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Opinions of Sunday, 24 February 2008

Columnist: Koramoah, Kwame Adofo

President Kufuor, Any Tangible Good Governance Legacies?

When President Kufuor and his NPP assumed the mantle of leadership, one of the commitments they made was to ensure good governance in the country. With less than a year to leave office, and having delivered his last state of the nation address, how far could he go with this mantra?

A glance at the following could be of help

Repeal of the criminal libel and seditious laws, and thereby enhancing press freedom and free speech Adoption of an open door policy by demystifying the Presidency through institutionalisation of concepts like Peoples Assembly and Castle Briefings Ministers, public, and civil servants are now largely accessible The Whistle Blowers Act has been passed, and Freedom of Information as well as the Broadcasting Laws are at various stages of discussion and completion There has been the passage of the Internal Audit Act, and the Public Procurement Act. The country was the first to submit to the APRM The President has been twice ECOWAS Chairman, and the immediate past AU Chairman. Note that this was on consensus A citizen who rammed his car into the President's convoy has not been given an identification hair cut. Neither has he been molested, but due process is been followed. Pro-poor policy interventions have been made to alleviate the challenges of the less privileged. These include NYEP, LEAP, NHIS, Capitation Grant, School Feeding, Metro Mass Transit and Free Bus Ride for school pupils and the aged, Revival of the railway shuttle system, etc.

When viewed against the tainted governance records of the previous regime, this NPP government has fared exceedingly well. At least during this regime, pressmen are not jailed indiscriminately. Neither do they have their premises shit-bombed. The castle and for that matter the Presidency has been demystified.

Like any human endeavour, President Kufuor, as truthful as he is, has admitted that there were challenges, and that Ghana has not become a paradise yet. There are still some challenges like the illicit drug scare, the Bawku conflict, and some isolated incidents.

Tragic as they may be however, they shouldn’t become propagandist weapons. Are these comparable to the serial murders of the 90s, the stadium disaster, disappearance of justices and the retired army officer, among others? Were we not in this country when a senior journalist flew all the way to the U.S to testify as a star witness for a drug convict? These people and others have suddenly become apostles of integrity and crusaders against drugs.

Unlike others who blatantly fail to acknowledge their frailties, even when they are starring them in the face, a successful leader as President Kufuor has been humble, candid enough to concede that as a developing nation, there is still a long way to go, inspite of his sterling achievements. Unlike some power drunk and egocentric personalities, he does not see this as a basis to alter the constitution to secure an extended term. He doesn’t want to ask the trivial question "hand over to whom"? At least Nana Addo is waiting.

President Kufuor does not view relinquishing power as a favour he is doing Ghanaians, for which he must be hailed with a standing ovation and red carpet treatment, as others wanted us to see theirs. Democracy loving President Kufuor sees handing over as a constitutional injunction, and knows that his remarkable legacies and achievements are not lost on the good people of Ghana.

I dare say that Ghanaians know a good thing when they see it and they are going to demonstrate this by maintaining the N.P.P in power come December this year.



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