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Opinions of Thursday, 25 March 2021

Columnist: Osei Kuffour Boateng

Effects of the appointment of Chief Executive Officers on the NPP government

The NPP flag The NPP flag

The just ended national election of 2020 which saw the NPP government almost losing majority of seats in parliament came as a shock to the presidency and party bigwigs. Obviously, the flagship free senior high school introduced which has touched almost every home in the country of over thirty million citizens was seen as the political messiah to deliver the NPP a well-deserved victory in the presidential and parliamentary elections of December 7th 2020.

The fomena [Ashanti region] parliamentary debacle which became the unintended saviour of handing over the majority seats in parliament for the NPP in government was a rallying call. The Fomena cliff- hanger was to be used as the surgical ward to patch up the dwindling fortunes of the party as the trend shows, but it is becoming increasingly clear that the pressures of power have blinded key stakeholders and going on about business as usual.

Ubiquitous corruption

Every year several billions of dollars are lost through illicit transfers, mismanagement and misapplication of public funds. Public account committee sittings have been turned into political equalization forums where the government in power misused or squandered the most funds to take the centre stage.

Not only does this hold back the country’s socio-economic progress, it also threatens peace, security and stability and whereas the ubiquity and repercussions of corruption in Ghana have been widely articulated, the fight against it seems to be a fleeting illusion.

Anti-corruption measures mainly revolve around legislating to tighten loopholes, strengthening anti-corruption institutions and empowering the media and citizens to report or stand up against malfeasance. Meanwhile, the success of those measures depends on the often overlooked but crucial role of good leadership.

The resignation of Martin Amidu cannot be a short memory in the minds of Ghanaians. Willing, able and visionary leaders are required to push through sweeping reforms to curb corruption and augment public accountability.

Unfortunately, such leadership is lacking in fading away by the dint of billions of Dollars going into waste or individual pockets which never cascade down to the very people who really need it.

Politics in Ghana is now synonymous with wealth, whether acquired legally or otherwise. Hence the scramble for power can be intense and sometimes dangerous. The expectation to quick riches increases internal competition for party candidate which often requires deal making and vote buying.

Failure to align with the party establishment can prevent members from ascending the party hierarchy. Party members are socialized in the same way mainly to do whatever is necessary to win power by fair or foul means, and those who dare to think or behave differently are side-lined, sabotaged or expelled.

All these and other factors contributed to NDC’s vote increasing from four hundred thousand to Six Hundred and forty or so votes in 2016 and 2020 general elections respectively. Where did that two hundred and over thousand votes come from? The answer is obviously BITTERNESS! Positions are given to those with God – fathers at the top and leaving those without God̶ fathers behind, and they will be recognised only during elections.

How long will this end? The party hierarchy should wake up because we won't sit idle for this to happen again in 2024! The appointment of MMDCS and CEOs should be on merit and not to whom you know and who really knows you method of appointment. This will enhance effective decentralization system thereby improving development at the local level.

Once again, as an appointee or MP you have a contract with the public and so they should respect the public and respond to their phone calls. The selected few who gets opportunity to serve in government also channel all the benefits to their family members or cronies.

Government appointed ceos of state or para-state institutions

A lot of NPP sympathizers started putting blames on the Municipal, Metropolitan and District Chief Executives Offices (MMDCEs) and Members of Parliaments (MPs) for the poor performance of the party at the 7th December 2020 general elections.

It may be somehow true, but they have forgotten the CEOs appointed by the president. Most of these CEOs run their offices as family property and political dynasties created by fathers passing power to sons.

The most frustrating of all is that they will never pick your phone call if you don’t belong to their class, forgetting that as public servants, they have a mandated contract with the public. The behaviour of some of these CEOs is creating voter-bitterness at the grass roots.

For example, the advent of social media has increased accessibility making it easy for the citizenry or party faithfuls who are in need of any social, economic or such interventions to reach out to their localized heads of state institutions or offices.

The naked truth is that these heads of state institutions have either an extremely poor perception of customer service or as usual are quick to ascend the demigod’s temple throne and are unreachable or refused to respond to requests in any form including WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram or twitter.

The serious scenario is that these institutions or offices pretend such mediums are either unworthy of their time now that they are in the driving seat or are not the appropriate forums for such discussions. Meanwhile, they were the very medium used to canvas for votes during general elections.

This alone connotes the huge deficit of current realities of social integration of communication. It is important for political leadership to understand that the bitter-voter is bitter more of economic issues than they are of political loyalties.

Indeed, a careful look at the leadership structure of certain key personalities will reveal that they switched political allegiance because their political parties were unconcerned about their economic well being when they were in position to do so.

As a concerned citizen, I am contributing my quota to sound the alarm for both government and political leadership to demand strict proof of deliverables of sound socio-politico and economic tangibles at the local levels.

The reason being that the bitter-voter can exact their pound of flesh from political parties during elections as we just saw with such a vicious venom that will cause party parliamentary seats and even the presidency including other factors listed above. A word to the wise is enough!