Fellow countrymen and women, I bring you greetings from the seat of government. Sorry I couldn?t address you last week. I was engaged in equally important national assignment and that consumed all the precious hours I needed to keep you up to speed on consequential issues making headlines in our country.
All the same, I thank you for remaining patriotic even though the few miscreants in the country relishing to dislodge me at-all-cost have not ceased to throw mud at me and make me look bad in your eyes and the western world.
Fellow Ghanaians, last week was eventful and I guess you all heard and read what transpired at the National Economic Forum at Senchi in Akosombo. I had the opportunity as President to open and close the event and I was happy the forum attracted wild array of seasoned professionals from all facets of our national economy.
Even more eventful was towards the end of last week when my walking encyclopedia and guardian angel, Sir Paul Victor Obeng slept on his left hand. Though the news of his demise hit me with shock, I must confess I admired the manner and style in which he bid all of us farewell. I wished all of us will mimic his style and not overburden our family members with bedridden sickness when our time is due to depart the earth into the next world. It is really sad. Isn?t it? Anyway, I?ll tell you more about PV in a jiffy.
Back to the National Economic Forum; I?ve heard and read about the controversies the organization of the forum has generated. All the issues my critics have raised and those they continue to raise are no news to me. I knew those issue will definitely crop up. My opponents have become so unsophisticated and daft that these days I could easily sit down and predict their reactions when I intend doing something.
I share the sentiments of many of you that the forum was a complete waste of state resources. But I?ve my own reasons for organizing the forum. I knew participants will not come out with any new measures to solve the myriad of problems bedeviling the country and lo and behold, I was vindicated per the outcome of the forum.
The forum in itself was not a bad idea. I gave my consent to the forum when the idea was first mooted because I believed aside the main aim of the forum, it will also foster national unity and test how different those professionals, who are quick to disparage my government for incompetence, and the other opposition parties would manage this country if they were in the driving seat.
Ghana is a country with much great potentials. One of such potentials is our population size in the sub region. Though we cannot pride ourselves as the most populated, we may be counted among the top three most populous countries in the sub-region. And as such we have a lot of intellectuals I thought we needed to explore their expertise, that is if they really have one.
Ghana just happened to have a voice in the sub region because of our population size and not by any economic, cerebral or political ingenuity. Therefore, whenever I listen to some of these professionals in the country lambasting government for ineptitude, I just conclude that they are a group of people suffering from Histrionic Personality Disorder (HPD).
The outcome of the ?Senchi consensus? has proven that our professionals and Civil Society groups are just cheap noise makers without any concrete and innovative means of tackling challenges facing the country. I read through the 22 bullets points from the forum and I ask myself ?which of these points haven?t we come across or haven?t we heard and read about in the 57 years of Ghana?s existence??
Yes, as a country, we have well educated men and women. We have an impressive population size. But our population size just like our natural resources has turned into a liability because we are a nation made up of professional and lousy thinkers and noise makers who pride and deceive themselves as crack thinkers.
Today, the actions and inactions of these professional and lousy cheap talkers have made Ghana a union of reluctant nation. Our interests vary from religion, ethnic and political with several others in between. At least the outcome of the Senchi forum, has confirm this and it is now clear that everybody knows the problem of Ghana.
What we lack is how to tackle it and I doubt if the Senchi Consensus? will bring the kind of economic liberation we?re all yearning for. All the measures outlined in the ?22 points? have been things we?ve heard and read about all these years. So where is the proof that it will work? What has become of similar forums by my predecessors, Rawlings and Kufuor?
The forebear of Ghana?s challenges is corruption, the ?mum? being injustice and these are well known by us all. All other problems are children and grandchildren of this couple. There is no doubt that this country has suffered immensely relative to our natural and human resources in recent years. It is no more secret poverty is increasingly ravaging our people at an alarming rate especially in the past three decades. There is no doubt that every fabric of our society is progressively stricken by the dreaded epidemic, CORRUPTION; and Senchi Consensus has confirmed this age-long claim.
