Who Is Who?: Opposition Versus President Mahama 1

INTRODUCTION

Knowledge of the slipping of Ghana’s Debt-to-DGP ratio beyond the 70% cutoff point give great cause for concern. This presents severe consequences for attracting foreign investment into the country and sovereign credit rating (the credit worthiness of the Ghanaian government). We are particularly concerned about the virtual reality of government’s continued spending outstripping national revenue and of government defaulting on its debt obligations to external and local creditors.

These problems coupled with the falling Cedi spell disaster for the country’s national security and development economics. It is however clear that both external and internal conditionalities are primarily responsible for the overall gross distortions in Ghana’s economic outlook, yet, while we may not always have control over the changing mechanics of external conditionalities, we can exert direct and indirect control on internal controls.

This requires prudent economic and political decisions, consideration of policy strategies such as patronage of local goods and services, fighting political corruption, and imposition of tight controls on government spending. It also requires transparency and oversight vigilance from the central bank (Bank of Ghana), the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), the Commission on Human Rights & Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), and parliamentary institutions such as the Finance Committee and the Public Accounts Committee, the Ghana Audit Service (GAS), and the Attorney General’s Department (AGD).

Oftentimes there exists grave contradictions and questionable gaps in data from the World Bank/IMF, Bank of Ghana (BoG), Ghana Statistical Services, opposition political parties, think tanks, and universities on the health of Ghana’s economic health, financial obligations and standing in the global economy, and development prospects, a situation that mires the non-professional observer in a technical morass from which he or she finds almost impossibly difficult trying to negotiate what some from the larger republic fundamentally see as a sheer formidable mist of seemingly irreconcilable or unmarriageable coordinates of contradictions.

Thus, data collection and analysis become playful objects of uncreative obsessive politicization. Our dozing and intellectually jaded technocrats, with all their intrinsic mercurial dispositions of political partisanship, manage to make data collection and analysis an ideological pitch of political football. Yet, they also manage to find their way out of the deceptive blinding-mist of self-made contradictions with convenient episodes of dismissible deflections from the moral crossroad of personal and collective culpability, thus blaming, as it were, their bureaucratic inefficiencies on differences in inter-institution methodological approach to data collection and analysis.

Partisan politics appears to be the silent killer of national development and good governance. Notwithstanding, we are not ruling out the intellectual and research contributions of think tanks, civil society, religious bodies, universities and polytechnics, political parties whether in opposition or not, women organizations such as the Ghana Association of Women Entrepreneurs (GAWE) and 31st December Women’s Movement, and ordinary citizens in this evolving matrix of national oversight.

These disparate entities can play their part in the fight against corruption, a deeply ingrained social metastasis that has been one of the major unrelenting drains on the national coffers. As well as against bad governance; mass poverty and illiteracy; gender inequality; pollution; juvenile street hawking; resource mismanagement; religious bigotry and superstation; partisan politicization and ideological polarization; falling educational standard; bureaucratic bottlenecks; and other social-political ills too numerous to mention here.

As a matter of fact, when it comes down to the question of corruption we want it fought at all levels of the Ghanaian society. However strategic focus on combatting parliamentary, judicial, and executive corruption is extremely indispensable and therefore should be a top priority. Particularly, we did call for parliamentary prorogation in one of our prior essays in a sharp response to our prescriptive indictment of political corruption. We also have to add that we are not singling out any particular political party for special critical opprobrium as the legislature is essentially a parliamentary duopoly.

WHAT THE ELECTORATE NEEDS TO KNOW AHEAD OF THE 2016 ELECTIONS

As a country we need to encourage a depoliticized examen of national introspection vis-a-vis the question of the political economy of corruption and its gradual impactful negation of economic development. What we actually hope for in this case is a craving for a new pedigree of sociopolitical and moral evolution, in which a conscientized and conscionable leadership rises to the challenge of fighting corruption in all its chameleonic manifestations, so that it does not crescendo as it has done during the eras of Kufuor and Mahama.

Not too long ago illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs (and money laundering) reached it apogee during the Kufuor era. We are now seeing different faces of political corruption in the government of President Mahama. It appears then that we may not have seriously interrogated the political economy of corruption by way of a longitudinal study of it. Ghana’s deeply divisive duopoly seems not prepared or suited to the daunting task of dealing with the intrusive threat of social pathogenicity.

This is why the other non-establishment opposition political parties should furnish the electorate with a detailed roadmap demonstrating how they are going to effectively deal with corruption, perhaps something more radically different from the methodological approach of duopolistic unoriginality. We need a convincing package of maverick solutions to our seemingly illusive yet identifiable collection of practical problems. Thus, preaching to the choir has lost its social relevance.

This is what partisan duopolistic consumerism has done to the tired political taste-buds of the longsuffering electorate who, in many important ways, are just like their morally gonorrheal politicians who know nothing other than prostituting themselves in a genuflected posture as niggarized custodians or gatekeepers of a grossly mismanaged puppet state. This puppet state is now tied to a stifling string of paternalistic and coercive conditionalities as part of the Gitmo-detainee transfer deal, something we brought upon ourselves. This brings back sad memories of pre-colonial and colonial commodification in human flesh—chattel slavery—where some of our leaders traded our collective dignity for inferiority complex!

And whether or not the Gitmo 2 should be returned to the Americans is beyond the point. The point is that the Gitmo 2 are already honorary citizens of Ghana and the coercive foreign-aid conditionalities are their honorary Ghanaian passports. But, granted the diplomatic convolution of the Gitmo-detainee transfer deal, which side do we exactly stand in relation to the not-as-yet-undisclosed quid pro quo? In other words what is the very nature of the deal, financial or otherwise, that convincingly incentivized our greedy leaders and drove them to endorse the Gitmo-transfer arrangement without absolute regard for the sanctity of public opinion, civil courage, and public sentiment?

Well, we may never know the answers for certain. For this we are very certain, unless a later disaffected partisan signatory to the deal makes privileged intelligence on the deal public. Will this ever happen in our kind of politics? Let us wait and see. Let us wait and see what? In all frankness however, these concerns are merely a rhetorical interrogation of the obvious. There is therefore no need waiting hoping to see anything. What we actually have in terms of the deal is an open book. That open book is a matter time.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Until the Ghanaian leadership can convincingly reject the foreign-aid conditionalities tied to the Gitmo 2 and other American-based largesse and non-monetary assistance and then behave thence as a sovereign nation-state capable of taking care of itself, we should kiss public agitation for the return of the Gitmo 2 to the Americans goodbye! And then pray that none of our disaffected members of the security joins forces with the Gitmo 2 to destabilize the country as some of Saddam Hussein’s former military men have done with ISIS. We should not forget how some influential members of the Nigerian military and high-powered civilians in the executive branch of government have been providing privileged intelligence to Boko Haram to aid their operational effectiveness.

We shall return…

Francis Kwarteng

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