This country and its leadership do not cease to amaze! On Sunday, in the midst of platform rhetoric of a one-touch victory for Mr. John Dramani Mahana and his National Democratic Congress at the campaign launch in Cape Coast, I was intrigued by the admission by Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, founder of the party, that he was prevailed upon to avoid a boom speech in the Central Regional capital.
The former military junta head, who signed the party into existence with his blood, cited the wife of President John Mahama, Lordina, and Zenagtor Rawlings, his own daughter, now contesting for a seat in the House of Parliament on the ticket of the party, as those who officially talked him out of pressing the panic button in the NDC.
For me, it tells a lot that beneath the roof-top advertisements of a well-oiled party misapplying state resources to its advantage, there are cracks at the very top echelon of the party in power.
If the founder of the party, and undoubtedly, NDC’s most charismatic personality, is now considered such a fear factor in the party’s organisation that people have to be assigned to talk him out of raising the fear factor, then all may not be well under the umbrella.
The NDC, and its whole governance system of the country, have failed to excite me as a loyal Ghanaian. For me, the way state resources were misapplied under the military junta to establish the NDC as a political party, entirely put me off.
On Sunday, I had one more reason to agonise over the fate of this country in the hands of the NDC. Truth, like a cork, cannot drown in any amount of water, no matter how muddy it is made to become.
After selling ‘Changing Lives and Transforming Ghana’ as if it was a state mantra over the period, it finally came to light that it is the slogan for the NDC to fight the 2016 Presidential and Legislative Elections.
If you ask me why I have a problem or two with the NDC as a political concept, I would not hesitate to point to the misuse of state resources to project the party in power.
For instance, in December, 2015, the Ministry of Communications, applying state resources, launched what the government and party officials called the ‘Green Book.’ The 210-page document lists state construction projects under the title:
‘Accounting to the People.’ The Green Book has “#Changing Lives and #Transforming Ghana’ as its slogan, and firmly printed on its cover page along with the Coat of Arms of the Republic of Ghana.
The document formed the basis for President Mahama’s campaign tour of all the regions, supposedly accounting to the people, and paid for by the state. Now, the cat, a fat one indeed, is out of the bag.
Discerning Ghanaians have long made the connection between the tour and party fortunes. Somehow, officials of state and party gurus argued that the campaign swing was to account to the people.
It is only in Ghana that the President could account to the people without mentioning the cost of a single item. Now, it is official! Those tours were conducted to aid the party. I have no problem with that. My only beef is that the NDC must be made to pick up the entire bill of that tour. It was never meant to account to the people.
Asking people to vote for President John Dramani Mahama, on the basis that the government he heads has built hospitals, schools, roads or toilets, paid for by the state, cannot, in fairness to the English language, represent any form of accounting. It is political party campaigning, pure and simple.
Now that it has been officially acknowledged that the slogan was coined to aid the party’s campaign, Metro Mass Transit Company, for instance, ought to be interested in the turn of events. I am recommending to the company to submit a bill representing the cost of advertising the slogan on state buses, all this while.
The other day, when former Minister of Transport Mrs. Dzifa Attivor and Mrs. Selasie Ibrahim of Smarttys were smarting under the bus branding saga, the issue at stake was the colour picture of President Mahama with other black and white effigies of previous constitutional heads of state.
The issue of the party logo on state property did not come up for discussion, simply because it was not officially known to be a party logo.
With the cat out of the bag, I am entreating the Metro Mass Transit Company, already smarting under financial stress, to recoup part of its losses, by presenting a bill to the Adabraka head office of the NDC in Accra. The NDC must pay for advertising its electioneering slogan on state buses. We cannot continue to look the other way, when incumbency is nakedly abused for party gains.
Writing about abuse of incumbency reminds me of President Mahama’s assertion at Cape Coast that the record of the NDC in power will see the party through to form the next government. I do not argue with the Head of State. He may be seeing things I do not see.
There is one thing I know, it has taken party officials and the main occupant of Government House quite a while to acknowledge that ‘#Changing Lives and #Transforming Ghana’ was, after all, created with the party and not the State of Ghana in mind.
In the same way, so many illusions may be playing out as facts in the scheme of things of those who have messed up our lives for nearly eight years. The cost of ex-pump prices of petroleum products in Ghana, for instance, should be cause for rebellion against the lawful authority of state, I dare state.
We are told by this very administration that under the deregulation exercise, introduced under the Public Utility Regulations Authority, prices of petroleum products are determined by the cost of crude on the international market.
Somehow, this country has perfected an art, under which increases are immediately responded to, while cemetery silence greets a reduction in prices of crude on the international market.
That is not the only reason why I am not rooting for Mr. John Dramani Mahama and his NDC administration. Under the NDC, the economy has failed to respond to treatment. Apparently, the physicians attending to the sick economy do not have the expertise to bring the patient out of intensive care.
Under the Mills-Mahama oligarchy, inflation is running far ahead of the expenditure pattern of the ordinary Ghanaian. The steep fall in the currency means that the cedi has failed to match the purchasing power of both the state and individual Ghanaians.
When the currency was handed to the NDC administration, when deceased President John Evans Atta Mills rose to be accorded head of state of this Republic on January 7, 2009, the national currency was exchanging for GH¢1.18 to the dollar. As we head towards the next Christmas, the cedi has lost so much ground that it takes four cedis to obtain a single dollar.
That alone does not paint the whole picture of an economy that has failed to inspire confidence in the people. Inflation, which was advertised on the root-tops in single figures in the first two and a half years of the NDC’s return to Government House, is now nearly 20 percent.
The economy is in a mess.
We need no ghost to drum it home. It tells everything about how bad this nation is doing, that immediately after economic gurus in the country were assembled along the Volta at Senchi in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region to find what the authorities called ‘home-grown’ solution to our economic woes, this nation signed on to an International Monetary Fund bail-out programme. Under the bail-out conditions, the Bretton Woods institution now directs the Minister of Finance on all the twists and turns of the state economy.
The so-called economic miracle being promoted in official circles rings hollow against the pangs of hunger in individual homes. At the time when President Mahama was singing the praises of his administration at Cape Coast, there were many homes at the centre of the earth, where a single meal of any sort would be considered a luxury.
The Mills Mahama-oligarchy has failed to deliver on the most crucial front – the economy. That is one reason, I am afraid, the President of the Republic, a very nice gentleman and a friend, would never get my vote on December 7, 2016.
I shall continue my analysis with the debt burden hanging around the neck of Ghanaians, and touch on the breakdown of social services, decline in education, unreliable power, and many other reasons to illustrate my assertion – never to waste my vote on this administration.