Where did the honeymoon go?

Akufo Addo Green President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Sat, 10 Nov 2018 Source: Edem Light

Given how the elections turned out two years ago, can anyone say for instance, that Akufo-Addo would have lost if he hadn't promised tax reductions, low fuel prices one district one factory, one village one dam, and all the other free stuff? I think not.

That is why I believe that politicians are their own enemies. Now the pressure is on to deliver. Yes, free education is here but anyone whose child or sibling is engaged in the green track, gold track business, who would not be paying through the nose for extra tuition, for the six months of no school per year, kindly show by hand... Lol

Why do they make outlandish promises that make people have huge expectations of them? Thanks to Bawumia's haste to be seen as the heir apparent to the nana of the Flagstaff House, his foopar with the digital addressing system became an unnecessary dampener on the first term cake which #FreeEducation was keeping from collapse. The reality of fuel and tax hikes vis à vis his comments from the past have rendered any comeback of his credibility an almost impossible task.

The proverbial honeymoon period is clearly over and people are beginning to ask basic questions about their everyday lives. They have seen trotro fares go up not down. The rise of prices on the market and in community stores have not gone unnoticed. The suddenness with which taxi and trotro drivers removed the NPP flags from their cars across the country in early 2017, said quite a lot about their expectations of fuel price reductions, spare parts prices as against the reality of their increments. A message that clearly was not heard. Add on top of that, the systemic disruption of their business model by the Ubber phenomenon. A problem which is not this government's creation, nonetheless people are by nature destined to find someone to blame.

All across the country, people know someone who has been dismissed from a job in the public services. That is a particular situation that people are not at all comfortable with, even with dye in the wool party supporters.

Free education was a big one for this government and I believe it still is. But people, not too long ago, were seeing the pictures of secondary schools in urban areas, where some students were sitting on stones in crowded classrooms, and some schools outside urban areas with young teenagers sleeping on mattresses under trees from. This situation was going to rear it's head with or without 'Free Education', absent of new infrastructure but now the opponents of the NPP have successfully associated those images with the policy, and people are beginning to question the wisdom in implementing the policy at this time, given the images they were witnessing, the outbreak of bedbugs in schools and the new phenomenon of a shift system is secondary school attendance; Even though they highly regard the idea's potential benefits.

Next academic year, the numbers are going to go up, and unless there is an emergency plan to invest heavily in secondary school infrastructure, not even an additional burgundy track coupled with Obinim stickers will save the situation; some chickens would definitely come home to roost.

How they are going to do that, keep the policy intact and still give every village a dam and every district a factory, every constituency a million dollars, plus the massive social infrastructure they promised is one that we live to see. But from where I stand, we need nothing short of a miraculous find of mega Saudi Arabia scale deposits of oil to achieve that. If only unicorns were real, Santa was fat and fairy tales were true.

Already, revenue shortfalls in 2017 forced government to borrow to pay September salaries. They failed at their target in their attempt to borrow through the energy bonds by over 35%, and that was even after two tries. In 2018 revenue targets have still seen further shortfalls, and not even the Mckinseys of this world have been able to stop the bleed.

And oh... the invisible forces are inspiring a lot of 'hope' among the masses of people, given how effectively they are growing in notoriety and lawlessness, even to the point of attacking sitting MPs and judges in their courts. They have shown that mayhem is the language that power understands in today's Ghana; And ordinary folk are unequivocally demonstrating that they are getting the message loud and clear, from tertiary students in Kumasi to frustrated community folk in Adenta and Madina.

Lest we forget, Akufo-Addo has run on an even more popular political credit, the NHIS in 2012. A policy that was and still is by several magnitudes, far popular even today, than 'Free Education'. We all know how he lost to a practically broke NDC campaign that was led by the good old prof Mills.

So for those who think that they have a campaign horse to flog for four long years, they better check the stables again. The horses are making a run for it, the wagons of public opinion are beginning to build momentum against the government, and they better act with prudence before they start to circle.

We are three weeks away from December and not an even fly has at yet successfully faced the courts for any corruption-related crime and been jailed for it from the NDC government; even NPP members have publicly begun to verbally attack their own Attorney General in this regard. Little did we know that they had come to believe in their own campaign platform exaggerations and deceptions. The media cabal can only stay questioning opinions for so long but social media makes it very hard today, for them to continually be as generous with their objectivity as they were in times past.

I do not recall the last time I got any breaking news from the radio or TV, since 2016. Where do you think even younger people are getting their news from? And who controls that medium? Definitely not the cabal of multimedia, Citi FM and Peace FM.

So let him who cares, take a second look at the raw figures of the 2012 elections and compare them to the 2016 figures and advice themselves, that they are not as comfortable as the percentages of 2016 suggest. Like I say, numbers do not lie. It is one thing to give your opponent's sympathisers, a reason to not step out and vote. It is another thing to do that when you have the reigns of governance. Now you have to get them to switch sympathies and or win over a big portion of first-time voters. This may be doable but are they doing it? Bawumia increasingly acting more like a propaganda secretary than a deputy to the president, has not helped much with that either.

Time bares all things out, but I still believe the old adage to be true, elections are never won, they are lost. He that has an ear, let him hear.

Columnist: Edem Light