Ghana has been going through very unbearable moments since January 07, 2017, when the mantle of leadership and a peaceful nation was handed over to President Akufo-Addo. Six months into the moribund maladministration of the Akufo-Addo-led NPP Administration, it has been a sordid story after a sordid story.
Having flown on the wings of lavish and unachievable campaign promises to come into power, it is not surprising that President Akufo-Addo and his over-bloated Government are swimming and groping in the dark and not achieving any meaningful results.
The fairy-tale promises that the NPP made in opposition is beginning to catch up with them and many of the persons who voted for the current leadership are undoubtedly counting the days and wishing that the next election will take place today so they can rush to the voting centres and vote out this highly incompetent government.
President Akufo-Addo on his own volition chose to give more meaning to his failing leadership by calling a press conference which was full of long talk but with empty on substance.
In keeping with our avowed assurance to offer very responsible Opposition, and to at all times hold the government’s feet to the fire of accountability, we deem it extremely necessary to discuss with the good people of Ghana, a number of worrying developments which completely debase governance and threaten the well-being of the nation.
We are going to address issues along the lines of:
1. Lawlessness, Insecurity, and Government-Backed Terrorism
2. Composition of Government, Nepotism and Unbridled Partisanship
3. Lack of Commitment To Fight Corruption
4. Arrogance of Power, Lies and Dishonesty
It is universally acknowledged that the first and foremost responsibility of any well-meaning government, is to ensure the security and safety of its citizens. In the last six months, there is no denying the fact that lawlessness has been allowed to fester and run riot, with an unprecedented upsurge in violent crimes to the disbelief of Ghanaians. Hardly does a day pass us by without the news outlets being inundated with stories of horrifying and gory crimes being committed with brazen bravado across the length and breadth of the country.
The state of insecurity has given rise to fear-filled anxiety amongst innocent Ghanaians who are struggling to make ends meet under the current excruciating and suffocating economy. Armed robbers and armed gangs are now operating with impunity and killing our policemen in broad daylight without any form of fear nor trepidation.
For the first time in our fourth Republican dispensation, a political party in the shape of the NPP, has incorporated militancy and violent extremism into its way of operations. To give meaning to militancy and violence, a group of brigands and outright criminals, have been assembled and given such blood-clotting names as, Invisible Forces, Delta Forces, Kandaha Boys, etc., and also given official covering from the Seat of Government to perpetuate their illegal existence.
These criminal gangs have been allowed to wage a psychological war on the security apparatus by attacking and openly killing policemen in uniform. Very credible intelligence information reaching us, has it that, a lot of the armed robbery and killing of our hardworking police officers, is being done by some elements belonging to the aforementioned militant goon squads associated with the NPP.
Per the information we are getting, these criminals are very much aware that they have full governmental backing and that in the event that they are even arrested by the police, they will be released by their political godfathers. A typical case in point, is what happened in Kumasi where criminals who beat up the Regional Security Coordinator, and also roughed-up a circuit court judge and disrupted court proceedings, are walking around as free persons because Gloria Akufo’s Attorney General’s Department decided to file a NO CASE and discontinued the matter in court.
It is common knowledge that the President gave his tacit endorsement to the brigandry of the NPP’s state-sponsored criminal gangs to operate with impunity, when a serving Assistant Superintendent of Police in uniform, was brutally beaten up by the Invisible Forces at no less a place than the Flagstaff House, in the immediate aftermath of the assumption of power by President Akufo-Addo. Apparently, the master plan; is to weaken the resolve of the police and security services to function at full throttle, and thereby leave the armless citizenry at the mercy of the state-sponsored criminal gangs.
Did we vote for change for us to be killed, or we voted for development and growth? Unable to fulfil the plethora of promises made to these criminal gangs, the government is sitting idly by and watching the criminals take the law into their own hands and do whatever they want to do to satisfy their whims and caprices. Once the psyche of the security agencies have been destroyed, the rest of us, are, easy targets for the criminal gangs.
