As President J.E.A. Mills fends off opposition from his political Godfather Jerry Rawlings and his wife this weekend in Sunyani, his credentials as the best performing president, second only to Dr Kwame Nkrumah, are being touted.
A deputy Information Minister, Baba Jamal, says the president has in two years performed better than any president has done except Ghana’s first president, Dr Nkrumah.
Baba Jamal was speaking on Tuesday’s edition of Majority Caucus on MultiTV.
“[When people] talk about ineffectiveness of the presidency, I find it interesting because no government in this country in its first two years has done what this government has done. I’ve said this thing from Bolga down to Accra, and I’ve challenged [anybody] to come with statistics to challenge me,” he dared.
He catalogued the achievements of the Mills government to buttress his point. The government, he claimed, has in only two years, “built over a thousand schools, built over 600 boreholes and what not, built over 300 secondary schools, constructed many kilometers of roads, paid TOR debts, paid contractors, I mean… in two years. It has never happened!”
Former President Jerry Rawlings is supporting his wife, Nana Konadu in her bid to wrest the leadership of the governing party from President Mills and have regularly maintained that the NDC has failed its followers and let the Ghanaian people down through non-performance.
Some supporters of the former first couple have likened the president to a sleepy Yutong bus driver who they accuse of veering perilously off the road and heading for a ditch, needing his replacement as flagbearer of the NDC.
But the Deputy Information Minister vehemently disagrees. This government, Baba Jamal believes, “sustained inflation for the first time in 30 years; single digits for 18 months or more. What else do you expect of a president? So I wonder who in his right senses will think that the president is not performing.”
He suspects the comments of some members of the NDC will haunt the party in the 2012 elections.
“I foresee us fighting our own words in 2012 as a party. We will be fighting our own words, some of the things that our people [have said], we will need to be eating them back and fighting them because it is coming from our people,” he explained.
Mr Jamal said it was regrettable that the campaign for the presidential candidacy was largely negative and divisive. Never in the history of the NDC, he said, has a presidential candidacy election been so acrimonious.
The Vice-Chairman of the UK/Ireland branch of the NDC, Mr Kwame Agbodza who was also on the show, said the criticisms of the president tended to be warped and general.
He said some of the problems of the president stem from the fact that even before President Mills, upon assumption of office, compiled a list of his appointees, “some individuals in the party came up with their own versions of people who should have been appointed” and since then the president has not escaped scathing attacks.
Mr Agbodza argued that complaints that members of the party are not being taken care of by the government are unsustainable.
“To assume that we are supposed to come to power and only pretend as if Ghana is only NDC, hence anybody we find [who was] not on the campaign trail with us close to government now [is a stranger], is wrong,” he noted.