Gradually the campaign momentum is picking. And as usual, even before manifestos are launched, politicians are up on the roofs with promises, some of which sounds real with others that sound clearly like scam.
The interplay of politics between government in power and opposition is that a government in power cannot set out to give certain promises. Because the government has the mandate of the people while heading into an election, certain promises would be situated within the context of “why next term?”. “What have you been waiting for since you were voted for?”
For these and many other reasons, political parties in power are very careful. At least, those that are serious are very much careful, while the reckless ones would take no heed, but would proceed to cajole the people with promises thinking that would win votes.
Government in power cannot tell the people it would reduce fuel. It cannot say it would reduce or remove taxes. It cannot say it will make education free at a certain point if the policies are not clearly mapped out for the citizens to understand. A wrong dial would place the wrong call. Abi you know that!
However, a reckless opposition that is thirsty for power would not pause to look back at the gains made so far. How could you expect that? How would that opposition party win power?
What we need to know is that, reality remains reality no matter who sees it. Even where people pretend, reality would eventually dawn on them. They would see and appreciate it.
Let me digress a little. Just yesterday, I was in a discussion with someone. He is a close friend of mine in Aburi in the Eastern Region. In fact, a brother to the sitting Member of Parliament for the Akuapem South Constituency. Then he inquired, “people are saying there is no money in their pockets. How do you see the grounds?”
Well, anyone who had ever engaged me since 2009, 7th January when late Prof. Mills took power, would tell you that,I have never, not at any point, doubted the victory of the NDC at the last polls, and so, my disposition remains the same. I am not the slightest perturbed on the fortunes of the NDC heading into 2016. I know we are winning this election.
So I told him something which I would share with you. We both agreed that there are more cars in the country than before, causing traffic all over. We also agreed that every available space in especially Accra, is witnessing one form of building or the other. Then we both were wondering where the monies are coming from for the cars and the buildings. Indeed, money may not be in your pocket, but you own something which came as a result of money.
So in my response to my friend, I asked, “let’s look at it this way. What would we want? That you have monies in your pocket and your child had completed Junior High School (JHS) and needs to proceed to Senior High School (SHS) but there are no schools to attend? Where would you take your child to?”. He was quiet. Then I proceeded “the situation we have here now is that, your child has completed JHS and has to go to SHS. You may not have all the money to pay fees. But, you can borrow a little from friends and take that child to school. Which one would you prefer? The first or second scenario?”.
My friend looked at me and said he would choose the second scenario each day, given the same options.
You see, Ghana is not where we all want it to be. We are not at the apex of our development. Not too long ago, I watched a video that had the President of the United States of America, Mr. Barack Obama in a slow jam show, ecstatically recounted how his administration has expanded access to health to 20 million more of the people of the United States of America. This is America. America, and the president is jubilating over access to health.
How can the government of Ghana cry for expanding access to health care? How can the government not taunt itself for having brought the Dodowa Hospital, Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Fomena District Hospital, Kumasi 37 Military Hospital at Afare, the numerous polyclinics across the Brong Ahafo and other regions, the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital, the University of Ghana Teaching Hospital and many such projects and in the various other sectors?
Do not think I have deviated. After all, no one set the parameters for me. But, these are indeed relevant to the subject. The Ghanaian electioneering campaign into 2016 cannot be effective without properly situating the times in which we are and the status of the country as a middle income country. Does Ghana have all the infrastructure base it requires? I know we would all say a big No!
No! Bhecause, we would all agree that there are Ghanaians whom as of today, do not have access to potable water. They require water. There are Ghanaians who do not have any form of hospital facilities close to them. They require to travel many kilometres to access health care even in circumstances of snake bites. Lives were lost under such situations. To such people, they would appreciate government’s effort at providing them with CHPS compounds.
It is about time politicians appreciate the various developmental challenges facing the people. To the capitalist, and the city dweller, inflation is important. Exchange rate may be of significance to such a person. Ask the same question of my old lady in the village whose tomato still sells at Ghc1, can actually buy fish at 2Ghc, and who get other ingredients for free. How does inflation and exchange rate concern her? What is GDP to her?
So, as the campaign momentum picks, politicians can spend a little time to understand what geopolitics mean. They can save themselves embarrassment with promises that only inspire their ignorance on the needs of the people.
A conscious and cautious government like the one we have today under John Dramani Mahama, would make promises that only maps out a clear plan on continuity. Because he has a hold of the governance of the country as of today, he knows certain actions would throw the government and its finances out of gear.
Whenever I have the opportunity of listening to him,
I see a leader who is determined to make a huge impact. It has never been easy for any government in its first term to achieve this much. The records of projects completed over this short period establishes the fact that John Dramani Mahama has done well.
If you want to doubt the position I have taken, look for the books of achievements under the NPP during its first term. You would see images of smiling monkeys, president kicking football, president receiving gifts, images of the Elmina Castle, images from the Aboakyere Festival. Just do a comparison with the content of the GREEN BOOK under John Dramani Mahama as president which contains accomplished projects in the health sector, the huge investments in the power sector, the increased achievements in the areas of education as well as the gains made so far, the massive infrastructure in the road sub sector, the railway sector achievements, achievements in the economy and many others. Book no lie they say.
People of Ghana, the NPP has a record in governance. Access that record, assess the contents, and then make a superior choice. We admit there remain challenges in the Ghanaian economy. But, a little more time. The future would be very clear to all of us. JM! ZANTUGUI!!
………to be continued……….