Whoever has heard of Moshood Kashimawo Olabisi Abiola, the Aare Ona Kankanfo of Yoruba land and the one who was alleged to have won the freest election ever to have been conducted in Nigeria will, indeed agree with me that it was he [M.K.O Abiola] who used guile and deceit to get what he wanted but did not have .
The same is true with regards to the vicious propaganda being embarked upon by the National Democratic Congress to hoodwink Ghanaians into believing that what they are being told actually happened whereas in truth, such things never happened.
Now back to the Abiola’s story. He was working with the I. T. T. which had its Headquarters in London. Have you heard of Fela’s song, titled “International Thief Thief?” Well, if you have not, it’s time you obtained a copy. Go get a copy today!
I.T.T. had executed many contracts for the Federal Military Government then headed by Gen. Muritalla Mohammed. The most funny aspect of the whole show was that, in spite of the “money is not our problem.
The problem is how to spend it” proclamation, the Federal Military Government was indebted to I.T.T. to the tune of millions of Naira. Abiola, who then was their representative in Nigeria had gone to Dodan Barracks, the seat of power, and created a scene when he was denied access to office of the Head of State. There, as fate would have it, he encountered Gen. Shehu Yar-Aduah, Chief of Staff at Supreme Headquarters.
There was an altercation between the two at the end of which the soldier- turned politician found out that he had met his match in his less fancied civilian counterpart.
The long and short of it was that the Federal Government issued a cheque to cover its indebtedness. Abiola then in a celebration mood invited the African Representative of the company for a rendezvous to rejoice over the payment of the debt. The ‘oyibo’ man, not suspecting any foul play had come to rejoice with his African colleague over their hard-won ‘victory’.
According to Abiola, he gave the white more drink than was good for him. The man had drunk to stupor. He then asked him to remove his shoes and trousers. This was soon followed by the removal of his tie, shirt and singlet until he was stripped to his pants. Mischief was at work, for Abiola had stationed a camera man at the rendezvous to take pictures of the white man in such disgraceful postures.
It was these pictures Abiola took to his overall boss in the United Kingdom. He showed them to his big‘oga’ in London. “These are pictures of the man you say should oversee the activities of the company in Africa. How do you expect me to report to such a person? Here is the cheque covering the total indebtedness of the Federal Government to our company. I will tear the cheque unless you sack this man and make me the representative in Africa”.
That was how Abiola, like the Equivocator in “Macbeth” blackmailed his immediate boss to the top.
This is the same role the NDC has arrogated to itself in its desperate attempts to paint the NPP administration black and sow the seed of discord amongst the teeming supporters of the Osono fraternity. You see, after the Kasoa rally where all the presidential aspirants were “outdoored”, the NDC put its mischief-making machinery into operation.
They spread the false news that in some constituencies those who attended the rally had been given GhC10.00 each. As a result, executive members in those constituencies were inundated with persistent calls, threatening them to either pay them their monies or face the wrath of aggrieved party faithful.
Some executive members were chased out of their homes all in their attempts to retrieve their “manna” from such party executives.. Others decided to quit the party altogether- all thanks to the vicious propaganda of the nefarious contraption. Their vicious campaign and propaganda did not only end there.
When Kufuor’s Government announced that oil has been discovered in commercial quantities in parts of the Western Region, almost the entire leadership of the NDC took up arms against Government. All sorts of accusations and insults flew here and there. They said emphatically that no oil had been discovered; rather it was engine oil that was taken to the Castle to show to President Kufuor. Infact, Hon.
Lee Ocran, one of the NDC Members of Parliament debunked the claim that oil had been discovered in commercial quantities. He alleged that sometime in the Seventies, the Progress Party Government under Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia came out with a similar claim that oil had been discovered in large quantities in some parts of the country – a claim which, according to the Honourable Member ultimately turned out to be untrue. They went on to say that the claim was a ploy by the Kufuor-led government to divert attention from its dwindling popularity and failures at home. Those who dispute what I am saying should get copies of pro NDC newspapers published during the period.
But now that they have realized that the discovery is indeed true and that discerning people of Ghana has not been taken in by their false and vicious propaganda, they are attempting to beat a retreat and asking that they be given some credit for the role they played towards the eventual discovery of the oil.
In fact, the President’s Press Secretary, Andrews Awuni hit the nail on the head when he said God’s abundant grace was upon Kufuor and that was why the discovery occurred during his regime. Nothing can be further from that. According to the Press Secretary, it was the same statement data which was given to all the companies that came to prospect for oil.
In fact, some companies had earlier been at the exact location where the oil find did occur, but they did not discover any oil. If it is so, then it means that it was God’s wish to make the discovery come during the regime of Kufuor. The grace of God was upon President Kufuor, just as God’s favour was upon Joseph and David. Why did God use Joseph to save the Israelites from starvation instead of his elder brothers?
When Jesse learnt that one of his children was to be anointed King of Israel, his mind went straight to his elder sons. He never reckoned with the youngest, David. But God had a different and special purpose for him. David eventually became King of Israel. Why did God choose Israel as a nation very dear to his heart? And if I may ask further, why did God accept the sacrifice of Abel but rejected that of Cain? One might say it was because Cain did not bring the best of his crops, but I disagree with such a proposition. God has his own way of doing things and when they occur, we cannot question Him.
