Opinions Wed, 23 Dec 2009

Where is the change? - Mr President

As 2009 draws to an end, we must all reflect on what has happened in our dear country throughout the year.

The end of 2008 saw the election of Professor John Evans Atta Mills and the NDC into government in one of the most closely contested elections in our young democracy. Even though some of us did not like the outcome, we had to accept the choice of the people and move on. This successful and ‘incident free’ electoral process did thrust Ghana into the limelight as the beacon of hope for African democracy, something every Ghanaian is proud of. This led to a visit to Ghana by the first African-American US President. President Barack Obama chose to visit Ghana ahead of his native Kenya and other powerful countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Black Stars became the first African country to qualify for the first FIFA world cup tournament to be staged on African soil in 2010. The Black Satellites also became the first African country to win the FIFA U-20 world cup tournament.

The cherry was put on the cake with the commemoration of the centenary anniversary of the man who gave us Ghana, our founding father and first president Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. The commemoration revealed what a true statesman Nkrumah was.

President Mills was elected on the agenda of ‘change’. During his victory speech and throughout the transition period, President elect Mills told Ghanaians he would hit the ground running when he takes office. After eight years of Kufuor and the NPP administration, some people had high hopes for the new administration, however, what a failure it has turned out to be and how disappointed but unsurprised we are. The NPP/NDC transition team spent vast amounts of money during the transition period, this is again not surprising as these two parties are no different, they both have the same agenda; they are different sides of the same coin. Following the transition, for someone who wanted to hit the ground running, Presidents Mills’ appointments drew criticism from within his own party and more so from his former boss and mentor ‘Boom’ Rawlings. Most of Mills’ appointees are either ex convicts or incompetent novices.

Instead of hitting the ground running, it felt President Mills rather hit the ground and froze. At the start the Mills presidency, we saw the swift return of queues for fuel in most part of the country. The NDC and the NPP are as bad as each other in managing TOR and GNPC as a whole. These two national institutions have had several problems during both the NPP and NDC regimes, a clear indication that these two parties are no good for Ghanaians. President Mills again promised a government of no corruption, barely had he finished putting his team together when his sports minister was thrown into a corruption scandal. A similar scandal befell Kufuor’s sports minister at the start of the NPP government; do we spot the similarity? There is no difference between the Mabey and Johnson kickbacks that have landed some members of the Mills government in hot waters and the castle kickbacks revealed by the former NPP chairman Esseku during Kufuor’s reign. Again what is the difference between the sale of Ghacem during NDC part one, which resulted in a court case in Norway, fingering some top NDC men as recipients of kickbacks and the sale of GT during the NPP administration. The NDC in opposition made so much noise about the sale of GT and promised a review of the circumstances surrounding the sale, now that they are in government, despite an independent committee branding the sale illegal, the Mills administration says it is now going to do nothing about it. What has changed?

Mills promised change during his campaign, but in reality the only change is the personal and the name of the party in government. The NDC have been in government before and Mills was at the heart of it during their second term in office. Their disappointment made Ghanaians switch to NPP. With the high expectations, they also failed badly and Ghanaians again in their despair have turned to the NDC. Sadly we are not seeing the change Mills promised during his campaign. Almost a year into their governance, this administration has failed to deliver. Even though President Mills has admitted to the mediocrity in some of his ministers, he is asking Ghanaians for time and patience rather than appoint those who can do a better job. Time is running out and patience has already run out and we all wished 2012 was tomorrow. Ghanaians have suffered for nearly twenty years under successive NDC/NPP administrations and this Mills NDC is pursuing the same failed policies that are causing hardship for Ghanaians; selling Ghana on the cheap to the west, outsourcing major national projects to the east at the expense of local industries, tribalism and random dismissals, rise in crime and corruption, freeze in public sector employment as directed by the IMF and the world bank, and public service is still a joke after all these years. So the question again is; where is the change we were promised? There is really no difference between the NDC and the NPP. The real change for Ghana is the alternative to these two parties.

As we come to the end of the year, Ghanaians have realised that voting NDC or NPP into power has been a mistake. Let us now look at the real alternative. A party and a government that will not sell Ghana on the cheap, a government that will support local industries to grow and undertake challenging national projects and prove the ‘self determination’ of our citizens rather than outsourcing major national projects. Let us back a party that will look after and manage our own resources for the benefit of all Ghanaians without outside influence. We want to assure you that we can build our own houses in Ghana, we can grow our own food and we can manage our own affairs with the right leadership. A CPP leadership that believes in our ability to run our own affairs and a government that will lead us to our economic independence, not the NDC/NPP policy of selling Ghana on the cheap and outsourcing our services from school uniforms to construction of residential homes at the expense of our local housing and textile industries without trusting Ghanaians to run our own affairs.

The Mills government promised change at the start of the year, they have failed to deliver that change up till now and they will never deliver that change because they have nothing new to offer Ghanaians. As we enter into a new year, we would like you to know that real change can come to Ghana, and that change can only be brought by a CPP government.

We wish all our fellow citizens a Merry Christmas and a Happy and a Prosperous new year. Afehyiapa, afe nko meto yen bio!!!

Young Nkrumaist Movement

Columnist: Young Nkrumaist Movement