Some Thoughts and Reactions on President Akufo-Addo’s Maiden SONA Part 3 – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Johnson Asiedu-Nketia, NDC Scribe

For a much-touted elementary schoolteacher of mathematics, it was a great disappointment to hear Mr. Johnson Asiedu-Nketia lamely and sarcastically admonish President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to steer clear of the practical and organic use of statistical figures in the running of our national economy. Actually, what the man popularly called General Mosquito had said was that Nana Akufo-Addo should make sure not to use statistics to run away from his electioneering campaign promises. It is almost certain that the Mosquito Man had used statistics to run away from his Seikwa, Brong-Ahafo Region, elementary school pupils, by following Chairman Jerry John Rawlings and the money trail to rob the Ghanaian and Nigerian taxpayer raw. And on the latter score, I am, of course, alluding to the $ 5 million Abacha Loot (See “Akufo-Addo Must Not Use Statistics to Run Away from Promises – Asiedu-Nketia” MyJoyOnline.com / Modernghana.com 2/21/17).

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At any rate, what was incontrovertibly evident about President Akufo-Addo’s maiden State of the Nation Address was the fact that absolutely none of the key operatives of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), including Finance Minister Seth Tekper and such minions as Mr. Cassiel Ato Forson, could challenge him on the accuracy of the statistical figures presented to back his argument that during the 8 years that the National Democratic Congress managed the affairs of the Ghanaian people, they had effectively run the country into an apocalyptic economic ravine. To his eternal credit, it is worth noting for the record books that it was the longtime General-Secretary of the National Democratic Congress who went on the air, perhaps as the first major player of his party, to sheepishly declare in the wake of the official announcement of the results of the 2012 presidential election that, indeed, then-Interim President John Dramani Mahama had not won the election, as had been declared by Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, but that the real winner was then-Candidate Akufo-Addo.

General Mosquito had gone further to painstakingly explain that it was, indeed, the abject lack of vigilance on the part of his polling agents and representatives that had scandalously ensured the declaration of Mr. Mahama as the winner. Maybe somebody ought to instructively apprise General Mosquito of the glaring fact that without the meticulous application of the cold, albeit bare scientific, facts of statistics, there is absolutely no way that Nana Akufo-Addo and his staunch political associates, the most prominent of whom was Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, could have uncovered the deliberate hiding of the excess spending figure of GH₵ 7 billion.

Well, somebody had better apprise Mr. Asiedu-Nketia of the basic elementary fact that one cannot eat one’s cake and have it at the same time. Which is not, of course, to imply that the key operatives of the Akufo-Addo Administration intend to facilely use the staggering fact of the Mahama regime’s having racked up a behemoth 92-percent of Ghana’s total debt stock since 1957 in just under 8 years. And that scandalous and downright criminal figure comes up to GH₵ 136.1 billion, when one includes the interest rate on the principal debt stock of GH₵ 14.1 billion. The latter figure could actually be more, especially if one also factors in debt rescheduling as a result of likely repayment default.

That President Akufo-Addo is already on his way to chalking great economic success is evidenced by the $ 125 million Canadian agricultural grant geared towards the launching of a PLANTING FOR FOOD AND JOB project designed along the same lines as then-Col. I. K. Acheampong’s landmark Operation Feed Yourself (OFY) program. The details of the program, once it fully takes off, will entail the provision of improved seedlings to farmers and the generous supply of fertilizers and efficient extension services. And what is even more significant, this program is designed to encompass all 216 districts in the country. Maybe it is this program that seems to be giving the Mosquito Man and his ragtag gang of robber-barons such serious allergic reactions as to make them imperiously presume that they could dictate both policy content and schedule to President Akufo-Addo and his cabinet. Fat chance!

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