By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Monday, Sept. 5, 2016
Folks, it is clear that the anti-Mahama politicians in Ghana making all kinds of senseless promises to turn Ghana into a paradise when voted into power at Election 2016 don’t know what they are looking for. Neither do they have any compunction to tread cautiously. They are all for using any means at all to hoodwink voters so they can achieve their objective of being placed in power.
Any serious politician in a country like Ghana will consider global happenings and factor their implications into the campaign for votes. After all, Ghana is just a speck on the global scene that cannot do without the massive support of better-endowed systems.
Unfortunately, desperate politicians of the NPP’s Akufo-Addo type are running around, making all kinds of noise to present themselves as “Messiahs” who have a magic wand to wave when voted into office to end the problems that have dogged Ghanaians all these hundreds of years.
Just a few irritating issues here to support my concerns. When was the first time someone in the Northern part of Ghana ever drank potable water (if the Yapeiwura or the Gonja chief’s reported plea to Akufo-Addo is anything to go by?). (Meantime, the Gonja chiefs have angrily reacted to the false news reports about their endorsement of Akufo-Addo and called for a retraction and an apology, which the bragging brigands say they won’t do). In any case, has any Ghanaian ever expressed satisfaction at being gainfully employed, earning an income to secure life, even in retirement? When was the last time every Ghanaian living in the country ever had the opportunity to enjoy everything that could make life livable?
And when was the last time that any Ghanaian who left the shores of the country for “greener pastures” elsewhere ever returned home to condemn Ghana for not being a home? Many Ghanaians who have lived elsewhere will honestly admit that there is no home sweeter than Ghana. So, why the campaign of lies by those who should have known better not to incite needless anarchy?
Why will anybody will go out of his/her way to make noise about joblessness, etc. when, indeed, joblessness and all those problems featuring in the anti-Mahama political rhetoric have been with us since time out of mind? And why is it that any anti-Mahama politician will rush to create the impression that it is only under President Mahama’s watch that Ghana is facing serious problems of development (whatever they may be)?
Why is it that those anti-Mahama elements are not telling the people anything about the global economic or debt situation, at least, for them to know that despite all its boasts of being rich, the United States, for instance, has a lot more to tackle in serving the needs of its 320 million people than Ghana does? Or that but for the generosity of China in soaking up the budget deficit of the United States, a different story would have been told about the US in our time? More than that limitation, what is used in the US that is not produced in China?
Those of us living in the US know it for a fact that the US cannot do without China. It cannot survive without input from China. That is why the vain “trade wars” amount to nothing; and that is why the US’ cry against China over its military build-up or incursions into the South China Sea are ineffectual. China is standing strong to face the US because it has put its house in order to take over from the US in our time. There is nothing the US can do to stop its loss of control. The objective reality of the economic and political situation favours China. For us, the lesson is that empires rise and fall. And once they fall, they don’t rise back. Even their ashes annoy generations!!
Again, why is none of the Ghanaian politicians building castles in the air not telling the people that the US is more indebted than Ghana is but its politicians are not crying wolf as the Ghanaian ones do? A country that has resources to support its bids will always be credit-worthy. That is why Ghana continues to appeal to the international community despite its debt burden. is that what the anti-Mahama elements know and will fashion their politics around?
Folks, there is a lot more to raise, but I will not do so now just because of what I have gathered from news reports on the ongoing summit of the Group of 20 (apparently, the 20 richest countries in the world), now taking place in China. And reports indicate that China is dictating the pace. I have heard complaints from journalists of the major US news outlets to create the impression that the Chinese security system didn’t even allow the US’ own Presidential security network to do things as they thought they would. They controlled everything surrounding Obama’s presence in the system and ensured that what they put in place was not breached. That tells me that China has come into its own.
I have had the opportunity to monitor everything about the G-20 summit and can say with confidence that the reports from the various leaders are grim about the global economy. Growth is slow and predicted to reduce further, even as unemployment soars. There is much pessimism about the future of global economy. That should be enough for us to wonder what the justification for all the bombastic promises being made by the anti-Mahama politicians entails.
