Feature: The Untold Truth in the NDC’s True State of the Nation Address (1)

Truth be told, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) does not disappoint at all.

On Monday, March 20, 2023 at the University of Professional Studies, in Accra, the National Chairman of the largest opposition party, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, as earlier announced and as the convention of opposition parties in this Fourth Republic, came out with what the party considered the True State of the Nation Address. This address was meant to correct what is thought to have been stated in the President’s State of the Nation Address.

The NDC clearly came out in its usual propaganda mood and distorted the word, truth, in their True State of the Nation. A tradition which is known for always effectively defending lies and all forms of falsehood, did exactly what it was founded to do, that is to lie so craftly well and continue lying until it is accepted as the truth.

In this first part of my humble response and unearthing of the truth, I will look at the first five pages of the 25-page speech.

To begin with, it is very surprising to hear the NDC using adjectives like hopelessness, recklessness, corruption and leadership paralysis to define the current state of our nation, when between 1981 and 1992 and 1993 and 2000, Ghana was plunged in the worst state of hopelessness, recklessness, institutionalized corruption and leadership paralysis never ever encountered before in the whole sixty-six years of our independence. Annual inflation rates recorded during that period include 122.87% in 1983 and 59.46% in 1995.

During those nineteen years, the USD started at $1.00 to ¢2.75 in 1981 and ended the year 2000 at $1.00 to ¢6,750.00. One of the highlights of corruption was gifting a poor beautiful African-American visitor, who had $40.00 to her name, with $20 million of taxpayers’ money. During that period, a ban was placed on the patronising of goods and services produced by indigenous Ghanaian businessmen and investors.

During that period the nation of Ghana signed a binding trade agreement which compelled us to purchase food we could easily produce here and at the same time the NDC government increased the cost of producing such items here to make their prices unattractive on the local market. The vibrant Asutsuare Sugar Factory was closed down and now it is a school.

So, stale rice and chicken which spent years in warehouses and cold stores abroad were shipped into the Ghana. And it was NDC businessmen who formed the importation cartel and made money for the party.The NDC destroyed the local businesses and industries because it did not want the owners to raise funds to support other political parties. Ghana’s economy naturally took a nosedive.

To attack the current NPP government of shortage of Child vaccines, I am compelled to refer to 2014, where due to shortage of drugs and improper waste management, coupled with poor hygiene, Ghana recorded the highest outbreak of cholera in the nation’s history, with 28,922 cases and 243 deaths.

And to say we are going through a draconian debt restructuring problem ever in the history of this country is to stretch the truth. What was more draconian than the 1982 debt restructuring when ¢50.00 notes were removed from the system?

To say the current financial haircuts are the cruellest,never before imagined,will require that we head back to 1982’s demonetising of the ¢50.00, when people were forced to lodge them into bank accounts, with the promise that they will be refunded.

Many people especially those in the SMEs, lost their working capital to the state and went out of business, and their ¢50.00 notes were not refunded forty-one years to this date. Rather new notes were printed by Bank of Ghana and with it even higher denominations as well.

Jubilating over credit rating agencies that, according to the NDC, had declared Ghana junk and bankrupt shows that the NDC would never tell the truth. In 1996, Ghana was written off and we had to accept that we were highly indebted, poor and broke, thus we wisely applied for the Bretton Woods Institutions’ Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative which matured in 2001.

To say that Ghana has for the first time in more than half a century defaulted on its debt obligations is far from the truth. In the late eighties and early nineties, we had to always borrow to service our loans.

And that youth unemployment is at an all-time high, is one of the calculated falsehood the NDC will always propagate. Not too long ago, in the 2014 thereabouts, government refused to employ.

And the highest youth unemployment rate recorded in this Fourth Republic was 16.2% in 2000 under an NDC regime and the next highest was 14.3% in 2015 during another NDC regime. The current youth unemployment rate is 4.70% in 2022. Please refer to https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SL.UEM.1524.ZS?locations=GH.

