By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
They call themselves Social Democrats, but to hear President John Dramani Mahama tell it, many a key operative of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) could more aptly be called "corrupt political scam-artists" (See "I'm Under Pressure to Sack Finance Minister - Prez" MyJoyOnline.com 1/15/14). According to the President, the radical reforms being enacted by Mr. Seth Terkper, his Finance Minister, as a means of drastically reducing the high spate of theft and fiscal waste in government, is being met with stiff resistance by some key players of the NDC, possibly quite a slew of cabinet appointees.
The President is reported to have confided the preceding to Ms. Patience Akyianu, the newly appointed Managing-Director of Barclays Bank, Ghana Limited. Mr. Mahama would, however, not mention names. And so the most immediate and logical question becomes: What is the President's own take, or stance, on the criminally regressive tack taken by some of the very people who are supposed to be assiduously assisting him to realize his much-touted Better Ghana Agenda? We pose the foregoing question because, according to eyewitness press reports, Mr. Mahama clearly appeared to be highly approving of the job that Mr. Terkper is doing. If the preceding observation has validity then, clearly, Mr. Mahama ought to rather be calling for the prompt and immediate resignation of those cynically and adamantly hell-bent on rail-roading his government.
One thing that was heartening to learn from Mr. Mahama, is the fact that Mr. Terkper seems to be conscientiously about the sacred business of ensuring that the Ghanaian taxpayer got the requisite value for his/her money, as it were. "I mean, several times [these nation-wreckers] have interceded [pleaded?] with me to sack Seth [Terkper] because he is hurting the politics. He doesn't understand the politics," Mr. Mahama was reported to have let on to Ms. Akyianu.
I shall come back to another aspect of the Terkper Affair, or L'Affair de Terkper, in due course, particularly regarding the alleged public castigation of Mr. Mahama by those who clearly appear to stand the loss of their pelf, thus their stentorian cries for the President to revert to the status-quo ante. And, here, it goes without saying that if Mr. Mahama was not prepared to let a few proverbial heads roll down Alajo's jumbo gutters, then, perhaps, he need not have raised this matter at all with Ms. Akyianu in full-frontal view and hearing of the press.
Having duly observed the preceding, it ought to also be emphatically noted that the perceived incompetence of the Finance Minister can equally not be insulated by his seemingly well-meaning and well-directed policy of ridding the government of the kind of fiscal indiscipline that has been regressing the socioeconomic advancement of the country for nearly three generations now. In other words, our unabashed contention here is that Mr. Terkper's apparently foward-looking radical reform policies ought to go hand in hand with managerial competence. If he cannot deliver both progressive elements at the same time, then, perhaps, the Finance Minister needs another job whose description is very different from his present one.
Ultimately, however, what the latest revelation from the proverbial horse's own mouth means is that former President Jerry John Rawlings is dead-on-target when he asserts that the Mahama administration is unsavorily riddled with self-serving scammers. Paradoxically, though, this accusation from the founding patriarch of the National Democratic Congress cuts both ways; it is a double-edged sword because it also clearly gives the lie to Mr. Rawlings' incessant and self-righteous pontification to the effect that he had succeeded in running a government that was saddled with the barest minimum of graft, theft and grand larceny. We hope Ghanaian voters are paying sedulous attention.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
Jan. 28, 2014