Why did the discovery not occur during the regime of Rawlings? It could have happened during his time, but God chose to delay it, probably because He felt the NDC might mismanage the windfall that would accrue from the discovery or even used the new found wealth to intimidate non party men and women. They could also use it to bully and intimidate Ghana’s immediate neighbours like Togo. We have not forgotten how a Ghanaian armoured vehicle found its way into neighbouring Togo. In all sincerity, it will not be far from the truth to say that God chose Kufuor as his instrument of bringing economic emancipation to Ghanaians.
Even though God decided to honour Kufuor with the oil discovery, He only made Kufuor the Moses who will take Ghanaians from the land of the Pharaohs [The regime of Rawlings and the NDC characterized by wants, deprivation, disappearances, abductions, murders, lack of respect for human life and dignity, violence, intimidation, etc].
He did not make him the Joshua who would eventually take us to the Promised Land. God has bestowed that task on Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo. He, it is, who will complete the process. That is God’s own way of doing things, for he takes from the haves and gives to the have-nots and vice versa. This is the reality of the situation ground and those who don’t understand it should ask for the spiritual gift of discernment.
Do we have to give the NDC credit for any contribution towards the discovery of oil? I say a big no! We are in a political era where the syndrome of “winner takes all” prevails. If the NDC as a party will be forthright to concede that the New Patriotic Party’s administration has indeed moved this country forward from the era of cowboy politics where force and intimidation reigned supreme, to the Golden Age of Ghana, then we shall be prepared to give them some credit.
If the NDC as a party will acknowledge the fact that the NPP Government has been given the mandate to run the country till January 6, 2009, and that their [NDC] penchant to resort to violence at the least opportunity is a negation of all the tenets of democracy which they have sworn to uphold, then perhaps, we shall embrace them into our alms as members of the same country with a common destiny.
It is only then that our hearts would be freed from all those insults and injuries we have suffered over the years that they compelled us to serve them. It is only then that forgiveness will flow freely from our hearts. It is only then that we can acknowledge their contributions. But for now, our hearts are filled with bitterness and our eyes with tears.
We have not forgotten the debate which centred on the ethnic composition within the Ghana Armed Forces. We have not forgotten what the Deputy Minister of a very sensitive Ministry like that of Defence said. “If you ask a stupid question, you must expect a stupid answer”. How could oil discovery fall into the hands of a party whose war minister could make such a reckless remark like the one enumerated above? I wish members of the “akatawia” family remained in the political wilderness for donkey years to learn some things about the rudiments of politics without bitterness.
Another area of false propaganda being peddled by members of the nefarious contraption is the National Health Insurance Scheme. The party claims the scheme was theirs but was stolen by the NPP. Where and when was the scheme experimented with? Who else, apart from the NDC is aware that the party had introduced something of that nature? Can we get something on it from any of the pro-NDC papers? Was its introduction on a pilot basis backed by an Act of Parliament?. If it did not pass through Parliament, then, they should keep their mouths shut and allow us to enjoy our peace.
If indeed, it was their idea, why did they boycott Parliament when the issue was being discussed? If they so much like the scheme, they should have stayed and argued out their points. Possibly, the majority would have conceded some points or grounds to them. The fact that the majority allowed some amendments during the debate on the Vodafone deal is an indication that the NPP government is indeed a listening government.
If the NDC has any iota of self respect, then it should stay clear off the National Health Insurance Scheme. It is one of the best things that ever happened to the citizens of this country. Those who are criticizing it are from a different planet but not on this planet. If you have enjoyed the benefit, you will forever offer a word of prayer every night for President Kufuor and the NPP administration.
I was personally at one Hospital when a man who should have paid GH700.00 for an operation but on discharge had to pay only GhC45.00 decided on his own volition to pay GhC100.00 and directed that the balance of GhC55.00 be shared among the staff of the hospital. His joy knew no bounds. The NHIS does not discriminate on account of one’s political affiliations. There is nothing to differentiate an NDC man from an NPP man. Those criticizing the scheme should in principle, reject the benefits when they go to hospital with one ailment or the other.
Now, what is Rawlings doing after tasting power twice as a military Head of State and later as a civilian President? He could be one of the most respected statesmen in the world if he kept out of partisan politics. Nelson Mandela did not even end his full term. He handed over power to his Vice and today he is the father of the South Africa nation. He is consulted on many issues. Just cast your mind to ex-America Presidents; they enjoy international respect. President Bush’s father, the senior Bush is alive but in campaigning for his son, he did not mount the soap box to rain insults on the Democratic candidate.
Kenneth Kaunda’s problem with Chiluba was that he refused to step down when the ovation was highest and got disgraced by the ex-labour leader. His privileges were withdrawn when he engaged in partisan politics but got them restored when he decided to call it quits. If a King decides to play draft “dame” he opens himself up to all kinds of abuses and insults. And so it is when an ex-president mounts the soap box and heaps insults on the sitting President. Once he does that, then he has lost all respect expected from the citizens. Let him take the back stage and be consulted on very sensitive national issues. If he did that, we would pardon him for all the extra-judicial killings that took place during his regime.