Is it not terrifying that our cherished and respected police service is suddenly walking on its knees and seeming helpless in the face of the gruesome murders of men in uniform? Listening to the Inspector General of Police, David Asante Apeatu, virtually throw up his hands in despair in an interview with the media is certainly a harbinger of the danger that lies ahead of this dear nation of ours. When no less a person that the IGP goes on radio and sounds very desperate, it leaves a lot to be desired.
In direct reaction to the breakdown of law and order as well as the desperation in the voice of the IGP; Dr Kwesi Enning, a Security Expert, is also foreboding doom for the nation if no quick action is taken by the government to restore confidence in the security services in general and in the police service in particular.
In only six months, a peaceful Ghana that was handed over to President Akufo-Addo, has suddenly become a pool of blood with innocent blood being shed on a daily basis via all kinds of horrific deaths. Why should it be so? Are we not getting to the point where criminal gangs are holding the nation to ransom?
We ask; why did the President of Ghana not speak poignantly to the issue of restoring law and order? Why did the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces not do his utmost best to assuage the fears of Ghanaians that he will not allow Ghana to slide into a lawless state of anarchy and chaos?
It is about time President Akufo-Addo stops junketing around travelling abroad frivolously and pin himself down to begin doing some hard work in an acceptable manner and not in this wishy-washy manner. As regards the issue of the President’s frivolous travels; we are demanding a full disclosure of how much money he takes as per diem on such travels. Is it $5,000 or $4,000 a day? How much do his many followers and escorts also take? Is it $2,000 or $1,000?
With the current budgetary allocation to the Office of The President, far exceeding, major Ministries, it is not surprising that the President and his courtiers, are really dissipating the nations’ scarce resources without let nor hindrance.
Contrary to the NPP’s promise to protect the public purse, President Akufo-Addo, has done the exact opposite, by putting in place the most-heavy government ever, in the history of the fourth Republic. We are simply unable to reconcile the appointment of 110 ministers amidst the creation of useless and amorphous Ministries.
We submit that the Ministries for; Public Procurement, Business Development, Regional Re-organisation, Special Initiatives, Monitoring and Evaluation, Planning, Aviation, Harbours, and Railways, amongst others, are all unnecessary and constitute a drain on the public purse. The functions of these redundant Ministries, can easily be performed by the existing, Ministries, Departments, and, Agencies.
A direct consequence of the over-bloated government is that;
1. The nebulous Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Government has given more money (GHC 1.5 billion) to the Office of the President in this year alone, than all the money received by the same Office under the entire four years of President Mahama
2. The Office of the President under Akufo-Addo, is receiving more money for goods and services than the amount that a majority of Ministries are receiving to purchase goods and services they need to work with
3. At the time that the Office of the President is getting unprecedented amount of money to be spent in a frivolous manner; the Universities, Ghana Health Service, Environmental Protection Agency, the National Blood Bank, and other such Agencies, have been ordered to surrender all Internally Generated Funds (IGFs), leaving such entities with nothing to operate with.
For a fact, the profligate expenditure that has surrounded all the wasteful state dinners, is not the best way of protecting the public purse.
On the day of inauguration alone, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia Government spent lavishly on three separate and very expensive state banquets – and from that day, it has been lavish state banquet after lavish state banquet while innocent Ghanaians are dying on a daily basis because nurses who were given letters of employment by the NDC Government have been sacked by Akufo-Addo’s government under the guise that there is no money to pay their salaries.
Is it not sheer callousness for the government to have money to be importing expensive dinner suits and bowties from the United Kingdom, Paris, and Italy, and be spending lavishly on state banquets, while innocent people die in our hospitals because there are not enough nurses to give medicare? For the information of President Akufo-Addo; Governance is not a tea party!!! Governance is a very serious business meant for serious people and the current President of Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana has to get serious and govern in a more serious manner than he is currently doing.
