During the 2016 electioneering campaign, Ghanaians were presented with two contrary different options.
They were asked to either continue with the status quo and live with the old ways of governance by maintaining John Dramani Mahama or change the status quo and move away from the primitive politicking by choosing Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo who promised change.
The change campaign was understood to mean doing things differently from the rest of the politicians. The general public who bought into the NPP message of change thought that by changing government we were departing from corruption, selective justice, and completing already started projects by previous governments.
John Dramani Mahama’s main strength during the 2016 General elections was his infrastructural development. The National Democratic Congress touted their achievements in infrastructure as second to the first president of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. In their own Green Book, they outlined their capital investments and the number of projects they had either executed or are in various stages of completion.
Some of them that became topical on the campaign trail were the Eastern Corridor Road, The Cocoa road project, Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, the construction of 200 Community- Day Senior High Schools, the University of Energy and Sustainable Development (UESD) in Krobo Odumase.
In the Health sector, he started Hospitals like the Bank of Ghana Hospital, the Maritime Hospital, the University of Ghana Medical Center and the Ridge Hospital. In the area of housing too he started the Saglemi Housing Project.
The vision for this massive infrastructural development was to make Ghana the hub of industrialization in West Africa. Former President John Dramani Mahama said for a country to develop, its physical infrastructure must be developed, like expanding the health sector to employ more nurses and doctors, expanding and building more schools to increase the intake of students.
All the road projects were strategically chosen to link where the food produce are cultivated to the markets in the cities to boost the economy.
These were National development that ought to have been continued and completed regardless of who be in power.
Because the New Patriotic Party, then in opposition accused the John Mahama led government of inflating contract prices and engaging in various corrupt acts while in government, they had to get something to hold onto justify their allegations.
Immediately they took over power, the president through the various sector Ministers ordered the halt of all projects started by the NDC government. Some of the projects were at the last stage of completion but the contractors were asked to vacate the sites until further notice.
The Akufo Addo- Bawumia government said they were conducting an audit into the projects to establish whether or not the prices were hiked or inflated.
The Vice president, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia visited a proposed residence for Vice president and questioned if the walls and gates were going to be gold for it to cost that much. He said the price was dubious and didn’t make financial sense. He immediately ordered the stop of that project in 2017 some few months after they took over the NDC.
The University of Ghana Medical Center, despite the fact that it was completed and fully furnished, the Akufo Addo government failed to Commission it for use. The only reason they gave was that there was no generator set at the facility. But for COVID-19 that beautiful edifice would have left to rot.
Many people including Media houses have appealed to the government to complete and Commission the hospitals for use since it’s the People of Ghana’s investment and not NDC or NPP. The failure to complete these hospitals brought some excruciating effects on the health sector like the ‘no bed’ syndrome which led to many avoidable fatalities.
After Nana Addo implemented his flagship Free Senior High School program it encountered challenges. The major problem was inadequate vacancies that came with the surge in numbers. This pressure on infrastructure was a result of the inadequate school infrastructure as of the time of implementing the projects.
The two hundred Day Senior High Schools abandoned by the NPP government could have saved the situation.
The sad aspect of the abandonment of these projects is that Ghanaians have not been informed of the outcome of the audit they promised to be doing.
The crux of the problem is what Ghana has lost as a result of this despicable act can’t be quantified.
Political parties must note that it is the taxpayers’ money they use to execute the projects and not theirs, so they should ensure to do what would inure to the benefit of the ordinary Ghanaians and not their peculiar interest.
So are you voting to bring Mahama back to continue his projects or maintain Akufo Addo to let them rot? Leave your views in the comment box below.