NPP and its refusal to attend Mahama’s forum

by Kwabena Opong

The New Patriotic Party’s decision not to attend the four day economic forum at Akosombo on May 13, has been variously described as unfortunate and well thoughtout. While some believe the NPP with its intellectual muscle could make a meaningful contribution there are yet others who opine that it is a disastrous decision that could hurt the party.
Those who invited the NPP are the same people who have not spared any opportunity to insult and deride the party’s position on the economy. NPP economist Mahamodu Bawumia has been described as a disgrace to his family by Kwakye Ofosu for suggesting solutions to the economic malaise. Fifi Kwetey, a minister of state at the presidency has also described Bawumia as bereft of ideas. Essentially, Bawumia’s stance is the NPP’s position which has been spurned over the past five years. So why would the NPP accept to go and what new could it say at the forum that has not been said?
Former Minister of Finance Yaw Osafo Maafo was also personally attacked and insulted after his comments on the economy in 2012. He was, however, one of the key former ministers of finance who were targeted to direct panels at the forum but had to heed his party’s instructions to its members to boycott the forum.
Others like Dr. Akoto Osei, former deputy minister of finance and economic planning, member of parliament and ranking member on the parliamentary committee on finance have also been victims of NDC attacks for daring to air their feelings on the economy.

Economically speaking, the forum is a complete waste of funds. What the forum did was to worsen the economic plight of the nation; to wit, wonyina nkrane mu entutu nkrane (one does not remove attacking ants while one is being devoured by the ants at the same time). Ghanaians have not been told how much the forum cost, but it could be quite a cost. More than 100 people were invited to assemble in a hotel for three nights. Considering the cost of feeding and housekeeping together with accompanying VAT the people of Ghana had to dole out several thousands of cedis for platitudes.
The resolutions do not say anything that the NPP and ordinary Ghanaians have not said. Agriculture has always been touted as the mainstay of the nation’s economy and by and large Ghanaians grow much of what they eat and eat what they grow. What we see now is that cocoa production has reduced considerably since 2008 and much of the little that is produced is smuggled across the border to la Cote d’Ivoire. Tomatoes are now largely being imported from Burkina Faso. We cannot produce enough to feed processing factories here in our country. Against the people’s advice and consensus, the government continues to procure several millions of dollars of rice and other food items from overseas. Will the forum wreak any changes in the situation?
Among the resolutions is the promotion of local businesses without any political consideration. The NDC, as evidenced in the past has been engaged in vilification and destruction of Akan-owned businesses, and has been rather averse to some Ghanaians prospering in businesses. Messrs. B. A. Mensah, Appiah Menka, J. A. Addison, and J. K. Siaw had their businesses truncated by a “revolutionary and nationalist” government led by “patriots.” Account 48 was said to have been set up to bank moneys accrued from the acquisition of those industries but up till now those officials who led in the crusade of seizing businesses deny ever opening that account and therefore cannot account for it. A leopard does not change its spots and recent events do not lend any credence to that resolution. From the look of things and the history of the ruling party the resolution is a mere academic exercise.
Did we hear anything about the environment and galamsey and the mining industry? Not attending the forum does not make anyone unpatriotic as some choose to allege. In addition to exercising their rights in a democratic fashion, the NPP had no reason to attend an event whose agenda did not take anything else into consideration. So why the fuss for refusing to go? And talking about patriotism, what happened to former Ministers of Finance Kwabena Dufuor and Kwame Peprah? They are NDC but did not go.

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Posted by on Jun 15 2014. Filed under Community News, Features. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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