We do so because we know that Ghana is not isolated from global economic currents. As a producer of primary commodities whose price(s) it has no power to determine, the country is at the beck and call of friends. It needs loans/grants/concessions to survive. Mobilizing funds internally means raising taxes and imposing other policies that won’t be accepted without protests and whatever.
So, what is the sense in all that the anti-Mahama elements are proclaiming all over the place? I wonder if they have even been monitoring happenings at the G-20 summit, where images of the line-up of the attending leaders showed South Africa’s Jacob Zumah in the frontline row, not even interacted with by any of those near him. Yet, South Africa is a giant economy in Africa.
Folks, any keen observer of happenings at the G-20 summit will know better what is at stake and deride the narrow-minded politicians (especially the NPP’s Akufo-Addo) who are deceiving the gullible voters with promises that fly in the face of economic realities. I challenge them and their lackeys in the media or Facebook to seek intelligence and education from this G-20 summit before rushing out to take me on.
The Ghanaian opposition always seeks to undermine the incumbent for political advantage. But a reasonable and conscionable politician seeing things beyond the narrow confines of his/her political interests should be honest enough to admit the fact that many forces rocking the global economy in our time will not permit the senseless string of promises coming from Akufo-Addo and Bawumia.
Even when the developed economies are restraining themselves from offering freebies, what justification does a poor third world country like Ghana have to shower freebies on the people (that is, if the phantom promises being made by Akufo-Addo and Bawumia should be considered)? Take, for instance, the nonsensical promise to give one million Dollars to each district that Bawumia has made. He is more than stupid in this regard. Even in our current situation where we have a District Assemblies Common Fund that allocates a fifth (or so?) of the GDP to the Assemblies, what has become of that policy? Stupidly, the anti-Mahama people are quick to say that it is because of massive corruption that funds are not available to be allocated to the Assemblies.
The history behind all countries and system exists for scrutiny to know what went right or wrong. Let’s go for the one on those who scrambled for and partitioned Africa for their own good, leaving behind problems that they hate to deal with in pour time. The massive emigration of Europeans (especially those from Britain, Scotland, etc.) to the “New World” (now the United States, the Caribbeans, etc.) was prompted by unfavourable conditions at home. Forget about the deceptive history of the “Pilgrim Fathers” settling in the US and the dubious history behind the brigands who helped Christopher Columbus to make a name that history doesn’t give him as the discoverer of the United States.
In any case, let me make it clear to you that the European marauders (of course, they succeeded in exterminating the native American population that had even been kind enough to give them corn to live on; then, trace the history behind the annual US festival of “Thanksgiving” and come back with something substantial to sustain the discussion) left their countries because of the depletion of natural resources such as fish and timber. Not to talk about the potato famine in Scotland which drove the Scotts to greener pastures in the Americas.
All I am trying to drive at is that if Africa imports that much fish products from member-countries of the EU, it is because of the lack of foresight of our leaders. We have all the marine, river, etc. resources to boost fish farming or harvest but are constrained in many ways, especially because of the stupidity of our leaders. That is why pair trawling by foreign fishing companies goes on in our continental shelf while the anti-Mahama elements are busily mobilizing their lackeys in the fishing industry to do empty “outboard motor politics”. Or premix fuel stupidity. What did Kufuor do about those major problems affecting our economy? Will you be honest enough to look into the intricacies of the Jubilee Oilfields contracts?
Folks, there is a lot to talk about. I wish that you will cut the coat according to the size of those issues and stop this flight into sentimentalism. Ghana deserves better from those seeking to undo the incumbent. How can Ghana make money to do as it wishes? Who buys the primary commodities produced and exported by Ghana into the international market? How much control does Ghana have over the prices of those commodities?
For your information, the members of the G-20 are the buyers of Ghana’s export items; and they have conspired to control the international commodity market to serve their interests and not those of the producers. Is there any way to change this paradigm so the producer of the commodity can dictate the price to its advantage? Not until this paradigm changes, nothing will work well for the producer. After all, Ghanaians don’t eat cocoa beans, petroleum, lumber, or bauxite. Neither do they have any need for any massive use of gold, diamond, manganese, etc., which means that they have to depend on the international market for revenue. Do you see the problem as I do? Come clean and stop being petty.
I shall return…
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