The phenomenon of typical African politicians living in comfort, while ordinary citizens tighten their belt, during trying times is here with us, courtesy the impunity of Members of Parliament coming from the National Democratic Congress, a party waiting to take over the reins of government.
Since they lost the 2020 presidential election, NDC members have been acting ‘hysterical’ over just any national issue – from declaration of the election results, where they sent illiterate youth and hooligans to the precincts the Electoral Commission, through assembling of lawyers to file ridiculous petition, to debasing the Supreme Court’s rulings that threw out their hollow writs.
‘Greedy bastard’ politics
As if possessed with a fit of rage to raze the whole nation to the ground, they jumped from Ejura and Techiman South to acts of thuggery on the floor of the august House of Parliament, obstructing legislative processes meant to relieve the people, including their disadvantaged constituencies in the Zongos, northern regions, Volta Region and the indigenous Ga constituencies.
The surprise of all surprises is that when we thought we had arrived at a novel, all-time, mutually beneficial tax regime, their MPs decided to take Ghana through a circus of clowning, demanding eventually that government should resort to the IMF for a bail-out.
The worrisome aspect of the posturing of the NDC is what Ghanaians now see as the ‘greedy bastard’ politics through which MPs and appointees come into government to enjoy their perks, without making any sacrifices.
As most of yesterday’s media reports revealed, while the Executive has offered to show leadership by setting an example in making sacrifices, as part of measures to fight the economic turbulence facing the country, NDC MPs have gone on record as expressing opposition to any attempt at pay cuts.
Interestingly, that may confirm why some of them decided to take double salaries as MPs and appointees at a time when the only legacy they could leave behind was a paltry three percent growth and a dash to the corridors of the IMF for a bail-out.
As the general public would recall, the government in its commitment to show leadership in steering the ship of state out of stormy waters decided to roll out the electronic tax regime to help seal a digitisation programme necessary in securing and sustaining economic resilience as basis for transforming the industrial and infrastructure architecture of the country.
Understandably, the initiative was met with stiff opposition driven more by ‘fear’ of the next elections. That was in spite of calls by credible citizens, development and economic experts as well as eminent chiefs and leaders of traditional and religious bodies for a consensus building.
Drawing more on their strength in Parliament than their duty to the Constitution, they have since been fighting the tax policy like a plague – with potential convicts and political wastrels in previous NDC administrations leading the clear acts of sabotage.
We must be patriots
The NDC must be worried, like most Ghanaians, about the unwieldy pile-up of debt. It must be dealt with in a sustainable manner. They must also be worried about the current economic turbulence. Government must show the way out of the labyrinth.
For the government, however, to surmount the challenges, it must do what civilised governments all over the world do, which is ensure effective tax compliance and expenditure cuts in such trying times.
Already, government says it is committed to doing just that, and has even begun living out that pledge.
We therefore call on the Minority in Parliament, members of NDC’s Council of Elders and all decent constituencies of the party to look Ghana in the eye, and accept to encourage salary cuts among their folks, as we seek ways out of the hard times we all face.