President John Dramani Mahama has nothing good for Ghanaians. Under his watch, Ghana has slumped to its lowest nemesis under democratic rule. While corruption envelopes us, our economy is in the doldrums, registering this year the lowest growth rate in 22 years. President Rawlings took Ghana to a higher level than he met it. President Kufuor took Ghana to a much higher level than he inherited. President Mahama has gotten the world asking perplexingly: what happened to Ghana? Proud Ghana under Kufuor is a pitiful plight under Mahama.
All contracts have been inflated and as individuals enriched themselves, Ghana suffered. The loan agreement before Parliament last month for the Eastern Region University that included putting up three houses for three senior administrators of the school at the cost of $2 million each on a land already acquired and paid for epitomizes the naked stealing of state funds that represents the Mahama leadership. I mean how can building three houses for public servants cost the state GH¢24 million?
But, so low has John Mahama brought the standards of leadership that he invited the country Monday night to celebrate the commissioning of the only major interchange his government has been able to start and complete in 8 years. One supposes that if President Kufuor had exercised the kind of vainglory Mahama enjoys and put disco lights on the Mallam Interchange, Ghana would have been ‘Dubai’ a few years earlier than this week.
If governance was indeed all about tax, borrow, spend to loot then any dullard without any blood of patriotism, compassion and integrity running through his veins can surely lead a nation. Sadly, ‘tax, borrow, spend to loot’ seems to be the ideology called Mahamaism.
But, having failed woefully and facing the electoral wrath of the Ghanain people, Mahama is desperate and sees maligning Akufo-Addo the only flicker of hope to holding on to power. He merely engages in baseless attacks on Nana Addo. President Mahama alleges that there is division in the NPP because of the suspension of 3 senior officers; that Akufo-Addo is responsible for the suspensions. Furthermore, Nana has been unable to unite the party because he is dictatorial. President Mahama asks: “If he cannot unite his own party, how can he unite the Nation?”
From the day he launched his campaign in Cape Coast in August 2016 till now, this has been Mahama’s credo. It is as if, he was given a specific tip for an exam paper and on the day of the paper he finds out to his disappointment that the question he banked all his hopes on is not listed and he has not studied for any other question so he proceeds to answer with the only thing he knows and for which he has prepared. On Monday, 7 November at Obuasi, followed by Anweaso in Adansi Asokwa, the President went to great length, asking the electorate to reject Nana Akufo-Addo because of the so-called divisions. So reckless was he that he said Akufo-Addo would remove chiefs if elected when a president should know the basic fact that nobody has the power to do so under the 1992 Constitution. The President either does not know the Constitution or he simply does not care. No wonder he freed the Muntie 3.
First, it should be said in crystal clear terms: NANA IS LEADING A UNITED PARTY. President John Agyekum Kufuor, who is obviously in a lot of discomfort can still be seen with his walking stick mounting campaign platform to support Nana Akufo-Addo’s bid. Where is President Jerry John Rawlings, one may ask? The NPP is as united as any truly united opposition party focused on winning power must be. Nana Akufo-Addo became leader after being elected by 94.34% of the nearly 135,000 delegates in a contested race of what was then the largest electoral college in Africa’s democratic history! Notably, all those who contested him, Hon. Alan Kyeremateng, Hon. Addai Nimo, Hon. Joe Ghartey, Hon. Dr. K. K. Apraku, Hon. Osei Ameyaw and Hon. Asamoah Boateng are all with him campaigning!
How can a leader with such an overwhelming delegates support and who embraces all his opponents be said to be leading a divided party? Akufo-Addo is a politician who has shown to be a unifying team player, when he lost to Kufuor in 2008, when he worked as a cabinet minister under Kufuor and when he competed against 16 others in 2008. Again, every willing soul in the NPP is involved in the battle to wrestle power from the incompetent NDC. Elders, women, men, youth, students et al. The NPP today is an admirable whole, that has come out of very testing moments to show to a suffering nation that it is an alternative government ready and prepared for power.
Now let us turn the focus on the National democratic Congress a bit. The President who could stand the thought of being challenged has the temerity to accuse his opponent who has faced four separate fields of contestants for the presidential nomination of his party as rather intolerant. NDC, led by John Mahama, refused the nomination of Mr. George Boateng to challenge President Mahama as NDC presidential candidate for 2016, declaring the potential challenger as “mad” and sacking the accountant who dutifully gave the aspirant nomination forms.
