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Opinions of Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Columnist: Gyimah, Gilbert Adu

A scorched earth policy? asks NPP-Canada

President John Mahama President John Mahama

By Gilbert Adu Gyimah

Media reports suggest that an increasing number of Ghanaians are expressing disquiet over the spate of actions of the out-going Administration of President John Mahama since their electoral defeat.

These reported actions, which were without recourse to the Joint Transition
Team or the in-coming Administration, include:

1) Appointment of the Chairperson of the CHRAJ

2) Appointment of the Chairperson of the NCCE

3) Appointment of the Auditor General

4) Signing of multi-million dollar contracts

5) Frenzied hiring and recruitment into government institutions

6) Increases in allowance of National Service Personnel

7) Other Wage Increments.

Whilst NPP-Canada does not question the legal authority of President Mahama to do the above, NPP-Canada shares the concerns of those who question the propriety and timing of some if not all of these actions. NPP-Canada wonders if such unilateral actions taking place at a time there is a President-Elect inures to the benefit of the Ghanaian people who have seen it fit not to commit the destiny of the country (over the next four years) to the judgement of President Mahama.

A Scorched Earth Policy is a military strategy that targets anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area. Specifically, all of the assets that are used or can be used by the enemy are targeted, such as food sources, transportation, communications, industrial resources, and even the people in the area.

Certain comments by persons in the Mahama administration since their electoral loss point to a deep cynicism and impatience to see the Akufo-Addo Administration begin to implement its campaign promises. Comments have also been made to the effect that President Mahama would be leading the NDC into battle in 2020 armed with what they believe would be unfulfilled promises by the Akufo-Addo Administration.

Whilst NPP-Canada does not believe President Mahama would want to engage in a Scorched Earth policy against the in-coming Akufo-Addo Administration, it does not have the same degree of trust and confidence in some persons close to power and what they might seek to do in furtherance of their selfish interests.

Accordingly, NPP-Canada hereby advises President Mahama to let the spirit of the Oath he (and not his Advisors) swore to the Ghanaian people to be his guide at all times in the execution of his remaining duties as President. That Oath says inter alia:

“.......having been elected to the high office of President of the Republic of Ghana do in the name of the Almighty God swear that I will be faithful and true to the Republic of Ghana; that I will at all times preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana; and that I dedicate myself to the service and well-being of the people of the Republic of Ghana and to do right to all manner of persons.

I further solemnly swear that should I at any time break this oath of office I shall submit myself to the laws of the Republic of Ghana and suffer the penalty for it…”..

As the just-ended elections have shown, the Ghanaian people have long memories. Any Scorched Earth policy implemented would be remembered and the appropriate retribution exacted at the appropriate time.

May God Bless the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia Administration.

May God Bless Ghana.

Gilbert Adu Gyimah
Director of Communications, NPP/Canada
Tel: 587-708-9915 / 289-627-7557