It was predicted, but not with clear certainty that New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will triumph in Wednesday’s presidential poll.
The pervasive impression was that the NPP will yet again lose this year’s election to the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC). Its campaign activities were drown out by that of the NDC.
Holding fast to his mantra “The battle is the Lord’s,” the NPP leader gave power to Ghanaians through his speeches and actions. He dropped his garment to a level that made it possible to jell with the ordinary Ghanaian.
With his signature curtain raiser: “I will beg, beg, and beg the Ghanaian people to push me to the presidency,” Nana Akufo-Addo courted the attention of the silent majority.
He often said, “In the year 2008 I almost got it. In 2012 you all know what happened. This time around I want you to help me. Push me to the presidency.”
He was mocked at and described as pitiful for begging for votes from Ghanaians, yet he wouldn’t listen. President Mahama and some NDC functionaries described him as a desperate candidate, entreating him to stop begging. He begged the more.
As he had begged for, Ghanaians pushed him so high that it was impossible for the election to be re-run. In a stunning performance, the three time lucky Nana Akufo-Addo wrestled the power from President John Mahama in the first round of elections polling 53.85 of the valid vote cast.
Ghanaians have delivered the victory to Nana Akufo-Addo, but to continue enjoying the trust of the citizenry, the president-elect must do the following three things without which he will suffer confidence and trust deficits as did the outgoing President.
President John Mahama
#1: He must retrieve Woyome’s GHC51.2m and cancel Dr Hassan Ayariga’s contract
The inequality in the society is widening, a consequence of government corruption. Contracts are given to cronies despite the presence of the Public Procurement Act, a law that is supposed to guide the issuance of contracts. Project prices are bloated to enrich the political class at the expense of the people.
Ghanaians need a fresh start after successfully ousting President Mahama and the NDC. They need a sanitized system in which competence is celebrated over patronage. A system where there is a deliberate effort to promote the interest of the nation over personal interest.
The President-Elect must lead by example. As he trumpeted on his campaign trail and corroborated by scores of people that he is an incorruptible man, he has to demonstrate it.
He has to retrieve the GHC51.2 million wrongfully gifted to NDC financier, Alfred Agbesi Woyome without delay. This is a scandal the NPP contributed to pushing it into the public space. The government of President Mahama has connived with NDC functionaries to dupe the country. Contracts have been given without recourse to competence and quality of delivery. Personal interest triumphed over national interest. Mediocrity was given rein. All of these must be eliminated.
The best achievement since independence is kicking out the Mahama government. It is time confidence is injected into the political system by cancelling all contracts given out unfairly. This means the alleged road contract given to All People’s Congress (APC)’s Dr Hassan Ayariga has to be terminated forthright.
#2: He must make good his promise of separating the Attorney-General’s office from the Ministry of Justice
One sure way to reducing corruption in any country is to attack public structures that have responsibilities for protecting the public purse. This means eliminating all bottlenecks that hamper smooth anti-corruption efforts. In Ghana, one of the government ministries that promote corruption is the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General’s Department. This ministry is responsible for all the judgment debts the nation has paid from 1992 to date.
Though not public knowledge, this is one place that encourages corruption in the country. There is always an agenda by governments to make money through the ministry. The irresponsible way governments abrogate contracts is a case in point. Most of these judgment debts the country has paid were deliberately orchestrated to milk the state kitty to fund campaign activities.
The NPP and NDC are masters in this game. We need to root out this official robbery which is why Nana Akufo-Addo’s promise of separating the A-G’s office from the Ministry of Justice is a step in the right direction. We need to reverse this chronic government corruption which robs the country of millions of cedis that could have been used to address some challenges we face as a nation.
#3: He must refrain from the sickness of Mahama ‘Rome was not built in a day’
Mahama made several promises only to be strangled by them. It is understandable that power intoxicates. It can make you do inconceivable things. You will hate your brother because of power, but one has to be measured. Don’t do anything you will regret in the end. And don’t make promises you won’t deliver.
Like Mahama, Nana Akufo-Addo made many campaign promises. At a point I felt some of them were needless, but he needed the votes and he was rewarded. He wants to provide Free Senior High School (SHS), one-factory-one-district, one-village-one-dam, create jobs to address the unemployment situation, drop taxes, and build a resilient economy. These are, without doubts, good promises.
Ghana voted for change because of these promises. And under no circumstances should excuses be proffered for not achieving them. The NPP is aware it’s been given a four-year mandate to accomplish all of its promises.
The outcome of Wednesday’s presidential poll symbolizes the rebirth of a new citizenry that is not ready for mediocrity. It is either you deliver on your campaign promises or you’re delivered out of the Flagstaff House.
Even as I wish the new president the best, it is my prayer that he doesn’t make the mistakes of President Mahama who surrounded himself with men of arrogance and mean.
The new Ghanaian is no joker. Power indeed resides in the people.
Views expressed here are the Author’s and do not reflect the position of management of Multimedia Group Limited.
The writer is a journalist with Joy News (Joy 99.7 FM) and could be reached via Brakomen@outlook.com or visit www.brakopowers.com