In 2008 when Ghanaians readied themselves for what turned out to be the closest election on the African continent, paramount among the complaints they had against the ruling NPP government was that its officials had become “too arrogant.” That subjective assessment, albeit collective, let to an eventual defeat of an otherwise high performing government.
A little over one year into the deceiving NDC government, the words on Ghanaians’ lips are “ineptitude,” “out-of-control,” “deceiving,” “corruption,” “murder,” “arsonists,” and so on when they describe the ruling government. These qualities have invariably led to a Ghana that is declining faster than the roofs of our national edifices can fall.
When a nation begins to regress, there are some key areas that first suffer the regression before the entire nation follows. The United States branch of NPP, along with its counterpart in the United Kingdom and Ireland has identified three such key areas, and wish to highlight them for immediate corrective action.
On Personal Freedoms Some may think the arrest of Nana Darkwah Baafi for expressing his personal opinions on the burnt Ridge residence of former president Rawlings as an isolated incident. In any civil society, the worst Nana Darkwah Baafi would face is a civil court proceeding initiated by the aggrieved party. That he was arrested and remanded to a two-week jail term, which was rescinded only after the opposition had boycotted Parliament is indicative of power abuse that has been an unwelcomed pattern in Ghana under the out-of-control NDC government.
Only recently, one international low-life called Craig Murray has been leveling similar malicious accusations at the previous administration, but he has not attracted any such arrest and imprisonment. Rawlings himself and indeed many NDC functionaries do not pass up an opportunity to accuse former president Kufuor of theft, an accusation as damaging as arson. Why have these individuals not been hurled to the police station and jailed as Nana Darkwah Baafi was?
In January of 2001, the NPP inherited a nation wallowing in a culture of silence introduced by the previous NDC government. When the Kufuor administration quickly eliminated the Criminal Libel law to pave the way for unfettered free speech, it was the same NDC functionaries that took full and unfair advantage of the freedoms to launch some of the most scathing yet unsubstantiated accusations at government officials.
Ironically, the very president who saw it necessary to repeal the Criminal Libel Law was the one most targeted by political opponents. There is not a name in the book that President Kufuor was not called. Yet not once did any of these abusers of freedom of speech face a criminal court proceeding. Offended officials sensibly sought redress in civil court proceedings instead. The transformation from that civil society to the jungle that we currently live in is one clear indication that Ghana is going downhill.
On Tribalism The NDC has accused the NPP of being a so-called “Akan Party.” Studies are underway to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the accusation was as untrue as it is malicious. During the study, some Ghanaians were utterly shocked when certain officials bearing “Akan-sounding” names were proven to be non-Akans. Furthermore, the Kufuor administration’s appointments so mirrored the ethnic make-up of Ghana that it was as though he used some form of quota system to make his appointments.
In contrast, the NDC era has proven to be a blatant attempt to shove members from a specific part of the country down all our throats. For example, the deceiving NDC government sent a letter soliciting party supporters from only Volta region to forward names to be recruited into the Ghana Armed Forces. When word got out, that letter was withdrawn.
But the fact that a region that has less than 9% of Ghana’s population would feature in the security agencies to the tune of 40% is beyond tribalism; it is insanity. When Colonel Damoah, called for an ethnic balance in the armed forces, not only was he promptly removed from the armed forces without explanation, he became an assassination target. We call on the Mills government to reinstate Colonel Damoah without delay to show its commitment to ethnically balanced armed forces.
Currently, the Army is recruiting in all regions, but the new recruits that show up to be enlisted must have pre-approval documentation. No one knows what criteria were used to pre-approve the new recruits. Although some have referred to the constitution and called on the government to be mindful of “regional balance,” we members of the NPP call for “ethnic balance” so that the administration would not simply recruit members of one region who happen to live in other regions.
This attempt to dominate Ghana’s security agencies with members of one tribe signals a chillingly dishonest motive behind a government that also disproportionately features members of the same tribe.
When an administration pursues a clear anti-Akan policy in its hiring at all levels, then proceeds to populate the security agencies with people from mostly one specific region, it does not take a rocket scientist to project what it is preparing towards. Whatever it is, it signals a downhill trajectory for our dear nation.
On Cost of Living When the issue of premixed fuel for fishermen along the coastal areas became a campaign issue due to global increases in fuel, the deceiving NDC gained political capital with it. The party’s functionaries traversed the breadth of our nation reminding fishermen of how expensive their pre-mixed fuel had become. Over one year into its administration, not only has the prices doubled from where it was during the campaign era, pre-mixed fuel can be purchased only from NDC functionaries; if you are a known NPP sympathizer, they would not even sell to you.
The government is currently touting a decline in inflation as evidence of its good economic policies. The reality is that inflation comes about in two ways: either productivity has grown to the extent that supply is outstripping demand, or money circulation in the economy is so low that demand for goods have dropped dramatically. In Ghana today, only a dreamer would believe increased productivity has caused supply to outstrip demand. There simply is no money in the system so of course inflation will decline.
Investment Climate The out-of-control NDC government appears to undo, rather than doing. After almost 15 months in office, not one major investment portfolio has been chalked. Yet most landmark investments between the previous administration and legitimate, internationally renowned companies are being systematically undone.
After spending millions of Cedis on what has now turned out to be a “wild goose chase” into the EO Group, this out-of-control NDC government has abrogated a Petroleum Agreement between the government and Aker, a Norwegian oil exploring company, with a promise to pay all costs incurred by the company. When Aker declined to pursue a lawsuit against the government and demanded for re-payment of its cost, our government now cannot come up with the money to pay up.
Recently the British High Commissioner to Ghana has come out and cautioned Ghana about the ramifications of this culture of abrogation. This has been followed by a strong warning from the United States Ambassador to Ghana that Ghana honors her agreements.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has eliminated Ghana from its list of worthy borrowers. Interestingly, as our government went on an abrogation spree, it was also traveling the length and breadth of the globe seeking funding from international investors for its intended purchase of Kosmos’ stake in the Jubilee Field. Everywhere they went, the response was the same: do we look like fools to you?
In a recent poll of Ghanaians by a group called Word on the Street on the state of affairs in Ghana, a whopping 80% of respondents thought the economic situation had gotten “out of hand.” Nine percent it was the same as two years ago while another nine thought there had been improvements. Back in January of 2008, the respective numbers were 40%, 15% and 30%. So we ask you: Is Ghana improving or regressing?
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