To say that many businesses have collapsed in this regime is not true, considering the many industries setting up in Ghana especially under 1D1F, with major automobile companies setting up assembly plants in this country.

But then we are all witnesses to what happened during the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC)/NDC era when many businesses collapsed and foreign companies like Mobil had to close shop and pack out of this country.

That in the eyes of the NDC there have been massive job losses makes one wonder why the largest opposition is failing to recall what happened when it was in charge and our four years of power outages aka dumsor which collapsed even small businesses like barbering shops. And why is Bank of Ghana being called a rogue for printing our currency when that is its legal mandate?

If the NDC is calling the NPP corrupt, we may assume that it does not understand the definition of corruption. To educate the NDC, corruption is when an NDC government borrowed GH¢572 million to pay off a GH¢9.27 million Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) debt in 2011.

NPP inherited a TOR debt of GH¢201.50 million in 2001 and left behind a TOR debt of GH¢9.27 million in 2008. In 2017, even though the NDC government overpaid the TOR debt, the new NPP government inherited a TOR debt of $345 million or GH¢1.05 billion. And corruption is using $200 million budgeted to construct 5,000 housing units to construct only 164 units in Saglemi.

Describing the current government as bloated is very laughable. Mahama had 89 ministers and deputies when Ghana had only ten regions. Today with Ghana having 16 regions, we have 82 ministers and deputies. So, which party run a bloated government?

The NDC are saying Human Right violations are on the ascendency with the recent condemnable killing of a soldier and the unfortunate brutalities in Ashaiman; all of which President Akufo-Addo as Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces refused to speak about.”

Did Rawlings speak to the issue of military brutalities on the Police in the Osu police station in December 2000? Did Atta Mills speak to the issue when a combined force of Ghana Police and the NDC Azorka bus terrorised the peaceful people of Atiwa, with an NDC top official driving her SUV over innocent youth, during a bye-election?

In 2014, a military officer in Xikpo shot and killed three persons who were among others demonstrating over the bad conditions of their roads. Did the NDC and then President John Mahama speak to that issue?

On September 10, 2015, an NDC journalist, George Abanga was shot dead in Sankore due to his reportage on bad corrupt practices in the cocoa industry there and on political tension within the NDC the constituency. What was the NDC government’s reaction to this?

The NDC stated that,We have a visionless, reckless, clueless and wasteful government that has become impervious to advice and will attack anyone who dares to advise them including members of the diplomatic corps.”The question is, who could condemn foreign dignitaries more than NDC’s Rawlings? Who authorised the impounding of a US embassy vehicle in Legon in 1982?

Was it also not Rawlings who after having closed door meeting with some colleague heads of state during an ECOWAS Summit, came out to openly condemn those heads of state, simply because they disagreed with his suggestions?

Again, the NDC states that, We have a President who desecrates the Holy Name of God by claiming to be building a cathedral to honour God only to engage in dishonourable acts of diversion, corruption, inflationary pricing and conflict of interest which have earned Ghana the dubious reputation of digging the world’s most expensive pit worth over US$58million.

What evidence is there to hang the President or any political office holder on, in any scandal involving the National Cathedral? And who desecrated the Holy Name of God more by killing the Lord’s labourers in His Vineyard? Who killed Prophet Asare in Kumasi in February 1982 and dragged his body along the streets of Kumasi?

Who authorised the killing the then Rev.Fr. Charles Palmer Buckle, but mistakenly had Rev Brother Charles Kugah killed? Who desecrated the Holy Mosque in Accra Central by pulling it down to build a parking lot in his name?

To conclude this submission, I quote the NDC when it stated that, We are all living the reality of the worst economic crisis in our nation’s history and there can be no denying of this.

Can conditions today be compared to the eight years of Mills/Mahama regime, when even though there was no global economic crunch to affect our economy, it run the country down so badly that for four years there was dumsor?

Hon. Daniel Christian Dugan


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