Benjamin Franklin was conscious of the limitations of spin doctors so he famously adopted the principle “well done is better than well said.”
Our friend Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko’s latest defence of his cousin’s government makes for some worrying reading.
Gabby claims there’s a clear sense of where the Akufo-Addo Government is taking Ghana. Perhaps only Gabby is clear about that. As for the rest of us, we only glean this so-called clear sense depending on where President Akufo-Addo travels to. When he travels to Brazil he informs us he’s developing Ghana based on the Brazilian model. When he arrives in Germany, it is the German model.
When President Akufo-Addo finds himself in China he tells us he’s developing Ghana using the Chinese model. Never mind that the Chinese model is diametrically opposed ideologically to President Akufo-Addo’s NPP right-wing orientation. By the way, we anxiously await the next country President Akufo-Addo will be visiting so we can know our development model at least for the month of October.
Sincerely, the only clear sense of direction we can point to is the fact that Ghana Beyond Aid starts after 100 years when we are done redeeming our obligations under President Akufo-Addo’s $50 billion Chinese Century Bond.
As for the arrogance about Ghana’s destiny practically tied to the NPP, we shall try to resist the strong urge to scoff at that. It is a trite knowledge that the NPP is the only political party that has governed Ghana and yet failed to establish a single public university, not a polytechnic, not one regional hospital, no regional airport, no regional market, not even one new secondary school.
While, unlike Gabby, I will be charitable and ready to concede that every party at least tries to bring some progress to our country albeit, with varying degrees of success, it is certainly the height of all arrogance and indeed most offensive to think that the destiny of this nation is tied to any one party. In any case, this is a most dangerous mindset to have in a multi-party democracy. This statement should not be coming from those who criticize Dr Kwame Nkrumah on a daily basis for the not too accurate claim that Nkrumah made Ghana a one-party State.
Ghana will only succeed when its leaders recognize that regardless of party affiliation every Ghanaian’s contribution including those in the opposition are invaluable. Ghana’s progress will be unstoppable the day a ruling party manages to galvanize and inspire the entire nation beyond its immediate family and friends to pursue much nobler objectives.
Gabby further claims “Ghanaians hold NPP to higher standards.” Really? How high is that standard when merely opening completed hospitals you inherited from President Mahama has to take a coordinated sustained national struggle for months? The NDC does the heavy lifting of building hospitals and even that we must beg the NPP just to open them and you call that a higher standard?
How high is that standard when you abandon the Mahama Community Senior High Schools which were under construction and rather decide to introduce a Shift System? Something Prof. Mills avoided in 2010 with enrolment numbers three times bigger than Akufo-Addo’s.
How high is that standard when you criticize the Ameri deal for being overpriced at $510 million and yet you renegotiate it upwards for $1.2 billion?
How high is that standard when Dr Bawumia’s self-trumpeted superior economic management prowess rather produces a free fall of the Ghanaian Cedi which has shockingly hit $5 and still depreciating.
How high is that standard when thousands of workers are being laid off, businesses collapsing, added to an abysmal failure in implementing NPP’s poorly conceived campaign promises of 1D1F, 1V1D, $1 million per constituency etc.?
How high is that standard when hardly any week passes without one corruption scandal or the other?
At the very least, Gabby acknowledges in his statement that hardship and unemployment is a defining feature of President Akufo-Addo’s government with many struggling to make ends meet as he puts it. Probably, instead of the Brazilian, German or Chinese model, the Benjamin Franklin doctrine would help us better – “well done is better than well said.” It’s time we appeal to our government to get to work, Ghanaians are tired of all the talk and spin. In opposition, you may do all the talking and pontification at lectures which has shown itself to be very cheap, for talk is indeed cheap, but that can’t sustain you in Government.
And as for the fixation to blame NDC for all of the NPP’s woes, apart from this strategy not being a smart thing to do especially after 18 months in power, it is important to emphasize that we have not and cannot forget President Akufo-Addo’s solemn pledge on the 23rd of November, 2016 to transform Ghana in 18 months if elected President. (Read: I Will Change Ghana In 18 Months If You Vote For Me – Akufo-Addo)
It’s past 18 months and yet all we are being offered is more talk, excuses upon excuses and very little action. Actually, the promised Transformation has become Retrogression.
May the Lord see us through these tough times and may He bestow upon this nation a new kind of politics anchored on sincerity, trustworthiness, less talk more action and true respect for the citizenry.
Columnist: Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa