At a presentation on the highlights of the National Democratic Congress’ 2016 electioneering campaign manifesto, held at the Banquet Hall of the erstwhile Kwame Nkrumah Conference Center, President John Dramani Mahama was reported to have announced that he intended to revive most of the factories and industries established under the tenure of the Nkrumah-led Convention People’s Party regime (See “We’ll Revive Nkrumah Factories – Mahama” Classfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 9/14/16).
No such pontifical presentation could be more insulting to the intelligence of the Ghanaian citizenry. And it is quite obvious that the President was banking on the purportedly extremely short memory of the proverbial average Ghanaian citizen and voter when he made such an outrageous declaration. Most likely, the event held at the Banquet Hall of the State House was more about the sumptuous meal served the NDC’s movers-and-shakers than anything else.
Fortunately, Ghanaians do not need to rack up their memories very far in order to expose the former Rawlings Communication Minister for the pathological liar that he has so professionally proven himself to be. Not too long ago, for example, much hoopla was raised about the purported reactivation of the Komenda Sugar Factory (KSF), which actually commenced operation in 1967, shortly after the auspicious overthrow of the much-resented Convention People’s Party. The much-ballyhooed KSF reactivation would turn out to be a proverbial nine-day wonder, one which lasted barely a month.
Today, the Komenda Sugar factory is more irreparably defunct than it has ever been. The fact of the matter is that the key operatives of the so-called National Democratic Congress lack the vision and foresight of the man and the political party whose ideology they claim to have inspired the founding of the Rawlings-minted National Democratic Congress. Ironically, Chairman Jerry John Rawlings at various times has categorically stated that he has little or absolutely no use, whatsoever, for the extortionate and dictatorial regime of the Convention People’s Party.
But even more important must be highlighted the fact that the now-President Mahama was a senior cabinet appointee of the Rawlings regime that parochial-mindedly dismantled and quartered up the Nkrumah-created national industrial umbrella group that became known as the Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation (GIHOC), that had been opportunely established to kick-start the country’s entry into the glorious comity of prosperous and respectable industrialized nations. The factories classified under the nominal umbrella of GIHOC have today become the privately-owned properties of the smug, self-serving and self-righteous “probity, transparency, accountability and justice” faux-revolutionaries of the erstwhile Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) junta, also led by Chairman Jerry John Rawlings.
Today, the Nsawam Tomato Factory, which also belonged to the GIHOC group of state-owned enterprises, is the private property of the Rawlings Clan. I must also quickly note that the land on which the Nsawam, actually Adoagyiri, Tomato Factory sits is my ancestral property which has been literally cannibalized by Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, with the criminal complicity of President Mahama. And so it is not clear precisely what he means, when Mr. Mahama talks about having put in place a plan to “revamp factories built by Ghana’s first President Kwame Nkrumah which are now tottering or [have become] totally dormant.”
After 7 years of occupying the nation’s highest seat of governance, first as Vice-President to the late President John Evans Atta-Mills, Mr. Mahama has yet to seriously address the 48-percent rate of unemployment with which able-bodied Ghanaian youths are besieged. He cannot even keep up with the payment of the salaries of woefully underpaid Ghanaian teachers and their lower- and middle-income counterparts of the civil service.
President Mahama’s tout or Town-Crier, Dr. Edward Omane-Boamah, says that the NDC government intends to team up with private entrepreneurs in order to actualize all the 130 projects highlighted in the ruling party’s manifesto. But here also, the most relevant questions to ask are as follows: In terms of percentages, how successful has this NDC government been in partnering private entrepreneurs to revive abandoned old projects and establish new ones? And also: Are the private entrepreneurs alluded to here predominantly local or foreign? As well, how successful has the Mahama government been in enacting industry-friendly policies to boost up our national economy and to drastically reduce the decidedly lethal 48-percent level of youth unemployment.
The foregoing are the issues on which voters ought to base their decision over whether to retain President Mahama and his so-called National Democratic Congress at the Flagstaff and Parliament houses, or look for a more progressive and far better gubernatorial alternative.
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
September 17, 2016