It seems like 2008 might repeat itself in the New Patriotic Party. One phenomenon, has indeed already repeated its cycle and that this global economic crisis. At the time Kufuor’s administration was riding high, something to do with mortgage crisis, or something like that, hit the United States and its rippling effects knocked down many other nations especially the third world countries.
Kufuor’s solid boat of governance was seriously rocked and the cedi which stood at GH¢1 to $1.04 in January 2008, ended the year at GH¢1.24 to $1.00. World market prices of crude oil, skyrocketed from about $90 a barrel in January 2008 to cross the $140 a barrel mark in June, finally hitting a record high of $147 a barrel on July 11, 2008 before collapsing to less than $40 a barrel in December.
Nevertheless, by July 2008, the boat of Ghana’s economy started collecting more water than it can handle. And been election year, the opposition NDC went to town to explain our hardships the only way they could.
Lying about corruption in high places and going around with fake bank account statements of selected members of government revealing unbelievable credit balances, that made the ordinary Ghanaian shudder with disappointment in a government people thought was a government of the people and for the people.
The total of these fake balances, all in cedis, exceeded the total money in circulation and money at the banks. And we were also told by the NDC that a huge ship loaded with gold, the belonging to some members of Kufuor’s government had sunk on high seas, and the lies went on and on.
Election 2008 was going to be tough, especially with Rawlings openly calling the NPP flag bearer a drug baron and hence gave him the name Coke. Ghanaians quickly forgot about Deputy Ambassador Benneh and the drug scandal in Switzerland, which could be placed at the doorsteps of Rawlings’ private chamber.
Jerry had earlier appended his signature on an international agreement, which was to mandate signatory governments to lift the diplomatic cover offany of their envoys implicated in drug deals, to be tried in the country the alleged crime was committed.
In the case of Benneh, Rawlings simply refused and had the deputy ambassador brought down to Ghana. Nobody knew how the trial went. Benneh might have been punished for violating the jungle law which says, “Thou shall not be caught stealing.”
All notwithstanding, NPP shot itself in the foot with camps set up in support of this aspirant or the other, which bred internal wranglings, divisions and conflicts.
The Party went into elections badly wounded and narrowly lost the presidential election by 40,586 votes. This was after NPP’s Nana Addo led in the December 7 Elections by 123,645 votes but could not get the 50% plus 1 vote to win the election. Two elections later on December 28 2008 and January 2, 2009, NDC’s Atta Mills overturned the results in his favour.
NPP’s internal wranglings directly damaged the Party’s chances at the parliamentary, where the Party lost twenty seats and the NDC gained nineteen to become majority in Parliament. In that election, many NPP members who were not satisfied with the authoritarian tactics by Party executives in the choice of candidates, went independent.
This seriously affected the Party’s chances since in a lot of cases, total votes of the NPP members who run on the Party’s tickets and those who broke away to breakaway run independent,could have won the seats. That split certainly affected the Presidential and Nana Addo lost 2008.
And in all this it would interest Ghanaians to know that all four independent candidates who made it to Parliament in 2009, were from the NPP family. In the Eastern region, came Seth Adjei Baah who took the Nkawkaw seat with 54% of the votes. In Ashanti region, came two NPP members. Joseph Osei-Wusu took almost 75% of votes in Bekwai and Nana Yaw Ofori-Kuragu won almost 47% of votes in Bosome Freho.
The last was in the Northern Region, where a former DCE in Kufuor’s administration, Alhaji Saani Iddi won 37% of votes to take the Wulensi seat. Alhaji Iddi still harboured the anger against his party and so in Parliament, he pitched his tentclose to the NDC side and was awarded a deputy minister post by the NDC’s JEAM administration.
In the 2008 Parliament NDC had 116 seats to win the majority by only two seats. NPP had 107, Independent had 4, PNC had 2 and CPP had 1 seat.
The NDC came back to power and with this came institutionalise corruption. Right from the blow of the whistle, the NDC never disappointed. First was the pampers and khebab scandal involving President John Atta Mills’ Minister of Sports, Hon Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka. He had to resign from office, on June 25, 2009, having served less than six months.
In August 2009, came the arrest of two suspects in the case of premix diversion. They both mentioned a National Premix Committee member, Kobina Badu (Maanoma) a well-known NDC man as the brain behind it. Premix fuel was sold for GH¢45.00 per gallon instead of GH¢26.00.
