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Politics of Thursday, 25 February 2016

Source: Today Newspaper

Nduom reminds Mahama of chapter 6 of 1992 constitution

President of Groupe Nduom (GN), Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has reminded President John Dramani Mahama of Chapter Six (6) of the 1992 Constitution as he presents the State of the Nation Address to Parliament today Thursday, February 25th, 2016.

Chapter 6 of the Constitution is under the heading: The Directive Principles of State Policy.

And it is the chapter which defines everything good about Ghana. In the estimation of Dr. Nduom, it easily passes as the universal manifesto of Ghana that supersedes any partisan political party manifesto.

Dr. Nduom was addressing students at the launch of the Students Representative Council (SRC) Week of Valley View University in Accra when he made these observations.

Themed: “Challenging the Status Quo: The Role of the Student,” in the opinion of the business magnate, successive governments over the years have side-stepped the Directive Principles of State Policy which would have ensured quality with their own mode of governance that somehow ensure that they retain power.

He declared: “Quality of life which is founded on hope and equal opportunity is traded for easy solutions—tax and spend, borrow and splash on showcase projects”—stressing, “we can't rush in for a better Ghana to win votes and forget human and integrated development.”
Dr. Nduom questioned: “What is the use of gold, timber, bauxite, oil, diamond, fertile soil, abundant water, cocoa etc., if they do not benefit the ordinary Ghanaian?

He therefore urged the students to use the Chapter 6 of the 1992 Constitution as their reference point to challenge the status quo.

“You should have a reference point if you really want to challenge the status quo. And I am telling you that the Directive Principles of State Policy in Chapter 6 of the 1992 Constitution presents you the best document to rely on to challenge the status quo,” Dr. Nduom told the students.

According to the president of Groupe Nduom, the biggest challenge facing this country was how Ghanaians have allowed successive governments to deliberately breach Chapter 6 of the 1992 Constitution which he refers to as Ghana’s manifesto.

The Directive Principles of State Policy contained in this Chapter shall guide all citizens, Parliament, the President, the Judiciary, the Council of State, the Cabinet, Political Parties and other bodies and persons in applying or interpreting this Constitution or any other law and in taking and implementing any policy decisions, for the establishment of a Just and Free society.

Dr. Nduom, who reminded the students that the import of the Directive Principles of State Policy is free and just society, wondered whether the Mahama administration had implemented any section of that constitutional provision that would ensure a free and a just society.

Section 34 (2) of The Directive Principles of State Policy states that, “the President shall report to Parliament at least once a year, all the steps taken to ensure the realisation of the policy objectives contained in this Chapter and, in particular, the realisation of basic human rights, a healthy economy, the right to work, the right to good health care and the right to education.”

He urged the students to assess how President Dramani Mahama has achieved these objectives as he (the president) presents the State of Nation address today to the Ghanaian legislature.

Article 38 (1&2) of that constitutional provision states that: “The State shall provide educational facilities at all levels and in all the Regions of Ghana, and shall, to the greatest extent feasible, make those facilities available to all citizens. The Government shall, within two years after Parliament first meets after the coming into force of this Constitution, draw up a programme for implementation within the following ten years, for the provision of free, compulsory and universal basic education.”

“The Constitution did not say government should ensure after 10 years of the promulgation of the 1992 Constitution that we should have free education at SHS level or greater access to education as some political parties are saying.

It says government ought to ensure that education should be made available to all citizens; should be free and compulsory at the basic level,” Dr. Nduom noted.

He therefore asked the students whether basic education in Ghana was really free and why government was not enforcing the compulsory aspect of education in the country, noting that his political party, the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) when voted into power would not only ensure that education is compulsory but also make sure that it is free from the basic to the senior high school level.

The Directive Principles of State Police also talks about how the president within two years after assuming office, shall present to Parliament a coordinated programme of economic and social development policies, including agricultural and industrial programmes at all levels and in all the regions of Ghana.

The celebrated entrepreneur further questioned: “Is that what we are seeing? What is the state of the country’s agricultural and industrial programme and development?

In his estimation governments including the current one have all failed Ghanaians on this constitutional mandate.

Article 35 (7& 8) of the chapter states inter-alia, “As far as practicable, a government shall continue and execute projects and programmes commenced by the previous Governments. The State shall take steps to eradicate corrupt practices and the abuse of power.”

But, according to Dr. Nduom, these provisions continue to be violated by all governments that had ruled the country since the 4th Republic, noting that four administrations have not followed even half way through that provision.

“Tell me which of the governments continued with projects left by its predecessor?” ...none! Not Rawlings, Kufuor, Atta Mills nor my friend, John Dramani Mahama,” he opined.

He added: “There had been no effort to combat corruption as the provision states.”

To this end, he urged the students to use the knowledge they have acquired beginning with the current administration to ensure that the president goes back to work with the Directive Principles of State of Policy as enshrined in the Constitution.

As a constitutional mandate, the president is expected to present to the Ghanaian people what he has accomplished in his tenure of office a little over three years.