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Politics Wed, 13 Sep 2006

FEATURE: Kufuor's Politics Of Lies

Part III

We repeat Nicolo di Machiavelli’s advice to Princes (Presidents) as quoted in John Westwood’s “How to become President of Ghana” currently on sale in the streets of Accra.
Under President Kufuor’s NPP Government, Machiavellianism, the art of telling political lies to survive, has been developed into a fine art. It is helped in no small measure by the section of the media that eats from the palms of the NPP and that is in cahoots with the Minister of National Security to make sure that the evils of the NPP administration are never brought to light.
The worry in this glorification of lies is that President Kufuor and his acolytes who tell them believe them, even though they know they are lies. Fortunately for the country, that is the kind of self-deception that always spells doom for those kinds of politicians. Now read on:
“HOW A PRINCE SHOULD KEEP HIS WORD: How praiseworthy it is for a Prince to keep his word and to live by integrity and not by deceit! Nevertheless, one sees from the experience of our times that the princes who have accomplished great deeds are those who have cared little for keeping their promises and who have known how to manipulate the minds of men by shrewdness; and in the end they have surpassed those who laid their foundations upon honesty.
You must, therefore, know that there are two means of fighting: one according to the law, the other with force; the first way is proper to man, the second to the beasts: but because the first, in many cases, is insufficient, it becomes necessary to have recourse to the second. Therefore, a prince must know how to use wisely the natures of the beast and the man.
He should choose from among the beasts the fox and the lion; for the lion cannot defend itself from traps and the fox cannot protect itself from wolves. It is therefore necessary to be a fox in order to recognise traps and a lion in order to frighten the wolves.
Those who play only the part of lion do not understand matters. A wise ruler, therefore, cannot and should not keep this word when such an observance of faith would be to his disadvantage and when the reasons which made him promise are removed. And if men were all good, this rule would not be good; but since men are a sorry lot and will not keep their promises to you, you likewise need not keep yours to them.
A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promises. Of this one could cite an endless number of modern examples to show how many pacts, how many promises have been made null and void because of the infidelity of princes; and he who has known best how to use the fox has come to a better end. But it is necessary to know how to disguise this nature well and to be a great hypocrite and a liar; and men are so simpleminded and so controlled by their present necessities that one who deceives will always find another who will allow himself to be deceived.
A prince, therefore, must be very careful never to let anything slip from his lips which is not full of the five qualities: he should appear, upon seeing or hearing him, to be merciful, faithful, humane, forthright, religious – and have a mind ready to turn itself according to the way Fortune and the changeability of affairs require him”.
The Promise: A viable democratic state must be governed according to the rule of law—The NPP recognises that respect for the rule of law needs to be buttressed by the relevant institutional structures, the most important of which is an efficient and impartial system of judicial administration (NPP 2000 Manifesto, page 36, paragraphs 4.3.1 and 4.3.2.)
The Practice: The NPP’s rule of law only operates in favour of NPP appointees. Over 100 allegations of corruption against NPP operatives remain un-investigated, whilst trumped up charges of “causing financial loss” are daily brought against former NDC appointees. Messrs Ibrahim Adam, Kwame Peprah and George Yankey were jailed following President Kufuor’s manipulation of the Judiciary to “pack” the Supreme Court and in the face of the trial judge’s finding that there was no criminal intent on their part. Currently, former First Lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, Kwame Peprah and others are on trial for the former’s alleged failure to pay interest on a putative loan. The Promise: The NPP government will ensure good governance by restoring credibility to the executive branch of government by setting a higher moral tone by example and precept (NPP 2000 Manifesto, page 38, paragraph 4.5.3). The Practice: The following are examples only of the “higher moral tone by example and precept” by president Kufuor and his NPP Government: The Promise: The NPP disagrees with the present arrangement for the appointment and removal of DCEs. Ultimately, they will have to be freely elected (NPP 2000 Manifesto, page 39, paragraph 6.3)
The Practice: Six years into office, the NPP now says the party has initiated a debate on whether DCEs should be elected or not.
The Promise: NPP will take steps to amend Article 248 of the 1992 Constitution to make Local Government elections partisan (NPP 2000 Manifesto, page 39, paragraph 4.6.6.)
The Practice: Not even one step has been taken to amend Article 248 or to make Local Government elections partisan.
The Promise: The NPP Government will give high priority to Police housing (NPP 2000 Manifesto, page 42, paragraph 4.10.2)
The Practice: Not one new housing barracks for the police has been constructed since the NPP has been in office.
The Promise: “We shall encourage the growth of Neighbourhood/Community Watch Schemes and the formal and informal interaction of the community with the police (NPP 2000 Manifesto, page 43, paragraph 4.10.4)
The Practice: In 2002, four members of the Taifa Neighbourhood Watch Committee were gunned down in cold blood by a police/military patrol team. An investigation was ordered. Its report has never been published. Since that incident, the Neighbourhood Watch Committee concept has died.
The Promise: The NPP government will provide some financial support for the operations of political parties (NPP 2000 Manifesto page 43, paragraph 4.12.1)
The Practice: The NPP government has provided no such support.

