FORMER PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton of America both have a story to tell when it comes to electoral defeat in their respective countries. Both were sure to win but luck eluded them completely. The lessons learnt from their misfortune should be imbibed by all politicians throughout the world, particularly those in Ghana. You can’t be sure of victory until the election is over and winner declared.
History was made in Nigeria last year (2015) when against all odds, the incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan, was voted out of office.
Hitherto, Nigeria had been noted as a place where election results were said to be known even before the election took place for which reason millions of Nigerians had lost faith in the electoral process.
Election results in Nigeria were said to be cooked up and before voting ended in certain places, results had been declared. In some cases, it was reported, violence would deliberately be orchestrated by agents of the ruling party and voting was not allowed to end peacefully. Still, results in favour of the ruling party would be announced.
It was therefore a major relief to most Nigerians when in 2015 they saw a major shift in electoral outcome in their country.
A new interim electoral commissioner, a university don, in the person of Professor Jegar, was appointed by Jonathan to conduct the election. He in turn appointed fellow university dons to act as returning officers throughout the country and history was made in that country; Nigerians got what they wanted, a change in government.
In the period leading up to the election in 2015 we were told Jonathan did all he could to influence the voters but it didn’t work out for him. It was said every consumable item sold in the market was branded and sold at give-away prices by the President and his agents.
Bags of rice were branded by Jonathan and sold below the market price; bottles of cooking oil were also branded; ordinary tubers of yam were also branded with Jonathan’s pictures and given out free of charge. So were millions of branded Jonathan T-shirts that were given out gratis to anybody who cared to have one.
Added to all these was the bashing of the opposition leader, Buhari, who is now the President.
They said he was too old and not strong enough to be president although it is trite knowledge that the work of a president is intellectual and not physical.
Buhari was also said to be hollow in the mind having no certificates although he had been in the army and risen to the rank of Major-General. Indeed, he had even been a head of state before and there were no qualms about his qualifications and yet his qualifications later became a subject of scorn and ridicule.
In the end however, Buhari got the vote from his people and is now the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are now told that the sleaze in government circles in Nigeria is considerably reduced as Buhari will not look on while ministers of state steal from state resources.
Indeed, former ministers of state fingered to have stolen public funds in Nigeria are falling over each other to bring back the stolen money for pardon. Many are reported to have gone back to Dubai and other places where they had bought property to sell and repatriate the money to Nigeria for mitigation of some sorts. Those who had stashed money in foreign banks are also said to have closed their accounts and returned the money to Nigeria.
Now, if NDC adherents shout and urge the sitting President to continue his ‘good’ works in office, what exactly do they want him to continue? The massive corruption that is suffocating all of us? The hardships foisted on the people through un-affordable high electricity and water tariffs and killer taxes? Or the great mismanagement that he is engaged in? Or the tribal and ethnic sentiments of his? Or the bloating of costs of projects? Or the splashing of cash and cars to chiefs and girlfriends? Or womanizing? Or what?
What do they want him to continue doing in office because there is nothing good so far to continue by him. The verdict on his stewardship is negative generally.
You recollect what happened to SADA funds which were stolen by government officials under the watchful eyes of the President. Do people want stealing of public funds of this nature to continue or what?
A contract was also awarded to a Burkinabe businessman to construct a portion of the Eastern Corridor road. At the end of it all, the contractor dispatched a Ford Expedition car as a gift to our President, which is obviously a bribe. Do the shouters of ‘toaso’ really mean that the President should repeat such a corrupt feat or they are just shouting for shouting sake?
This same Burkinabe contractor was awarded a contract to do a fence wall on a land belonging to the Ghana Embassy in Oagadougou at an astronomical cost of $650.000. This is incredible! Do NDC supporters want such sleaze to continue in Ghana or what?
National Service Secretariat
The National Service Secretariat became a den of robbers as millions of cedis was siphoned fraudulently by officials into their personal pockets. Today, their prosecution has been stalled and nobody knows what is happening. Should such blatant pilfering of the public purse be condoned by a sitting President or what? So if people shout ‘toaso’, what is it that they want to be continued, the pilfering?
The GYEEDA issue is another corruption matter where millions of our money was siphoned by officials involved. Two people have been taken to court over this but the prosecution has been so lukewarm you wonder what is happening. Do we want such a thing to continue in Ghana? Only God can help us.
Experts have advised that almost every project undertaken by this government has been sole-sourced for which reason the contract sums have been greatly massaged upwards. If the government sincerely believes in transparency it wouldn’t indulge in sole-sourcing but it doesn’t.
The costs of the flyovers at Kwame Nkrumah Circle and Kasoa have been greatly inflated as indicated by experts and Ghanaians are the losers for them while government and party officials have smiled all the way to the bank.
It’s believed the cost of the expansion of Tamale Airport has been padded; so also is the Kumasi Airport project. It’s said that the money quoted for the upgrade of Kumasi airport can build an entirely new airport and Ethiopia is given as an example where a similar project has been constructed at a cheaper cost.
The beautiful expansion of the Ridge Hospital doesn’t look beautiful when it comes to the finances. We are told a similar but bigger such facility is being built in Nigeria by a businessman at a cheaper cost. So, somebody is stealing our money in Ghana and must this continue?
Woyome’s case appears to be a straightforward one but it isn’t after all, from the look of things. The Supreme Court has ordered that he should refund the money to the state but there are long hands behind the scenes pulling strings to make the refund impossible while this government lasts. Do we want such a thing to continue or what?
There is no doubt that we need a change of direction in this country otherwise we will fall into a ditch. At the moment we are at the precipice and the slightest push will land us there. There is so much misery in the country.
Clinton’s flop at the polls should end this write-up to warn politicians that opinion polls are not the same as people actually voting on the D-Day. Thousands attended Clinton’s rallies and all the opinion polls tipped her to win. Reuters even gave her 93% chance of winning and yet she lost miserably.
Certainly, Goodluck Jonathan and Hilary Clinton have a story to tell all politicians in Ghana who are boasting that they will win the December 7 election hands-down when in reality they have impoverished the people and there is the urgent need for change.
I rest my case.