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Opinions of Saturday, 10 December 2016

Columnist: Appeadu, Charles

Nana Akufo-Addo, please be a different leader

By Charles Appeadu

On January 6 2009, I published the article with the tile “Atta Mills! Seize This Golden Opportunity!” on GhanaWeb. Please refer to that article to confirm the parallels to this current article.

We have cried for too long. We have hoped for too long and, unfortunately, time and time again, we have been disappointed! Why, oh why? Now, we have a new leader and one that many are hoping will do things differently; will do things better!

I maintain that the twin devils plaguing our nation are tribalism and corruption. The Kuffour administration went into office in 2000 and 2004 with a promise to the Ghanaian people that his administration would have Zero Tolerance for Corruption.

Many Ghanaians felt strongly that Kuffour failed on making good on this promise. I believe that this contributed to the defeat of the NPP in 2008 in both loss of parliamentary seats and the loss of the presidency itself. Professor Mills was ushered into office in January 2009. President Mills wailed and almost cried at the prevalence of corruption in his administration but really did nothing to punish this cancer.

After his death, President Mahama took over and many Ghanaians are of the view that the prevalence of corruption increased astronomically during Mahama’s administration. Scandals like Woyomegate, GYEEDA, SADA, etc. are testaments to this sentiment. Now, Ghanaians have gone back to elect a President from the NPP. Are we just recycling one corrupt administration for another corrupt administration? If that is all we are doing, then, we are doomed!

Just as I did eight years ago when Mills was ushered in as President, I genuinely pray that God will give Professor Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP leaders the wisdom and the courage to work hard to destroy, or reduce to insignificant levels, the twin devils of corruption and tribalism.

On tribalism, the most obvious indication of hope is to see an Akufo-Addo administration that is reflective of our population distribution. The 2015 CIA World Facts book on Ghana puts the population distribution of our nation as follows: Akan 47.5%, Mole-Dagbon 16.6%, Ewe 13.9%, Ga-Dangme 7.4%, Gurma 5.7%, Guan 3.7%, Grusi 2.5%, Mande 1.1%, other 1.4%.

I wish to advise President-elect Akufo-Addo to use the nation’s population distribution as a guide in putting together his administration. While I am not saying that he should adhere strictly to this distribution, large deviations from this distribution will smack of tribalism.

In a forty (40) member cabinet, for example, this distribution calls for about 5 to 6 Ewes, 19 Akans, 3 Gas, 6 to 7 Mole-Dagbons, etc. Of course, the actual distribution will be expected to be a little different from this but a make-up of, say, 1 Ewe, 36 Akans, 1 Ga, 1 Mole-Dagbon, and 1 Guan will be a complete tribal distortion in the same way that a make-up of, say, 25 Ewes, 5 Akans, and 10 Others will also cry foul.

I wish to call on President-elect Akufo-Addo to recognize the positive aspects of the Mahama administration and build upon them. If there are individuals in the Mahama administration who are performing excellently at what they do, he should consider extending their tenure of office beyond the Mahama presidency. We should mature far beyond vindictive politics and truly put Ghana first!

On corruption, I would to urge President elect Nana Addo to fight this cancer with all the severity and seriousness it deserves. Please fight corruption. Please punish corrupt people and charge your cabinet and DCEs to set good examples. Although there are many avenues to go about doing this, I believe the appointment of a special prosecutor or corruption czar will be a step in the right direction.

If I were to offer a suggestion, I would say go for Martin Amidu. He has won the hearts of millions of Ghanaians by demonstrating a genuine passion to rid our nation of those who are bent on stealing our resources. The fact that Martin Amidu is not an NPP member will go a long way to strengthen his office and legitimacy.

Let us be passionate about doing the right things. If we do, Ghana will be able to wrestle itself free from poverty and underdevelopment. God bless you, President-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and God bless Ghana!