It is quite disheartening to keep hearing and reading the NDC loyalists unfounded accusations that Akufo-Addo deliberately belied the facts about the state of Ghana’s economy during the 2016 electioneering campaign which led to Mahama’s humiliating defeat.
Truth must, however, be told, it is absolutely disingenuous for the NDC faithful to gleefully chastise the NPP administration led by President Akufo-Addo for allegedly promising to deliver Heaven to Ghanaians during the 2016 electioneering campaign but rather delivering Hell.
Apparently, the NDC faithful are struggling endlessly to get over the NPP loyalists references of Mahama administration’s incompetence and wanton corruption.
Paradoxically, the Mahama teeming supporters are of the opinion that Akufo-Addo and his diehard supporters deceptively pledged juicy, albeit unachievable Manifesto promises which led to their 2016 landslide victory.
With all due respect with no hidden condescension whatsoever, the teeming supporters of Mahama must rather engage in a carefully considered deliberation and accept the painful fact that their dreadful errors of judgement which unfortunately sent Ghana’s economy deeper and deeper into the mire, to some large extent, cost them the power in 2016 election and not the supposedly ‘wicked’ lies put out by their opponents.
The fact however remains that the rot in the erstwhile NDC government was as pervasive as the odour of garlic, which led to some diehard supporters emitting their displeasure and threatening to boycott the 2016 election.
I remember vividly how my long-term friend who had witnessed enough of the unpardonable mess in his beloved NDC government decided to walk out of the party.
My pal contended somewhat passionately that he had been defending and promoting the party’s much touted ethos of probity, transparency and accountability for well over twenty three years, but lost the zeal to continue, as the sleazes and corruption in President Mahama’s government reached immeasurable proportions.
My friend, however, maintained that the straw that broke the camel’s back was when President Mahama decided to behave as the benevolent Father Christmas and unjustifiably gave away large portions of Ghana’s scarce resources to apologists like Madam Akua Donkor of Ghana Freedom Party (two four wheel drive cars and a luxury bungalow estimated to cost a staggering $470,000) for no work done.
My mate’s beef stemmed from the fact that he had worked his socks off all those years for the Party to enjoy power, meanwhile he had nothing to show for his efforts.
My pal was thus incensed that parasitic creatures like Madam Akua Donkor were needlessly being showered with all sorts of melodic gifts.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, my friend abandoned his role in the NDC prior to the 2016 election and confided in me that he did not even bother to travel to his polling station on the voting day.
In fact, my best mate did not see the urgent need to vote for NDC and President Mahama, given the crass incompetence and the unpardonable corruption.
My pal was, indeed, distraught about the way and manner Mahama was handling Ghana’s economy.
In private discussions, my pal would seriously raise concerns about the bribery and corruption scandals such as the infamous Bus branding, the Brazil World Cup, SADA, SUBA, GYEEDA, SSNIT, NCA, MASLOC, the furtive Ford Expedition Vehicle, the Woyome’s 51.2 million dubious judgement debt, the Waterville’s $30 million wrongful payment, the Isofoton’s dubious payment of $325,000, among others.
My mate was, in fact, extremely worried about the GH200 million SADA funds spent on trees which were later burnt down and the guinea fowls that miraculously flew to the nearby Burkina Faso.
It is absolutely true that a large portion of Ghana’s scarce resources ‘decanted’ into the drains due to the irrevocable mismanagement and the wanton corruption perpetrated by the officials of the erstwhile NDC administration.
But in all these, the loyalists NDC supporters would want discerning Ghanaians into believing that the erstwhile NDC government provided exceptional governance.
Truly, clumsy understanding of patriotism exists in the minds of many Ghanaians, who prefer needless praise singing to defending the national interests.
The good people of Ghana, regrettably, witnessed so much scheming guiles, unbridled corruption, incompetence, nepotism, cronyism and frequent abuse of power in the erstwhile NDC government, and hence the vast majority of Ghanaians have permanently lost trust in the NDC.
