NPP Had Their Chance, They Had Their Moment ....

Tue, 16 Nov 2004 Source: Nkansah, Charles N.

They have Not Led: Boot Them Out!!!

Almost 4 years ago, the New Patriot Party (NPP) led by Mr. John Kuffour cruised into power as a result of Ghanaians? resolve for a change of government after almost 18 years of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) / National Democratic Congress (NDC) rule. It was a time of unprecedented patriotism and our people were faced with a fundamental choice ? A change of government for new leadership, fresh ideas and a new direction for Ghana, and yes we did. I felt and still feel, Ghanaians made the right judgment in elections 2000 by choosing change for a real fresh start for our nation over the same old way of doing things.

It is however, highly presumptuous of President Kuffour to think that he won the 2000 elections based on his great leader skills or his ability to change our cause for the better. Yes we do know the chronicle of his track record of failure as a leader in past managerial positions. The question is can we trust him with the future of Ghana now that he is in his sixties? Certainly not, Ghanaians were only resolved for a change of government that is exactly what we did. Fortunately for Mr. Kuffour, he happens to be the cross we have to carry for this change. But fellow Ghanaians, a second term for Mr. Kuffour would be a grievous mistake and posterity would never forgive us. To me it is such a crucial moment for Ghana with so much at stake. We need a strong, vision minded and charismatic leader with fresh ideas to move this nation forward. A President, who can energize our people, take a new direction on policies, make the hard decisions and do things differently. This is not the time to entrust the future of Ghana in the hands of a Sleeping President who is so bankrupt of fresh ideas, new direction, corrupt and someone who is simply out of touch with his people and modern realities.

To be honest, the Kuffour-led NPP Government is one that has enjoyed Ghanaians? total patriotism and had cruised through the sympathy of Ghanaians, as we last saw during the June 4, 1979 revolutions. But fellow Ghanaians it is amazing that instead of seizing this opportunity and leading our people, the Kuffour Government has blown it all. Instead of taking us on the path of fresh ideas and new direction, they went down the path of least resistance, slavishly accepting policies and programs for the purpose of bleeding Ghanaians for their personal gain. They slavishly swallowed the Poisonous HIPC program just 3 months in office without even listening to the dissenting views of majority of our people who kicked against it. The HIPC package which is yet another poisonous neo-colonial pill from the IMF and World Bank solely meant for African consumption to keep us forever poor is now like an albatross hanging over our neck. Their slavish choices make me sometimes to wonder whether certain persons in key positions in the NPP Government are unintelligent, or could not understand what read and sign or whether they simply think the rest of us Ghanaians are too stupid to think for ourselves. Our economy today is in total disarray than before; our national debt of 43 trillion since independence till 18 years of NDC rule has jumped to over 73 trillion in 3 years and keeps rising.

They have managed to mismanage everything Ghana?s forward match stood for by their slavish choices, extravagant life style, huge display of corruption and abuse of power among others, creating a sky-rocketing a debt crisis that is imposing a crushing burden on our economy and the future of our children. With no clear agenda and plan on how to move our nation forward, they lied and sweet talked our people to quench their thirst for power. With no idea about how to lead, they have miscalculated everything by putting square pegs in round holes creating hell lot of confusion. 4 years down the road of what they themselves called ?Positive Change?, our future looks more blurred, more and more Ghanaians have become disillusioned and less hopeful than we saw before the 2000 elections. Yet they come again asking for another 4 years of more non-performance? On December 7, our answer to them should be simply and straight as it went to the NDC in the 2000 elections: ?NPP you had your chance, you had your moment, you have not led, and you deserve no second term!?

Today, millions of Ghanaians are out job and the number keeps rising, arm robbery and all forms of crime are unprecedented to such levels that even innocent Ghanaians and the business community cannot go about their daily life without fear. Remembered how a whole Paramount chief, the Yaa Na was brutally assassinated in broad day light but till today, those killers who committed this despicable and brutal crime are still illusive under the Kuffour-led NPP Government?s watch? How is this different from the murder of the 3 high-court judges? Do not tell me some people are more Ghanaian than others because of their ethnicity. Find the killers of the Yaa Na now and bring them to justice. It is the only way for which a lasting peace can prevail in Dagbon instead of this ad-hoc nonsense of always imposing strict restrictions on the rights and liberties of these noble people. The Kuffour-led NPP has had their chance, they had their moment, and they have not led, it is time for them to go!!!

