Feature Article of Monday, 8 April 2013
Columnist: Sayibu, Akilu
Strange things are happening in Ghana under the temporary reign of President John Dramani Mahama. Not only are highly qualified university graduates roaming the streets looking for unavailable jobs, but also the economic situation in Ghana at the moment is deplorable to say the least.
No wonder I met a colleague who studied in the UK and has double masters degree telling me it was better to go back to the United Kingdom to work as Door-Supervisor than stay perpetually unemployed in one’s own country.
I tried convincing him to stay but I don’t know whether I was able to convince him or not. I will not be surprised anyway if I receive his call from UK this week. In our conversation we reviewed some of the controversial happenings in the country and wondered if our beloved country was now a cursed one.
Let’s look at how John Dramani Mahama became President. He became President initially through the CONTROVERSIAL death of the seating President, John E. A. Mills. Then he won a CONTROVERSIAL election which is currently an issue at the Supreme Court of Ghana.
In his time as President, there was an elaborate CONTROVERSY surrounding his nomination of Nana Oye Lithur as Minister. And for the first time in the history of Ghana, Ministers were reshuffled even before their vetting and swearing in.
The President CONTROVERSIALLY moved into the Jubilee House which his party previously described as a poultry farm. Immediately he moved in there, the CONTROVERSY of a name-change was in the news.
It was strange and CONTROVERSIAL that some of his Ministers were only nominated after his billboards were pulled down. In an unprecedented fashion, he reshuffled his Ministers in less than two months after their swearing in and posted them to Regions they don’t come from. The CONTROVERSIES that surrounded this singular act of President John Mahama were enormous.
The father of all the CONTROVERSIES was when he failed to declare his assets as required by the constitution he took an oath to defend but rather strangely went to the Kinbu office of the Internal Revenue Service to file his tax returns. The CONTROVERSY didn’t end there as the number one man who wanted to show leadership by example in terms of filing his tax returns rather filed it late! Some were and are still of the view that he should have been fined for filing his tax late.
An alleged official amount of 600,000 Ghana cedis was to be spent on some selected pastors of selected Churches to go to Jerusalem to pray for the President. The CONTROVERSY that surrounded the source of the funding of the trip was so deafening that, some pastors formally came out to reject that offer.
In his time, between 2.7Billion and 3Billion old Ghana cedis was CONTROVERSIALLY paid to Members of Parliament as ex-gratia at a time Teachers and Doctors among other sectors of the economy were either on strike or hinting of going on strike.
In his time, 150Billion and 320 Billion old Ghana cedis was said to have been used on a guinea fowl and Afforestation projects by the authorities of SADA in unclear fashion. The CONTROVERSIES that characterised this expenditure are yet to settle. At the time of typing this script, a guinea fowl committee was to be set up to probe the allegation into details.
The National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) CONTROVERSIALLY over spent its official budget allocation but could not immediately organise relief items for the people of Tamale North and other parts of the Northern region when there was disaster and properties and lives were lost in the process.
In the time of President John Dramani Mahama, holders of the National Health Insurance Scheme cards were CONTROVERSIALLY denied treatment at some health facilities even though the original motive of the scheme was to make access to health care very affordable and available to all.
A National Youth and Employment Programme (NYEP) which was set up to offer employment for the youth of Ghana is controversially bedevilled with corruption. It must be put on record that it is also one of the agencies that over spent its statutory budget yet some of the youth who were employed have NEVER received a single allowance.
These are unusual times to be in Ghana indeed. The enormity of the strange occurrences are so legendary. No wonder most Ghanaians are currently unusually unemployed and living on the magnanimity of benefactors. This is the end of part one. Part (II) is coming soon.
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