The Akans have this adage: “se kwatrikwa si obe ma wo ntumaa, eyea tie ne din”, to wit if kwatrikwa promises you a cloth, just get the meaning of its name. The adage warns of hoping to get a value from someone who has no such values but promises to provide them. This is typical of President Akuffo Addo who at the 2020 annual conference of the Ghana Bar Association on Monday 14th September, 2020 said as follows:
“when my time is up, hopefully, after four more years, I want to hand over to my successor and the sovereign people of Ghana, a country that is greater, fairer, stronger, more cohesive, more prosperous and more united than I met it in 2017. This is the solemn undertaking to which I have committed myself.”
Ordinarily this should be and is expected from a nation’s president who should be trusted to live by it going into a critical polls in less than 3 months. However there is no iota of honesty in Akuffo Addo to convince any Ghanaian to risk taking him for his words. Let us look at two main elements of the promise he made namely a united country and a prosperous country.
LEAVING THE COUNTRY UNITED
Akuffo Addo has never been a unifying or peaceful man hence no one should be fooled by any attempts by him to be one. When it comes to political violence in Ghana Akuffo Addo stands tall! In 1995 when the NDC regime at the time wanted to introduce the Value Added Tax (VAT), Akuffo Addo led a bloody demonstration dubbed Kume Preko against the government to oppose the introduction of the tax. This needless demonstration caused the withdrawal of the VAT just 3 and half months of its introduction and denied the country needed revenue to develop. It took the wisdom of the NDC in government to bring it back 3 years later in 1998. Surprisingly when NPP came to power with Akuffo Addo as cabinet Minister, they discovered the importance of the tax and even increased its threshold. Today under Akuffo Addo as President, the VAT is an essential vehicle for revenue generation to the extent of being the basis for the NPP’s collateralization of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND).
In February 2011 Nana Akuffo Addo addressing New Patriotic Party supporters in Koforidua made the infamous most divisive statement in our political history ahead of a crucial elections the next year. In rallying the people against the John Mahama administration, he incited the people to engage in violence to get him power by every means possible urging “ALL DIE, BE DIE”. He called on his supporters to be ready to spill blood if that will ensure his victory in 2012 in order to blame it on the government. This all die be die became the spirit of the New Patriotic Party since. Indeed in pronouncing this war call, Akuffo Addo extolled his tribe’s superiority over other tribes in Ghana. One needs to ask whether this tribal profiling unites a heterogeneous country like Ghana.
To reinforce the all die be die initiative, Akuffo Addo began secretly putting together militia forces all over the country and employed foreign mercenaries to train them in the forests of Gomoa in the Central Region. These 3 three gorilla trainers from South Africa and Serbia were eventually caught and repatriated but Akuffo Addo brought them back upon winning power. Their mission was to complete what they were mischievously establishing in the jungles of the country. Thanks to them Akuffo Addo successfully bred the dreaded Invincible and Delta Forces, the Kandahar Boys etc. in our society. The names of these vigilante groups rang enough bells hence the need to catalogue their evil effect on national security is superfluous.
However we cannot gloss over how the government of Akuffo Addo has utilized these organized criminals so far. Speculations of their being poured into the national security apparatus as actors was confirmed when the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye elections mayhem took place. Known members of these NPP vigilante groups were seen in national security uniforms and in state security vehicles flaunting weapons around unprofessionally. The disaster in Ayawaso that led to shooting, maiming and killing innocent Ghanaians was squarely blamed on these criminals imposed on our security forces. Not even the Emile Short Commission of enquiry report that found the abnormality dangerous convinced Akuffo Addo to realize the violence he is fostering in the country. He and his administration decided to rubbish the commission’s recommendations in order to save their hoodlums. How much did Akuffo Addo ensure National unity after a simple bye-election so we can hope for same after a historic general elections in December?
Not long ago the country undertook a new voters Register compilation amidst Covid 19 threats. Calls for such a needless exercise ended on the deaf side of the president’s ears. Before the exercise began the President’s party decided some of the citizens are not citizens hence they must be disallowed to partake in the Registration exercise. One would have taught that a unifier President as Akuffo Addo wanted us to believe will condemn that behavior. He rather fueled it by commanding our armed forces to the areas of hate to intimidate, frustrate and prevent such tagged non-citizens from getting their names on the voter roll. As if that was not enough, the president’s appointees wielded weapons and fired indiscriminately at polling stations. As we speak Mavis Hawa Koomson who led bandits to fire shots indiscriminately at polling stations at Kasoa is walking free to the pleasure of her boss.
