HANDLING THE PRESIDENT’S PHONE 36 -ASK
The times keep getting interesting as we approach elections this year. With less than 30 days to go to the polls, some very interesting issues are making it for discussions. Even as I touch on some issues, two key issues would not pass my lenses; Electoral Commission hinting of a possible recount and the backlash as well as the flag bearer of the opposition asserting that the President, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama does not understand democracy.
I kept reflecting and trying hard to arrive at something. I tried hard to identify any single legacy anyone can point a hand to that was established by the administration of the UP that toppled Kwame Nkrumah’s regime.
May be I am too young to see. I would be glad if any of our elders who lived the times can point to any legacy project embarked upon by the Busia administration apart from taking two (2) years salary advance.
As a young man, as of today, I still can point to the Accra-Tema Motorway, Akosombo dam, Tema Port, Tema Township, Kumasi Shoe Factory, Komenda Sugar Factory, Tema Oil Refinery, VALCO, Abosso Glass Factory, as some projects embarked upon by the Osagyefo.
While at it, his detractors from the Danquah | Busia stock were on the move trying everything possible to topple his administration. They took very interesting positions including calling the above projects as profligate spending which the people of Ghana did not need.
They chastised every move of the Kwame Nkrumah’s administration. You and I today, can attest to the fact that, but for Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, we wouldn’t have known what is called electricity, we cannot also imagine the number of hours we would require to transit Accra and Tema when after 50 years of the construction of the motorway, we cannot get adequate materials to patch portholes on the link.
On the issue of the EC hinting of a recount if the need be, I would want to ask, is recount not part of the electoral process? Ah, if it is, what offense has the Commissioner committed by reiteration what the law allows? In any case, is a possible recount going to cause a particular candidate in this election to lose?
Am I under the impression that some group of individuals would want to adopt ways and means which would be exposed by a possible recount? I don’t get it. If your candidate has won elections genuinely, a recount would change nothing so take it easy wai.
In any case, what if their candidate comes second or even third? Would they refuse a recount? I know for that they would gladly embrace. What are they typically afraid of?
I kept thinking deeply. Why the constant complaints at every step taken by the Commission? Why the constant jabs especially at the head of the Commission? If we are to strengthen that institution, our actions should direct us towards that. Definitely that Commission must be filled with human beings who equally hold opinions and beliefs even if they are buried deeply under their bellies.
It appears there is not going to be any change at the Commission ahead of the elections so long as no evidence has been presented to adversely affect the membership of any member of the Commission. The earlier we take a position that would serve the interest of the nation, the better.
Two days ago, while returning from a program, I was listening to news. Indeed, I was shocked to hear Opana state that this government had failed because it promised to build 10 (ten) new training colleges but could not do as promised. I asked myself, is it out of ignorance of governance, which is possible though. Or, the deliberate politics of lies?
You see, if you want to be president, you must go beyond rhetorics. It should be possible for a presidential candidate to access any report of a committee directed at government policy and be able to critique it and state his position contrary to what the committee had recommended.
I say this because the NPP has a history. Ahead of the implementation of the Senior High School program which extended the duration to four years and the resultant change of name of Junior Secondary School to Junior High School, a committee was formed which recommended that the duration at Secondary School be kept at 3 years while improving facilities.
The same report stated that there was no need changing the names of Junior Secondary to Junior High as well as from Senior Secondary to Senior High. They basically recommended improvement in the facilities to improve upon quality. The NPP disregarded the recommendations and proceeded to change the names and extrnded the duration without any plan of improving facilities let alone provide structures to contain the additional year in school.
The implementation of the vetoed position of government was chaotic. It had to take Prof. Mills of blessed memory then President of Ghana and President John Dramani Mahama then Vice President, to invest in infrastructure at the Senior High School level to remedy the situation. It is quite obvious their disregard for committees that they put up. On that basis, I would ignore the deliberate ignorance of the flag bearer.
Yes, the NDC promised to build 10 additional Training Colleges when given the nod. In fulfilling that, a committee was established to examine the models and possibly identify the places they must be situated. In the end, the committee recommended that the existing Training Colleges have the capacity to expand access that would not require the establishment of new Training Colleges. The resultant was the taking away and replacing of the Trainee Allowances with Student Loans, a policy that the NPP proposed in 2008.
The NPP has no record of love for Training College students. When they had the opportunity to rule after Kwame Nkrumah, they converted many of the Training Colleges into Secondary Schools and proceeded to abolish the Trainee Allowances instituted under Kwame Nkrumah to improve on the number of teachers churned out for the young Ghana. It took former president Rawlings to bring those allowances back.
It is therefore laughable that a flag bearer would not abreast himself on issues but would embark on politics on the basis of ignorance of the realities. In any case, how many Training Colleges have they built in their entire life when they had the chance to govern this country? Today, intake in existing Training Colleges has increased by 63.8%. Access has been given to more Ghanaians to train as teachers as compared to their administration.
Then, the flag bearer who had proven intolerant of internal party members views has decided to tell the president he does not understand democracy? I don’t want to talk plenty on this matter. However, is this the man who could strip a former president of his privileges because he exercised his democratic right of criticising his government when he was Attorney General? Is that him talking of democracy? Is this the same man who masterminded the dismissals of Paul Afoko, Crabbe and Agyapong for exercising their democratic rights for causing to be investigated, embezzlement of party funds? Is that him? Indeed, it takes courage to be shameful. Yes, it takes courage to realise shame.
And then, you see, we are not being critical. At what point shall we begin demanding strict proof to what politicians say during elections? Ever since this one district, one factory promise came out, no mention has been made of any single form the factories would take. So would Ghanaians vote for what they do not know? I am completely knocked out of my thinking the posture of the NPP when you ask them the nature of factory.
Opana came to my mother constituency Biakoye and as usual, in an attempt to paraphrase him, he retorted, my one district, one factory will provide jobs to ALL Ghanaians. Did he mean ALL? Or a repeat of the ABLE AND WILLING? These are semantics and rhetorics. Sir, my people in Biakoye are predominantly farmers except for those who are closer to the Volta Lake who engage in fishing. What factory specifically are you giving us?
You see, aside the repetition of the phrase ONE DISTRICT, ONE FACTORY in the manifesto, what any serious party that knows what it is about would do is that in every district it visits, it would outline the specific factory for the people the basis upon which it would expect to be voted for. But that is not to be said of these people. I am tempted to say this promise is a scam like the CNTCI/IFC loans chased into hairdressing salons in the USA. There is absolutely nothing to offer. I dare them to prove me wrong. They should, from today, behind telling districts specific, the nature of factories they would give them. As for this one, if government steal am, we all go see am fiiiiili fiiiiiiiili!