Former President John Dramani Mahama was a problem before and during the 2016 election, and is even a bigger problem from this time to the 2020 Elections. Mahama reluctantly had to accept the 2016 election result, because he could not do anything about the defeat.
As the last collated figures were being received with the results pointing to a win for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Koku Anyidaho shrieked out “but we are in a comfortable lead!,” only to realise that the ICT machine the EC and the NDC jointly fixed to change the figures in their favour, failed to work. It was the manual calculation that produced the true result. And even before the 2016 election, Mahama used state funds to do his campaign, and also his vote-buying strategy that was virtually under the control of General Secretary, Johnson Aseidu Nketia. A big portion of the money for vote-buying went into wrong hands, as later confirmed by Mahama himself.
About the 2020 elections, Mahama surprisingly started his campaign right from January 2017, telling lies to solicit votes for himself as NDC flag-bearer, and also as President for the 2020 election. Is Mahama really serious, one would ask? How well did he run the economy, and how neat and transparent was his administration? At least three or four of his trusted officials have challenged his honesty and accountability as Head of State. Even the founder of the NDC, former President Jerry John Rawlings, has openly revealed and emphasised that the NPP regime inherited corruption at its worst form from the NDC Mahama administration. Rawlings went on to stress that the Mahama administration did not punish the NDC corrupt officials who were greedy and selfish, leading Ghana into hardship. Upon what confidence is this Mahama spending and wasting money to convince people to vote for him as President for the 2020 election?
The hardship that Ghanaians have been crying about was inherited from the NDC in January 2,017; the very bad roads all over country were left by the NDC administration. In proof, an angry chief recently blamed politicians for the bad roads in his area for the past three years (before NPP came in 2017), and even threatened bloodshed against politicians if the roads are not repaired before the 2020 election. And if the NDC administration claims that it constructed several roads, then the roads were shoddily done at such high costs to the nation. To NDC critics including Mr Kwesi Pratt Jnr., the NPP’s promises were made to cover at least 4 years. Don’t they know that the national coffers were virtually empty when the NPP took over in 2017? And apart from the Free SHS, haven’t the NPP done many things, including payment of arrears to contractors and repairs to the railway lines? Mahama and the NDC must wait, help the NPP government carry out some necessary reforms for at least 8 years, before they can decide to seek power to rule Ghana again. NDC must remember the reforms and development former President Kufuor’s HIPC Initiative brought to Ghana.
Mahama must stop cracking jokes for a come-back to rule Ghana, as if Ghanaians have forgotten the obvious mismanagement and corruption in his administration. Has he forgotten the heavy withdrawals by his administration, his Chief of Staff, and other NDC officials from BOST account, which EOCO and the Office of the Special Prosecutor are investigating? What better things can Mahama and NDC do for Ghana at the moment? Are Ghanaians expecting economic mismanagement, corruption, and indiscipline from the NDC party again?
Former President Mahama is rich, and has enough money to do his usual vote-buying. Mahama is the only one who can accept or disprove the open rumour that he has huge assets including hotels in Dubai. It can be obvious that he teamed up with Chairman Ofosu Ampofo and General Secretary Aseidu Nketia to arrive at that cut-throat figure of HC420,000 for Nomination and Filing as NDC Flag-bearer, just to push out a lot of contestants.
If the NDC don’t see anything good in the 2019 budget, many Ghanaians know what the government plans to do about the bad roads left by the NDC, how the little problems in the free SHS programme will be reviewed, and how the other challenges will be met. It is strange how Mahama and the NDC feel they can run the country better than what the NPP government has begun doing so far. Mahama and many of the NDC top men and women are fabulously rich, and want to continue the treasure-hunt if they can win the 2020 election. If they have really regretted for the mess they created to the economy by 2016, they would not have been rushing for favours and positions to which they have no claim.
If the NPP government will stop procrastinating issues, tackle programmes on priority basis, and take good advice, the NDC cannot be a match at all in the 2020 election. The Office of the Special Prosecutor is the first of its kind in Ghana, and President Akufo-Addo should have sent a team to study its structure and processes in South Africa or any other country practicing the system in 2017, for full work to have begun in 2018 and not in 2019. The requisite machines, logistics, and Legislative Instrument (LI) should have been provided by now. The Defence Minister, Hon Dominic Nitiwul, has laid the LI in Parliament, but the Subsidiary Legislation Committee’s scrutiny and report to the plenary for approval has not been done; and this is sheer waste of time. The offenders should be punished, and monies retrieved for development, before voters can wholly trust the NPP for further periods of rule.
If we study and apply the processes of the Prosecution System, I don’t think cases will have to be referred to the usual courts which will take years to solve them. With the approved Legislative Instrument (LI), the Office of the Prosecutor with probably EOCO, the Auditor-General Department, and perhaps the Finance Ministry will give the offenders chance to defend themselves, and if found guilty, a strict sentence should be imposed on them to pay their debts.
But it looks as if there is some misunderstanding between the government and the Auditor-General, Mr Daniel Yaw Domelevo. The personal issue between Mr Domelevo and the Board Chairman must be solved, and if Mr Domelevo will not show respect for the integrity of the Professor, and deliberately refuses to hold board meetings, I would appeal to the government to change the Board Chairman to another institution and bring in a new one. How can we retrieve our stolen monies if the Auditor-General is refusing to do his best to support the Office of the Special Prosecutor? The Auditor-General should not be permitted to bluff the government and waste time.
The other problem with the government is the choice of priorities. The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has expressed special concern to construct a National Cathedral to the glory of God. The Deputy Attorney-General, Hon Godfred Odame, has defended the President’s interest, but I do not see it as a priority for state money to be used to fund it; and if at all, not in the first term of Nana Addo’s administration. Even the Law suit against the construction must be settled first. If the rumour that the National Cathedral was to be built by the Assemblies of God Mission and other churches has turned out to be false, then the President can rely on funds to be raised from the general public.
The Komenda Sugar Factory which has been ignored by previous governments should be urgently taken up to boost the government’s aspiration of implementing the One District One Factory initiative. The Ministry of Trade should seriously use a portion of the 1D1F Investment Loan Fund to support farmers to produce the real type of sugarcane outside the Komenda area, to prepare the factory to function effectively.
ARTICLE: J. Y. OWUSU-ADU
Pix: Former President Dramani Mahama