Followers of Ghana’s democratic journey may not stop to be amazed by all the goings-on, in relation to our post-election-transition happenings. How can a country where power transfers smoothly still handle everything with partisan judgement?
Even before I proceed, what did you make of the joint appearance of the immediate-past Attorney-General, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong and the current Attorney-General, Ms Gloria Akuffo at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Humburg when they jointly represented Ghana at the arbitration with the Ivory Coast over a land/sea dispute? A nation which is touted as democratically developed in the comity of nations on a continent where democracy is still ‘foreign’ should see more of such collaborations between the Government and opposition.
Unfortunately, such international exhibition of camaraderie between our ruling government and the largest opposition seem to be a charade because the two are playing politics with very simple things in our transitional process like how many cars we had at the presidency and how many are not accounted for among some issues some of us see as very trivial.
Trivial because consistently, since the onset of the Fourth Republic, any change in government comes with allegations of the exiting government officials ‘stealing’ state properties, mostly vehicles and this goes on and on. It was to stem this situation that the transitional act was passed to ensure that before any government leaves office, it presents its handing over notes which will provide the opportunity for questions, clarifications and verifications of all outstanding issues. The Administrator-General appointed under the act is supposed to take inventory of all government properties including vehicles and bungalows and ensure that nothing is pilfered away.
The question therefore is, why we still have the politics of vehicle seizures in 2017 and we still have issues with bungalows etc.Who benefits from such politics? Who is acting in bad faith? Is it part of the propaganda by both government and the opposition to let one look ‘evil’ in the eyes of the public? This is rubbishing the transitional act and as early possible, efforts must be made to deal with all the issues to make the public have confidence in all our future transitions.
Whilst we are at it, we still have to ask questions about the cost of the construction of the Vice Presidential villa. So we are told that, so far 8 million dollars plus have been spent on the house for the second family of the land. The whole debate about the cost, whether it’s 13 million or five million dollars is a very disturbing news for a country which cannot provide enough drugs for health facilities, let alone pay for procedures for our vulnerable citizens in the hospitals.
Anybody who has built a house or has an idea of building a house in Accra or any commercial city in Ghana will ask questions about what facilities at all are in the villa to cost more than two million dollars. Is it even wise to spend any colossal amount of money to accommodate one family when several families are homeless?
Our leaders and politicians in general are always leaving hints of their insensitivity of the plight of the people they lead. They drive expensive vehicles when majority of the people cannot afford the fare of tro-tro. They fly business class when majority of the people have never seen the inside of an airplane. They get medi-care from international medical facilities when most of the citizens cannot use even community clinics. They send their children to world class schools when our ‘cytos’ are no more attractive to even the ‘cyto’ teachers themselves. Somebody asked what wrong the Ghanaian has done to deserve the leaders who do not prioritize the spending of our resources but focus on their comfort at the expense of the well-being of the ordinary citizen.
As we grow in our voting culture and change governments and bring in new governments, the governors must also change in their leadership culture. The people they lead must not be taken for granted in the decisions of how to manage the resources.
The blatant insults of the sensibilities of the citizenry must stop!
By Kojo Ackaah-Kwarteng
Head of Station, Onua 95.1 FM