Now that the forum did not come out with anything substantially new and innovative measures to combat challenges facing our dear country, I hope those professionals and leaders of civil society groups who pummel me and my appointees for lacking the requisite knowledge and expertise to fix a broken economy will zip their mouths and accept the fact that Ghana is indeed a nation of problem discussants and not solution providers.
I had a lot of calls when the NPP led by its Chairman, my brother from a different mother and father, Paul Afoko announced that they were not going to partake in the national forum. While a lot of you were raged by this decision, I was happy.
You know why? When I first heard the news about their boycott, I whispered to one of my aides ?Y3n trap nu akyebela?. The decision to organize the forum apart from the two main thematic purposes enumerated earlier was also anchored on two pillars. One was to expose the armchair-loudmouth civil society groups in the country and other professionals noted for the relentless critiquing of government as cheap noise makers who lacked the requisite expertise to run this country when given the opportunity.
The other was to open the NPP up for public opprobrium and ridicule. In the case of the NPP, I and my advisers planned that if they turn up, they are likely to repeat the things Dr Bawumia has been saying and that will give us the opportunity to demonstrate to Ghanaians that Bamumia?s economic evaluations are only good for the textbooks and lecturing but not for practical management of the economy.
Whiles on this, a thought also came to mind that the NPP was likely to boycott the event. Since we know them to be professional boycotters, we made room for that. Our plan was that if they boycott the event, we will try and paint them as unpatriotic Ghanaians and try as much as possible to get some of their disgruntled men and elders to attend.
By so doing, we will fan and further widen cracks in the party and possibly set the leadership of the party on a collision cause with the elders who will be attending the forum. God being so good, a founding member of their party and one-time disqualified flag bearer aspirants, Mr Kwame Pianim and other NPP inclined members were present at the forum and this has generated a living controversy in the party.
We managed to convince Ghanaians to believe that NPP members have boycotted because it is in their gene and that they are against the development of this country. This has really hit the NPP hard and has gotten their Chairman to be prancing and shouting on almost all media platforms that the party never issued any gagging order to its members. Like seriously?
The NPP, which is a party claiming to have superior ideas of development to those of my party, NDC, has in the past years introduced what Glynn Ash called hate-politics into our body polity; politics of fear and exclusion, of divide and conquer, of intimidation and character assassination, and of ?us? versus ?them?. This is why it has amply demonstrated to Ghanaians, especially under the care of Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo and now Paul Afoko, who prefers to be addressed as ?Chairman and leader of NPP?; that political tolerance and accommodation are registers not found anywhere in their operative lexicon. By their attitudes, it is now glaring that in the unlikely event the NPP assumes power in this country; it will suffer no opposition nor brook the recklessness of the media. The NPP and its army of supporters don?t have the stomach for the abuses they are heaping on my administration.
Since the party went into opposition in 2009, nothing has the NDC government done that pleased its members. In fact, some of the actions of the NPP bothers on treason; actions deliberately masterminded to cause a legitimate government to fail in order to topple it. What is even more worrisome, however, is the fact that the NPP is yet to present any acceptable ideology that can win public support. Its preoccupation so far is to destructively criticize and condemn my government and goad Bawumia to present what I considered an assortment of hogwash economic proposals incapable of solving what has been christened the ?Terkper mess?
The designs of the NPP have exposed the hot desperation of the intolerant party, that it would do just anything under the sun in the name of gaining political power. Communicators of the NPP have said at various forums that I?m incompetent and lack experience to govern. That is the partisan opinion of the NPP. But the principal issues is, the act of causing a government to fail by whatever means so that it can be defeated at the polls is not an acceptable practice in any democracy. This is the strategy of the NPP ahead of the 2016 elections. The NPP must be told in very unambiguous terms that what it is currently doing is not opposition politics but acts of subversion.
There are many things Ghanaians should worry about the NPP and its brand of adversarial politics. The NPP, just like it was in the 1950s, is a clique of some potbelly and baldheaded Ashanti/Akyem capitalists. They have their heads buried in selfish parochialism and as such cannot be trusted to liberate this country. From the days of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, they have proven to be nemeses of Ghanaian people; always searching for opportunities to retard the development of the country.
