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AKUFO-ADDO'S PROMISE OF LIVING BEHIND A PEACEFUL AND UNITED NATION; A CASE OF A 'KWATRIKWA' PROMISING A CLOTH!

An Akan adage has it that "se kwatrikwa si obe ma wo ntumaa, eyea tie ne din", to wit "You must not believe a naked man when he promises you a cloth". The adage warns of hoping to get a value from someone who has no values but promises to provide them. This is typical of President Akuffo Addo who at the 2020 annual conference of the Ghana Bar Association on Monday 14th September, 2020 said:

"When my time is up, hopefully, after four more years, I want to hand over to my successor and the sovereign people of Ghana, a country that is greater, fairer, stronger, more cohesive, more prosperous and more united than I met it in 2017. This is the solemn undertaking to which I have committed myself."

Ordinarily this should be and is expected from a nation's president who is trusted to live by it going into a critical elections in less than 3 months. However there is no iota of honesty in Akufo Addo to convince any Ghanaian to risk taking him for his words. Let us look at two main elements of the promise he made, namely a united country and a prosperous country.

Leaving The Country United

President Akufo -Addo has never been a unifying or peaceful man hence no one should be fooled by any promise by him to be one. When it comes to political violence in Ghana, he stands tall! In 1995 when the NDC administration decided to introduce the Value Added Tax (VAT), he led a bloody demonstration dubbed 'Kume Preko', meaning 'Kill me at once' against the government to oppose the introduction of the tax. This needless demonstration led to the loss of three precious lives and destruction of properties. It compelled the government to withdraw the tax just 3 and half months after its introduction and denied the country needed revenue to develop. It took the wisdom of the NDC government to bring it back three years later in 1998. Surprisingly, when NPP came to power with Akufo-Addo as cabinet Minister, they discovered the importance of the tax and even increased its threshold. Today under Akufo-Addo as President, the VAT is an essential vehicle for revenue generation to the extent of being the basis for the NPP's collateralization of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFUND).

There is yet another example of how violent-prone Akufo-Addo is. In February 2011, then the candidate of the opposition NPP as Ghana heads towards the 2012 elections, while addressing NPP supporters in Koforidua made the infamous and most divisive statement in Ghana's political history. In rallying the people against the John Mahama administration, he incited them to engage in violence to get him power by every means possible when he declared the election to be an "All Die, Be Die" affair and that he must win” at all cost".

This all die be die became the spirit of the NPP. Indeed in pronouncing this war call, Akufo-Addo extolled his tribe's superiority over other tribes in Ghana. One needs to ask whether this tribal profiling and a call to violence unites a heterogeneous country like Ghana. To reinforce the “all die be die” mantra, he began secretly putting together militia forces all over the country and employed foreign mercenaries to train them in the forests of Gomoa in the Central Region. The three South African he smuggled into the country to train his militia men how to handle weapons and engage in hand to hand combat were eventually caught and repatriated but Akufo-Addo brought them back after winning power. Their mission was to complete what they were mischievously establishing in the jungles of the country. Thanks to them, President Akufo-Addo has successfully formed a private army, Invincible and Delta Forces and the Kandahar Boys and has gone on to give them state cover by having them employed into the nation's National Security outfit.

The now state-sponsored militia men cloaked in National Security uniforms were on January 31, 2019 unleashed on innocent Ghanaians at La Bawaleshie during the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye- elections wielding weapons including K 47 rifles, they did not only fire indiscriminately into the air but actually shot some people. Under pressure from the International Community, Akufo-Addo formed the Emile Short Commission of Enquiry to investigate what happened at La Bawaleshie. The report of the Commission was damning but President Akufo-Addo, in a white paper by the government on the findings of the Commission rejected some of the recommendations that would have led to peace; he in fact endorsed the slapping of a Member of Parliament on that day by one of the militia men saying the militia man was provoked. Persons the Commission recommended must be dismissed from the National Security outfit are still at post. They are being protected by President Akufo-Addo. And it is an open secret that he is going to unleash these militia men on Ghanaians on voting day to suppress voting in NDC strongholds in a desperate bid to hang on to power.

