President J.E.A. Mills at the weekend obtained an overwhelming endorsement from delegates of the National Democratic Congress, trouncing his competitor and former first lady Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings in a manner that shocked even his most ardent partisans.
Regardless of the resounding victory, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is convinced the president will make history as the first one-term president.
NPP Member of Parliament for Aburi/Nsawam, Mr O.B. Amoah, speaking on Minority Caucus on MultiTV, said given the directionless and visionless government president Mills is presiding over coupled with the litany of broken promises, he did not see how the people of Ghana will renew President Mills’ mandate.
“If you are talking about history then this should be part of history that during your presidency for the first time somebody has challenged you at congress. The logical thing too is that history will also be made when you become a one-term president under this Republic,” Mr Amoah said.
Referring to the president’s response to his critics that he was slow but sure, Mr O.B. Amoah said Ghanaians could not put their aspirations on hold while a leader who was proud of being slow dithered.
During the 2008 general elections, Vice-Presidential candidate John Mahama notably asked party supporters to dip their hands into their empty pockets and vote for a better Ghana.
Now the people’s pockets, the Aburi/Nsawam MP believes, are not only empty but have also been perforated by the policies of the government and their small resources are leaking through the torn pockets.
He said as a result of the policies of the Mills government which are inimical to the growth of businesses, many a Ghanaian was losing their capital which is depressing.
The former Deputy Sports Minister said what was worrying was the worsening polarization of the country supervised by a president who promised to unify the nation and reduce all polarizing tendencies.
“I am saying that all the institutions have been politicised because take NACOB (Narcotics Control Board), NACOB is now headed by a politician, never in our history (has it been so); take Bank of Ghana…it is now being headed by a politician; take SSNIT (Social Security and National Insurance Trust), Kwame Peprah (former Finance Minister under Rawlings) is at SSNIT now. You go to GETFund, the Board Chairman…is Dr Kwabena Adjei who is the Chairman of the NDC. You go to National Health Insurance Authority, the Board Chairman there is the First Deputy Speaker (Doe Adjaho). Go to BOST (Bulk Oil Storage and Transport), the Board Chairman there is Hudu Yahaya. Now think of all the major institutions some of which we were expecting we will have technical people [heading them, they have all been given to politicians,]” he noted.
He said unlike under the Kufuor administration where many state institutions were headed by technical people based on their expertise, under president Mills who promised a father for all government, all of such institutions had been shared amongst leaders of his party, “to the extent that even the state network, Ghana Television, for the whole period that I watched [the broadcast of the NDC Sunyani congress], the commentary was being run by the Deputy Minister for Tourism Agyenim Boateng and Stan Dogbe, on national TV! I was scandalized. I said ‘what is going on?’ Are we saying GTV don’t even have anybody to run commentary for them that they had to bring in government appointees and ministers of state to come and run the whole commentary?”
Even worse, according to him, is the widespread vindictiveness going on under a president who pontificates about being the cleanest and godliest politician in Ghana.
Mr Amoah cited National Health Insurance officials who he said were being victimized by the government for contesting NPP Parliamentary primaries when in fact some leaders of the service were known diehards of the governing party.
“If you go to Bantama now, the scheme manager there went for primaries – Pru – in NPP, he won the primaries but was queried to explain why he is doing active politics. He replied and managed to state categorically that there are senior officers in NDC who are also at the National Health Insurance Scheme. Now he’s been sent to Upper East,” he explained.
Abu Jinapor, Aide to NPP flag-bearer Nana Akufo-Addo said he was not surprised at the state of affairs because the President’s modus operandi was to adopt a populist posturing and dupe the people of Ghana into voting for him even if while appearing holy and benign, he unleashes his ministers and other appointees who go on rampage and hurl insults on the people of Ghana.
“Ghanaians will have to watch out. The NPP will have to take pains to expose the president’s real character as a leader and as a politician. This is a government which cannot confidently point to one major promise that they made during the electioneering campaign which they kept and what worries me is that even in government they are still making promises which they cannot keep,” he said.
He said a party that promised not to burden Ghanaians by introducing any new taxes, flagrantly violated that promise by not only introducing new taxes but also increasing existing ones to unprecedented levels.
“Candidate Mills looked into the eyes of the Ghanaian people and told them ‘look, vote for me and I am going to reduce petrol prices drastically.’ When voted for he came into office and rather increased petrol prices drastically. Under [former Presdient] Kufuor, international crude oil prices had risen to unprecedented level of $147 per barrel yet the Ghanaian people were paying less than GHC5 for a gallon of petrol. Under President Mills prices have not gotten to even $100 per barrel and we are paying 70,000 cedis (GHC7),” he said.
Mr Jinapor contended that the government had failed to introduce even one social intervention policy even though the NDC prides itself as a social democratic party.