Similarly at Banda, the President’s party deployed thugs at polling stations to resist suspected supporters of the opposition from registering. In one of their escapades, they gruesomely killed a young graduate who just returned home from College. The state further sent reinforcement to the area to assist the ruling party bandits to continue their madness. They mounted road blocks and tribally profiled voters to screen out Ewes in the area and stop them from voting. The least said about the violence in Asawase the better. These and many other violence that marred the voter registration were well documented but Akuffo Addo shamelessly declared on a television station in Kumasi he did not see any such thing happen! This is the man who wanted us to trust him for what he says while it is clear he never is honest. Kofi Koomson was not joking when he warned the country to beware for he cannot sleep with his eyes closed while Akuffo Addo remains President.
Recent actions of the President can best be described as a threat to the nation’s security. For whatever ulterior motives, Akuffo Addo is masterminding irregular reshuffles among the security forces. Apart from the theatrical reshuffles in the Ghana Police Service, there are jittery transfers of officers of the Bureau of National Investigations. Dissatisfied operatives of the Bureau are fuming at the victimization going on but cannot complain. The military is being used for unwarranted assignments such as ransacking of offices of opposition parliamentary candidates as happened in Ledzokuku recently. They are also being deployed as land guards where two were severely beaten at Dome Faase leading to unrests in that town for days. These unprofessional use of our once revered armed forces is very disgraceful and is only happening under a president who prides himself as the best.
LEAVING A PROSPEROUS COUNTRY
We all wish to have a prosperous country but under a mafia Sakawa government, there is no hope for such a dream. Government by these family and friends hegemony is like trotro on the motorway. With so much resources at its disposal, we are retrogressing in development. Akuffo Addo’s administration borrowed not less than GH¢140billion in just three and a half years in office sending the country’s debt stock to GH¢255,727.1 million (US$45,486.1 million), representing 66.36 per cent of GDP according to Ken Ofori Atta in the 2020 budget he presented to Parliament.
What is the impact of these huge borrowing coupled with high domestic taxes? Virtually nothing to show for. The prosperity Akuffo Addo talked of might be only in the lives of the Akyem mafia Sakawa boys whom he is resourcing to become financial moguls to control the rest of the country. The prosperity he wants to leave behind is perhaps mortgaging the country’s resources to his cronies to milk the country dry. The year of roads has turned into a year of disappointment. The roads trumpeted under Sino-Hydro deal for which the huge reserve of our bauxite in the Atiwa forest was dashed to the Chinese remain death traps as the loans stalled. The smart negotiators who undertook smart borrowing have ended up being smart failures.
Since day one of assuming office Akuffo Addo never thought of any national prosperity, it is chop chop only. He appointed the largest number of Ministers of State and presidential staffers in the history of the country. Yet these huge investment has brought abysmal returns raising questions of the efficiency and productivity of that multitude in government draining the country’s coffers. A president that wants to leave a prospering country will not collapse 431 banks and financial institutions in just one year and keep depositors monies for years without hope of recovery. Businesses that thrive on the existence of such financial set ups have collapsed and not prosperous while workers who earned their living from same are jobless, poor and unprosperous.
Road contractors who employ many people are owed more than GH¢2billion and are wallowing in poverty and imminent collapse of their business. How prosperous will they be with just three months to go? How about their employees, families and friends? Ghana’s rural economy suffered under the recklessness of the Akuffo Addo government in formulating policies to regulate them. The government’s handling of galamsey which has been the bedrock of rural prosperity has been shambolic and discriminatory. Party executives and family and friends took over the business while seizing equipment of rural folks and dumping them out of business. The NPP failed woefully to properly and beneficially regulate the sector.
In the energy sector the government owes power producers and the Electricity Company of Ghana huge chunks of debt but managed to loot millions from them through a stinking Power Distribution Services (PDS) concessionaire agreement. The government admitted fraud in cancelling the deal but is unable to prosecute because the mafias in government are complicit in it. The excess power available is not being efficiently utilized to rake in more revenue meanwhile private business cronies of kingpins are being facilitated to thrive in the mix.
Above all depriving the country of future revenue by entering into opaque offshore deals like the Agyapa Minerals Royalties one does not guarantee national prosperity. Collapsing businesses will neither do. Paying for work not done such as made to Kroll & Associates, KRL International among others is a recipe for national poverty. Akuffo Addo is achieving the direct opposite of what he promised and must never be taken serious!
By: Cyril Duodu
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