Part V

We repeat Machiavelli’s quote from the magazine edited by John Westwood, the anti-Rawlings, anti-NDC publicist, which is selling on the streets of Accra and continue with our analysis of President Kufuor’s politics of lies:
“A wise ruler, therefore, cannot and should not keep his word when such an observance of faith would be to his disadvantage and when the reason which made him promise are removed. And if men were all good, this rule would not be good; but since men are a sorry lot and will not keep their promises to you, you likewise need not keep yours to them.
A prince never lacks legitimate reasons to break his promises. Of this one could cite an endless number of modern examples to show how many pacts, how many promises have been made null and void because of the infidelity of princes; and he who has known best how to use the fox has come to a better end.
But it is necessary to know how disguise this nature well and to be a great hypocrite and a liar; and men are so simpleminded and so controlled by their present necessities that one who deceives will always find another who will allow himself to be deceived”.
Today’s Part 5 is a continuation of the analysis of “So Far, So Very Good”, the NPP’s mendacious pre-2004 election propaganda publication, which was shelved as quickly as it was launched on account of the NDC’s blistering and devastating counter-publication which the party themed: “So Far, So Many Lies”. Now read on ---
The NPP Lie: According to the NPP, justice and the rule of law have prevailed under its rule because there have been no human rights abuses in the courts, no political detainees in prison, no seizure of private properties, and no culture of silence.
The Truth: The Judiciary was manipulated by President Kufuor in the Quality Grain Case to jail Ibrahim Adam, Kwame Peprah and Dr. George Adja-Sipah Yankey.
Kwabena Kusi, a Kumasi teenage mechanic, was arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned for criticising President Kufuor’s excessive travels.
Hon. E.T. Mensah, NDC Ranking Parliamentary Member for Youth and Sports, was detained in BNI cells for allegedly whispering that “the plan has worked”.
Private property confiscated by the courts from convicted cocaine-dealers have been released to their owners. Sections of the media have been bought and paid for and constituted into NPP praise-singers.
The NPP Lie: The NPP credits with the modernisation of the 37 Military Hospital. The Truth: Phase I of the 37 Military Hospital modernisation project was complete and Phase II was almost completed when the NDC handed over power to the NPP on 7th January 2001.
The NPP Lie: The NPP established the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).
The Truth: The Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre was conceived, initiated and commenced by the NDC. The sod-cutting ceremony was performed by the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, in 2000 when the NDC was in office. The Centre’s financing was included in the 2000 Defence budget.
The NPP Lie: The Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College has been affiliated to the University of Ghana for qualified officers to pursue a one-year, post-graduate studies for the award of a Masters degree in International Affairs. The College is also linked to GIMPA for Certificate/ Diploma courses in Public Administration.
The Truth: The NDC Government in 1998 started the policy of affiliating the Training Institutions of the Ghana Armed Forces with the University of Ghana and other tertiary training institutions to enable officers pursue graduate and post-graduate studies in various disciplines.
The NPP Lie: The NPP designed, reviewed and supervised the “Effluent Treatment and Disposal Works and the Weija Dam Emergency Repair Works”
The Truth: The NDC’s was the Government that sourced the funds to rehabilitate and expand the Weija and Kpong Head works to increase their combined capacity from 72 million gallons to 102 million gallons per day.
The NPP Lie: The NPP has completed works on the Winneba Water Works. The Truth: The NDC Government awarded the rehabilitation and expansion contract works of the Winneba Head Works to Sparns Bubock of The Netherlands at the cost of US$7.5 million in 2000.
The NPP Lie: The NPP has completed the contract on the Akwapim Ridge Water Supply Project.
The Truth: The NDC sourced the loan of US$10 million from Spain for the rehabilitation of the Akwapim Ridge Water Supply Project.
The NPP Lie: The NPP has constructed the Keta Sea Defence Project, land reclamation for habitation, and the resettlement of the inhabitation of Kedzi, Vodze and Adida.
The Truth: The NDC Government awarded the contract for the Keta Sea Defence Project to the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company of the USA to undertake the construction of six groynes revetment structure, flood control structure, beach nourishment, land reclamation works and a Bird Habitat island, including a resettlement scheme for the people in the affected project area.
The NPP Lie: The NPP is undertaking the Korle Lagoon Ecological Restoration Project (KLERP), the second phase of which involves the construction of interception weir, pumping station and new outfall pipe.
The Truth: The KLERP contract was awarded by the NDC Government to a Belgian-based construction firm and includes dredging, channel improvement, solid waste disposal, landscaping of the periphery of the Lagoon, sanitation control measures, and construction of a new pipe sea outfall.
The NPP Lie: The NPP has completed 40% of work on the Tamale Storm Water Drainage Project (TSWDP), construction of which started in April 2003.
The Truth: The NDC Government contracted the loan for the TSWDP from BADEA to undertake the project. The loan agreement was approved by Parliament in 2000 when the NDC was in government. The Project was part of the preparations towards according Tamale a city status with a Metropolitan Assembly as promised in the NDC’s 2000 Manifesto.



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

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Source: Quaye, Rikard
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