By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Rounding up his pre-2016 presidential electioneering campaign, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo observed that the man who controversially defeated him at the polls in the 2012 presidential election had flagrantly divided the country with his abject lack of any positive agenda and vision for the socioeconomic advancement of Ghana (See “I am for ‘One Ghana,’ Akufo-Addo Declares” Graphic Online.com / Ghanaweb.com 8/2//14).
Ghana’s former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, under President John Agyekum-Kufuor, accused the now-President John Dramani Mahama of having shamelessly plagiarized Nana Akufo-Addo’s proposal for the establishment of a Northern Development Authority (NoDA), in order to accelerate the catch-up development of the three northern regions, namely, Northern Region (Proper), Upper-East and Upper-West regions.
The widely presumed New Patriotic Party (NPP) front-runner for Election 2016, opined that what is paradoxically fascinating about Mr. Mahama’s expedient adoption of NoDa and its nominal redesignation as SADA, or the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority, is that while the Gonja native envisaged the strategic usefulness of the Akufo-Addo development plan for the northern-half of the country, nevertheless, the former Rawlings Communication Minister would rather capitalize on the NoDa idea with reckless abandon by unconscionably using his cronies, largely of northern Ghanaian birth and ethnic extraction, to wantonly exploit the very people that NoDa and SADA aimed to benefit the most.
What this means is that millions of dollars’ worth of hard-currency investments later, the northern-half of the country remains even more economically depressed and materially denuded than ever before. In effect, whether he intentionally meant it or not, President Mahama has remarkably succeeded in further widening the economic development gap between northern and southern Ghana. “We live in two decidedly different countries as never before witnessed in the 57-year history of postcolonial Ghana,” said Akufo-Addo.
Even more significantly, the former Foreign Minister told a packed hall of party delegates at the Ghana National Association of Teachers’ Hall in Wa, the capital of the Upper-West Region, that it well appeared that his arch-political opponent cynically envisaged his political career squarely in terms of making as much money as he could make for himself and his cronies, at the expense of the greater good of the Ghanaian. “I am not in politics to make money for myself or to enrich myself,” Nana Akufo-Addo stated, poignantly implying that his main cross-aisle political opponent clearly did not seem to care whether the Ghanaian voter went to bed hungry or woefully underfed.
“What Ghana is looking for is a competent and experienced team [of cabinet appointees] under a decisive [and visionary] leader to put [our country] back on track.” Insisting, to thunderous applause, that he was the kind of leader direly needed by the Ghanaian electorate at the moment, the former New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Akyem-Abuakwa South passionately declared, “God willing and with the people of Ghana consenting, I can assemble such a formidable team to make Ghana work again.”
For Nana Akufo-Addo, SADA and, one also can readily presume, GYEEDA and SUBAH are unarguably among the vanguard ranks of “the biggest tragedies of modern Ghana.” Again, for the lead-architect of the KUMEPREKO economic hardship protest demonstrations against the extortionate faux-democratic regime of Chairman Jerry John Rawlings, expediency is what the key operatives of the ruling National Democratic Congress mean when they deviously and pontifically talk about their so-called BETTER GHANA AGENDA.
“You see, as always, the NDC leaders saw the strength in our argument [for the establishment of a Northern Development Authority]. But to avoid being accused of copycatting, they included the northern parts of Brong-Ahafo and Volta regions.”
Unfortunately, like the proverbial greasing of the snout of a pig with lipstick, Nana Akufo-Addo seemed to imply, “SADA has become a vehicle of widespread corruption and theft” of state property and monetary resources.