Maanoma was put into the Pre-Mix Committee by President John Atta Mills and it was said that he collects four drums (184 gallons) of premix from every consignment and sold them later, making an illegal profit of GH¢ 3,496.00.
Still in August 2009, five NDC cabinet ministers were implicated in a $40 million Mabey & Johnson bribery scandal case in the UK. The Minister of Health, Dr. George Sipa-Adjah Yankey and Minster of State at the Presidency, Mr. Seidu Amadu, both resigned from office.
All these happened in 2009, the opening year of the new NDC government, and the following year came the biggest scandal – Alfred Agbesi Woyoms was able to steal from the national coffers in an act sanctioned by the NDC.
During the NPP administration, a contract with Waterville in the construction of stadia was terminated and the company paid off. The company, according to its lawyer, also paid off Woyome who was their financial engineer. Yet Woyome went to the then Chief of Staff, Kwadwo Mpiani to be compensated. He was walked out of the office because he had no contract with government.
In 2010, with the NDC back in power, Woyome who was one of that party’s top financiers, seized the opportunity and put up a claim for compensation which turned out to become Judgment Debt.
It was alleged that he initially claimed GH¢6 million ($4,032,000.00), even though he knew had no contract with the NPP government, something he admitted on Peace FM Morning.
The claim shot up to GH¢51.2 million ($34,406,400.00) and even though the then President, John Atta Mills asked cabinet not to pay any part of that money, his finance minister went ahead and gave the go-ahead and Woyome got GH¢51.2 million.
Due to well-orchestrated legal gymnastics in court by the same NDC government, today Woyome is walking freely, while in 1979 some people were shot dead for legally acquiring bank loan.
It is quite amassing that today we have NDC MPs condemning any perceived act of corruption, while some of these MPs were in Parliament when Woyome stole GH¢ 51.2 million from the national purse and they kept mute on this matter.
One other classic case of corruption was this thing about the TOR debt. On nine different occasions, from January 19, 2009 to January 23, 2011, the NDC government could not decide, on how much TOR debt was inherited from the NPP administration.
Figures ranging between GH¢106 million and GH¢1.5 billion were varyingly quoted by those in authority. Even President John Evans Atta Mills on two occasions came out with two different figures.
On April 14, 2009, he told journalists his government inherited a TOR debt of 1.14 billion and on January 8, 2011 he again told media practitioners that his government inherited GH¢1.48 billion.
The truth was that even though the NPP inherited a TOR debt of GH¢201.50 million in 2001, when it exited office the TOR debt stood at GH¢9.27 million. And yet in March 2011, the President raised GH¢572 million to pay off TOR debt. Yes, GH¢572 million was used to pay off a GH¢9.27 million loan.
These and many more clearly demonstrate which party wishes to do selfless work to enhance the lives of the people of this country.
With President Nana Akufo-Addo about to exit office, the race of who takes his place has started. Four gentlemen among nine, have demonstrated what it takes to be leader of the nation.
Hon. Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen has clearly shown that the greatest way to enhance the economy is through industrialisation. The richest countries in the world are the industrial ones. Hon Dr. Afriyie Akoto, as an Agriculturist, knows that another way to boost our economy, which is largely agrarian, is to boost food production.
Hon. Kennedy Agyapong has demonstrated over and over again that business and very good ones can lift our economy, and H.E. Dr Bawumia has proven that enhancing of any economy in the world includes digitalisation. Other competent runners in the race are Boakye Agyako, Kwabena Agyapong, Joe Ghartey, Konadu Apraku and Addai Nimo.
The NPP has a choice to make among these nine gentlemen but instead of going it in a very civilized and refined manner, devoid of aspersions being cast and without lies and insults, some NPP members are resurrecting the same evil that consumed the Party in 2008. Instead of telling members what is good about their choice of aspirants, they rather choose to attack those who appear as threats to their choices.
Two leading aspirants who are being attacked are Alan Kyerematen and Dr Bawumia, with Alan being the most attacked, ever since he announced his resignation from office and intention of contesting the flag bearer position.
Even though the NPP has a lot to use against the NDC, a little of which I stated above, so as to make that party unattractive to Ghanaians, some party members on social media have decided to attack the party’s best and divide the Party and go into 2024 disunited.
One of such a person is a guy who calls himself Shareef. In Part 2, I shall deliberate on these issues.
Hon. Daniel Dugan