By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

In the wake of the massive New Patriotic Party (NPP) loss of the Talensi by-election to the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), that held that parliamentary seat until 2011, Mr. John Boadu, the NPP National Organizer, lamely lamented as follows:

wpid-john20boadu.jpg“I was thinking that the people of Talensi would look at the maladministration, the incompetence and corruption of this government and vote against them. Impoverish the people, [and] if it is time for election, come and pretend as if you are bringing development to win their votes, which is a sad day for Ghana. My view is for the people of this country to get state institutions to do the right thing” (“NDC Shared State Money To Secure B. T. Baba Telensi Seat – NPP” Citifmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 7/8/15).

Now, this is the sort of lazy thinking and facile presumption you don’t want a key player like the National Organizer of your party to harbor as a substitute for diligent campaign research, critical thinking and the well-targeted and sustained dissemination of instructive thinking for the enlightenment of eligible and potential voters. In other words, if Mr. Boadu expected the people of Talensi to analyze the performance of the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress and draw the necessary, or the most appropriate, conclusions as smugly envisaged by the NPP’s National Organizer, then there was absolutely no need, whatsoever, for the NPP to have campaigned in the Talensi by-election, let alone bitterly lament for having lost the same.

You see, a party campaigns on the basis of informed opinion on the political barometer and climate; and then based on the preceding, enables voters to draw the most self-interested and enlightened conclusions. Unfortunately, what we have in Mr. Boadu’s stark expression of chagrin is the kind of obscene condescension that the key player of a party intent on securing the mandate of the people to govern ought not to be harboring, let alone be thinking loudly and publicly about. Mr. Boadu’s virulent accusation that President Mahama and the NDC decided to use public funds meant for the general development of the country is a very weak argument, if also because the accuser does not provide any hard forensic evidence to shore up the same.

Then also, the critic does not argue convincingly that, in fact, Mr. Mahama’s decision to liberally spend public funds in furtherance of his private political ambitions is more of the exception than the rule. In other words, can Mr. Boadu confidently boast that the Kufuor-led government of the New Patriotic Party did not also resort to the same invidious culture of funding misappropriation in furtherance of his 2004 reelection bid, for example?

Which is not to say that a paradigmatic shift, or a radical change, in such indisputably bad and unfair practice, or game changer, cannot be effected. For instance, were the key operatives of the main opposition New Patriotic Party progressive and foresighted and interested in stemming this unsavory practice, they would have put research sleuths, or detectives, on the ground immediately following the official announcement of the vacancy of the Talensi parliamentary seat and the scheduled by-election to closely track what the Mahama government had all of a sudden begun to do in Talensi township, and the constituency in general, to unduly tilt the the electoral balance in its favor.

And then based on the magnitude, or scale, of what appeared to the key operatives of the NPP to exceed the institutional budget of the NDC, filed an official complaint with an independent rights-protection organization like CHRAJ – the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice – to look into the matter. A similar complaint could at the same time be lodged with Parliament for prompt and thorough investigation.

In the case of Talensi, the test question is not whether the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress has a right to extend infrastructural development to the people of Talensi, for it surefire as hell does. The real question is whether it can be proven that such development initiatives in Talensi, as alleged by Mr. Mahama’s political opponents and critics, including the Progressive People’s Party’s Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, are unmistakably and circumstantially linked to that township and constituency’s by-election. If it can be forensically attested that, yes, the electrification and tarring of the roads in Talensi were determined and/or motivated by the recent by-election, then, of course, the Mahama government could be forced to return such grossly misapproprited funds to our national coffers, where they rightly belong.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
E-mail: [email protected]

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