Teenage Pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, street children, income inequality, unemployment, hardcore poverty and cost of living are all skyrocketing bleeding Ghanaians to death. Today our society is more divided than before by their calculated strategy of criminalizing and silencing political opponents by the setting up of Kangaroo courts like the ?Fast Track Court?. We would have been better of if our traditional judicial system as a whole were revamped and modernized for effective delivery of justice for all. Instead of strengthening a constitutional instrument like the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHHRAJ) they set up an ill-fated National Reconciliation Commission (NRC) just to nail down NPP opponents. Our political system has become more paralyzed than before and freedom and justice for our people has become illusive than ever. We see people being harassed and unlawfully arrested everyday in their homes, in churches and just everywhere by state security agents without due respect for their human rights under President Kuffour?s watch. What do I think about Mr. Kuffour?s one-sided ?Zero Tolerance to Corruption Declaration?? Aha, yet another governmental scam and spin to throw stones into our eyes and blind us while his band of crooks and thieves like Bamba, Jack, you name them go on a looting spree without impunity. For a person like President Kuffour who is stiff-necked and contemptuous of what others think about him regarding these issues at stake, we are yet to hear him condemn these acts of lawlessness because he is part of it and he endorses them. Yes the NPP has had their chance, they have had their moment, but they have not led. Let us boot them out!!!

This is what they have not done even though we made some progress before they look over:

Education: They have neglected this sector and rather increased school fees beyond our wildest imagination. Interesting enough, the noble idea of GETFUND has become their private pocket money and they cannot even account for it. Listen to the contradictions between the Minister of Information who is actually doing more to misinform Ghanaians than he does his job to inform and the Minister of Finance. Our noble teachers and university professors are more than ever low on moral and their take home cannot even take them home. These are people who should know better since they claimed they are better educated than the rest of us. Instead of strengthening Education Ministry, they senselessly merged it with the Youth and Sports Ministry passing over another unwanted cost to the Ghanaian taxpayer. The state of our universities has worsened, internet access to our university students is still close to zero, our university libraries are like funeral homes and the conditions on our campuses look more like refugee camps, hampering research and studies. Instead of investing in our universities to boast research for our collective development, state money was rather used to renovate the President?s private home and to buy unnecessary bullet proof cars.

For our basic education, they have given the wrong meaning to the Free and Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) program. Today more and more children are out of school and on the streets because of high cost of education and government seemed to have no idea of how to solve problem leaving so many children behind. What is the future for our nation if our educational system is such a mess? The last time, I burst into laughter when I read our Honourable Education Minister; Mr. Baah-Wiredu launched National Day of First Day in School. Make no mistake, I do admire Mr. Baah-Wiredu whom I believe is one of the few good guys among the whole junk, but I beg to differ on this NPP governmental spin and nonsense. What is the essence of the first day in school when government?s wrong choices make it impossible for children to stay in school to see their last day in school? Give a real meaning to the FCUBE program, proposed and enact laws that holds parents responsible when their children are absent from school for no reason, encourage industries to fund research programs in our universities by giving them tax relief and other incentives among others. If we are to move forward, government must seriously addressed education now.

Health: Health delivery for our people has worsened under the NPP Government. The cash and carry system has been made hasher and no go area for majority of our people, while members of the NPP Government continue to seek medical treatment abroad at taxpayers? expense. Our hardworking doctors and nurses are low on moral and pay while many Ghanaians are dying daily of basic diseases which should not kill them. Our hospitals lack basic necessities and have become potential mortuaries. What about the proposed National Health Insurance Scheme? Yes it is a very noble idea but how? Again, the No Plan Party (NPP) just talking the talk and basing all their calculations on the pension savings of our already suffering workers. This is not the solution because our workers have every right to make sure their pension savings are secured from government manipulations and misappropriations. Health for our people is government?s responsibility and a basic human right for our people. Leave our pensions alone and rather cut down on government unnecessary spending and waste to save for medical care for every Ghanaian.

Sports and Youth Developments: Since taking over office, the NPP has always played the same old dirty blame game blaming other governments for their own inability to perform and deliver. Sports development is in its worse shape in all divisions. Ghana could not even win a ?wood? at the recent Olympic Games held in Athens, Greece. Our football at all levels has not achieved any progress under the NPP. One wonders what the future is for our Black Stars under this kind of leadership and haphazard organization. Youth development has hit the bottom despite the unprecedented number of Ministers. What does it mean for our future if youth development is in such a mess? The Ghanaian Youth Policy I am privileged to have worked on alongside other hard working Ghanaians is yet another governmental policy document seating on the dirty shelves while they search answers from no where. Certainly, a new government with fresh ideas would reinstate the Youth and Sports Ministry and give its full responsibility to a Minister.

