Never mind folks, you were at liberty to vote Mahama

Mahama Weary Gray Hair President John Mahama

Sat, 31 Dec 2016 Source: Badu, K

By K. Badu

A few weeks leading to the just ended general election (2016), I got a hint through a confidant about the malicious vineyard news which was spiralling in my neighbourhood in Kumasi.

My friend confided in me that some voters were being asked to vote for a particular candidate or party for a cash reward.

In fact, back then, I was extremely livid and could not believe my ears listening to some members of my family unconscionably insisting that they may vote for Mahama despite the harsh socio-economic standards of living being experienced by the same people.

Back then, I fretted in my soul with disappointment and curses and vowed to cease forwarding any remittances futuristically if they voted the NDC Party to power.

Although we choose to exercise our voting rights in expectation that our lives would be transformed positively through the elected government’s advantageous policies, my unsuspecting family members lives did not transform positively after voting the maladaptive NDC government to power in the 2008 and 2012 elections.

So, I could not fathom why some of my family members wanted to vote for the same unproductive administration. In my view, the unbridled devoted attachment is not the way forward, but electorates like my family members should rather look beyond the narrow political lines and assess the bigger picture.

In a great scheme of things, electorates like my family members should think about the way we can develop exponentially; which political party can take us forward as a nation and more so the right political party that would not embezzle our resources anyhow.

Apparently, my family members contend that all politicians behave in a similar fashion when in power. Hence they do not see the need to change from one to another.

Obviously, my family members feeling of indignation with the current political dynamics is something shared by many a Ghanaian electorate.

Nevertheless, my family members disposition is specious, because politicians have different levels of temperament, competence, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities so they are never the same, so to speak.

In fact, there are enough unobjectionable evidence to counter my family members and their likes who insist that politicians are the same.

Take, for instance, President Kufuor, who helped to move Ghana from the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) status to a Lower Middle Income status when he took over from former President Rawlings in 2001.

It is well-documented that during the year 2001, “debt as a percentage of the GDP was not only unsustainably high and crippling but also deprived Ghanaians from money which could have been used for needed developmental and social projects”.

The fact, though, is, the returns of the HIPC were “unprecedented during the Kufuor’s regime from (2001-2008). Microeconomic indicators begun to stabilize and Ghana’s debt stock was significantly reduced by about $4 billion within that period”.

“There were Rapid infrastructural developments as well as social and policy reforms”. “Ghana was then elevated from a HIPC economy to a middle income economy under the Kufuor administration” (Mutaka Alolo, 2012).

“By the end of 2008, Ghana's economy had been quadrupled to US$ 28 billion, a period of eight years under the NPP”. “The average GDP growth of the NDC from 1993-2000 was 3.8% while that of the NPP from 2001-2008 was5.2% with economic growth reaching 6.3% in 2007” (Daily Guide, 2016).

Disappointingly, however, in the last eight years, the NDC government has undone all the good foundation laid by President Kufuor and his NPP government.

For example, in the last eight years alone under this NDC government, Ghana’s total debt has ballooned from GH¢9.5 billion to a projected GH¢117 billion by the end of November 2016.

This means that 90% (i.e. GHC107.5 billion) of Ghana’s total debt since independence has been accumulated under this NDC government from 2009-2015 i.e. the last eight years.

As a matter of fact, it would be most unfair for sceptics like my family members to put for instance, Dr Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah and J. J. Rawlings in the same basket and compare their achievements.

For if nothing at all, Dr Nkrumah was a pragmatist industrialist who built hundreds of factories and only for President Rawlings to off load all to his cronies through his somewhat infelicitous Economic Recovery and Divestiture Implementation Programmes.

In the same vein, it would be boundlessly unconscionable to put the forward thinking President Kufuor and the indecisive President Mahama on the same pedestal in terms of the implementation of social interventions.

For if nothing at all, President Kufuor and his NPP government prudently introduced the free Maternal Care, the School Feeding Programme, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the Mass Transport System, the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty (LEAP), the National Youth Employment Programme, now known as GYEDA, and many other social interventions.

Thus, it is not entirely correct for anyone to assume that all politicians are the same, once they are in their comfort zones.

Even though some of my family members chose Mahama TOASO over Nana Addo and his NPP Party’s expedient policies such as ‘one district one factory’; ‘one village one dam’; ‘one constituency one million dollars’; ‘free SHS’, they should pray for the successful implementation of the policies.

Verily, the successful implementation of those policies will improve upon our socio-economic standards of living and thereby relieving some of us the burden of having to support our family members back home financially all the time.

Columnist: Badu, K