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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Spio attacks Mills: Accuses him of driving NDC bus into 2012 defeat

Leading NDC member and former minister under Jerry John Rawlings Ekwow Spio Garbrah has accused the man who beat him to the NDC flagbearership in 2006, President John Evans Atta Mills, of frittering away the government's goodwill and thereby derailing the NDC's political fortunes in the 2012 elections by woefully failing to meet the expectations of Ghanaians and most importantly, ordinary members of the party.

In a scathing article in the Friday, September 18, 2009 edition of the Daily Graphic , Dr Spio Garbrah appears to have pitched camp with former president Rawlings in breaking ranks and publicly calling for a faster pace of delivery by the Mills administration. He also appears to have made the first moves towards vying for the party's 2012 ticket, warning that leading NDC members would not sit by and watch Prof John Atta Mills return the NDC to opposition through his actions and/or inactions.

“Should leading NDC members stay quietly on the sidelines even if we can see that if matters continue as they are we [NDC] would lose power in 2012? Are we the kind of passengers who sit passively in a bus until we die in an accident even when we realise that the bus is not being driven well?” he wonders.

In the article, entitled Honouring Nkrumah's legacy: A Challenge to NDC , Dr Spio Garbrah dismissed attempts by some members of the Mills administration to sweep under the carpet, adverse comments made by former President J J Rawlings about the calibre of persons appointed as Ministers by President John Atta Mills and the pace of work of the Mills administration, maintaining that Mr Rawlings “is the only one who has ever supervised President Mills as a Vice President, and therefore the only one who can pronounce fairly on whether President Mills can do better or not.”

Drawing parallels from the different approaches adopted during Ghana's independence struggle, Dr Garbrah insisted that calls by the Mills administration for more time to deliver on its electoral promises were unacceptable, especially in the wake of the attacks it launched on the erstwhile NPP administration in the areas of job creation, general national development (roads, electricity, water, hospitals, etc) and the promises it made to the electorate before narrowly winning the 2008 general elections. “The NDC rank and file who fought to bring the Mills-Mahama administration into power are asking for “Jobs and Empowerment Now” NOT “Jobs and Empowerment in the shortest possible time”, he stated.

Citing several instances of a lack of vision and initiative in the Mills administration, including the inability to capitalise on the historic first African visit by US President Barack Obama to market Ghana's tourism potentials and failing to unite Ghanaians in the quest for national development, Ghana's former ambassador to the US from 1994-1997 is adamant the Mills administration cannot be accused of putting its best foot forward.

“Currently, if by the generally agreed slow pace of the government, some Ghanaians who need jobs or good health are dying very quietly and invisibly in remote parts of the country, should patriotic Ghanaians remain quiet simply because they are NDC members and because they fully support this government?”

He also took a swipe at the quality of persons appointed into public office by the administration, accusing it making appointments “not on the basis of merit but by virtue of proximity to power, feigned loyalty, financial considerations and other factors…

“There is a general measureable view around the country that the NDC government can indeed achieve more results faster if it simply ensured that the right NDC people (emphasis ours) are in the right positions… large segments of the public have been asking why the government may have chosen to field some players from its Team B when many Team A players are available. Can the government really move quickly if it appoints people who may mean well but who lack the requisite qualifications, experience and therefore confidence to take quick and correct decisions in their new positions? Of the more than 70 experienced Ministers and Deputies from the Rawlings era, only two are in the current line-up of Ministers and Deputies.”

While commending the Mills administration for honouring the legacy of Ghana's first President, perhaps premised on their admiration of Dr Kwame Nkrumah's contribution to Ghana's development, he said many Ghanaians believed the current government had failed to emulate the sense of urgency and speed that characterised the life and times of the man voted Africa's man of the millennium in the year 2000.
Source: The Statesman - The Statesman

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