At the recent botched Diaspora Summit, one of the participants boldly pointed out to an arrogant Deputy Minister of Trade, that the government needs to be serious and that they (the people from the Diaspora) are not in Ghana to play. The President was cavorting and jumping over issues and not landing on any form of solid ground. We are not in the least surprised at the inability of the President to give solid answers to the questions posed because he spends more time abroad than within the country. We now have a President who has become a LEGAL ALIEN. He has become a LEGAL ALIEN because he spends more time abroad than at home hence his inability to be on top of the governance issues as he grossly exhibited.
Is it not sad that people who were quick to refer to other persons as INCOMPETENT, are within a short period of six months, exhibiting a rare form of gross and gargantuan incompetence?
Having campaigned on the wings of blatant untruths so as to demonise the NDC Government, we were told that given the opportunity, an Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government will swing the magic wand and turn Ghana into a paradise within 100 days.
1. Where is the free SHS?
2. Where is the reduction in the prices of electricity tariffs via the abolishing of the Energy Sector Levy?
3. Where is the promise to pay all monies due customers of, DKM, God is Love, Perfect Edge, Little Drops, and other microfinance scam schemes?
4. Where is the $1 million that was going to be carried in “Ghana must go bags” to all constituencies?
5. Where is the payment due to all contracts?
6. Where is the restoration of teacher and nursing trainee allowances?
7. Where are the decent jobs that was promised the youth?
8. Where is the reduction in corporate tax from 25% to 20%?
9. Where is the reduction in the 3% Special Import Levy?
10. Where is the reduction in the cost of drivers’ licenses and insurance?
11. Where is the one dam in one village?
12. Where is the one factory in one district?
President Akufo-Addo cannot skirt around the true verdict of the majority of Ghanaians that Akufo-Addo and Bawumia have failed woefully as managers of the affairs of the state. Most definitely, President Akufo-Addo is turning out to become like Kwaku Ananse because in our Ghanaian folklore, Kwaku Ananse always begins as the most intelligent and shrewdest person; but ends up scampering to hide his embarrassment in his web.
President Akuffo-Addo and the NPP flew into power on the wings of mostly false allegations of corruption against the then NDC government. In Opposition, Akufo-Addo styled himself as an avid fighter against corruption. As things stand now, the NPP Government is sinking in quick-sands of corruption and the President is looking on with gaping helplessness.
Now that Akufo-Addo is President, he is only making unacceptable excuses to pull a veil over the massive corruption and blatant thievery that is taking place right under his nose at the Presidency, and all over the governance strata.
The President’s endorsement of the ridiculous cooked-up BNI Report on the contaminated oil scandal involving Alfred Boateng who is the Managing Director of BOST, is a clear indication that the President cannot be relied upon to wage any meaningful war against corruption. In spite of the existence of incontrovertible proof of wrongdoing; including an unambiguous indictment of the Petroleum Sector Regulator, NPA, the President failed to dismiss and prosecute Alfred Obeng.
Of course, it is common knowledge that Alfred Obeng heavily financed the campaign of Akufo-Addo and so has been sent to BOST to do whatever it takes (including contaminating oil) to recoup his monies.
Prior to the stinking BOST deal, was the equally stinking $2.25 Bond issued in the middle of the night by the Finance Minister cousin of the President. Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has still not been able to exonerate himself from the shady and dodgy Bond deal and the matter is a subject of investigation before CHRAJ. Akufo-Addo is yet to say a single word on the stinking Bond deal by his cousin.
Another Financier of Akufo-Addo, in the person of Kennedy Agyepong, has accused the President and his family/cronies, of drowning themselves in a sea of corruption and when the President was given the opportunity to debunk the assertion, he only laughed it off and ended up giving more credence to the assertion by Kennedy Agyepong. That is certainly not a sign of any strong commitment to fighting corruption.
Arrogance, lies, and dishonesty, have become the visible trademarks of the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia government. The NPP was only lying to the public when they kept berating the NDC Government for seeking external funds for developmental projects. In only six months, they have borrowed over 40 billion GHC in direct contravention of their sworn pledge NEVER to borrow if given the opportunity to govern.
