In the Year 2000, when the New Patriotic Party was on rooftops clamouring vociferously for change I was one of the numerous Ghanaians who were swayed into thinking that something good was on the horizon!
In fact , change became synonymous with prosperity, good governance and the rule of law. Even the doubting Thomases hoped against hope that it would mark the dawn of a new era and with it, at least, things would be better than the status quo.
And so the whole nation was agog with excitement and expectation when the NPP emerged triumphant in the 2000 elections. They had run this election on a promise to reduce the prices of virtually everything and to create a nirvana of jobs for the youth. The NPP claimed they had the open sesame to making Ghana, which has been stalled by the incompetence of the NDC administration, a veritable heaven on earth!
The promises of President Kuffour in 2000 are not any different from the moonshine and frenzied promises of Nana Akuffo Addo in 2016. The only nuance of difference, perhaps, may be the fact that there is a tinge of frustration and despondency in Nana's. The curmudgeon is racing against time and tide!
Kufour's legacy of change makes harrowing reading. To say that it was characterized by debauchery, abuse of power and economic brigandage would be an understatement of the year! It was the obverse of all the deluge of promises bandied about by the NPP during the 2000 electioneering Campaign.
During the 8 barren years under NPP, one of the flagship achievements of President Kuffour was the strangulation and asphyxiation of all the Institutions mandated by law to fight corruption and graft.
Institutions like CHRAJ and the Serious Fraud office were deliberately undernourished, understaffed and financially starved to create the congenial climate for fraud and graft to flourish. Having created this arable land of corruption, the nation's kitty was at the mercy of his appointees.
The pillaging and plunder of the Country's resources therefore had the de facto approval of Kuffour. Needless to say, the seat of power degenerated into a space for the reception and distribution of kickbacks and the spoils of fraud.
This fact has been corroborated by the infamous Haruna Esseku tape in which he was caught grumbling about the reduction in kickbacks from the Castle.
When the Nation couldn't bear the stench of corruption any longer, there was a great hue and cry from Ghanaians ,pressure groups and Non-governmental organizations like Integrity International.
Interestingly, President Kuffour's shocking response was that Corruption was as old as Adam and that he wasn't prepared to fight corruption and collapse his government. Nana Akuffo Addo, who wants to be President today, was the Attorney general and Minister of justice under this phenomenally corrupt administration !
On the contrary , President Mahama has shown a steely resolve towards annihilating the canker of corruption. As an incorruptible person himself he showed his strong aversion for corruption by instituting legal proceedings against officials who are perceived to be corrupt under his administration. For instance, droves of employees of the National Service Scheme who were complicit in several acts of corruption and venality, were fetched out and hounded before the law after painstaking investigations initiated by government.
It is common knowledge that officials of the youth and employment Scheme are also embroiled in a legal tussle with the State for alleged acts of corruption and financial impropriety.
To show his determination and zeal to staunch out the scourge of corruption, President Mahama created and implemented a National Anti-corruption Action Plan.
This is the most comprehensive and coherent roadmap yet designed by any government to help avert and ferret out incidents or acts of corruption.It was also before our very noses that government appointees under the National Health Insurance Scheme including the CEO, Slyvester Mensah were picked up for alleged acts of corruption.
Apparently , Mahama has evinced a serious determination, in action and attitude towards eliminating the Cancer of corruption.
According to the celebrated Jamaican Reggae Icon, Joseph Hills, "It takes behaviour to be a saviour" . The attitude and governance style of President Mahama has brought dignity and honour to the Ghanaian Presidency. Today,Ghana is the toast of every Country because of Mahama's efforts at bringing peace in the subregion and beyond. Several European leaders have had reason to voice the confidence they have in Mahama.
As we go to the polls in December, Ghanaians should be aware Mahama is a gem of a leader needed not only in Ghana and Africa but in the world at large. His continuous stay in office would inure to the benefit of many West African Countries where there are security challenges.
Yes, it was under this selfsame NPP administration that a Minister of State who was supposed to be a resource person on abstinence and condom use, in an HIV /AIDS Conference, got one of the participants pregnant. President Kuffour had no moral guts to relieve this Minister of his job because he had gone a step ahead of Mr Anane by giving birth allegedly to Gizzele Yadzi's twins !
The NPP is a Wolf in a Sheep's clothing or skin! These are the same old people of 2000 seeking for change. Ostensibly, what they looted for the 8 years that they have been at the helm of the Nation's affairs, has been badly mismanaged or squandered in opposition and they are seeking to come back and replenish their stock. But once bitten twice shy, says Ghanaians.
Under the NPP it was avant-garde to meddle into the turf of the Judiciary. The independence,sanctity and sacrosanctity of the judiciary was not only thrown to the dogs but pooh poohed by President Kufour and his coterie of ministers including his lacklustre Attorney general and Minister of Justice at the time, Nana Akuffo Addo.
We were all witnesses to the legal gymnastics and Somersaulting that President Kufour employed in getting Mr Tsatsu Tsikata incarcerated. To put it more aptly and bluntly the NPP made a mockery of the Judiciary and of course the whole judiciary process.
On the other hand, under Mahama there is no interference in the work of the judiciary. In fact, Mahama accords the third arm of government the respect and regard it deserves. Whenever it becomes necessary Mahama submits himself before any judiciary processes. This is undoubtedly the mark of true statesmanship !
To be continued...