Why the NDC lost 2016

by Kwabena Opong

In his concession speech, President John Mahama’s de- meanor showed a man hum- bled by surprise. Some viewers saw a man trying hard not to tear up. It is not clear if he was recalling the mistakes he made in his six and a half years as president of Ghana. The scandals that plagued his administration became a constant as party leaders looked away. They had weak institutions to help them get away with their mistakes and sins.

Kweku Baako, managing editor of the New Crusading Guide observes that the NDC defeat was self-inflicted. He mentions personality attacks and character assassination of the leader of the opposition NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo. According to Mr. Baako, even the president found some of the campaign messages so crude he sought his (Baako’s) opinion. “… to be honest with you, I think this defeat was largely self- inflicted because they got complacent, because they got overconfident and there was an element of arrogance and impunity”, he held. Nepotism thrives under tyranny and dictatorships. Not in democracies. The fam- ily of the president got too in- volved but their roles less defined. Critics believe that the president’s brother Ibrahim Mahama who usu- ally ferried him and government officials around the world in his jet, had his hands in everything in the administration. He is rumored to have owned the ears of the president and could determine who would be who in government. So also is the first lady. Mahama is on record as say- ing that infrastructure development is an obligation of every government and does not constitute achievement. Indeed, he said it was the height of mediocrity to make those claims only for him to resort to do same and writing his so-called Green Book about it. Some of the projects were spontaneous and un- planned. The president traipsed around the country cutting sods and tapes for projects that existed only in name. Existing projects like the Pwalugu tomato factory built by the Kufuor administration were left idle.

The NPP’s affordable housing project was also abandoned. Rural road networks that the government claimed to have constructed existed only in their imagination.  The government, as Kweku Baako observes might have executed some important projects but they were all overrated. So many of the projects the government started were mere waste pipes. To date none of the youth programs achieved their intended purposes. YEA, YES, GYEEDA were all moribund but so much money was drained out. SADA, SUBAH among others fell in the same category stated above. Bribery and corruption, graft and naked thievery defined the NDC administration. Project costs were bloated for profit and officials implicated in corrupt practices had new assignments waiting for them at the presidency. With weak and spineless institutions and civil society organizations bending to its will, government threw transparency to the wind. Not even the president could be absolved from graft as evidenced in his acceptance of an automobile from a foreign contractor.

None of the pro-poor projects Kufuor introduced survived under Mahama: the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS); the school feeding program; and free maternity care all crumbled under the administration. The list is endless. And the repercussion is the people’s decision to throw out the government. Notwithstanding the difficul- ties Ghanaians went through, the NDC would not mind spending millions of Ghana cedis buying votes in cash and in kind.

The Mahama administration took Ghanaians for granted. Dumso (erratic power sup- ply), high commodity prices; outrageous fuel and energy costs, coupled with high util- ity prices angered many Ghanaians. Businesses, small, medium and big all came under the boot of a poorly managed economy. The pattern of voting, the margin of win between the NDC and the NPP are all indications of the extreme discontent of the people of Ghana.

The following is an advice worth taking:
“Dear Jack: Don’t buy a single vote more than necessary. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.” —a telegram from the father of then Senator John F. Kennedy read at Gridiron Club dinner in 1958.

Posted by on Dec 15 2016. Filed under Analysis. 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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