Only weeks – not months and years – into the crucial 2020 parliamentary and presidential elections, members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have been engaged in negative campaigning in which they shy away from their records on the economy and development, vision and credibility in government.
While it would embarrass them to cite the dragging of Ghana into an IMF programme after growing the economy by a paltry three per cent, from the previous eight per cent, they wade into characteristic vehemence, griping over borrowing that was aimed at expanding the economy, creating lives and livelihoods as well as initiating social programmes to relieve the poor and vulnerable.
They evade any conversation on the ill-fated, nauseating Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) scam, which they had claimed were targeted at 240 districts from the northern regions, through the middle belt to the Volta region.
At the same time, they have sought to belittle the implementation and impact of the Free SHS programme and enhanced National Health Insurance Scheme and how they are impacting hundreds of thousands in the same regions where they had fooled residents, communities and traditional rulers with empty noises.
Again, while they seek to denigrate the government for excluding them as political partners on the democratic stage from contributing their quota as an alternative government, they are clever enough to seek to hide and conspire to destabilise the state by attacking person of the Electoral Commissioner and other public appointees without proving anything.
Interestingly, when they seek to cite fraud on the part of the government in presenting ghost 1D1F projects to the media and the public, they fail to show their own achievement in that regard.
Like a football club without clout, all they are doing is lounging their boots into the groin of the opponent to get him off the field, instead of organising the team to play and win.
Refreshing news on the ground
It is therefore refreshing to hear traditional rulers in the countryside admitting that they can see substantial development right under their noses in ordinary but concrete terms – like the Free SHS programme, transformation of the cocoa sector as well as the remarkable improvement in access to health delivery.
In such communities where it is normal for traditional rulers to speak the mind of the people they lead, it is refreshing to see how communities cannot be fooled in making a fair assessment of the politician and what he represents, and voting right when they have the opportunity to do so in the December 2020 general elections.
No message, no programme
In such circumstances, it is difficult to invade anybody’s hut or compound or neighbourhood to lie about the Free SHS programme or interventions in the cocoa industry or one’s entitlement at the polyclinic and district hospital when truth confronts the lie.
Those who have been monitoring the campaigns and media may have observed that the NDC hardly mentions or explains SADA, ‘job creation’ GYEEDA, Aayalolo, SUBAH or any of those scams in which the government embarrassed itself in the eyes of the public, civil society and the media.
Similarly, they shrink at any reference to their eight per cent drop to three per cent in economic growth and, worse still, negative growth in agriculture when over 45 per cent of the nation’s working population is employed in the informal agricultural sector.
The inability of former President John Mahama, therefore, to jump incoherently from conversation to conversation, smearing issues with “stupidity” and “cowardice” jibes only confirms that he has no message and programme for the communities he aspires to govern, in the unlikely event that he even wins the election.
It is, therefore, the opinion of the Daily Statesman that Ghanaians close their ears to his cacophonous jibes, pray God gives them life into December 7, to vote ‘Four More 4 Nana’ to enable him continue doing more to improve lives and livelihoods.