Feature Article of Wednesday, 11 January 2017
Columnist: Statesman Opinion
The weekend saw the historic investiture of the 5th President of the republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. The event, which was heavily attended by Ghanaians, was described as one of a kind with regard to the euphoria and patronage it was greeted with.
The youth were very dominant in the place, and this clearly shows that they had reposed so much trust in the president, and therefore decided to go there to show their unflinching support. The new president has brought some sense of hope and confidence into the country.
Ghanaians are now more discerning than before; they demonstrated that in the December 7 polls which saw President Akufo-addo as the winner. Regardless of the amount of money and other items which were distributed by the then Mahama-led administration, the masses still gave Nana Akufo-Addo the mandate. This shows that the Ghanaian cannot be bought, and do not trade their conscience for material gains.
The new president, for more than a generation, has demonstrated to Ghanaians that he has the country at heart. When the going got difficult, he stood for the rule of law, and fought for the human rights of the masses.
Now that Ghanaians have given him the ultimate power, it is incumbent upon him to deliver on his promises. And he can achieve that by having a patriotic and responsible team that will put Ghana first before any personal or partisan interest.
Arrogance of power must belong to the museum of history. Lord Acton said â€œpower corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Politicians often depict total humility and meekness when in opposition. But Ghanaians have also shown that no arrogant administration will stay in power for long. History has shown that arrogance was part of the reasons why the New Patriotic Party lost the 2008 elections; and the National Democratic Congress too lost the 2016 elections partly because of arrogance.
All incoming government officials will be expected to conduct themselves in a way that shows that they are in power to serve the people but not to bully and display insolence towards Ghanaians.
Every government official should be seen as an anti-corruption crusader. The incorruptible nature of the president must be compulsorily adopted and exhibited by every official.
No matter how a government works to the satisfaction of the masses, a trait of arrogance can â€˜poisonâ€™ all the good things done.
The presidentâ€™s appointees must work tirelessly in order not to breach the trust reposed in the government. The best way to show gratitude for having an overwhelming endorsement is to enact policies and programmes that will bring positive change and affect in the lives of all and sundry.
If you want to understand the power of the people then you need to understand what Abraham Lincoln meant by democracy: â€œa government of the people, by the people and for the people.
The mentality and psychology of government officials must be that of service in humility to the nation.
On our part, we want to serve notice that we will â€˜fightâ€™ at all times to protect the image of the Akufo-Addo government by ensuring that no â€œblack sheepâ€ is allowed to have his way to the detriment of the government. The president is a senior advocate of good governance and the rule of law, and we expect all his officials to be guided by that.
The president at the weekend reiterated his conviction that his government cannot be used as an avenue to make money.
We are going to watch government officials with an eagle eye, and ensure that the vision of the president, which was endorsed by Ghanaians, is achieved. We are going to ensure that no appointee of the president exhibits any form of arrogance, disrespect and impudence towards the ordinary Ghanaian. After all, as Michel de Montaigne aptly puts it, â€œon the highest throne in the world, we still sit on our own bottom.
Like all Ghanaians, all that we require of all appointees of the Akufo-Addo government is service in humility. Do so and you will have no problem with us and other Ghanaians.