Who cannot remember the shrill voice of Dr. Bawumia all over the place, berating the NDC government for borrowing to develop the nation? Today, the same Bawumia is Vice President and Head of the Economic Management Team, and we are witnessing unprecedented levels of borrowing. Indeed, if Akufo-Addo and Bawumia have borrowed a whopping 40 billion GHC in only six months, then by the time they run through their four years, Ghanaians will be saddled with about a 640 billion GHC debt burden. Are we safe? Is the future of Ghana safe?
In only six months, the NPP appears to have been bitten deeply by the bug of arrogance. Deputy Trade Minister, Robert Ahomka-Lindsey, insulted members of the Ghanaian diaspora by referring to them as “whiners” when they were genuinely complaining about the lazy attitude of the NPP ministers and appointees. Also, the Procurement Minister, Sarah Adjoa Sarfo, was caught on tape telling the most befuddling lie about she having personally contacted the World Bank to build a Community Day SHS in her Dome-Kwabenya Constituency.
Adjoa Sarfo has since gone into an embarrassing self-imposed exile after it came to light that she had no hand in the project which is on record to be part of the 123 Community Day SHS complexes constructed during the period of President John Mahama.
In conclusion, let me, as Chairman and Leader of the great NDC Party, assure Ghanaians that we shall continue to be very, effective, responsible, and constructive, in drawing the attention of the already-failing NPP government to more of its failings.
There is no denying the fact that we bequeathed a peaceful and cohesive nation to Akufo-Addo and the NPP and shall not sit and watch this dear nation of ours destroyed by, nepotism, cronyism, ethnicity, nor religious and tribal bigotry. The wanton dismissal of Ghanaians who have been lawfully employed in state institutions will not be allowed to go on with such impunity. The politically motivated mass transfers of public sector workers will not be allowed to continue in the capricious manner in which it began.
Indeed, it is very unfortunate that when a member of the Press from Oman FM asked why public sector workers supposedly opposed to the NPP are still at post; the President did not seize the moment to school the lady and assure Ghanaians that we all have an inalienable right to work in freedom.
President Akufo-Addo must know that there cannot be any development without peace and so it is incumbent on him and his Team to do all they have to do to ensure that Ghanaians operate in an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity.
Ghanaians are already suffering under the pressure that the unfulfilled promises of the NPP has burdened them with, and the least Akufo-Addo can do, is to allow Ghanaians to suffer in peace and not in turmoil.
We are in no doubt that at the time of leaving office on January 07, 2017, the NDC had done a lot of the hard work and spade work to leave a solid foundation for the NPP to easily build on if they are really committed to developing this nation and building a Better Ghana, as opposed to developing their personal and family bank accounts at the expense of the state.
As a proof of our works, the Ridge Hospital has been commissioned for public use, the GE Early Power project to generate 400 megawatts of power has also kick-started, the ENI Sankofa hydrocarbon field has also been commissioned. Of course, the huge school buildings we have planted all over the country, are ready to be occupied and give our pupils/students more decent places to learn. The increased enrolments in our Teacher Training Colleges, will also provide more teachers to make use of the modern structures that are currently available.
Indeed, if there is much more stability in the power supply, it is because of the heavy investments that the NDC Government made in the sector. Surely, in only six months, the NPP cannot lay claim to any work that it has done in the energy sector to result in the stable power situation as we have it now.
We trust that in the, fortitude, perseverance, and resilience of Ghanaians. We acknowledge that we are dealing with very discerning minds and will stay committed to a responsible way of keeping the government on its toes as well as offering constructive alternatives.
We are therefore assured that as even as we walk through President Akufo-Addo’s imposed “valley of the shadow of death”, we shall not waver nor be cowed into submission by the negative activities of the NPP’s state-sponsored Evil Forces.
As we remember the 5th Anniversary of the painful passing away of President John Evans Atta Mills on Monday, July 24, 2017, we take this opportunity to re-echo a profound statement of his, when he delivered his third State of the Nations Address in February 2011; “… Ghana will not die; Ghana will live and give glory to God Almighty.”
By Kofi Portuphy
National Democratic Congress (NDC) Chairperson