It has continuously been said with nonchalance in political corridors that Ghanaians have no remembrance. That we have a short memory for the failings of the government we mandate to power, that we easily forget to hold the government accountable to fulfil its manifesto once voted into power, well, no more!
The NDC government has made it a political capital and strategy to drag innocent and unsuspecting Ghanaians through the bane of social and economic purgatory for the first few years of their rule only to ask for a comeback close to elections with lavish promises and the sharing of goodies for a chance to perpetuate the stay in power. An Akan proverb says “nia oforo duapa na ye pia no” translates (he who climbs a good tree, deserves a push) but who needs a push when they are not climbing?
Two years into the administration of the NDC government; and whilst we continue to experience economic and social hardships with a government characterized by brazen corruption, we are constantly reminded to be patient and wait in expectant agony for programs yet to be implemented. Deceived by elaborate manifesto which has not seen the light of day, the Ghanaian voter has been taken for granted by a government ruling a country with propaganda to buy time.
It would probably be an understatement to say that Ghana is facing one of the most serious economic crises in its history. Within a space of two years and counting, economic growth has significantly slowed. Budget deficit as well as external account deficit has ballooned, with a stockpile of payment arrears. Public debt has been rising rapidly and the Cedi has seen rapid depreciation in the past 15 months with short-lived intermittent recovery measures.
Over the same period, inflation has risen steadily back to double digit, resulting in a weak economy with low productivity and a high cost of living. Despite calls for long term solutions, the government has become very creative in designing measures to postpone the inevitable. The only problem with that is that with each implementation of their creativity, the more extreme the final debacle will be as they saddle an already weak economy with conditions of IMF bailouts.
This is how the economic jargons translate in the life of the average Ghanaian;
- Poor and low quality education with rising cost of educational fees and materials.
- Constant electricity power fluctuations (what has now come to be known as “DUMSOR DUMSOR”) with consistent bill increases.
- Consistent fuel price increases with constant shortages.
- Poor healthcare infrastructure and delivery with a putrefying health insurance system.
- Increase in taxation with decrease in basic salaries
- Increase in import duties with increased calls for price reduction
The need for a major transformation of the economy has been widely acknowledged, with the President reiterating it in his last State of the Nation Address to Parliament and yet all we have heard till today are “promises”.
The quality of life as translated in all sectors of the economy like health and education is a right not a privilege. It is the right of the Ghanaian therefore to access good education, quality health and a healthy economy which supports innovation and business growth because he/she pays taxes. For such reasons, two years till election, Ghanaians are saying “We shall not be forgetting too soon!”
Worker shall not forget too soon how government failed in paying tier two of their pension contributions after years of service, yet dragged them to court when they issued strike action to show their displeasure. Following countless leadership meetings and interactions with the national pension’s regulatory authority, and lack of executive will to disburse the tier two contributions, workers set out to indicate their displeasure only for government to sue them with an ultimatum to go back to work. According to the union “their only concern is first beneficiaries of the “tier two” pension scheme were expected to get their lump sum payments, but “we are in the dark as to where to claim the second tier benefits.’
Students shall not be forgetting too soon the countless strikes when lecturers were striking and academic work were placed on halt awaiting endless and inconclusive negotiations between government and striking unions. It indicates a fundamental disrespect for an already failing educational system.
Business men and women shall not be forgetting too soon the continuous depreciation of the cedi, unreliable electricity power and increased taxation leading to low productivity, low profits with companies forced to close.
Mothers shall not be forgetting too soon government’s lack of commitment to the NHIS which had in the past taken care of pregnant mothers, children and the elderly. A healthcare system initiated to cater for the health needs of the average Ghanaian now lays in ruin
On issues of corruption, therefore, the Ghanaians have waged an aggressive and relentless campaign. The government has been on the defensive from the very start. To the charges of extravagance and corruption they at first made denial; then they attempted evasion; then they had recourse to all sorts of subterfuges, but the charges were pressed, the conclusive proofs were offered, the people sat in judgment, and when the evidence was in, rendered their verdict of “Guilty’” to woyomic fraud. The judgment of which shall be rendered in 2016 where the final decree will be entered by the people at the ballot box.
The people of Ghana are sufficiently intelligent to discriminate between good and bad government. They are sufficiently virtuous to want good and honest government. They have seen the government of the last two years, and they recognize it to be bad and corrupt, and they are not to be seduced from their purpose to sharply arraign the party which has debauched the Country, before the bar of public opinion come 2016.
What good thing does the Mahama led NDC promise come 2016? What measure of relief does this government advocate? What principle does this government stand for as we have come to witness? Nothing I believe, except the perpetuation of power and the retention of the offices which the people were deceived into bestowing upon them.
In these circumstances, am I not warranted in appealing to the good people of Ghana irrespective to party affiliations, to stay vigilant and keep this government on its toes whilst they await 2016 to cast their votes?
Ghanaians will not be forgetting too soon…
Chief Obosu Mohammed
NPP Member, Mfantseman