A couple of months ago, despite the advice of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) and others against compiling a new voters register because of the coronavirus pandemic, President Akufo-Addo insisted Ghanaians must go out to register. He had no thought for precious Ghanaian lives. What is more, his goons began to harass some Ghanaians with the assistance of some of our security personnel claiming they were non-Ghanaians. Voltarians and Northerners became the target. Because he is not a unifier, the President looked on with glee while the so-called non-Ghanaians were being harassed, brutalized and murdered. One would have taught that a unifier President as Akufo-Addo wants us to believe will condemn that behavior. Sadly, he rather fueled it by deploying our armed forces to the areas of hate to intimidate, frustrate and prevent the so-called non-Ghanaians from getting their names on the voter roll. As if that was not enough, the president's appointees wielded weapons and fired indiscriminately at polling stations. As we speak Mavis Hawa Koomson who led bandits to fire shots indiscriminately at polling stations at Kasoa is walking.

Similarly at Banda, the President's party deployed thugs at polling stations to resist suspected supporters of the opposition from registering. In one of their escapades, they gruesomely killed a young graduate who just returned home from College. The state further sent reinforcement to the area to assist the ruling party bandits to continue their madness. They mounted road blocks and tribally profiled voters to screen out Ewes in the area and stop them from registering. The least said about the violence in Asawase the better. These and many other violence that marred the voter registration were well documented but Akuffo Addo shamelessly declared on a television station in Kumasi he did not see or hear any such thing happen! Only God knows how a man, who as President of the country and Commander-in Chief of the nation's armed forces and who receives intelligence and security reports from all over the country can claim he is not privy to the beating and killings going on in the country defies logic. This is the man who wants Ghanaians to trust his words.

How can Ghanaians trust the words of a man who has borrowed not less than GH¢140billion in just three and a half years in office sending the country's debt stock to GH¢255,727.1 million (US$45,486.1 million), representing 66.36 per cent of GDP according to Ken Ofori Atta in the 2020 budget he presented to Parliament yet has nothing to show for it?

What is the impact of these huge borrowing coupled with high domestic taxes The prosperity Akufo-Addo talked of might be only in the lives of the Akyem Sakawa boys whom he is resourcing to become financial moguls to control the rest of the country. The prosperity he wants to leave behind is perhaps mortgaging the country's resources to his cronies to milk the country dry. The “Year of roads” has turned into a year of disappointment. The roads trumpeted under Sino-Hydro deal for which the huge reserve of our bauxite in the Atiwa forest was dashed to the Chinese remain death traps as the loans stalled. The smart negotiators who undertook smart borrowing have ended up being smart failures.

Since day the very first day he assumed office, President Akufo Addo never thought of any national prosperity; it is chop chop only. He appointed the largest number of Ministers of State and presidential staffers in the history of the country. Yet these huge investments have brought abysmal returns raising questions of the efficiency and productivity of that multitude in government draining the country's coffers. A president that wants to leave a prospering country will not collapse 437 banks and financial institutions in just one year and keep depositors monies for years without paying them. Businesses that thrive on the existence of such financial set ups have collapsed and while workers who earned their living from them have been rendered jobless. Some have grieved to death as a result.

Road contractors who employ many people are owed more than GH¢2billion and are wallowing in poverty and imminent collapse of their business. How prosperous will they be with just three months to go? How about their employees, families and friends? Ghana's rural economy has suffered under the recklessness of the Akufo Addo government in formulating policies to regulate them. The government's handling of galamsey which has been the bedrock of rural prosperity has been shambolic and discriminatory. Party executives and family and friends took over the business while seizing equipment of rural folks and dumping them out of business. The NPP failed woefully to properly and beneficially regulate the sector.

In the energy sector the government owes power producers and the Electricity Company of Ghana huge chunks of debt but managed to loot millions from them through a stinking Power Distribution Services (PDS) concessionaire agreement. The government admitted fraud in cancelling the deal but is unable to prosecute because the mafias in government are complicit in it. The excess power available is not being efficiently utilized to rake in more revenue meanwhile some private businessmen and women, cronies of kingpins in the Akufo-Addo Government are being facilitated to thrive in the mix.

Depriving the country of future revenue by entering into opaque offshore deals like the Agyapa Minerals Royalties one does not guarantee national prosperity. Collapsing businesses will neither do. Paying for work not done such as that made to Kroll & Associates and KRL International among others is a recipe for national poverty. President Akufo Addo is achieving the direct opposite of what he promised and must never be taken seriously!.

By: Cyril Duodu

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