President Nana Akufo-Addo has made a solemn promise to protect the public purse and insist on the value of money on all projects when the business of governance begins.
On a day he was sworn into office after taking the presidential oath and the oath of allegiance, the president said the business of leadership is to serve and Ghanaians should not expect any less from him.
Quoting one of his mentors Kofi Abrefia Busia, president in the second Republic, president Nana Akufo-Addo charged all to regard politics as an avenue of service to our fellow human being; our success or failure should be judged by the quality of knowledge of the ordinary man and the standard of living he enjoys.
On December 7, 2016, Nana Akufo-Addo won an emphatic victory in an election, beating the incumbent John Dramani Mahama who was gunning for a second term.
The issue of corruption was one of the most topical in the campaign with the NPP accusing the outgoing administration of inflating prices of projects and misappropriating funds.
The citizens bought the campaign of the NPP, voted overwhelmingly for Nana Akufo-Addo with a 53.8% victory as declared by the Returning officer Charlotte Osei on December 9, 2016.
That declaration has culminated into an investiture programme which has brought over 15 heads of state across the African continent to Ghana to witness another milestone where a new party takes over from an incumbent administration.
Nana Akufo-Addo thanked the outgoing president John Mahama for his “elegant acceptance” of the election results which he says will “receive the approval of history.”
“I am humbled by the exceptional mandate and the confidence shown in the NPP and in my person.. I will do all in my power to justify that confidence. I will not let you down,” Nana Akufo-Addo swore before thousands of Ghanaians that trouped to the Independence Square and millions of others watching from home in Ghana and across the globe.
Clad in his rich Kente, the short but elegant looking president with a baritone voice delivered his speech with authority and conviction saying, I am in the unique position to draw from the lessons of three living ex-presidents who represent the continuation of Ghana’s thriving democracy.
60 on March 6
On March 6, 2017, Ghana will be 60 years after attaining independence from the colonial administration. The president paid glowing tribute to JB Danquah, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, RS Blay, Edward Akufo-Addo, Kojo Botsio whose “fidelity to principle and patience” and collective action yielded results and won Independence to Ghana.
He said with “steely determination” these liberators reclaimed the wealth of Ghana and handed to Ghanaians a democratic legacy.
Nana Akufo-Addo however said with sadness that that after 60 years these honorable men will be disappointed at the level of development in Ghana.
He said the 60 years have been littered with “few highs and many lows,” one dogged by military dictatorship.
“After 60 years we have no reason for being poor” he stated and expressed humility for the opportunity to serve.
The president said he will implement policies that will be in the interest of the people and will start by reducing taxes.
He charged Ghanaians to be citizens and not spectators, insisting that the change they so yearn for must start with them.
“I want you to be citizens not spectators; citizens not subjects, responsible citizens. Let us work until the work is done,” he stated.
True Separation of Powers
President Nana Akufo-Addo said it is time for the country to deepen its democracy and let in the true separation of power.
“The legislature must grow and not be a junior partner to the executive. The judiciary must inspire confidence as the ultimate arbiter; a Ghanaian judge must be the epitome of fairness.
“We must decentralize more, trust the collective; restore integrity in public life; State coffers are not spoils for the party that wins an election. I shall protect the public purse and insist on value for money, he stated.
To his yet to be announced appointees, President Nana Akufo-Addo said public service is not an avenue to make money . Public service is just that, not an avenue to make money. “Money is to be created in the private sector not the public sector,” he reiterated.
Nana Akufo-Addo said it is time to “stimulate the juices of the entrepreneurial spirit of the Ghanaian. It is time to try that business that failed,” he pointed out and charged Ghanaians to be patriotic.
After his long, spirited speech, the Speaker of Parliament Prof Mike Ocquaye welcomed congratulatory messages from Johnson Sirleaf, and the Guest of Honour of the programme, and President of Ivory Coast Allasane Ouattara after which the dignitories took turns to congratulate the new president.