Can Ghanaians in good conscience trust a party seeking to take power from another, which can direct its members to ?shoot down? government without taking into account the dire implications for the citizenry? Can Ghanaians trust a party which sees nothing good in others, a party that is only quick to find faults and criticize, but never admits any achievement made by others?
Can Ghanaians trust a party that says it either wins the presidency or hell should be let loose on Ghana? Can Ghanaians stand by a party whose desperation to clinch power is now an obsession? Can Ghanaians rely on a party that exhorts its members to be ready to resist the nation?s security officers? Can Ghanaians trust a party which accuses my government of being ?the seat of corruption? yet openly embraced ?corrupt? national executives? What kind of message is the NPP passing across to Ghanaians?
That, a political party with the best of intentions for this country and seeking to win political power would behave in the manner NPP is doing, is unthinkable. In civilized and better organized jurisdictions, the opposition is a critical element when we talk about democracy.
Opposition parties are known to offer themselves as alternatives the electorate can fall on, when the ruling party is not doing well. In a metaphorical sense, an opposition party is the ?spare tyre? kept in the car booth and comes in handy when any of the wheels gets burst.
Elsewhere, opposition parties are veritable think-tanks, and solution centers that grow ideas to improve society through finding solutions to get around national challenges. They don?t threaten war, boycotts, anarchy and lawlessness.
They are not known to engage in activities to pull down a government; they only sell their ideas to the electorate. They seek ways to solve the problems of the country, rather than becoming a problem for the country. They establish rational basis of selectively criticizing policies for the overall national interest.
The NPP doesn?t conduct itself as a typical opposition party. The party?s unbridled attempts to envelope every achievement of the present administration, the unrelenting hate campaign in media statements lend credence to this position.
The NPP should spare the further dissipation of energies on the media landscape and the shenanigan it occupied itself with and rather provide achievable policy alternates for the development and growth of this country.
Ghanaians, particularly NPP faithful, should be grateful to God today for the kind of President I am, who doesn?t see the abuse of press freedom, hear the incendiary statements particularly, against my administration as reasons to go after journalists and political opponents.
As I stated earlier, opposition parties elsewhere don?t take actions to cause governments to fail in order to supplant them. They see themselves as part and parcel of the governance enterprise and openly extol or support policies of government that are suitable and serve the national interest best. The militant character of the NPP seems to suggest, if the party takes over government, there is the likelihood of a resurgence of unresolved political assassinations in the country.
The people of Ghana shouldn?t be deceived by the ostrich mentality of the NPP, who are alleging that my government is the problem of Ghana. For its ?pharisaical character? and repeated threats to make Ghana ungovernable, the NPP is a bad model for an opposition. What we should then be asking is whether the NPP is truly a political party seeking power or simply a pressure group that wants things done in the way it likes?
While I pour out my misgivings about the kind of politics NPP is practicing in opposition, I?m still pondering over how comrade P V Obeng departed the earth without whispering it to anybody. Not even me who needed his services the most at this torrid moment of my government.
We?ve just agreed on a consensus at Senchi of which he was Chairman of one of the sub-committees, and my hope and desire was that with the likes of PV beside me, the ?Senchi Consensus? would be implemented to the latter, though I see nothing new in the ?22 points? arising out of the forum and even doubt if they will work. But as the saying goes ?there is no harm in trying?
I believed you?ve heard and read a lot about P.V after his sudden and unfortunate death. Such is the character of Ghanaians. You only hear good things about one, when you are no longer on earth to hear them. It will surprise you that those insulting and calling me all sought of names now will be the same people to extol my virtues as a wonderful person when I join my ancestors one day.
All the same, the ?Adansi royal? has paid his dues to the development of the country and we wish him safe journey. If he had mentioned his death to me when we met at the forum, I would have send a message through him to my former boss the late Prof Mills.
I?m short of words by his death and would have wished he lived a little longer, but God knows best. On this sad note, I wish the family and the good people of this country ?Damirifa Due?.
Comrade P V! May the Lord protect you till we meet again!
I hope to address you another day