Because of the harsh economic realities that Ghanaians have found themselves in, so many things are happening in this country which we have ignored as if they do not matter.
Filth, hunger, abject poverty, diseases and inability to pay the school fees of our wards have taken central control and we have been dazed to the extent that we have virtually forgotten the promises that were made (to us) by the ruling NDC in the run-up to the 2008 elections.
The NDC has succeeded in using communist inferior tactics to distract us from what they promised us. The trick is simple: push them to the brink of starvation and they will forget what you promised them. Indeed, we have allowed ourselves to be hoodwinked and fooled even though we are not fools.
The NDC, led by late John Evans Atta Mills in 2008, during the electioneering campaign told us that unlike the then sitting President of Ghana, John Agyekum Kufuor, who according to them was criss-crossing the country in long convoys of luxurious cars led by long dispatch riders, an NDC government would never do that. According to the then opposition NDC, their President will always travel in a convoy of three cars because a long convoy was waste of the taxpayers’ money. They said monies used in fuelling the cars which used to travel with the President could be used to embark on one project or the other. In their view, travelling in a long convoy or motorcade was tantamount to ostentatious living.
They said President Kufuor travelled abroad too often and that instead of staying back home to manage the affairs of the nation, he junketed the globe, wasting our money. In fact, they were able to even publish the number of travels embarked on by Kufuor and the amount involved, including his per diem and those of his retinue. The then candidate Mills told Ghanaians that if voted to power, he would rather stay in the country with his Vice President to rule the country since the problems facing the country were huge and needed constant supervision. Anytime he made these comments the then running mate, John Dramani Mahama, stood by him.
Enter late President Mills and Vice President Mahama. In the beginning, the late President tried to honour his promise by travelling in a very small convoy, until one day he got stuck in a traffic jam when he was supposed to inspect a project in Accra. As a result of the traffic jam, President Mills arrived at the function too late to even meet the expected crowd. That was the last time we ever heard of the President mentioning anything like long convoy. He went back to lick his own saliva that he had spat out. In fact, that was when the words: “profligate” and “ostentation” went missing in the dictionary of the NDC who had accused the Kufuor-led administration of exhibiting a profligate and ostentatious lifestyle. What followed, which has been continued by the John Mahama-led government, was worse than what was happening in the Kufuor regime as far as long convoys, profligate and ostentatious lifestyle are concerned. In the case of the John Mahama-led government, they have topped it up with stinking corruption and naked thievery of state coffers.
In John Mahama’s government even MMDCEs are daily seen travelling in long convoys led by uncountable dispatch riders. Today, Ghanaians are asking: “Was it not the same NDC people who accused Kufuor of travelling in long convoys?” Recently when a relative of the wife of the President, Madam Lordina Mahama, died and the funeral was to be performed at Ampomah in the Kintampo South Constituency in the Brong-Ahafo Region, those who saw the long convoy and the long chain of dispatch riders who followed the First Lady could not believe their eyes.
The Madam had flown to Sunyani from Accra in the Presidential Jet with her retinue, while others travelled in many luxurious four wheel drive cars from Accra through Kumasi to Ampomah. Waiting at the Sunyani airport to escort the First Lady to Ampomah were yet another countless number of the same luxurious four wheel drive cars to serve as a motorcade. The security men and women were very alert and did not brood any nonsense. Pressmen were shoved and pushed from one place to the other as they competed to take pictures of the First Lady. NDC party gurus, including even Alhajis, bowed their heads to pay homage to the First Lady and stretched their hands to shake the woman, despite the risk of her or them contracting Ebola.
At Ampomah, what was supposed to be a funeral turned out to be a party. Food, drinks and meat were in abundance and people ate and took some to wherever they came from. All MMDCEs in the region were made to contribute money as donations, and contractors were at their sycophantic best as they donated huge sums of money. In fact, nobody wanted to be left out. Some even died in a road accident on their way back to Accra after the extravagant funeral. Watching the First Lady that day, I wondered if she ever looked back to see how some former First Ladies were living in this country. In fact, I wondered if she knew that one day she would no longer be the First Lady of Ghana and Ghanaians will not accord her the same respect they were according her on that day. If she doesn’t know, somebody should tell her that Fulera Limann, Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings and Auntie Therasa Kufuor were once First Ladies; but today they are no longer in the limelight. In barely two years, (God willing) Madam Lordina will no longer be the First Lady, unless a miracle occurs. It will be then that she will realise that what goes up surely comes down. There will be no security guards, long convoys and, above all, sycophantic bootlickers. Madam will learn how to buy fuel and shop at the market. Even though by the time her husband leaves office she will have wardrobes filled with customised clothes and shoes, she will have nowhere to go and the clothes will be wasted in the wardrobes. Today, the pendulum is swinging right but when it starts to swing left, the chickens will come home to roost.
The way Ministers and MMDCEs are criss-crossing the country in long convoys has never happened in the political history of this country. At least I never saw any Regional Minister or MMDCE being led by a motorcade when Mr Kufuor and Rawlings were in power. When one looks at the way they dress, one can’t help but begin to ask whether these NDC functionaries think people are happy with the way they flaunt their wealth. You see, some of these people came from the bottom of the economic ladder of our society to become what they are today; and so people are very angry to see them growing fabulously rich overnight. Their behaviour makes people rightly think they are corrupt. Mr Mahama himself is not living by example. He went to Parliament to tell Ghanaians to use Made-in-Ghana goods and even showed us the shoe he was wearing and told us that the shoe had been made in Ghana. Before we could blink an eye, he was seen wearing custom made suits and state-of-the-art shoes and watches to match, delivering a speech at the UN. Couldn’t the President have gone to the UN in our northern-made smock (fugu)? Whilst we wear opanka leather belts, our President wears elastic belts, which give room for expansion. Yet he continues to tell us to tighten our belts. For where?
The NPP under Kufuor introduced what they called “Property Owning Democracy” but in reality, they ended up introducing certain social interventions which assuaged the suffering of the masses. The NDC say they are social democrats but have turned out to be real capitalists who do not care a hoot about the social status of the poor man in the country. They said they were going to make Ghana better but ended up making things difficult for the ordinary Ghanaian, while only those parading the corridors of power are enjoying the good things of life. Oh vengeance, where hast thou fled to?
What is sad about all this deception is that when it is time for political campaign and elections, these same people will use their ill-gotten monies to bribe their way through.
They will go to the villages and tell lies and thereafter dash these poor folks a few cedis and convince them to vote for them. The time has come for the opposition parties in this country to change their style of campaigning. If you check the statistics very well, you will realise that anytime we go to the polls, the NPP wins more regional, metropolitan, municipal and district capitals than the NDC; but when it comes to the towns and small villages, the NDC is able to win more votes.
The reason is that they deliberately impoverish our folks living in these areas so that when it comes to elections, these people are ready to receive something small and vote for them. After the elections and when the NDC come to power, they treat these people like the way farmers treat their hoes. Farmers use their hoes to weed and make mounds, and when the dry season comes and the farmers do not need the hoes anymore, they hang them on top of trees, waiting for the next rainy season when they will go for the hoes again.
I rest my case for now; but until I come your way next week, permit me to do justice to Londale Maduro cigar. It has a mild to medium taste and when times are hard, its taste and draw make it an excellent value for frugal connoisseurs like me.
Source: Eric Bawah/D-Guide
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