Listening to John Mahama on 7th October, 2010, during the inauguration of the newly acquired presidential jet, I really had to pinch myself to be sure that what I was hearing was real. According to the vice president, the jet has been acquired to “transport the president and other top government officials in safety and dignity”.
The Vice-President, again, said the government was in the process of acquiring another jet from Brazil to augment the fleet of the military and that “next year, we hope to take delivery of an Enbraya 190 jet financed by the government of Brazil to improve the strategic lift capacity of the Air Force to move troops to its operational theatre.”
Again, he said, these will be followed by “the acquisition of two 50-seater troop transport planes, two light trains and surveillance aircraft and four helicopters.”
What I find profound here is the fact that the vice president by saying that these acquisitions are being made to transport the president in safety and dignity and to enable the military to carry on with their constitutional mandate of defending the nation, seeks to tell the people of Ghana that Kufuor wanted to acquire these same equipments to transport the president in danger and indignity and to disable the military from carrying out their officially mandated duties.
At times I wonder if what I see and hear is what the good people of this nation also see and hear. I am having this dilemma simply because building a nation, is a kind of business that we, as a people, need to take very seriously if we desire to be where the South Koeas,Singapores,Malaysias and so on, have been able to reach today.
I have been compelled not to use the examples of America, United Kingdom, Canada and so on, for the simple reason that Ghana, at the time of independence, was far ahead of South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore in the areas of GDP and well-trained human resource.
What has been the guiding principle of these afore-mentioned nations is their genuine pursuit of decency, truth, integrity and hard work. The leadership of these nations made the afore-mentioned qualities, their guiding principle and made sure their citizenry to, also, follow suit.
These leaders did not ascend the throne of their countries on the back of demonizing all their pre-decessors for their nation’s economic woes. They did not tie to the stakes and shot their pre-decessors for securing paltry bank loans.
Now, a leader like Mahathir Mohammed(the former prime minister of Malaysia),assumed the reigns of his country, just about the same time Rawlings became the leader of Ghana, after engaging in that treasonable act of overthrowing a constitutionally elected government through the force of arms. Mahathir Mohammed, on the other hand, was democratically elected by his people to lead them.
So, even if he had failed to improve the lives of his people through pragmatic leadership, it, somehow, would have been the collective responsibility of the nation.
But, in our case here in Ghana, we had gone to queue in the sun to elect a president, in the person of Dr.Hilla Liman, but, a self acclaimed ‘Messiah’, by the name Rawlings, who was under the illusion that ruling a great nation as Ghana was all about walking about in tattered military-overalls, mounting military vehicles to shout himself hoarse and spotting unkept moustache and beard, was all that it takes to rule a great nation as Ghana.
The record of Mahathir’s 20-yr rule and that of Rawlings is there for all to see. When Mahathir was bent on building a better nation where his people can live and be happy, Rawlings was pre-occupied with teaching his children how to pilot planes with state-fueled jets.
When educational infrastructural development was going on in Malaysia so that Malaysians can have access to better education, Rawlings was busily looking out for friends who specialize in sponsoring the education of other people’s children abroad.
Rawlings was doing this at a time he had decreed that all school pupils in Ghana must wear the same attaire.In effect, Rawlings desired for his children, all the good things the world can offer, but tuned round to deny others, these same goodies by hiding under the cloak of socialism and abhorrence to profligate expenditure.
At the end of it all, Mahathir Mohammed left Malaysia at the brink of a first world status while Rawlings left Ghana with a HIPC status. The only people who had the benefit of improving their lot under the 20-yr Rawlings rule, in the words of Rawlings himself, are these same greedy bastards who have totally eclipsed Atta-Mills, today.
Rawlings exited power in January 2001 and Kufuor who succeed him never had peace throughout his 8-yr rule. Kufuor, having come up with novelties as NYEP, NHIS, MMT, LEAP and so no, was accused, by the NDC, of masterminding a suffering of the citizenry, of which the severity has never been experience in our nation’s history.
This malicious lies by the NDC got to its pinnacle during the 2008 electioneering campaign.
Now, the 2008 campaign period saw the emergence of numerous new vocabularies in the spoken English language on our Ghanaian communication landscape. The good old professor came up with the phrase ‘profligate expenditure’.
This profligate expenditure mantra was used to demonize every development project that was embarked upon by the Kufuor administration.
Then candidate Atta-Mills and his so-called ‘new’ NDC continuously shouted from the roof-tops that they are social democrats who were highly allergic to presidential jets and all other good things of life. However, the people of this nation have been fed with nothing but plain lies and utter hypocrisy, since the NDC took office in 2008.
For instance, Samuel Okudzato Ablakwa and his now defunct CJA cohorts, with the blessing of Atta Mills, in opposition, promised Ghanaians jobs, but today, even their very NDC fooled-soldiers are up in arms against them for the numerous hopeless promises made to them when they needed their votes.
We were promised a drastic reduction in fuel prices but we have been hit with a dramatic fuel price increase, and even that, the good people of this country have had to suffer the hustle and mortification of queuing at filling stations to buy fuel in ‘tots’.
Justice Abeeku Newton-Offei
E-mail: justnoff@yahoo. com