In more any of the advanced or experienced democracies, the choice of who deserves to be elected the President of Ghana between President Akufo-Addo and former President John Mahama in the presidential election would be a forgone issue due to the fact that both contestants have been in office as elected Presidents and Ghanaians have experienced the governance style of both, with first hand observation of their strength and weaknesses. To commence an examination of the record of both leaders we must start with the most critical sectors.
The first sphere for comparison is education,because although Ghanaians now celebrate oil and gas and the easy wealth it brings, it is an acknowledged fact that most important resource for a nation is its capital, its people, their abilities and capabilities and how these capabilities are enhanced through education, formal and informal.
EDUCATION- President Mahama built 200 new community day secondary schools.
He built new structures and renovated old structures in over 300 junior secondary schools.
He converted our pyrotechnics into Technical Universities
A little over 2000 basic school projects were completed under the schools under trees programme.
A number of teachers bungalows, education offices, sanitation blocks and 203 out of 232 classrooms were completed.
The US$ 156 million secondary education improvement fund was launched to –
-Finance for the construction of 23 community secondary schools
-To improvement in quality and facilities in 175 existing Secondary schools.
-Provided scholarships to over 10,000 needy students.
-for capacity building for 6,500 Maths, Science and ICT teachers.
-The Mahama administration constructed a 617 bed teaching hospital to facilitate the training of medical students and nurses at a cost of US$217 million.
John Mahama inaugurated a new permanent campus of the University of Health and Allied Science at Sakode near Ho in the Volta Region.
A modern library,ICT complex, laboratory complex,New classroom blocks with offices were completed at the University of Energy and Natural Resources in the Brong Ahafo Region
The West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens at the University of Ghana.
West African Centre for crop improvement as an African Centre of excellence for training plant breeders, seed scientists and seed technologists at the University of Ghana.
AKUFO-ADDO’s 2017/18 budget focused more on his information ministry and government’s propaganda outlets. So far, not a single classroom block has been built despite the huge accommodation deficit as a result of the free secondary education.
Amount spent by John Mahama on his foreign trips the whole of his four years is less than what was spent by Akufo-Addo in 2017 alone. President Mahama in 2015, banned public officials from first class air travel in Ghana. The presidency issued the directive to all officials to avoid unwarranted foreign trips on the public purse.
*President Mahama made Ghana’s economy the second best in West Africa, the best in terms of human development index, best in terms of electricity supply and coverage, number one investment destination. Ghana under Akufo-Addo has dropped in rating in all these sectors according to latest ratings by the world bank and other respected global institutions
Candidate Akufo Addo and the Npp accused then President, Mr Mahama of corruption, Nepotism but have not been able to pin one stain on him. Corruption and nepotism have become sacred rituals in Akufo Addo’s government. He sanctioned extortion of US$20,000 to 100,000 from some expatriates in the famous Cash-for-seat scandal.
His Vice President is yet to explain why he spent over US$15 million on the stinky digital addressing system deal.
He spent millions of state funds on compensation to traders around his residence.
He travelled with a 196 delegation to the United Nations.
Under his watch, Ghana was hit with the BOST and $2.25 million bond scandals, the Hawa Koomson Ghc 800,000 website scandal, the Kelni GVG scandal, the Korle Bu scandal involving his two deputy chiefs of staff, the US$ 134 million oil deal involving his brother and cousins, diversion of NHIS funds. People pay between US$20 million and 30,000 before they are granted permission to meet the President, the famous US$1.42 billion National ID Card deal. An appointee of Akufo Addo approved over US$300,000 for her clothes. The President has appointed more than 50 of his close family members into his government. All the top positions in his administration including the Finance, works and housing ministries are being controlled by his cousins. For the first time in the annals of Ghana’s political history, he appointed his daughter, ex-wife and step children into his administration. His Vice President has also appointed his father in law, his brother in law into the administration.
The only family member of John Mahama who served in his government was Joyce Bawa. She was appointed a deputy minister.
WIFE OF THE PRESIDENT
Candidate Akufo Addo accused Lordina Mahama of giving government contracts to her cronies. He promised Ghanaians the wife will not come near government contracts. Rebecca Akufo Addo is the most powerful soul in the country today. She has agents in all public institutions especially the ministries for the purpose of collecting kickbacks and gratifications for her. All the ministers and other appointees report directly to the first lady and her agents. Lordina Mahama never came close to the husband’s administration. She operated her NGO outside the husband’s administration.
After years of turbulence, the Mahama administration successfully stabilised the Cedi before its exit. Despite the improvement recorded, Dr Bawumia constantly accused the administration of economic mismanagement. President Akufo Addo and his economic mismanagement team led by Bawumia have destroyed the local currency (cedi) in just 18 months. Before its exit, the Mahama administration had placed the cedi second on currencies rating in West Africa which boosted business operations in the country. Renowned economists have predicted doom because of the administration’s populists economic policies, Wastage and reckless spending.
FREEDOM AND JUSTICE
Under Mahama freedom and liberty of Ghanaians were not determined by party affiliation, but today under Akufo Addo his perceived political opponents are leveled with frivolous allegations of crimes and intimidation with either the BNI, the courts or EOCO. One of his appointees disclosed that the one of the basic principles guiding this administration’s operations is “Some are Ghanaian than others”. Many perceived NDC sympathisers working in our public institutions have been dismissed. The Governor of BoG and all his deputies were forced to resign against the constitution’s prescription when it comes to appointment and tenure of such state officials.
