The name Ken Ofori-Atta has become an enigma. It rings different notes and throws out different messages into the hearts and minds of Ghanaians, depending on where one sits or stands and which direction that person is going.
Particularly for those who looks at things politically, instead of realistically and holistically, the conversation about Ken having another round of service to God and Country is about removing a Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo from a match with a hack on the shin, so that we may win a football match.
Paying prophets to speak doom
Is it not strange that when we had reports about Ken having challenges with his bill of health, along came prophets from a certain corner prophesying a certain message?
As part of our national political life, however, we must admit that political prophets vying for political space is a phenomenon that we have to live with as superstitious Africans. That is not, of course, to discount issues about spirituality. Indeed, the question is about how we arrive at certain conclusions only when we have certain information. But that is by the way.
The frenzy about ‘what’ to do to Ken that gave sleepless nights to members of the Minority is what, in my opinion, is baffling to any ordinary citizen, when all we need in this post-COVID 19 dispensation are solutions that would rescue us out of our national socio-economic and developmental challenges.
So, when men decided to research and investigate allegations, rather than check facts and results which have capacity and potential that would produce the results that we need to make Ghana a better place to live and work in, I ask myself if I wouldn’t be more comfortable being a citizen of another country where truth and records; accomplishment and capabilities are cherished.
Them my mind went back to a propaganda that was dropped a couple of years about Ken juggling with Ghana’s economy and moving cash here and there to create the impression that all was well with the economy.
That propagandist lived to rue the day he offered his services to those nay-sayers…It turned out that only days into the next elections, he had pissed himself off – having come to grips that the real headache confronting Ghana was not Ken, but that paymaster who was paying him to pipe that tune.
And, I have since checked the newsstands for a presence of any of his lurid pieces, without seeing any sign of that offending newsmagazine.
I have heard politicians or Presidents, for that matter, making frantic appeals to accomplished citizens living outside to come home and help. Since then we have had taxi drivers and painters; washroom attendants etc join the milling crowd back home. Why not, if they are citizens who remit home and can bring their physical persona into impacting development in Ghana?
And so I recall again such accomplished citizens like Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom joining the train. Of course, he was lucky because had the whole string of distressed state companies handed to him to divest. Again, why not, if he is accomplished and Ghanaian…
As we saw, Paa Kwesi was to become an enemy, for deciding to think differently. Then we had Prof Frimpong Boateng, who together with accomplished giants, set up a whole surgical department, being targeted and thrown out in one moment for something that was not made public.
Unlike the two examples, however, Ken came in with a vision to influence the money market in Ghana at a time state financial institutions were having trouble making profit and staying afloat. It was an uncharted terrain. He, however, survived it, despite the fears, intimidation and threats because of who he was and where he stood as a professional and, later, politician.
Interestingly, those targeting, investigating and probing him forgot that he survived the topsy-turvy financial market storms and became a giant in the industry, despite the odds. Unfortunately, our worry with him as businessperson and patriot was that he was not one of us.
Over two and a half decades on, we have carried this mentality into our body politick even when the forebears of that discredited political system should have faded off.
While we expend state funds fighting those in the business of hunting and hounding bandits, we must also strive to fight those who have made it a business to chase patriots.
Prof Mills’ growth record
It appears that when it suits us, we cite the records; when it doesn’t, we fall on propaganda for props. So, Professor Evans Atta Mills grew the economy eight per cent. That’s recorded.
He handed over to a younger and ambitious breed of a politician, who he himself chose as running mate. According to the records, those economic gains were blown; and we dropped to a paltry three. And, then we found ourselves screeching to the IMF for a Programme.
As most development experts would admit, successfully exiting an IMF Programme, like the one that we found ourselves in, doesn’t come handy with the windfall of social protection programmes that were rolled out by the New Patriotic Party administration under His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
It is like being in debt and pleading with your creditor for an Okada and the creditor giving you a CF DAF haulage truck to sort yourself out.
If the NDC admit Prof Mills’ eight per cent growth, they must without any excuse admit that the Finance Minister have ably managed the economy and must be encouraged to take it to the next level.
He does not need to wear an NDC tag to that. All that is demanded of him by the constitution is that he is Ghanaian; nothing more; nothing less…
It is intriguing that, while the typical NDC politician would love to hate Ken and see that poison transmitted to constituents for political profit, there are equally dozens out there among NDC faithful, wanting in the name of God and Country, to see him continue in office to make Ghana a better place for the benefit of the same constituents that are being lied to.
Nelson Mandela was right in his assessment of the situation. We need each other, hand in hand, to work out our way out of our hydra-headed development challenges.
We must seek the best in ourselves and harness such for the benefit of our children and children’s children. That’s our obligation as citizens and patriots, nothing more or less…
That is why we must say ‘Thank You’ to the Vetting Committee for giving the nod to Ken and putting Ghana first.
By: CHRIS LARTEY