NPP vs. NDC On Patriotism, National Unity, And Corruption

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 Source: NPP

When truth is consistently compromised with careless abandon, when double talk is the order of the day, when hypocrisy is rewarded and mediocrity becomes a unique identifier then you have a government who out spins itself in a manner that threatens to take an entire nation down with it. NPP-USA is therefore compelled to set some critical records straight and hopefully initiate a national dialogue that could lead to a more civil political discourse characterized by truth, honesty, and with a focus on national building.

Recently the NDC led by its arrogant propaganda-in-chief Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa has been putting out snippets of information whose bankruptcy in truth is designed to deceive and confuse innocent Ghanaians. We on our part will assume the responsibility of providing factual pieces of information to the Ghanaian people in light of what appears be a strategic decision by the NDC administration to purposely misinform the Ghanaian public.

On Patriotism

The NDC’s claim to patriotism is patently false when compared to known facts. Leading to the elections of 2008, war chants coming from the NDC had a distinct message: we better win this election or there would be bloodshed. The party, in clear accordance with this undemocratic and diabolical mantra, proceeded to visit violence and mayhem on pro-NPP official including Dr. Ohene in the Volta Region for merely seeking to represent his party at the polling station. The machete wielding NDC hoodlum besieged the electoral commission prior to the announcement of the final results. Such instances of electoral intimidation contributed to candidate, John Evans Atta Mills’ hair breadth win in the most closely contested election in our history,. .

Nana Akufo Addo, the candidate who went into the run-off already in the lead placed the nation’s interest above his own by electing not to contest the result despite documented electoral malpractices from the NDC. It is noteworthy that anywhere in the world where results of elections have been so close, it has been the potential losing candidate’s prerogative to ask for a recount of the votes. Nana Akufo-Addo did not want to risk throwing Ghana into a state of chaos so he conceded. That is patriotism. That is political selflessness, that is a remarkable demonstration of nationalism and political maturity. It is also a mark of patriotism when, by his famous all-die-be-die statement, Nana Akufo-Addo declared that the NDC will not be allowed to impose its inept governance on Ghanaians beyond 2012 by way of intimidations again. How can the patriotism of this stalwart of a patriot be ever called into question by those who have made it their mission to divide a previously united nation?

On National Unity

During the ‘First Oil’ Celebrations, an all important milestone of our nation’s history and growth, the Mills-Mahama administration failed to invite the opposition party to take part. In his speech, President Mills elected to highlight members of his party who failed to discover oil for fifteen years and credited them for the discovery. Left out for recognition were members of NPP who in fact put the systems in place for the off-shore deposits to be discovered.

During the delivery of his State of the Nation address in Parliament last month, President Mills deviated from protocol and recognized the presence of high profile members of his party leaving out those of NPP including President Kufuor, an omission so blatant and conspicuous that Mills had to render an apology a day later.

Furthermore, the first two years of this NDC administration has been characterized by several instances of intimidation and embarrassment of the NPP Flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo at public events. To explain, the NDC has given a wide variety of false information ranging from denials to late arrivals as the reason why Nana Akufo-Addo is not allowed to simply greet other dignitaries. All these and many other episodes put together paint a clear picture of an increasingly insecure and unpopular government worried about the more popular NPP being a foil and upstaging them at national events. The NDC has resorted to using state apparatus to make it almost impossible for the leader of the largest opposition party to attend state functions.

With this as a reminder, if an invitation to participate in our national event is delivered relatively late, any reasonable person or group of persons worried about potential public humiliation by a divisive government would seek to spare himself or themselves of the experience and not show up for the event. Yet here we are overlooking the calculated and underhand strategy of the NDC and highlighting the reaction of the NPP.

Simply put, the NDC is in leadership. If it indeed wants a united Ghana, it can create the conducive environment for peace and unity to improve. But judging from the way it has governed, it cannot be any more obvious that the party not only wants to lead a disunited Ghana, it actually fosters it for a strange strategic reason.

On Corruption

The ‘wise men of old’ were not lying when they said when you point one finger at another person, three of your own fingers are pointing back to you. The NDC lied to Ghanaians that the NPP was a corrupt party. Forget that several anti-corruption measures including the Procurement Laws were put in place by the NPP administration to fight corruption. Forget that Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, a cumulative survey of foreign business persons in Ghana, improved steadily from 2001 to 2008 when NPP was in power. Forget that with all their might, this NDC government has tried and failed to successfully prosecute any NPP official for corruption.

On the other hand, we have past NDC officials who have been proven in courts of law both in Ghana and in other countries (Mabey & Johnson Case) to have engaged in corrupt practices while in government. We have the General Secretary of the ruling NDC government who sits on the Board of the Bui Dam Project while owning a company that supplies blocks for the Bui Dam Project. Not surprisingly, General Mosquito has sprung up two giant mansions in two years. His explanation? If he was unable to build the mansions, he would be called “useless,” and he is not useless. General Mosquito further explains that he has worked a lifetime of good jobs to acquire his wealth. Where was all that wealth when, until his party came to power, he squatted in a small apartment in Tema, which by the way was sold to him for peanuts under the Rawlings administration?

Meanwhile President Mills continues to pay only lip service to fighting corruption. Never mind that giant mansions are suddenly being built on his own family land that had laid bare for decades until he became president. His explanation? He is not the only working member of his family. We would like to draw the president’s attention to the fact that his assertion is true, but has been also true for all those decades when that land laid bare.

Last month a Chinese duo walked into the Eco Bank in North Ridge with a briefcase full of money and deposited undisclosed amounts of money into 75 different accounts. These were not Chinese accounts; these were accounts owned by Ghanaians. And they could not be employees of their company because salaries in Ghana are either paid in checks or are paid through normal payroll channels to enable the government to apply the necessary taxes. So whose accounts were those at Eco Bank?

Not to be left out of the mansion building spree, Central Regional Minister Ama Benyiwaa Doe is said to have also sprung up mansions of her own. It appears as though all the work that these NDC functionaries have been doing over the years began to yield financial fruits right at the time that they assumed roles in the government. Special Advisor to President Mills on Energy Tsatsu Tsikata is alleged to have received a bribe of $5 million paid in installments of $2 million and $3 million. He was never sanctioned and still wields power at GNPC. The list of corrupt practices by these NDC officials is endless.

The facts are overwhelming. This NDC government, in two short years, has managed almost miraculously to plunge Ghana into staggering decadence and poverty rate previously unknown. Patriotism has gone out of the window because this group of officials has consistently made decisions that favor individual selfish interests over those of the nation. The country is as divisive as it has ever been because pettiness and other myopic behaviors including selective application of justice have been the hallmark of this NDC administration.

We never thought any administration can outdo the Rawlings administration in the area of corruption, but we can confidently say that corruption in Ghana today is at an all-time high. These are the realities that the Mills-Mahama administration must live with.

Finally if President Mill is serious about addressing issues of corruption, he must ask for the resignation of the NDC General Secretary from the Board of the Bui Dam Project to alleviate the conflict of interest, stop the divisive politics that continue to retard all progress made in the area of national unity that existed when he assumed the leadership of our country, and for once LEAD rather than follow. This is our challenge to the Mills-Mahama NDC administration.

Columnist: NPP