By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
I sincerely have no doubt, whatsoever, that my Uncle Kofi Diawuo John Agyekum-Kufuor committed quite a platoon of financially and morally costly blunders in the crepuscular days of his stewardship; but absolutely in no way do even the most egregious of these blunders come within a horizon’s range of the sort of monstrous economic mess bequeathed Mr. Kufuor by the self-righteous Mr. Jerry John Rawlings (See “Dr. Bawumia Is Desperate To Save NPP – Fifi Kwetey” Ghanaweb.com 5/4/12).
What has been more than crystal clear for each and every Ghanaian to witness and fully appreciate is the incontrovertible fact that when it comes to the management of our national economy, the key operatives of the ruling National Democratic Congress are mere toddlers. And so it is rather amusing that in chiding the Vice-Presidential Candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party for poignantly putting the NDC in its place, vis-à-vis the latter’s abject and gross incompetence in the management of the economy, Mr. Fifi Kwetey, one of the two Deputy Ministers of Finance, vacuously blamed the Kufuor administration for the “reckless management of the redenomination” of the Cedi.
The dear reader, of course, may choose to call it the “Ghana Cedi.” In any case, however, what Mr. Kwetey ought to have asked of himself prior to rather sophomorically presuming to imperiously fault the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party government for “recklessly” embarking on the Cedi redenomination exercise, as the NDC ministerial second-bananas chooses to characterize it, is why it became an imperative necessity for President Kufuor, Governor Acquah and Deputy-Governor Bawumia to embark on such an exercise at all.
Obviously, the truth is too painful for Mr. Kwetey to handle, thus his desperate decision to take potshots at the far more economically savvy Dr. Bawumia. Unfortunately, we don’t have the luxury of sparing both Mr. Kwetey and the woefully misguided members and sympathizers of the so-called National Democratic Congress the painful truth and grim and factual reality of the fetid economic slag heap bequeathed Mr. Kufuor by Mr. Rawlings. Needless to say, it was the at once miserable and shameful reality of such an epic economic mess that drove the proverbial Gentle Giant into frantically rescuing our beloved nation through his bold and foresighted decision to enroll Ghana into the much-disdained HIPC program, an exercise which the incurably unconscionable NDC operatives found to be more amusing than simply tragic.
It is also unpardonably repugnant to see and hear a total economic illiterate like Dr. Tony Aidoo pretend to impugn the professional credibility of the firmly grounded Dr. Bawumia on the latter’s own turf. This, of course, is a typical and classical example of the kind of abject NDC managerial incompetence that the Oxbridge-educated former Bank of Ghana deputy governor alluded to in his Ferdinand Ayim Memorial Lecture.
Ghanaians also recently had a “saw-dusty” taste of NDC economic “genius” in the scandalous STX Affair, when the Mills-led government decided to earmark a projected $ 10 billion oil revenue for the creation of prime real estate jobs for South Korean building contractors and realtors at the expense of their Ghanaian counterparts. That such an at once reckless and insolent deal – sumptuously celebrated over dinner and wine with the South Korean vice-president in Accra – fell through, had almost everything to do with the enviable vigilance and diligence of mainly members, supporters and sympathizers of the main opposition New Patriotic Party scattered the world over.
The fact that an impudent and impenitent NDC stubbornly insisted against all common sense on prosecuting this incalculably bankrupt and downright corrupt racket with the South Koreans, is all the more reason for Ghanaian voters to show the Mills-Mahama Concert Party the exit come December 7, 2012.
Indeed, any Ghanaian resident abroad who visited the country in 1998, as I did, or prior to the end of President Rawlings’s “democratic” tenure, may vividly recall the great fear that gripped any “been-to” who attempted to withdraw cash from any of the local Ghanaian banks. To withdraw even the measly equivalent of $100 (One-Hundred American Dollars), for example, the customer needed to rent tow- or tipper-truck. At best, the now proudly touted “Ghana Cedi” could then be described as “Shinplaster” and, at the worst, simply garbage. And so for Mr. Kwetey to arrogantly blame former President Kufuor for re-denominating the Common Cedi, in order to proudly convert it into the “Ghana Cedi” constitutes the very height of ungrateful foolery.
Anyway, for Mr. Kwetey’s edification, Dr. Bawumia can confidently impugn, or doubt, deliberately cooked figures from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) meant to mischievously muff the country’s bleak economy because, as Mr. Kwetey himself rightly points out, having closely worked with the GSS, the NPP Vice-Presidential Candidate knows exactly when the GSS operatives are leveling with the Ghanaian people and, of course, when they are merely throwing dust into our eyes.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English, Journalism and Creative Writing at Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City. He is Director of The Sintim-Aboagye Center for Politics and Culture and author of “Danquah v. Nkrumah: In the Words of Mahoney.” E-mail: [email protected].