement of the ears; it is a moral compass to guide the future.

Fellow Ghanaians, what is the difference between this embattled E-levy nonsense and the VAT which the then Rawlings government introduced in 1995 that took Mr. Akufo Addo to the streets in order to stage an Arab Revolution or French’s in Ghana?

Value Added Tax is a type of taxation peculiar to every economy and familiar to every consumer in the consumer market. Its passage nevertheless was deemed as an imposition that Akufo Addo in 1995 had to endorse, declare, and participate in a rather "demonstration Armageddon" against the government at the time.

What shall Ghanaians declare against his crippling government with this recent armed robbery, a mafia-style, criminal and cruel E-levy “official pickpocketing” of citizens from their electronic wallets that have been mistaken as "tax"?

The question is, what again can President Akufo Addo do as president after wasting a quantum of money an amount of which those who came before us never heard of?

In Dagbani we say "closing one's door after a heavy storm does not make sense".

I leave every Ghanaian with this: It has been conclusively acknowledged on the pages of history that only through revolutions do citizens emerge from voluntary economic misery one man's greed has caused them.

Let's ask ourselves very quick important questions: how much resources does Akufo Addo mobilize on our behalf to govern? Have we been shortchanged? Where is the money in the economy if it was actually being invested in Ghana? Are we satisfied with borrowing over GH¢13000 per Ghanaian in less than six years of governance? What about revenues collected that must have ordinarily been distributed to us but the government is using on behalf of us to govern? Is Free Education SHS enough to compensate us for billions of dollars siphoned?

Finally, before I become Omoyele Sowore of Nigeria who was arrested for using the term “revolution” in his article, while we cannot stage any revolution as civilized and enlightened people in the 21st century, we can revisit "Kume Preko" and demand the immediate resignation of the President.

No need for any renewed commitment. The new commitment of Akufo Addo means more new fraudulent projects to cart away our collective treasure. A reason why there's no cash in the system yet the government has purported to have invested billions of dollars in the country. How? "Did we go or did we come?" asked Vice President Dr. Bawumia.

Let President Akufo Addo go and spend some contaminated time with his grandchildren with his "big catch" and loot at this senior moment of his life. Enough is enough.

We guarantee him presidential immunity and amnesty to do so. Unlike him, we keep our word.

Posterity shall judge his progeny and all those who would come after him.

Please someone should beg former President Mahama back to the presidency. Daddy forgive us.

As for Akufo Addo, "Mpaachoir, old man, tweaso!"

Columnist: Iddrisu Abdul Hakeem