The change that brought a non performing government!

On January 7th the government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) led by President Atta Mills would have been a year old in office. Looking back the, question to ask and it is rightly so being asked by most Ghanaians is that; was the change of government from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to the NDC necessary at all?

The answer is a very big No! This is a political party which while out of government created the erroneous impression that it had clear solutions to all the problems facing the country. Through lies, it succeeded in painting the then government of the NPP to be the bad thing that has ever happened to Ghana.

It went ahead to make promises of what it was to do for Ghanaians, and Ghana starting from day one, weekly, and monthly should it be given the mandate! The impression was that Ghana would chalk lots of successes from even its sixth month in power and even “surpasses” America and Europe in terms of the opportunities that would have been available to Ghanaians if the NDC was given the permission to govern. So it was given the mandate to make things happen!

The truth however is that, the first anniversary of the NDC is nothing but an epitome of mass failures in all sectors of the economy, human rights, employment, you name it. I will attempt to unveil some of the havoc and hypocrisy of the government of the NDC since it took over the affairs of mother Ghana barely a year ago for readers to tell whether the change in 2008 was necessary at all?

Firstly, this is a government that accused its predecessor of handling issues in the country in a chaotic manner rather than in a humane and decent manner when it was desperately looking for power. What did we see even in its first week in office? Victor Smith was the first to storm the castle with “commandos” to seize vehicles in a manner only characteristic of an action movie!

The illegal and barbaric action of Victor Smith at the Castle was spread all over the country like wild fire, the main culprits being ex-government officials, their families, and any person believed to be a sympathiser of the NPP. Vehicles were seized in the middle of roads, at fuel stations and at fitting shops in a Rambo-styled manner!

Infact, it was as if the NDC came to government through the barrel of the gun rather than the barrel of the thumb! President Kufour’s household suffered the wrath of the car snatching mafia, the presidential candidate of the NPP for the 2008 elections Nana Addo suffered it, his running mate in the 2008 elections Mahamudu Bawumia, suffered it, Ministers suffered it, Board members suffered it, ordinary supporters of the NPP even while they were riding on their own hard earned vehicles were pulled out of them and had their vehicles criminally taken away.

What must be put on record here is that, at the very time they were “kidnapping” vehicles in all directions they were at the same moment selling to themselves state tractors at absurd prices! Ayariga; Mills’s spokesperson admitted to buying four of the tractors. The Majority leader Alban Sumani Bagbin bought some, so did other ministers and members of parliament of the NDC.

The next thing that happened was to make NPP supporters refugees in their own country. This they did by attacking NPP supporters at the Agbogloshie market in Accra; burning their properties, killing them, and forcefully driving them away from the market. They had to seek refuge at the NPP party headquarters.

Then months later, those of them who earlier survived the killings at the Agbogloshie market were finally butchered to death in broad day light in front of a police station by alleged NDC supporters when they returned to the market to take some of their belongings. Not even a cockroach up to this point has been arrested in relation to these barbaric killings at the Agbogloshie market even though the NPP presented a list of some of the suspects to the government.

What was also witnessed was that, a government that declared Ghana economically broke, ended up having a transitional committee it set up spend over 1.3billionGHC on Chelsea tea! What a paradox!

The same government that vigorously accused its predecessor of corruption and promised to deal with corruption in any shape and form should it be voted into government could not confront glaring corruption issues when those issues finally came up when his minister of youth and sports was alleged to have involved in corruption.

Another evidence of a failed administration was when the NDC promised to reduce the prices of petroleum products to the barest minimum irrespective of how much fuel prices were to cost on the world market. After getting the mandate of the people to reduce the prices of fuel, Ghanaians rather saw draconian increment of fuel prices by President Mills and his NDC government. The hardships that these increments brought to the ordinary Ghanaian are there for all to see.

A further funny promise that, the NDC and Mills made to Ghanaians was to introduce a one term premium for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to make health care affordable. One year into its administration it is unable to fulfil this promise. How that promise can even be fulfilled in the first place is another story.

The NDC and Mills also promised to create employment for all Ghanaians. The reversed is rather what Ghanaians have suffered under the government of Mills since it came to power. There has been the creation of more unemployment than employment in the country. The various mass dismissals of perceived NPP supporters from their jobs and replacing them with perceived NDC sympathisers are not employment creation. It is just putting new wine in old bottles; the value is the same. So give us the jobs you promise us President Mills!!

Even though President Mills swore an oath to be a president to all Ghanaians, he contradicted this by instead directing that, his appointees should open their doors and windows to only NDC fanatics. The “I care for you Mills” does not care what happens to those who are allegedly not his party supporters!

When I juxtapose this directive of the president to his New Year message in which he entreated Ghanaians to endeavour to die for Ghana, I wonder which category of Ghanaians he was referring to; the NDC Ghanaians who his appointees have been asked to treat well or all Ghanaians? I have a big problem with the New Year message which was not only boring and hopeless but also very empty!

I think I will end here and continue in a part two. From the scenario given above the question to ask is; was the change in 2008 in anyway necessary? The government of the NDC must point out what it has actually achieved in its one year in office that has ameliorated the suffering of the ordinary Ghanaian.

Nobody should remind me of the distribution of low cost school uniforms to some selected schools in Ghana; that in itself to me is tacit admission by the Mills government that, it has been unable to create employment for parents to enable them buy even school uniforms for their children.

In any case what about those children who are in private schools? Are they not Ghanaians? So President Mills teach Ghanaians how to fish don’t give us fish.

Credit: Akilu Sayibu, UK
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