Infact, I wish to remind him and the likes of those who have a similar mindset that it is not only NDC members who have the recipe for violence. We live in a wonderful world where strange things can happen at any time.
Infact, Rawlings should not think that the government cannot hold him accountable for his actions. He is not above the law. Calling on the military and the police not to wait until elections are held, but to take up arms against the legitimate government of the land is tantamount to sedition.
Abiola went to a remote village in Epe Local government area of Lagos state and declared himself President-Elect and was arrested. It was this incarceration which resulted in his death. Rawlings could be arrested for he is not above the law; He should not try the patience of the government to its limit. Could any person have acted the way he is going about things during the period he (Rawlings) held sway as the strong man of Ghana? Definitely Not!
We have not forgotten what happened to Professor A.A Adu Boahene when Rawlings security agencies deliberately bombed some places immediately after the 1992 presidential election. Adu Boahene was invited for questioning. The outcome of the torture he went through during the period of investigations was the Professor’s mysterious ill-health which defied all medical treatment until he succumbed to the cruel fate of death some few years back.
Now, you have both Rawlings and Atta Mills operating on different planes. At one end is the so called Asomdwehene juggling facts and figures and attempting to blame government for the plight of the citizens while the ex-President hangs by the side of his car and promises to unleash violence on the citizenry if the 2008 election goes against the NDC. We expect our Presidents and ex- Presidents to comport themselves in conformity with accepted international standards in order to earn respect of the International Community. Respect is reciprocal.
Hanging on to the side of a vehicle, whether stationery or moving is obviously not something we should expect of an ex-Head of State.
Atta Mills, having sneaked out of the country for some unexplained reasons, sneaked back and goes on a campaign trip to the Central Region where he accuses the Kufuor’s administration of embezzling money that could have been used to rehabilitate our roads. He goes on and says, the NDC will never deceive Ghanaians.
Which of the two parties has deceived Ghanaians? Who killed private initiatives of Ghanaians? Who destroyed Redco? Who divested most of the state enterprises and sold them to themselves and their cronies? Which of the two parties, as a result of bad policies threw out more than 80,000 Ghanaians into the labour market? It is the NDC.
Ekow Spio Garbrah, who was the first to make an issue out of Mills’ supposedly ill health created a comical scene when he asked those without jobs to raise up their hands. Less than a quarter of those present did – an indication that Kufuor’s Government has kept faith with the people.
If we want to talk about the party whose policies have impoverished the people, we need not look far. The NDC easily comes to mind. From the Nkrumah era through the NLC era to that of Busia, and even Acheampong, workers at the Ministries had always been conveyed to and fro their places of work without paying a pesewa.
But what do we see now? Due to the negative and obnoxious policies put in place by the [P] NDC government, the era of free transportation for civil servants has been aborted. Which of the two leading parties, the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress are people’s friendly?
The achievements of the NPP administration are such that even the blind could see and the lame talk about them. When Kufuor’s name is mentioned, what comes to mind is a catalogues of achievements- the Capitation Grant, National Health Insurance Scheme, the Metro Busses, The National Youth Employment Scheme, the Computerized Selective System, The HIPC Funds, the Millennium Challenge Account, School Feeding Programme, Debt Forgiveness, the Qualification of the Ghana Black Stars for the World Cup for the first time, the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law and many others too numerous to recount.
Let the National Democratic Congress catalogue theirs for all to see. Having been around at the time the AFRC, the PNDC and the NDC’s atrocities were being perpetrated, we certainly know what we are talking about. If the NDC which played a very significant role to almost bring the country to its knees will be humble enough to admit that most of its policies were indeed mistaken, Ghanaians would be more than willing to embrace them back into their fold just as the father in the Bible did to his prodigal son.
I have no doubt in my mind that if Dr J.B.Danquah, Paa Grant, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Dr K.A.Busia, Dr Hilla Liman, Justice D.F.Annan, Peter Ala Adjetey and the rest were alive today, they would all sing the same song – NDC retrogressive policies almost collapsed the nation; that is if they were as honest as I am.
The National Democratic Congress imposed unfavourable conditions on Ghanaians; they enacted bad policies; Would you believe that with the setting up of Workers Defence Committees and the Peoples’ Defence Committees all over the country, students had the guts to demand for seats on Examination Committees in various institutions in the country? That was how serious the rot in the country was. There were peaceful demonstrations against those negative policies. The people protested with placards. But hoodlums from the NDC were set upon peaceful demonstrators and that added to the overall confusion.
The march to the Castle and the new Presidential Palace is gathering momentum. Only the strong, healthy and the able can finish the race. It is neither for the weak, the infirm and the chicken-hearted. It is for the chosen one. Abraham had two sons. He loved one more than the other. No one can question him on that. God chose David from among his brethren, even though he was the least amongst them. Nobody knew why. God has chosen the dream team made up of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Dr Mahamoud Bawumia and Ghanaians say ‘we agree’.
Daniel Danquah Damptey
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