In 2012, President John Mahama contested Akufo-Addo with his party’s Deputy General Secretary, Kofi Adams, under suspension and Vice Chairperson leaving to form her own party. Yet, Nana Akufo-Addo did not see the need in using that to accuse the President of leading a divided party. The fractured face of the NDC largely emanating from Mahama’s corruption, have separated him from ex-President Rawlings, Mrs. Rawlings, Captain Kojo Tsikata, Mr. Martin Amidu, and several others. Due to Mahama’s corruption and penchant for transforming the lives of his friends and families to the exclusion of the rest, the NDC is divided today! Mahama heal thyself.
Mahama has woefully alienated E. T. Mensah, Dr. Kwabena Adjei (former National Chairman), Cletus Avoka (former Majority Leader), Kwame Peprah and several others who have all become indifferent to President Mahama’s re-election campaign, and are just waiting for “the Mahama plane” to crash! The President’s divisive undermining of Hon. Alban Bagbin and his presidential efforts to stop Bagbin’s return to Parliament depicts a house divided against itself. The Mahama “government of family and friends” who have looted without end will not survive Election 2016 and several good people in the NDC are even afraid of a Mahama re-election. To them, if his tenure can be this corrupt in a term that ends with an opportunity for re-election, then what will restrain him if re-elected to do a final term?
Second, it is a misconception of the internal mechanisms of the NPP to suggest in the least that the Party is only doing the bidding of one man, Nana. That is an insult to the intelligence, honour, and self-esteem of the freedom-loving members of the Party. Indeed, Nana was NOT even part of the process that led to the suspension. On the contrary, Nana had earlier participated in several conciliatory meetings to appease everyone. It worked but for those who mean well.
Third, the process leading to the suspension of the three (3) National Officers was the collective will of the NPP and came after very serious deliberations, and in line with our Constitution and due process. The National Disciplinary Committee comprising eminent people investigated, thoroughly, the charges against these officers, gave them the opportunity to defend themselves, and in the end unanimously recommended their indefinite suspension to the National Executive Committee (NEC). The NEC also unanimously upheld the recommendations. The National Council approved same overwhelmingly.
Fourthly, the NPP is a party whose democratic credentials can never allow internal dictatorship. This is the heroic tradition which fought British imperialism and subsequently domestic dictatorship. It is a party that has survived adversity, including having its leaders thrown into jail with some dying in detention and enduring decades in opposition and hibernation. Danquah, Obetsebi-Lamptey, Amponsah Dadzie, Dzenkle Dzewu et al perished in the struggle for freedom. Busia, Ashie Nikoi, Attoh Okine and others landed in exile. Paa Willie Ofori-Atta, S. D. Dombo, R.R. Amponsah, Modesto Apaloo, Victor Owusu, Joe Appiah, S.G. Antor, B.K .Adama, Adam Amandi, Henry Thompson, K.Y. Attoh, Attoh Quarshie and several faithfuls exchanged the comfort of their homes for prison. These men would not be cowed even by President Nkrumah. It is this tradition of patriotic endurance and commitment to Project Ghana that drives our principled leader, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Let us tell the world: Nana is popular in the NPP because he subjects himself to discipline. Recently, when Nana Akufo-Addo spearheaded affirmative action in the parliamentary primaries, urging the Party not to allow incumbent female MPs to be challenged except by another female member, he had to submit to the objections of the rank and file. The proposal, which had been approved by the National Executive Committee, was so unpopular with the Party’s members that the National Council had to be called to review it. The party went against the wishes of its Flagbearer. He took it as the democratic that he is.
A former National Chairman, Mr. Harona Esseku, was suspended from office. He accepted his fault and is today in very good active standing. This same Harona Esseku one time proposed for President Kufuor to be the ‘leader’ of the party, and the party rejected it. NPP is a party that is so conscious of dictatorship that the constitution is silent on the word ‘leader’. The day to day running of the party is placed in the hands of the Steering Committee; not the Chairman; not the General Secretary; not the Flagbearer.
The NPP has shown that no ONE, including the Flagbearer, and irrespective of status, position and age, is above the law! And that when voted into power, corruption, lawlessness and thievery, rampant in the Mahama government will be dealt with at all levels. Mahama shields corrupt ministers, Woyome and others.
Ours is a party that believes in the rule of law and acts in accordance with same. The three men who were suspended, two of them took the case to court challenging the procedure and on both occasions the court, different judges, ruled in favour of the party. In one of the cases, the judge, Justice Anthony Yeboah echoed: “… The plaintiff’s action must fail; the procedure resulting in the indefinite suspension of the plaintiff is lawful, just and fair and it is hereby adjudged accordingly”. We wish to advise President Mahama to find time to study the judgment and educate himself and his party that justice was done and STOP his futile and ignorant meddling.
