Thursday, 19 May 2016

Do Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo And Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia Have What It Takes To Govern Ghana Well?

I had a very interesting discussion recently, with a brilliant young acquintance of mine, who attends Regents University College of Science and Technology.

He wanted to know whether I thought the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and his running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, would make suitable leaders for Ghana: "Could they usher in a new era of honest leadership in Ghana?"

It did not escape me that had this been any other society in the world, we would not have had to have such a conversation - as the vast majority of educated young people would be plumping for Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom: a far better leader for Ghana, at this particular juncture of our nation's history, than either the National Democratic Congress' (NDC) leader, and Ghana's President, John Dramani Mahama, or the NPP's  Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, could ever hope to be.

Alas, however, this is the Republic of Ghana - a sometimes pretty hard-to-understand African nation, whose much-abused populace, still stubbornly refuse to put on their thinking-caps, when it comes to voting to select their nation's leaders: and still cast votes for the very NDC/NPP duopoly  messing Ghana up with their Kokofu-football politricks.

And all that, incredibly, despite not having received their fair share of the so-called "democracy dividend"  to date - although year after year, they have been called on to make sacrifice upon sacrifice, whiles the nation's resources are divvied up by our kleptocratic educated urban elites: superintended over by successive regimes of the NDC/NPP duopoly.

Ordinary  Ghanaians have been led up the garden path ever since the 4th Republic came into being,  by the corrupt and incompetent constituent parts of the NDC/NPP duopoly, which  unfortunately still dominate our country.

Yet, ordinary people in Ghana (who make up an overwelming majority of voters but don't seem to realise the power they wield as a group), continue to vote in blinkered fashion, for the same political parties slowly ruining our homeland Ghana. How very strange - and so sad.

That notwithstanding, to answer his question, I began by pointing out to him,  just how similar to the late 19th century U.S. political machines the two largest political parties in Ghana actually are. Dispensing patronage from the presidency, has been at the root of high-level corruption in our homeland Ghana, since the 4th Republic came into being.

And, as it will no doubt be recalled by some, a former chairperson of the NPP, Haruna Esseku, once complained bitterly, that President Kufuor was receiving kickbacks at the Osu Castle - then the seat of government - but was hanging on to virtually all of it: and starving the party of funds. Classic.

U.S. political machines  dominated the politics of some of the biggest cities in the United States of America, such as New York City, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Chicago, during the late 1800s and early 1900s, and were bywords for corruption. Tammany Hall's infamous 'Boss" Tweed is a classic example of this breed of corrupt late19th century U. S. politician.

Alas, the trouble for our homeland Ghana, is that the NDC/NPP duopoly has its fair share of corrupt politicians of that ilk.

When in power, both the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), and the largest of the opposition parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), are controlled by super-ruthless and powerful cabals.

And  cynical and amoral extremists in  both parties have worked hard to sabotage the nation-building effort when in the political wilderness as the biggest opposition parties. Sadly, it is ordinary people in Ghana who have borne the brunt of that unpatriotic, nation-wrecking type of politricks - as their scorched-earth strategies take a toll on the national economy: and create hardship in local economies across the nation. Pity.

The members of those powerful cabals, use patronage as a means of control, and, like gangster-politicians the world over, leverage sleight of hand money-laundering schemes to enable them hide the sources of the secret mountains of cash,  which they recieve from the very vested interests that exploit endemic corruption in Ghana, to enable them control our leaders, and the system, from the shadows.

The two parties are ponderous creatures, tailor-made for our corrupt system, and perfectly suited for use as special-purpose vehicles enabling outwardly respectable thieves - keen to enrich themselves through high-level corruption at the expense of taxpayers - to play key roles as major stakeholders.

And those key stakeholders in the NDC/NPP duopoly, seek political power, only for the pupose of sending their net worth to stratospheric heights. Nothing more, nothing less, alas.

That is why when either of those two parties is in the political wilderness, no matter how vociferous their condemnation of the ruling party, might be - for allegedly running a corrupt and incompetent administration - they never once call for political parties to publicly publish all the sources of their funding.

Yet, such a development will be an effective anti-corruption measure, which will  encourage good governance in our homeland Ghana - and make for a more transparent and  accountable system. It is the one measure that will remove thieves from our nation's politics - and keep them away from seeking political power to rip Mother Ghana off through crony-capitalism.

Neither do we hear either of the two parties'  leaders' demanding that all government ministers and appointees, and high-level public officials, as well as their spouses, should publicly publish their assets - before assuming office and immediately after the end of their tenures - whiles in the political wilderness: and awaiting their turn to participate in the brutal gang-rape of Mother Ghana.

If Ghanaians want their country to actually grow and prosper, in inclusive fashion that sees living standards rising for all the different strata of Ghanaian society, then discerning young Ghanaians, who are well-educated and can think independently, ought to start demanding that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, should declare their stand on this all-important matter.

The time has now come for the NPP's presidential canidate, and his running mate, to do the decent thing, and state categorically, and unambiguously, whether or not they are committed to all politicians running for office in Ghana,  publicly publishing their assets,  and those of their spouses, before elections and before assuming office - and immediately after the end of their tenures.

Ditto whether or not they are also committed to political parties publicly publishing all their sources of funding, and listing the various amounts donated by each contributor of those funds. They must no longer be allowed to remain silent on this issue.

As things currently stand, they are taking Ghanaians for granted and assuming that they can get a free-pass to power,  without ever committing to those two simple anti-corruption measures outlined above. To quote my brilliant young acquaintance: "That is an outrage - and dishonest to boot."

It is the litmus test of the suitability of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to govern the Republic of Ghana. If Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom could meet that simple accountability test in the December 2012 elections, why can't the NPP's Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo.Addo and Dr. Bawumuia do so too before this year's elections?

If they fail that litmus test, then, clearly, they are not fit to govern our great nation. That is why the nation awaits the public declaration of their assets and those of their spouses - ditto the public publication of all the sources of their party's election campaign funds.

If Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, either fail  or refuse to commit to this simple but effective anti-corruption measure, which will prove beyond doubt that they indeed intend to usher in a new era of honest leadership in Ghana, this blog will boldly make a few predictions about Ghana under Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's leadership.

Although he will continue to remain personally incorruptible, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's NPP administration, will turn out to be the most corrupt and disorganised regime ever seen in Ghana.  And some of his family members will control a looting-brigade greedier than even the infamous General Sani Abacha, Nigerias's late kleptocratic military despot.

There will be great disappointment throughout the country. And fear will return to Ghana. Dr. Bawumia, will turn out to be the unhappiest and most miserable vice-president in the history of the 4th Republic - because he will be sidelined, abused and disrespected, by those who will actually control the country.

And, wonder of wonders, the then former President Mahama, will become the most loved and admired political figure in  Ghana, during the tenure of an unpopular and much-loathed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. A President Akufo-Addo's unpopularity will result from the highhandedness of many of those around him.

Hopefully, all that can be avoided - by the simple measure of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, publicly publishing their assets, and those of their spouses. Ditto publicly publishing all the sources of the NPP's election campaign funds. Alas, it is only then that some of us will take them seriously as potential transformational leaders.

That is why this  blog certainly hopes that they will publicly publish their assets and those of their spouses soon - for the sake of Mother Ghana. Ditto publicly publish the sources of their party's campaign funds (and state the amounts donated by each contributor on that list). Hmm, Ghana - eyeasem o: asem kesie ebeba debi ankasa.

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