“Free and fair elections were not enough, they had to be matched with institutions of good governance – the rule of law, a free judiciary and freedom of speech. The status quo is simply not sustainable,” Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State.
“The task of the government is not only to pour honey into a cup, but sometimes to give bitter medicine. But this should always be done openly and honestly, and then the overwhelming majority of people will understand their government,” Vladimir Putin, Russian Prime Minister.
Virtually all the people who have been at the helm of national affairs in every field of human endeavour since independence have been educated at a great cost to the nation. Why is that we have not learnt any lessons in nation building? Why do we allow ourselves in this period of competitive world, to be governed by greedy bastards, standard seven leavers, mediocrities and persons using their appointments at the seat of government as the period for their national service when the nation has produced national heroes of the right quality companionable to those produced in the advanced world? Why do we as people continue to tolerate this quixotic tomfoolery buffoonery clothed in madness? This is the riddle we have to resolve. I can only hazard a guess. Our leaders have gone through education, but education never went through them. The followers have gone through education, but education never went through them. That is why once the black man attains a position of trust and responsibility, he forgets his humble beginnings and starts behaving like Nero, playing his harp while Rome burns.
President Mills’s NDC administration, coming after all other political administrations, has the greatest opportunity to right all the wrongs and ills of the past. Sadly enough, it has proved to be the most disastrous and the greatest political failure in the history of this nation. President Mills’s NDC administration is simply behaving like a fish out of water. Within its short period of existence, President Mills’s NDC administration has identified all the respectable, recognized, professional, social, religious, industrial, labour and political groups and individuals in the country as mortal enemies. This self confessed admission brings into doubt the legal and moral legitimacy of President Mills’s NDC administration. This also makes it difficult to identify the driving force behind President Mills’s quest for a second term since by his own confession, his administration has failed.
The propensity of President Mills’s NDC administration to identify all moving objects with a voice to comment on acts of omission and commission, let alone criticize that administration as enemies might appear startling. However, it amounts to a display of political intolerance never experienced in this nation since the eras of President Kwame Nkrumah’s CPP administration and Flt-Lt J.J. Rawlings’s PNDC regime. Additionally, the failure of President Mills’s NDC administration to learn any lessons from the past might be mind boggling. However, on close examination, it is a corruption tool mired in gross incompetence to rip off the nation and enrich private pockets of NDC political operators. The STX debacle, the Chinese loan fantasy, the creation of additional 42 district assemblies, all have uncanny precedence which President Mills’s NDC administration is conversant with.
The current reality is that the nation is saddled with an incompetent, corrupt and ineffective leadership leading a pack of disgruntled, angry, hungry, vicious werewolves determined to rip bare all the flesh from the carcass of a murdered nation, regardless of the blood of the nation dripping from the hands they have used to butcher the nation. In line with its avowed aim of the Better Ghana agenda, President Mills’s NDC administration has decided to reverse all the positive gains of President Kufuor’s NPP administration while worsening all the negative acts of President Kufuor’s NPP administration. On the positive side of President Kufuor’s NPP administration, President Mills’s NDC administration has reversed all the gains of the four-year senior secondary school programme by reverting to three years while virtually destroying the national health insurance scheme. On the negative side of President Kufuor’s NPP administration, President Mills’s NDC administration has improved upon President Kufuor’s abortive IFC loan attempt with the STX and Chinese loan episodes while creating additional 42 district assemblies, as against the creation of 28 by President Kufuor’s NPP administration.
Latest report by Transparency International indicates that Chinese and Indian companies are the greatest bribe givers in the world today when it comes to doing business. Is it any wonder that the 20 million United States dollars new NDC headquarters is being constructed by a Chinese company? Could it be a kickback for the yet-to-be-accessed 3 billion United States dollars Chinese loan President Mills’s NDC administration is blowing hot and cold to access? It raises a lot of questions at a time when our ministries are flooded with Chinese nationals, some with dubious credentials, seeking unholy business alliances with corrupt and unpatriotic Ghanaians in positions of trust and responsibility.
The madness in the creation of 42 district assemblies by President Mills’s NDC administration must be pursued to its logical conclusion. Article 93, clause 1 states: “There shall be a Parliament of Ghana which shall consist of not less than one hundred and forty elected members”. Political observers can note that the parliament of the “Second Republic”, during Prof. K.A. Busia’s PP administration consisted of 140 parliamentarians. That parliament is on record as the most competent parliament in the history of the nation. Parliament is one leg of the tripod established by the 1992 Republican Constitution to sustain our democracy. The Legislature, as Parliament is referred to in the Constitution, and the Presidency and Judiciary are the kingpins in our democratic culture. The three are expected to work in harmony with each other as well as provide an internal check to the democratic system. Originally, the 1993 Parliament consisted of 200 elected members.
However, this number was increased to 230, thanks to the almighty powers given to the Electoral Commission by the Constitution and the sheepish acquiescence by Parliament. The act constituted an unnecessary cost incurrence exercise which added no value to Parliament, considering all the physical, financial and human constraints facing parliamentarians. The same can be said of the increase in the number of district assemblies from 110 to 138 by President Kufuor’s NPP administration. As a result, money meant for development was used to establish new infrastructures, employ new staff, train them and buy very expensive 4-wheel V8 vehicles for use of the new districts. As at now, some of those district created by President Kufuor’s NPP administration do not have permanent functional structures.
According to the Ministry of Local Government’s own conservative estimates at that time President Kufuor’s NPP administration created the additional district assemblies, 20 billion cedis (2 million Ghana cedis) was needed to start of the new district assemblies created. I believe what people need is development and not new district assemblies with additional assembly members and district chief executives. Development could have gone to the people within the old 110 district assemblies if development oriented and knowledgeable persons had been elected into district assemblies and equally competent persons elected into District Chief Executive positions, rather than appointing party foot-soldiers as district chief executives. Proper accountability could also have been assured. Both the NDC and the NPP have one common uncanny ground on which they agree; their failure to allow the position of District Chief Executives to be elected despite all campaign and manifesto promises. More unelected District Chief Executive positions created means more jobs for party foot-soldiers and which also amounts to unnecessary and unwarranted cost to the nation.
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BY Kwame Gyasi