Months ago when I heard of this youngest, bold, courageous and energetic Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party, Ashanti branch-Bernard Antwi Boasiako (Alias Chairman Wontumi) was in a controversial media fracas with the giant communication machinery of our party-NDC, over his accusation of the Mahama family (The President and his brother, Ibrahim) and the entire NDC government for what he described as gross acts of corruption and inefficiency in the administration of our dear country, truly I got scared for his bravery and thought he was only depicting the absolute character of the proverbial empty barrel which always made the most noise.
Little did I know that, I, a member of the governing party will sooner than later come to accept that most of the views and opinions that he espoused are the very opinions and views of some NDC persons and other influential opinion leaders.
On the famous Obuasi platform the rising star of the elephant family alleged among others that the Mahamas were privately and through subtle means siphoning the country’s resources into their individual and personal pockets.
He also accused the Mahama-led administration of gross inefficiency in the management of the country, resulting in deplorable and worsened economic life standards for the ordinary Ghanaian, especially in the income and health sectors.
This motivated the youngest ever Regional Chairman elected for the NPP to promise a one-million-man demonstration in the region to demand the immediate suspension of the admittedly, infamous capitation policy of the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Soon after, I monitored on various print, electronic and online media, the massive bashing this young man received from the party and government communication machinery of my party (NDC) and this gave me the impression and believe that this “Wontumi” guy has caused political anathema or taboo and that he was soon going to regret it, especially after a threat of legal suit by the President’s brother against him for alleged defamation of character.
Soon however, the young NPP man seems to be gaining recognition for his skill in foretelling and predicting that if the President, John Dramani Mahama does not change his leadership style and direction, doom might befall this nation by way of industrial collapse, increased unemployment worsening health implications for the citizenry, poor energy supply etc.
Consequently, various complaints and accusations by our own party people from academia and other important sectors of our democratic dispensation is further deepening my conviction that we (the NDC and in particular the Mahama’s) should have taken this young NPP chap seriously else he becomes a political prophet whose prophecies shall hunt our dear party for some time, thus making him a “hero”.
Now, what do we hear on daily basis from our own people and some influential opinion leaders on the following thematic areas?
Rising Incidents Of Corruption
It’s gradually becoming a cultural attitude as no single day passes without a story of one scandal or the other of various magnitudes: from GYEEDA to SADA, SUBAH to GRA etc. No wonder the Global Corruption Perception Barometer published recently by Transparency International in 2013, Covering Perception Index for 177 countries, ranked Ghana as the 63rd perceived corrupt country worldwide, and the sixth in Africa with a score of 46 points out of a possible 100 for the title of the most clean country. For me as an NDC, this is unarguably very embarrassing and it’s nothing to be proud of. Sadly enough President Mahama seem helpless about the situation, thus making some persons like the NPP regional genius: Wontumi believes that he’s an accomplice in the whole matter
Collapse Of Industry
When Chairman Wontumi alleged that the Mahama’s took delight in seeing major industries in the country collapse, many including myself felt he was been personal following the infamous burning and destruction of his Small Scale Mining Company-Hansol Mining Co. Ltd. The revelations unfolding on daily basis however seem to support his assertions and that’s what makes me think the guy is becoming a political prophet. In 2009, Hon Hannah Tetteh announced that some textile companies had collapsed. The Ghana Cotton Company was also recently reported to be folding up as a result of lack of cotton supply to feed the industry. As if that wasn’t enough, the Ghana Association of Industry recently announced that it might have no other option but to lay off most of its workers as a result of unfavorable industrial climate.
What even broke the camel’s back is the resolve by mining giants such as Newmont and in particular AngloGold Ashanti to lay off thousands of workers owing to what they describe as rising cost of production and the declining price of gold on the world market. These are only concerns from the major multi-national entities and it does not take into account the thousands of small to medium scale companies which are collapsing by the minute as a result of high cost of doing business nationwide. So the obvious rhetorical question is, did we have to incarcerate Chairman Wontumi for complaining about what has become an obvious reality or we needed to admit his criticism and consider it as a guide to enable us perfect the governance and administration of our country?
The Worsening Energy Crisis
In one of his sincere outburst, I heard Chairman Wontumi complain about an alleged malfeasance in energy processing at the Tema Oil Refinery involving once again, the brother to the President. He also complained about the lack of vision in pursuing a long term energy policy that will bring to an end the now most famous dumsor- dumsor phenomenon which results in power outages almost very twelve hours of each day.
When the NPP Chairman complained about the numerous issues some of which are outlined above, many including myself were of the view that they are just a part of the usual political gimmicks by unappreciative political opponents and therefore decided to brush it aside. The latest trend these days however is an era of complaint by very independent-minded opinion leaders who matter as far as the social economic development of their respective communities are concerned.
One such leader, who took a serious swipe at the government and President Mahama, is the chief of Sukura, a community in Accra. The Chief, Alhaji Hamidu Ibrahim registered his disquiet at what he described as the total neglect of his community by the Mahama-led NDC administration. The Methodist Bishop of Obuasi in the Ashanti Region, Rt. Rev. Stephen Bosomtwe Ayensu, in an unusual fashion also criticized the Mahama administration, tagging the President as too dull on the job. These are just a few of the leadership complaints I can remember off hand.
Internal Criticism And Conflict
In November 2013, a former Minister, Member of Parliament for Nadowli and a key member of our party, Alban Sumani Kingsford Bagbin expressed extreme disappointment in the Mahama-led administration, adding the governance machinery under his former colleague Member of Parliament has grinded to a virtual halt. Mr. Bagbin was equally disappointed at the President’s inability to fight the cancer of corruption engulfing our dear country. Subsequently he was heavily attacked by the NDC Communication Machinery at the presidency led by Stan Dogbe.
This aspect of my write-up cannot be complete if the venom of another prominent member of our party, Dr. Tony Aidoo, poured on his excellency for gross ineptitude and neglect of the very desk he headed to monitor government policy, is not mentioned. He constantly attacked the party till such a time many heard of his nomination as an ambassador: a move many perceived as reward or prize aimed as shutting and buying him out, so the criticism could stop
Dr. Sekou Nkrumah, one of the sons of Ghana’s founding president who until recently was a member of our party also described current President John Mahama as incapable of leading “a radical, revolutionary party” like the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC). According to Sekou, the NDC must begin the search for the president’s replacement to batter its chances of retaining power in the 2016 general elections.
Now, if our own party people could go to the extent of criticizing our own president to this level then what wrong has Chairman Wontumi done if he did same?
I am gradually becoming convinced that, the criticism of Chairman Wontumi should serve as a tool for self-examination by all NDC’ s especially president Mahama, and by extension, his brother Ibrahim and the government as a whole instead of castigating and crucifying him.
In my humble opinion, the NPP chap spoke the minds of the voiceless millions of Ghanaians who are reeling under the unpopular policies of our dear party.