Opinion: Bagbin Is a Jaded Old Horse – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Alban SK Bagbin

The problem that the longest-serving Ghanaian parliamentarian has in convincing the members of his own political party, the Rawlings-founded National Democratic Congress (NDC), that he is their best bet for residency in the Jubilee/ Flagstaff House come January 2021, is that Mr. Alban SK Bagbin is a veritable NDC political-machine operative who may very well have effectively exhausted himself of any creative and progressive ideas worthy of moving Ghana remarkably up on the ladder of postindustrial development in the Twenty-First Century. He may have a point in describing the Mahama regime, whose key operative deliberately ignored him in the naming of his cabinet appointees, but the so-called Nadowli-Kaleo Methuselah does not convincingly demonstrate that he has what it takes to provide either the country or his own political party with what he personally terms as a “Paradigm-Shift” or an innovative and totally new approach to national development.

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To be frank with the Dear Reader, the man who has alternated as both the Parliamentary Majority and Minority Leader may be far less visionary and politically competent than the last National Democratic Congress’ leader to have held the democratic reins of governance, namely, Mr. John Dramani Mahama. You see, the problem that Mr. Bagbin has in convincing any progressive or forward-looking eligible Ghanaian voter to entrust him with her/his electoral mandate is that he has been part of the National Democratic Congress’ governments that brought untold hardships on the average hardworking Ghanaian citizen, from the IMF-World Bank-imposed Structural Adjustment economic policies that saw the country’s economy shrink to more than half of its pre-Rawlings Revolution size. The National Democratic Congress has also been singularly responsible for the drastic downgrading of the quality of the country’s public education at all levels. And recently, it has come to light that the NDC has presided over the unconscionable creation of massive illiteracy of unprecedented proportions.

On the latter score, it is also significant to point out the fact that Mr. Bagbin was one of the first opposition leaders to mordantly criticize President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for the latter’s unimpeachably progressive fee-free Senior High School policy initiative. This is not the temperament of a leader who can spearhead the development of the country via a Paradigm-Shift, an expression that he lately seems to have taken a fondness for. He even threatened to go to court to prevent President Akufo-Addo from implementing the fee-free SHS policy initiative, which promises to provide access to at least some 300,000 students – or 30-percent – of SHS-age students from very poor homes who are talented and qualified to attend but lack the fiscal resources to do so. Anyway, at a recent conference that he held in his office at Job-600 or Parliament House, Mr. Bagbin told a group of NDC communications operatives that former President Mahama literally ran an Animal Farm-style of government, because the latter had callously ignored these party foot soldiers and instead jampacked his cabinet and other powerful and lucrative executive positions with “party outsiders.”

He did not specify just who these outsiders were. It was, however, what he actually told these so-called party foot soldiers that confirmed my worst fears that Mr. Bagbin had absolutely no progressive agenda for the development of Fourth-Republican Ghana. Well, he also said that he intended to use his cabinet as a job-creating avenue for these bona fide “party insiders.” For those of our readers who may not readily get the drift of Mr. Bagbin’s riffs, as it were, the Nadowli-Kaleo Methuselah intended to replace former President Mahama’s Animal Farm-style of government with what may be aptly called a government of party hacks and cronies. Is this the kind of democracy that we so fiercely fought the infamous Trokosi Nationalists of the Rawlings-Tsikata Junta for?

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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