The heat of the 2020 electioneering campaign has finally got to President Akufo-Addo who until now was overly complacent and went to sleep thinking his last minute populist policies like the surprised announcement of payment of locked up funds of depositors of collapsed banks and the problematic Free SHS which many believe are for votes have already sealed victory for him.
Several opinion polls between July and October this year put opposition candidate, John Mahama ahead of the incumbent.
Mr. Mahama leveraged on the favourable polls and intensified campaigns all over the country while the President was relaxing in Accra engaging in showmanship and concentrating on attempted clearing of the scandalous Agyapa Gold Royalties Transactions which the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has exposed to be fraudulent and full of corrupt arrangements by top government officials.
The negative impact of the OSP’s assessment of risk of corruption and anti-corruption report and the subsequent resignation of the Special Prosecutor (SP) over the alleged attempts by President Akufo-Addo to cover up the rot therein has awoken the President from his complacent sleep.
Since then he is on desperate tours of the Volta, Greater Accra and Central regions after his sakawa sod-cuttings between September and October yielded nothing as the people challenged him to show progress of work since he cut the sods. On these desperate campaigns the President has thrown caution to the wind and engaged in spreading falsehood and insults against his main contender, John Mahama. One of such falsehoods has led to the heated debate over who introduced Free SHS in Ghana; a debate the President has already overwhelmingly lost.
It is also evident that the President forgot about his party’s manifesto in order to articulate its messages.
The opposition NDC’s People’s Manifesto which boasts of free Primary Health Care (PHC) and the $10billion Infrastructure Plan has relegated the ruling party’s manifesto to the background. The situation has become so embarrassing for the President that his government can no longer keep confidential documents from the Ministries as such.
Certain memos are intentionally being released in the public domain for propaganda intents. Memos of the GRA retaining NABCO personnel are on social media while documents indicating clearance by the Ministry of Finance for some recruitments are flying about.
To augment their desperation, the President and his New Patriotic Party (NPP) have sponsored fake polls to be released in their favour in the last days to sway voters’ minds. This week, Ben Ephson churned out 52.7% poll result for them. Just yesterday the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana discredited itself by releasing a poll result in favour of the NPP.
Inside sources say such a poll was never conducted rubbishing the findings, and this development is said to be generating serious confusion at the department at the moment.
After dismissing employees from the public service in 2017 claiming they were recruited too close to the 2016 general elections, the NPP government has forgotten its own ethics on the matter and is engaging in massive unnecessary recruitment into the public sector ostensibly to hoodwink the citizens to vote for them. This development is in spite of the fact that the government has not been able to pay people it previously employed into the public service earlier this year.
One cannot trust these hurried recruitments close to the General Elections to bode well for the supposed beneficiaries.
More worrying is the fact that the government has mismanaged the economy to send the country’s total debt beyond GHc273 billion, resulting in the dreaded debt-to-GDP ratio of 73.1%; a HIPC situation.
With no end in sight and profligate expenditure in this election period, the NPP is recklessly running the country down with impunity. It will take pains and lot of sacrifice to return the country to sound economic footings after the elections. Those responsible for this mess must have some courage in asking the people who suffer from their recklessness to give them another mandate to continue the mess.
In less than seven days, the people will pass their judgement. Akufo-Addo may be hopeful but his last minute manoeuvrings are far too late to rescue him.
By: Esther Domi