President Akufo Addo is investing close to US$ 2 billion on the National ID Card, spending billions on the stinky Kelni GVG deal, has spent US$15 million on digital addressing system. In 2017, an amount of Ghc 1.8 billion was allocated to the President which is higher than what was allocated to the Presidency the whole four years of Mahama. Meanwhile, about US$ 2billion was invested in the provision of modern hospitals and upgrading of facilities to ensure quality health care delivery by the Mahama administration. The administration’s target was adding 6,000 new beds to facilitate access to health care by 2017. These include:
*The 617 bed Unversity of Ghana Teaching Hospital
*450 bed Ridge Hospital
*386 bed Bolgatanga hospital
*250 Ashanti Regional hospital Sewua Kumasi
*160 bed Upper West Regional hospital
*Seven district hospitals with 120 bed at Dodowa, Fomena, Kumawu etc.
*Kumasi Military Hospital
* Close to 2000 Chps compounds were constructed.
* Polyclinics. Some were completed with others at various stages of completion.
Apart from these structures, the Mahama administration provided the hospitals with modern equipments through the National Medical Equipment Replacement Programne. An amount of US$ 264 million was channeled into the provision of critical diagnostic and treatment equipment for over 150 hospitals nationwide. Other equipments include Magnetic Resonance Imaging machines, computerised Tomography scan, Digital Mammography machines etc.
These unprecedented investment brought significant improvement in
Under five mortality
Percentage of deliveries in health facilities
Maternal and antenatal health care.
Just 18 months under Akufo Addo, all these significant improvements have dropped significantly. Ghanaians have started agitating against lack of adequate beds in our hospitals, lack of drugs, nurses and doctors. The NHIS is on its knees.The Akufo Addo administration has suspended works at the new health facilities. Instead of focusing on completion of these faculties, it is removing plaques and renaming wards after his political godfathers.
Under Akufo Addo’s presidency, political platform has become avenue for pilfering and illegal wealth creation . It is no more about the altruistic service and welfare to the nation and the masses. Corruption and nepotism have become part of the administration’s core principles. Statutory funds disbursement is becoming headache for the administration, NHIS funds are being diverted into other sectors crippling the sector. Reckless spending and massive scandals are weakening the public purse. The administration has so far added close to Ghc 28 billion to the public debt with nothing to show to justify the addition. Outmoded and bad economic policies are crippling businesses. Under the Mahama administration, Ghana recorded significant improvement in human development index. Inspite the challenges the administration faced between 2013 and 2014, the administration successfully implemented major infrastructure projects across the country, ensured smooth flow of statutory funds, increased accessibility to the NHIS. The President responded swiftly to corruption allegations against his appointees. Transparency International also took cognizance of the introduction of measures to curb corruption. Ghana improved her standing in Transparency International’s report before the administration exited office. It is very disappointing that the latest corruption perception index released by Transparency International under Akufo Addo Ghana has relapsed deeper into corruption. Finally, this latest evidence from Transparency International has made a mockery of the President’s self acclaimed accolade of being incorruptible. By the President’s own actions including his involvement in the cash for seat scandal, the daughter’s pharmaceutical factory in Gabon, his brother’s involvement in oil deals, his nephew’s extortion deals, the President now appears to be supporting corruption. The President is also supporting corruption by shielding corrupt officials in his administration.
COMMISSIONING AND RELAUNCHING OF MAHAMA PROJECTS
So far, with all the loans contracted by the Akufo Addo government and bonds issued which have added Ghc 28 billion to our debt stock, the administration has nothing to point at in terms of infrastructure, programmes to reduce unemployment and reduce economic hardship. Unemployment has increased, projects started by the previous administration have been abandoned, and poverty has doubled with the last 18 months.
The Mahama administration gave financial support to some local companies to enable them increase production. It also gave them tax reliefs to boost their operations. It built more hospitals, schools etc to employ more nurses, doctors and other health professionals. It introduced the loan scheme system for our trainees to enable government build more facilities to absorb newly trained nurses and increase intake in our teacher training schools and also reduce infrastructure deficit in our educational institutions at all levels. The Akufo Addo administration as part of its populist policies, introduced the free secondary education with no policy guideline to guide the policy,’s smooth operation culminating in the massive challenges the programme is going through. Funds government could have channeled into provision of more infrastructure, improve condition of agitating teachers and logistics, are being channeled into this hastily introduced policy. Government cannot employ newly trained nurses and doctors because of this reckless disbursement of state funds, government planned to cut funds to the district and municipal assemblies,government has introduced new taxes to save the system.
President Mahama invested heavily in the power sector culminating in the steady power we enjoying. He also invested in the oil sector including the US$7 billion. The World Bank and other financial institutions predicted 8 to 8.5 percent growth in the Ghanaian economy between 2017 and 2018 because of the investments the Mahama administration made in the oil and gas sectors.
The Akufo Addo government is benefiting hugely from investment the previous administration made in the Telecommunication sector. The Mahama administration with three ministers, transformed the Telecommunication sector. Interestingly, with five ministers, the Akufo Addo government is collapsing the sector. Scandals upon scandals have taken over the soul of the sector including the Kelni GVG deal.
Government allocated Ghc 1.5 billion to the presidency in 2017 which was more than what was allocated to the Presidency the four years of the Mahama administration. Government in 2018, allocated Ghc 1.9 billion to the Presidency. The number of appointees working at the Presidency has doubled under Akufo Addo. Over 1000 people are working at the Presidency unprecedented in the history of Ghana.