By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is grossly incompetent. That the President would launch a nationwide sanitation campaign 30 years-plus after NDC founding father Chairman Jerry John Rawlings launched his bloody house-cleaning exercise, is ample indication that the so-called Rawlings Revolution has epically failed. We must also bear in mind that the Mills-Mahama government, and now Mahama/Amissah-Arthur regime, has been in power for some six years now. And during most of this period, the socioeconomic development of Ghana has literally been in a virtual free-fall.
And so, really, it is not clear exactly what the leader of the Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) means, when Mr. Arnold Boateng publicly asserts that the dismal performance of President John Dramani Mahama has put a scandalous blot on the performance record of the equally lackluster President John Evans Atta-Mills, late (See ” ‘Incompetent’ Mahama Has Disgraced Mills – AFAG” Citifmonline / Ghanaweb.com 11/12/14). For those of our readers who may have so soon forgotten the same, it was then-President Mills whose inexcusably poor judgment precipitated what globally became known as the Aveyime Scandal, in which a humongous $20 million was literally handed over, gratis, to a Mrs. Juliet Cotton, an African-American resident of the State of Georgia, here in the United States, who had fraudulently posed as a rice-plantation farmer.
Legend has it that the aforesaid amount of the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money had been handed over to Mrs. Cotton in exchange for the commercial cultivation of rice in the Aveyime district of the Volta Region. Absolutely no due diligence had been performed by any member on the staff of the University of London-schooled Vice-President Mills to ensure that Ghanaians would not be taken for a ride. In the end, it was precisely a ride, and a decidedly vacuous and bogus one at that, on which Mrs. Cotton had taken Chairman Rawlings’ favored arch-lieutenent.
AFAG has, however, raised the hot-button question regarding the prompt and imperative need for Mr. Alfred Agbesi Woyome to be made to return the millions of dollars of the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money which a legitimately constituted court of law determined, not very long ago, had been extorted by the criminal defendant. It has also been widely reported that Mr. Woyome has personally acknowledge having been fully remunerated for services performed for the expatriate Waterville Construction Company as a local frontman. But interestingly, and some say curiously, Mr. Woyome still managed, with the active connivance of very highly placed officials in the erstwhile Mills-Mahama government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to bilk the Ghanaian public millions of dollars in hard currency.
When he assumed reins of governance as Transitional-President in 2012, Mr. Mahama not only publicly promised to fully investigate and vigorously prosecute the infamous Woyome Affair, as would be determined to be justified. Well, Mr. Mahama ought to be duly commended for successfully concluding the first phase of the Woyome Affair. Now what remains is for President Mahama to ensure that the convicted Grand-Thief return the full amount of money extorted by false pretences from the government and people of Ghana. If he also proves himself to be capable in this aspect of the Woyome Affair, then, it goes without saying that come Election 2016, Nana Akufo-Addo and his main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) are apt to have a proverbial run for their money.
That the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), the local chapter of Amnesty International (AI), has vehemently decried the failure of state security agencies to charge and promptly prosecute citizens palpably accused of criminally shortchanging the Ghanaian people, may in of itself point more to the systemic breakdown of the relevant state institutions than simply the gross incompetence of the government of just one grossly incompetent Ghanaian leader and citizen. Mr. Boateng, the AFAG general-secretary, may also be rather uncharitably overstating matters when he suggests that the Mahama government has not done enough to arrest the skyrocketting spate of corruption.
In reality, the entire foundation and history of the Rawlings-minted National Democratic Congress may be summarized in one inescapable phrase, “Incurable Incompetence.” And the Ghanaian people have been stoically living with this specter of democratically organized crime for at least a generation.