For too many weeks running, Ghana’s media space has been choked with the FONKAR GAME. Games of either ‘Getting Atta Mills Eliminated’ or Nana Konadu evaporated, and hopefully, leaving the entire party exhausted eventually. And whilst busily and briskly at that, everything the NDC government tries to do either backfires or ends up a sham.
The Ghanaian people have not been spared the unnecessary ineptitude of the NDC and its ineffective government. We are either being bothered with a 90 million dollars secret security tape, the National Security Advisor fumbling with whether or not Rawlings has to be invited to the BNI or whether it is the job of the media, baseless explanations on the President’s magic ring, the seizure of ‘Atta Mortuary Man I and II’ from distributors, issues about the humble President Mills’ grandeur style of picking his own party’s flagbearer nomination, ‘dzi wo fi asem’, etc etc, the sad consequence being the obvious governance and leadership crisis that our beloved country faces today.
But in all of these, I keep asking myself, whether Mills ever asks himself, what his presidency will be remembered for. Does he feel better, seeing that the better Ghana he promised us has only made the lives of he and his associates better, leaving the rest of the population to wallow in poverty and deprivation? Does he ever hear what the people say about him and his government and the loud statement of disappointment the people intend to make at the polls in 2012? Or is it convenient for his aides and advisors to keep that kind unpalatable information far away from his ears? Sycophants, loyalists or friends?
Candidate Mills promised a better Ghana that will focus on investing in people, jobs and the economy. He promised amongst many others to “work with Business Associations to support informal and formal private businesses, give special attention to micro, small and medium sized business financing, create jobs, both directly and indirectly, especially for the youth, achieve agreements with ECOWAS countries to provide aid in exchange for export markets for Ghanaian made goods, amend the Public Procurement Act to favour Ghana’s goods in all public procurements, work with financial institutions to encourage lending to business operations, introduce special tax rates to financial institutions that lend to priority sectors, agriculture, industry, services and micro-, small and medium sized businesses and pensions, expand Nursing Training Colleges, complete the School of Health Sciences at UDS and University of Cape Coast, build infrastructure to reduce traffic accidents and injury, prevent illness from contaminated foods and drinks by strengthening the FDB, embark on a major slum renewal for improved housing and access to social services, provide a social security system for the informal sector, and promote labor intensive industry to provide urban jobs.”
He promised to “bring all teacher training colleges under Teacher Training universities” to “address the problem of gender inequality by improving access to water, sanitation and community-based health services for females, achieve gender equality in education, participation and completion, increase enrolment of girls in education and technical skills training, introduce better-managed microcredit schemes, proscribe and conduct public education on negative customs, including trokosi, enforce domestic violence laws and improve female literacy.”
He promised to “strengthen the CHRAJ to fight corruption even without an explicit complainant, to abolish the Office of Accountability that Ghanaians believe protects corrupt officials, to revise the law on Asset Declaration to increase transparency and accountability, to enact a Freedom of Information Bill so the public has access to official information, to support the role of the Media in promoting national unity, stability and security.” He promised many many more.
But the unfortunate reality is that, as President, Mills has been head of a mediocre government, legendary mediocrity that has brought untold hardships onto the Ghanaian people, and Mills will surely and definitely be remembered for that. He says about himself: “I am slow but sure” and I say to him, based on his performance so far, that he is surely slow.
Candidate Mills and his NDC made fuel pricing a key campaign issue in the run-up to the 2008 General Elections, promising to further drastically reduce fuel prices when elected President. As President, Mills has increased fuel prices to an unprecedented all time high of 7 Ghana cedis and even that cannot pass as the biggest broken promise of his administration.
There are bigger ones. Indeed, there are too many of them, one would have a hard time attempting to conclude which is the biggest broken promise of President Mills’ administration.
On 23rd December, 2008, Candidate Mills had this to say to the people of the Western Region: “I am a tax expert and I know it for a fact that it is not about the quantum of revenue that is generated; it is about how efficiently the revenue is managed and that is why I will not hesitate to bring relief to Ghanaians by reviewing downwards taxes and tariffs.” But what has been the reality? As president he has introduced various taxes and reviewed upward almost all existing ones. Take time to speak to one or two commercial drivers and thy will tell you how hard the high road tolls they pay on a daily basis is hitting them.
Mills promised to “expand the School Feeding Programme introduced by the NPP administration to all public schools nationwide in the first two years of his government. It has been more than two years and the School Feeding Programme is rather collapsing under Mills’ watch.
The NDC promised the people of the Western region that they will “allocate 10% of the oil revenue to them to enhance the development of the region and its people.” It’s been over two years and it is obvious that promise to will not be fulfilled. To add insult to injury, Mills about a month ago, whilst touring the region, told the chiefs and people that “they deserve more than 10% of the oil revenue.” Will Mills ever grow out of the rhetoric and propaganda and do just the little things that matter to the people?
Today, Ghana’s governance is controlled in part by foot-soldier agitations.
NDC foot-soldiers have consistently taken the law into their own hands and have continuously engaged in many lawless acts at various levels. They have including many others, attacked and chased DCE’s out of office, stormed, hijacked, and locked up public offices and places, lynched Regional Ministers and disrupted public functions and now, they have turned the heat on their own party, destroying the party’s office Tamale. Yet, President Mills thinks the foot-soldiers of his party are justifiably angry.
What ever happened to the promise by the NDC to “strive to achieve at least 40% representation of women, both in government and public service”?
What happened to Mills’ promise to “pay assembly members remuneration so they can deliver to achieve true participation and grassroots democracy”? What happened to Candidate Mills’ promise to “revise the Asset Declaration law to make it more functional”? What happened to the NDC manifesto promise to “set up a truly non-partisan competent independent commission on the murder of the Yaa Naa Yakubu Andeni II and his elders, for long lasting peace in Ghana.”? What happened to the promise to “strengthen the CHRAJ to fight corruption, even without an explicit complainant?” What happened to all those juicy promises the NDC made to the Ghanaian people?
A few months back, I said, that, a compilation of all Mills’ failed promises might end up being bulkier than the manifesto that supposedly won them the power. The truth is that President Kufuor raised the bar so high it seemed the NDC was not going to be able to return to power in 2008 and hence their obvious resort to wicked lies and making promises they knew they could not deliver. The result is what I call the “albatross of a four year term”.
President Kufuor’s government will be remembered for its prudent management of the economy, an excellent record of good governance, which good governance earned Ghana 547 million dollars from the US government through the Millenium Challenge Account, the respect for the Judiciary, Legislature and the media, public sector reforms, law and order, a remarkable transformation in the food and agriculture sector, doubling particularly, cocoa production from an average of less than 350,000 metric tonnes in the NDC (1) era to over 800,000 metric tonnes in 2008, a structural transformation of the educational system, coupled with introduction of social interventions such as the School Feeding Programme and the Capitation Grant helped to provide quality education as well as increase dramatically school enrolments.
Healthcare delivery, infrastructure, energy, foreign affairs, Tourism, ICT, industry, transport, youth and sports, the NPP has a success story to tell and a record to show for it and President Kufuor will forever be remembered for the much needed economic growth and development that our country saw under his leadership.
What will President Mills be remembered for?
Source: HERBERT KRAPA
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