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Opinions of Monday, 10 July 2017

Columnist: Alhassan Andani

Akufo-Addo, don't give a hoot; just govern

Electorates in under developed democracies are strange beings. What informs their decisions in the voting booth can sometimes leave one in a state of insomnia from January to December.

Some vote based on regionalism, others choose based on tribalism and some select based on religious denominations. Some voters will even ridiculously go as far as considering the physical and facial appearance of the candidates on the ballot paper.

They don’t even know that the politician started from the scratch by capturing his ideas in a book called manifesto. They just vote without any scintilla of regard to manifestoes.

The New Patriotic Party in government under the leadership of H.E Akufo-Addo arguably is the government that have promised a lot, ranging from cutting nuisance taxes to a mixed bag of free things. This many Ghanaians consider to be unworkable and others think they are unattainable but those who promised believe in the possibility if the loopholes in our revenue generation system are blocked, contracts normally priced and fiscal discipline becoming the order of the day with the financial management act as the legal regime.

New governments share some resemblance with new startups. Things do not just start flourishing. It takes time. New business with new ideas. The ideas take time to bear fruits.

I am of full conviction that not all the voters who voted the NPP into government did so because of hunger for change. They have their own parochial interests. They voted for someone to become president so they can become chiefs with political power at play.

Some voted because they wanted to get control over lands with political power as backing. Others even vote because they would be made ministers and MMDCES to live lavish lives by dipping their hands into the state coffers to pick ill-gotten monies.

They vote because of their selfish interest and not because of the plight of the average Ghanaian in the hinterlands who will ply a road of fish ponds without fishes to access substandard health care in the neighbouring community.

Mr. president, I was so happy to read sometime back your univocal statement about your non-interest in chieftaincy matters in all forms in all jurisdictions in Ghana. From down south to up north, leave chieftaincy matters to the people. Tell them if they are aggrieved there is a place for the aggrieved called court.

It is their problems to tackle. Don’t tell the arm forces to remove any chief, albeit, you command them. Don’t meddle in chieftaincy matters but instead meddle in governance matters. Yours is to govern. Yours is to send us to the promised land. Leave chieftaincy disputes to the experts. You are a helmsman and not a royal. Those in the centre of the disputes are those who can amicably solve the dispute and not a stranger like yourself who might not even understand their language. I shall be back to write tough on this matter if you fail me.

I heard from some NPP folks somewhere said that they regretted voting an “NPP in NDC’s form”. They will threaten to vote against your party in the next election. Don’t give a hoot. Show political will by calling the shot. The devil finds work for idle hands. Build a factory to employ them! Everybody and his unique problem.

Those who didn’t make it to the lists of executives in your government will also appear with threats. As usually, they would congratulate every appointee of yours knowing deep inside them that all is not well. They pray he doesn’t succeed so they become the replacement. The pull him down syndrome is a composition of their blood.

To what politicians cherished most than black diamonds, votes. Many at times, those vying for these portfolios always surround themselves with supporters. If things turn out against them in the end, thus, if their choice is not given the nod, they will threaten to vote against the candidate in the next elections just because the politician fear political waterloo like how I used to fear bogeyman when I was a child.

They will even point to you the handwriting on the wall of incoming electoral defeat. Many of them are businessmen and many of them will like to set up businesses. Don’t give a hoot. Just build a resilient economy to strengthen the already established businesses and to provide support to startups.

Your Excellency, let’s zoom into something that can make you a nuisance within the wink of the eye in the eyes of the public, corruption. Ghana and for that Africa faces problems of mightier effects but corruption seems to be the encumbrance to the development we have always envisaged that many do not easily notice.

Among other ills is corruption that afflicts your people and thwart and stunt their efforts of progress. Corruption is a silent killer you must kill. We are anxiously waiting for the special prosecutor to specially prosecute any member of the public service who will squander our hard earned taxes. You must fight corruption till your last breath else your end is nigh.

The renowned Kenyan anti-corruption fighter, PLO Lumumba, last said that corruption is a cancer we must not allow to grow. One president also last opined that corruption was mass murder. But I will say corruption is a suicide bomber.

It kills a lot of innocent people. Prosecute any corrupt official in your government and the Ghanaian electors will vote you again even if the prosecuted and his relatives do not vote you. Send him to Nsawam if indeed a court of competent jurisdiction says he can’t be in our midst based on the evidence adduced before it.

Don’t give a damn. Show political will. Fight corruption like a boxer who is determined to win a bout in the first round.