Trade and Investment: Very good at globe trotting, our President has traveled at every least opportunity in search of investment. Amusing is what the duties of Ministers of Trade, Foreign Affairs and the unprecedented number of Government Appointees in our embassies and high commissions are? How do you expect a serious investor to take our President who cannot even put four words together to make a sentence correctly when faced with the media seriously? The least talked about Mr. Yao Osafo Marfo, the Finance Minister the better. I have never seen any Finance Minister who sense of judgment is so far from common and logical sense. The Poisonous HIPC program, the dubious IFC scam, the Chinese salon saga are just a few example of a minister?s lack of common and logical sense. Then we have our forgotten grandfather, Mr. J.H. Mensah who was illegally named ?Senior Minister? and Head of Government Economic Team. Come on Mr. President, wake up! Mr. Mensah and Mr. Osafo Marfo have no credibility left for investors to take Ghana seriously? Now the NPP Government thinks branding public buses bought with taxpayers? money in NPP colours could be a means of investment? Listen to the Misinformation Minister the last time trying hard to explain why. Public buses are not for party politicking. This is wrong and must be stop now.

One of our nation?s prides like Ghana Airways should be privatized to make it more viable and less governmental controlled. Yes but should we sell it cheaply to a faceless and fraudulent firm like the GIA that the NPP government herself created? Really KLM and other reputable firms failed to make the bid? Do not fool the people because we have seen such fraudulent sale of the Ghana embassy building in Washington D.C. claiming it was sinking, the renovation of the embassy in Berlin, Ghana Telecom which they hijacked from the Malaysians and several other such nontransparent bidding processes under the NPP government. To attract investment, you need to show leadership by ensuring that the necessary environment prevails. How can you be sending former Ministers to jail based on flimsy and useless law like ?Causing financial lost? instead of they being found guilty of corruption? This is a dangerous precedence and a potential loop-hole for abuse of all public servants who are otherwise carrying out their duties to move our nation forward. Who would be ready to serve the nation again if such useless laws are still on our law books? How do you expect investors to your country when in every least opportunity, government enlarges the bench to serve her wicked intentions? How do you expect investors in your country when everyday, government forges coup plot just to nail down her opponents? Yes the strategy is to divert public attention from their inability to solve the problems they helped created. Leave the Rawlings, Lt. Col. Gloveys and many other alone and concentrate on solving the problems you were voted into office to solve. These people are no threat to Ghana?s security.

New Districts and More Parliamentary Seats: During the Stone Age, creating of more districts and more parliamentary seats may be hailed because, there were no roads and information access was difficult. But in this modern era of Information Age, neither common nor logical sense supports this nonsense of dividing our people. To my view, Ghana needs not more than five provinces and 20 districts to do the work the 10 regions and large number of districts has not done. What we need is provinces that are well equipped with telephone, internet, police service, fire fighters, health delivery services, schools, you name it. Ghana with a population of a little over 18 million should have just about 50 parliamentary seats instead of this waste of creating jobs for people. Our parliamentarians should be furnished with well equipped offices and all the logistics they need to stay in touch with their constituencies even while they are in Accra for them to do the job effectively. Why do we need all these mushroom districts and parliamentary seats when some of these communities do not even have a single functioning telephone? In this Information Age, the world has become more or less a small village and government must think progressively instead of retrogressively. A new government with fresh ideas should consider bridging this information divide, drastically cutting these parliamentary seats, districts and regions down to save taxpayers? money from going down the drains.

Space cannot allow me to go on with other equally vital sectors like Roads, Railways, Communication, Good drainage system, Housing, Child Care, Care for the Aged, Security Services many more but I just hope someone is listening. The NPP despite the fact that it had spent more than 20 years in opposition has proved she have no plan for transforming Ghana for the better. What they know best is being a destructive opposition with no vision as we have seen all through the reign of Ghana?s greatest and true leader Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Send them back to opposition which is more comfortable to them. NPP had their chance, they had their moments, they have not led, Kick them out on December 7!!!

God save Our Motherland.

Charles N. Nkansah.
Montreal, QC Canada.

Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.

Columnist: Nkansah, Charles N.