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Opinions of Sunday, 28 January 2018

Columnist: Enbong Alim Kunsaari

Ghana’s politics, a major drawback to national development

The 1992 constitution of the Republic of Ghana has provided citizens and non-citizens of this country a number of rights and privileges of which the right to own political affiliation is not exempted. The constitution also grants a multiparty system in Ghana which are provisions that will propagate the level of democracy that we Ghanaians have. It is not shocking that our multiparty system has given birth to too many political parties which all sing songs of national development and put across criticisms when the need arises.

However, with the current multiparty system and political system in Ghana, it is more or less a two-party system since the other political parties are usually dormant and the battle lies between the social National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the capitalist New Patriotic Party (NPP) since 1993. Both parties have handed over to each other and still hope to be the only parties that will be exchanging files. This has really brought some kind of adamancy in the works of these two parties since they are usually seen blaming each other for mistakes that occur in their previous government without putting into consideration the human errors.

They blame each on debt to the nation, corruption, inflation and other staffs but are usually found driving in similar directions when they gain power. The moment power is gained, the motion changes swiftly from speaking out loud to defending projects and problems of their government. Also, once the other is in opposition, any achievement of the opponent carries a criticism even if it benefits the whole nation. This retards national development since some end up in the court and needs clarification from the constitution before such an initiatives can hold water in the country.

Just in the early years of the H.E. Nana Addo government, a number of corruption allegations have been raised against the “anti-corrupt” government which are defended by the government but still they sail in the minds of Ghanaians. The beginning of this government started with an alleged bribe from an appointed minister of energy who tried bribing the vetting committee of parliament. A probe of the matter by a parliamentary committee freed the Hon. Minister of Energy of any bribery as purported.

The Next corruption scandal that hit the same government is the Ghana post saga where the minority thought it as a waste of national resources buying an address system that can be accessed freely on google map but was turned down by the ruling party. Not long after this, an activist of the party in power claimed some two deputy chief of staff in the presidency were corrupt and the claim was considered baseless by CID. Other allegations against this current government are the minister of finance bond saga which is still trending and the cash –for- seat saga which all Ghanaians are anxiously awaiting.

This I think is a payment to the government from the minority since the where about of the Bugri Naabu bribed car and the money that was saved in a separate account which was a bribe from John Mahama as claimed by the then opposition NPP cannot be traced. Also the ordeal the NDC and Ghanaians went through during the 2012 elections petitions is enough recount that prosperity will allow them (NDC) to forgive the NPP. The Electoral Commissioner’s sex for position claim from the then opposition NPP is wake up call for the NDC to know that allegations can change perceptions. These and many other claims levelled against the NDC when it was in power actually made NPP won the 2016 elections by 53.85%.

It is about time politicians learn from the mistakes of their predecessors and stop defending their governments. The time has come that we speak of what we can do, what we have done and what we plan to do than pointing fingers at people who made Ghana have a wobbling economy. Ghana’s economy wobbles because of our attitude. Ghanaians cry because we don’t think of tomorrow and we suffer and feel greedy because we choose to follow without proper examination.

Politicians have refused to continue most projects that were carried out by previous governments, rather they introduce their own projects that still need foundations. It is noted that some government contracts came to stand still since 2008 and why that happens cannot be verified. This has given room for same contracts to be awarded more than once when a change of government occurs.

It can be recounted that NHIS, school feeding program, college students allowance and other projects which were initiatives of H.E. J.A. Kufuor were poorly handled when the NDC succeeded from him. Currently, the NDC is also attacking the current government for not inaugurating a number of health facilities built across the country and they are pushing government to do so.

Ghana’s constitution needs some amendments on how continuity should be in this country. The principle must be one such that all governments continue with half-done projects of their processors and can introduce new ones after those ones are completed to have a homogenous and progressive development.