Folks, it has been a while since you last heard from me. This piece will be my first article since the start of the year. I must apologize to all, for my inability to feed you with the deserved content. Thanks to all those who reached out inquiring about me and when my next write-up will be out. I must say that it was not deliberate but as writers normally do, sometimes you just give space and study the terrain. And I must confess I have observed as a citizen and not a spectator.
While away for the past seven months, I have been observing things which have been happening to our beloved country. Pleasant and many not so pleasant. Some are very disgusting, and appalling and sometimes I ask myself, do we have a leader? It looks as if we are being led by a visionless person and we do not know where we are heading.
This piece is christened “the president is sleeping” because if we had a vibrant and enthusiastic president, we would not be experiencing all the tragedy that has befallen us. We have a weak and egocentric president who only thinks about himself and his family members.
We are being told to believe that all the hardship which is currently happening is because of COVID-19 and the recent Russia-Ukraine war. While I may admit that these circumstances are key factors contributing to the devastating nature of living, I must also state that if we had a better president in Akufo-Addo, we would not be experiencing this havoc.
The truth is, if the economy had been managed well before the outbreak of COVID-19, we would not be experiencing this hellish moment. To the records, Ghana is not the only country that was hit by this deadly pandemic. So why is the case of Ghana so frustrating and distressing? The simple truth is that Ghana led by its weaker president Akufo-Addo, could not manage things well during that crucial time. They took the opportunity to loot from the people without properly accounting for it.
How do you expect this economy to do well when a president begins his first term with over 120 ministers of state and over 900 presidential staffers? That was the very genesis of failure.
Do you remember the 2020 election period? Because the president was burnt on retaining power, he did everything to spend beyond the budgeted expenditure. That is where the country started to fail. Citizens have not experienced any good moment from the president ever since he was re-elected. What we have had from him is continued woes and hardship.
I do not want to revisit the dooms we had in 2021 because this may remind people of the agonies they experienced. 2022 is the worst of all the years I have experienced in my whole life in Ghana. Are there any positives to point to if not for the minimal peace and safety we have had?
Ghana’s economy if not on the verge of collapsing, then has already collapsed. Since the start of the year, prices of goods and services keep soaring higher and higher every moment. Citizens cannot afford to pay for transportation to their various workplaces. Workers are being hit by new fares which sometimes are exceedingly difficult to understand. Above all these, salaries of workers remain stagnant like standing water. The worse of this is that we do not see any leadership owning up to intervening in the plight of the ordinary Ghanaian.
While citizens are struggling to make ends meet, the president is also enjoying himself on the most expensive and luxurious flights available in the world. The amount of money spent by the president on these expensive trips can help alleviate the suffering of the masses, but Akufo-Addo thinks about himself and how he will continuously impoverish Ghanaians.
I have not seen a government as insensitive and cruel as Akufo-Addo’s government. He does not think about how to find solutions to the problems that he and his government have created but will exert his energy in building a cathedral. About the national cathedral, I do not want to talk about it because I have made my position and this position has still not changed. I think building a cathedral for God while the children of God are walloping in abject poverty is the most absurd and stupid thing that any president can ever think of.
While we are confronted with economic hardships, instead of the president finding a lasting solution to it, no, he prefers to build a holy cathedral for God. I mean which ‘god’ could be so wicked and insensitive to give such inspiration to him? God himself does not delight in a cathedral that is built with stolen money. Akufo-Addo and all those who are stealing and contributing to this nonsense project will have their reward.
You cannot continually blame the hardship on COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war while you continue to onboard expensive flights and give orders for funds to be put into the building of a senseless cathedral. When did the Russia-Ukraine war start? We were already heading into a ditch before this war started. And it is more so because we have an ‘old man’ at the helm of affairs who is getting weaker and weaker every day and is sleeping on the job. The president has decided to turn deaf ears to the cries of ordinary citizens and is amassing wealth for his family members.
The most disappointing and excruciating of all these hardships and burdens is Ghana going to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for help. The peak of failure for every president is to mess up their economy and then turn on IMF for relief. These Bretton Woods institutions do not want anything good to come out of any engagement with them. They aim to perpetually impoverish developing countries.
After all the name-calling on the previous administration for going to seek economic relief from the IMF, people thought this government will never consider going to the IMF even if it was the last resort. We were told that for us to go to IMF, it is better to pay more taxes. So, what has changed? What also happened to Ghana beyond aid agenda? Has it become a stillbirth? Going to IMF for macroeconomic relief means more hardship for Ghanaians in the coming days. It means that the rate of unemployment in the country will balloon shortly. It means projects which are going on currently will be halted because this institution will not allow you to use their money senselessly. There will be more killer conditionalities!
In a rich country like Ghana, going to seek help from IMF makes me cringe, what happens to those countries who do not have the resources that we have? The president has slept on the job and the result of it has resulted in us going back to square zero. Where lies the independence of Ghana? Where lies the integrity of Akufo-Addo after the bashing of the previous administration going to IMF? After over 60 years of independence, we are still running to other external bodies for help on how to manage our economy. It is a shame sometimes being a Ghanaian when our visionless and sleeping presidents lead us to this scrub.
About the Electronic Levy (E-Levy), we were told that for government to go to IMF, it is better to find homegrown solutions. The so-called home-grown solution of E-levy did not last for more than 3 months, and we are on our heels to the IMF. If you have a deceitful person as your leader, you are always being led astray.
The most agonizing part is the people who are supposed to put the president in shape and awaken him from his slumber have taken more ‘liquor’ than the president. They even fell asleep before the president did. It is not surprising why people have called for the Council of State to be scrabbed.
Is there any hope for a better future? I do not want to become a prophet of doom, but to be honest, I do not see any bright future ahead as far as we have these self-seeking people still in control. We cannot always be tickling ourselves and be laughing while there are obvious signs on the wall which indicate the country has reached a crossroad and need a vigilant and vivacious leader. As to who can savage us from this pit, only God and the future can answer this riddle.
Ghana must work again, Ghana will work again, YOUNG POSITIVIST, a concerned citizen of Ghana.
Author: Sampson Boamah