But despite the apparent economic meltdown back then, President Mahama and his apologists kept trumpeting their vague rhetoric , political insobrieties and meaningless slogans-‘Mahama Tuaso’; ‘We care for you’; ‘people matter, you matter’; ‘we are transforming lives’.
Suffice it to stress that the good people of Ghana struggled ceaselessly to pay their utility bills and could not even afford their children school fees.
The good people of Ghana, therefore, took a conscious decision by reposing their trust in NPP to set them free from the Mahama administration’s ostensive economic enslavement.
Discerning Ghanaians rightly embraced the NPP’s advantageous policies such as One District One Factory, One Constituency One million dollars, One Village One Dam, Free SHS, Tax deductions, among others.
Of course, to constantly complain, speak and write about the appalling state of Ghana’s economy under the erstwhile NDC government which the party faithful blithesomely perceive as a benign, or an inconsequential issue, is to be regarded as a political extremist, or even as a notorious conservative, mischievously seeking to discredit their beloved party.
Nevertheless, some of us, as a matter of principle, won’t abandon our civic duty, far from it. But we will rather stick to our guns, be true to the faith, and, keep upholding and defending the good name of our beloved Ghana.
The highlights of Ex-President Mahama’s performance
In fact, Ghana’s massive economic downslide took unexpected flight after the sudden and unfortunate death of President Mills.
Unbelievably, during the 2012 electioneering campaign, the late Mills successor, Ex-President Mahama and his NDC apparatchiks went haywire in their desperation to cling on to power. Thus they broke all conventions. Many government departments spent over and above their allocated budgets.
The previously single digit inflation and budget deficit doubled astronomically. The GH9.5 billion debt which former President Kufuor and his NPP government left in 2009 ballooned to GH122.4 billion as of December 2016 with nothing or little to show for.
Ghana’s economic growth slowed for the fourth consecutive year to an estimated 3.4% in 2015 from 4% in 2014 as energy rationing, high inflation, and ongoing fiscal consolidation weighed on economic activity (World Bank, 2016).
Moreover, President Mahama’s government squeamishly dragged the economic growth from around 14%in 2011 to around 3.4% as of December 2016.
In addition, the high inflation rate remain elevated at 18.5% in February 2016 compared to 17.7% in February 2015, even after the Central Bank’s 500 bps policy rate hikes (the inflation stood at 15.4%as of October 2016).
Unsurprisingly, therefore, during the epoch of Mahama’s maladministration, some concerned patriots like the late Jake Obetsebi Lamptey lamented: “Ghanaians are worried because the economy is being handled in a manner reminiscent of the NDC’s mishandling of the economy in 2000. We do not need to return to HIPC status.”
As a matter of fact, Ex-President Mahama did not do enough to improve on the socio-economic standards of living.
Take, for example, former President Kufuor quadrupled Ghana’s GDP to a staggering $28 billion in 2008, and the late Mills inherited oil in commercial quantities and managed to increase the GDP to $47 billion by 2011.
However, President Mahama disappointingly reversed the GDP to an incredible $40billion as of December 2016.
The highlights of Akufo-Addo’s performance thus far
If you would recall, during the 2016 electioneering campaign, the then presidential candidate of NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, declared: “I am promising you that within 18 months of a new government of the NPP, under my leadership, the face of our country, Ghana, is going to change”.
Since taking office, Akufo-Addo’s government has taken commendable strides to improve the social mobility through implementation of poverty reduction policies such as the Free SHS, one district one factory, Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development, Rearing for Food and Jobs, One million dollars per constituency, tax reductions, a dam per village in the northern part of Ghana, among others.
More so, despite the huge economic mess created by the outgone NDC government amid stunted economic growth, Akufo-Addo’s government, before the pernicious coronavirus, efficiently increased the economic growth from a disappointing 3.4 % as of December 2016 to a favourable 8.6 % within a short space of time.
The NPP administration also dramatically reversed the inflation rate to a single digit-around 7.5%from a little over 15 %as of December 2016.
It is, therefore, gratifying to note that the Akufo-Addo’s government is honouring the Manifesto promises and steadily tackling the erstwhile Mahama’s government economic mess head-on.
K. Badu, UK.
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