NANA BRAM OKAE II NYARKO
I THINK political observers have a lot to chew on regarding the monumental ouster of President John Mahama and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) government. The signs were there that everything was not jelling well in the country and that they were driving us into the gutter, yet the President and his men and women believed otherwise.
Cost of living had gone up tremendously and people were finding it difficult to make ends meet. But still, the government was not minded to put in measures to save the situation.
I suspect the NDC government believed that it was possible to buy the voters and influence them to vote for them. I doubted though whether it would be possible to bribe more than 10 million voters out of the 15 million on the register to make a difference. You will recollect that President Mahama has once said that Ghanaians have short memories by which he may have meant that at election time Ghanaians would accept the goodies and forget about the extreme hardship earlier foisted on them and vote for him and his party.
No doubt the war chest of the NDC was full to the brim (state money, of course) and their plan to distribute freebies was set in motion. In every constituency, money stuffed in match boxes was shared, rice was shared, scarves and other consumable items were also shared. (Someone sent me a message that Miss Hannah Tetteh gave bags of rice to the DCE of her area to distribute to voters but he kept the rice in his house, hence the punishment she got from the voters. Another person also sent me a message that the Greater Accra Executive of the NDC were given a huge sum to be given to the constituencies to do the dirty job for them but they literally kept the money to themselves, hence the low turn-out by their supporters).
We saw on television the President himself, with Miss Sherry Aryeetey, the fisheries minister, standing by his side, doling out outboard motors and other goodies to fishermen along the coastal belt of Ghana just to compromise them. Sherry Aryeetey also went about, in very arrogant posture, distributing head pans and metal nets to fishmongers to influence them to vote for the NDC.
Chiefs were also to be compromised with cars and other gifts, all paid for from the resources of the state. You may have realised that some of the chiefs were saying outrageous things about Nana Akufo Addo while singing praises of John Mahama, all because they had been compromised; they had sold their conscience.
In the end however, what is the verdict? In the Brong-Ahafo Region where the NDC invested a lot hoping that dividends would accrue therefrom, it ended up crashing to the ground. The chiefs of Brong Ahafo who fell over each other endorsing President Mahama as the best thing that ever happened to Ghana could not marshal themselves and their subjects to vote for Mahama; Akufo Addo took that region in spite of the huge billboards of the President and his wife all over the region telling residents that Lordina is a daughter of the soil.
But when supporters of the NDC shouted ‘Mahama, toaso, toaso!’, what exactly did they mean? I got upset when I saw people who could hardly buy mobile phone top-ups shouting, ‘Mahama, toaso, toaso!’ You are suffering and you say ‘toaso’. Haba!
What is the good thing that Mahama is encouraged to continue? The President himself is neck-deep in corruption. The Ford Expedition car gift to him by the Burkinabe contractor was an act of corruption, no doubt about that. Also, the cost of constructing a wall round our embassy land at a whopping $650.000 was certainly inflated and we need answers to that.
SADA money has been embezzled under his leadership; GYEEDA money has also disappeared under his watch; National Service Secretariat money has been stolen by officials he himself appointed and up till now their prosecution has stalled.
You will also realise that the School Feeding Program, which is dear to many poor parents in many parts of the country, especially in the north, has not been managed well under Mahama. The money for this program is statutorily taken from the Contingency Fund so the question is: Where does it go if it is not used for what it is intended for? The answer is simple: It goes into the pockets of government appointees and party big men and women.
You can say similar things about the Capitation Grant and the GETFund; the funds are diverted into the pockets of individuals and Mahama is unable to check all these.
Perhaps, what made Ghanaians furious for which reason they unanimously, so to speak, decided to teach the NDC a lesson was the Woyome issue. When the state decided through the Attorney General to withdraw the case in court when it was very close to election gave the impression that the government had something to hide.
In effect therefore, in the minds of the majority of Ghanaians the President had nothing good to continue, so they voted him out. The whole show looks like there was a grand conspiracy by Ghanaians to teach NDC a lesson for taking them for granted. The outcome of the election is unprecedented and all politicians should learn a lesson from this unique act by the people of Ghana. Nobody should take us for granted any longer.
In the face of all these, the President went ahead to order bales and bales of victory cloth from the Republic of China, hoping that victory was in sight. How can you tell the outcome of an election? Is it because Omane Boama says Akufo Addo can never be president or what? Is Omane Boama God?
Someone sent me pictures of the victory cloth through social media. Later on, I saw them on display at various places in the city of Accra. As I write now, the bales of the victory cloth have been hidden in the warehouse as capos of the NDC are thinking of what to do with the huge consignment. Other NDC paraphernalia have also been withdrawn and kept indoors. Who will buy them?
On the other hand there has been a boom in the sale of NPP paraphernalia all over the place and traders are happy for that. At least, in the short term they can buy food to eat from their profit.
The toaso mantra was a non-starter as there was nothing good to continue by the out-going president. Everybody hopes that he has learnt a bitter lesson in politics.
Have a good day.