The awkward attempt sponsored by Mahama to interpret the NPP Constitution upside down, which created undue problems has been HALTED by the Court. Mahama should decently shut up.
Since the matter was dealt with lawfully, there has been absolute peace in the NPP, and the regular leakage of NPP materials and information has also stopped entirely! The constant “invasion” of our Party Headquarters by the Police, so-called “National Security” Operatives and thugs have also ceased! What is President Mahama’s problem? Was he banking his re-election on sponsoring a divided NPP?
Disunity within NDC
President Mahama and his NDC have accused Nana Akufo-Addo of dictatorship and presiding over a disunited party because of the suspension of Mr. Afoko and others. Listen to the pot calling the silverware dark! Mahama and his NDC should explain the following:
Mahama, as the leader of the NDC, has recently arbitrarily dismissed three MPs from the Party without a hearing. 20 other key members have been dismissed without any hearing whatsoever. Mahama, paddle your own canoe. The breakaway of the wife of NDC’s founder, who was a serving Vice Chairman of the party, to form the NDP. She has accused President Mahama of stealing and corruption. The arbitrary, indefinite suspension of their former General Secretary, Dr. Josiah Aryeh. The manhandling of their National Chairman Dr. Obed Asamoah, who resigned to form the DFP. The assault and on-the-spot dismissal of Frances Assiam as the National Women’s Organiser who joined Dr. Obed Asamoah to form the DFP. The breakaway of Goosie Tanoh and Kyeretwie Opoku, who formed the Reform Party. The resignation of Mr. Kwaku Baah as the former National Vice Chairman of the NDC. The resignation of Mr. Bede Ziedeng as the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC. The suspension of Mr. Kofi Adams as Deputy General Secretary. The officer who issued the form was dismissed. When is President Mahama going to pardon his rival, instead of the Muntie 3? A District Chief Executive in the Volta Region was brutally murdered after some disturbances within the NDC in his district. No one has been arrested for this murder.
Fighting the Majority Leader for speaking against Mahama’s corrupt “government of family and friends”. Mahama is fighting Bagbin today to push the latter out of Parliament. The NDC is enduring but silent turmoil, which we expect would explode after December, when Ghanaians finally bid him and his party farewell.
Between Nana Akufo-Addo and President Mahama, who is presiding over a “disunited” Party? At least we know that no one has left or been forced to leave the NPP to form a new political party, whilst out of the NDC at least 3 political parties, Reform, DFP and NDP have emerged out of the arbitrary intimidation, suspensions, attacks and dismissals in the NDC; as well as corruption which many, including President Rawlings, have complained vehemently about. President Mahama, if disunity is the issue, then you are on your way OUT.
Hugely disappointed with the failure of Mahama to sabotage the NPP’s machinery for “Change in 2016”, Mahama and his “new” NDC have resorted to vile propaganda to preach untruths about Nana Akufo-Addo. As for the Vice-President, he can only get any credibility by answering at length, the concrete economic issues raised by Dr. Bawumia and not by blindly following Mahama on the so-called NPP division.
President Mahama owes us one main duty – give us an account by way of the cost of every project and all the monies borrowed which Ghanaians yet unborn will pay. That is the real accountability pathway! How can Ridge Hospital renovation coat $306 million when Dangote built a brand new 1,000 bed hospital for $12.3 million! Only you will rent a power barge for $530 million when outright purchase globally of same specification is $220 million. How can you forbid the Attorney-General to get the Woyome GH¢51 million back for Ghana? Is it because your party directly benefited from the loot?
Mr. Mahama, stop chasing straw and answer issues on the following: SADA, GYEEDA, WOYOME, SUBAH, WATERVILLE, ISOFOTON, C. P. DVLA, EMBRAER PLANE, Bus Branding, Brazil World Cup Saga, serious violation of the Procurement Act, etc. You have conveniently shut your eyes and closed your ears to wanton questionable acquisition of wealth and properties by members of your family, government and NDC party activists who have seen their lives transformed into billionaires overnight. Ghanaians are not unaware of all these, Mr. President. No amount of diversionism can change that.
You say you want debate? Debate all Ghanaians by explaining how you have destroyed Ghana with unprecedented corruption and wrecked the hope of the young people. While global oil prices have fallen over 100% since 2009, why have petrol price gone from GHc3.00 (2008) to GHc16.00 (2016). Is this how to reduce petrol prices drastically?
Mr. President go to issues and stop the rigmarole!
By Prof. Mike Oquaye