Mahama’s tour and new contracts have no place in nation-building

 

Two issues have been sources of worry to The Chronicle as Ghanaians prepare for the gargantuan ceremony at the Black Star Square in Accra, on Saturday January 7, 2017.

On that day, President-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will take the oath that would confirm his status as the Seventh Constitutional Head of State of this republic.

Outgoing President John Dramani Mahama has announced a10-day whirl-wind tour of the country at a time when every pesewa counts.

We are also told that some officials in the outgoing administration, which has lost its mandate to rule, are committing Ghana to huge expenditures by signing new contracts with local and foreign collaborators.

And that the Transition Team of the in-coming administration has agreed to allow the Mahama regime to commit the nation to more bouts of expenditures, provided such contracts were made open to the New Patriotic Party Transitional Team.

The Chronicle is ill at ease with the two propositions. The transition from President-elect to Head of State is littered with several strange scenarios. While we await the coronation, this nation is saddled with a lame-duck administration which wants to behave as if it is still in power.

A government that has lost its mandate to rule, naturally, should not, under normal circumstances, be seen to be committing this nation to any bout of expenditures with serious consequences on the state purse.

Apparently, the outgoing Mahama Administration wants to write its own rules. A government that has saddled this nation with huge public debts, which in most cases, were recklessly contrived, ought to be remorseful as it prepares to exit power. Apparently, the Mahama administration believes in writing and operating on its own rules.

After an outrageously huge expenditure to campaign for its abortive re-election, during which state resources were recklessly misapplied, outgoing President John Dramani Mahama has announced that he is undertaking a 10-day whirl-wind tour of the country, obviously using state resources.

An official statement from Government House said the 10-day tour would begin from the Upper East Region through Upper West, Brong Ahafo and other regions, before finally ending in Accra, one week before Nana Akufo-Addo is formally inaugurated as the next head of state.

There are no indications that the expenditure for the so-called thank-you tour does ever reflect in the national budget.

In other words, the fund for the tour has never been set aside previously. In all probability, it would cause financial loss to the state. The ordinary people of Ghana would have to pay for the tour though their taxes.

This tour, we dare state, has no genesis in thanking a group of people who have rejected the Mahama Presidency. As some officials of the National Democratic Congress have hinted, it is a means of preparing the defeated head of state to stage a come-back in 2020. The Chronicle has no qualms about the defeated head of state attempting a come-back.

We believe though that the Mahama administration cannot use state resources to repair his damaged image at the polls.

In the same vein, we are ill at ease with the contention that the outgoing administration, that has clearly lost its mandate, could still commit this country to huge public expenditure through the assigning of contracts such as the US$18 million contract signed by Mr. Mahama Ayariga, outgoing Minister of Environment, Science and Innovations recently.

The mere fact of informing members of the NPP Transitional Team about the contract cannot be enough to ensure that this nation has value for money. In all probability, the Mahama Administration lost its mandate to commit the nation to heavy bouts of expenditure the moment the people went to the polls and rejected the President and all his men and women.

The Chronicle does not object to the signing of new contracts by the lame-duck administration. That could be the norm somewhere. We are unable to trace public interest in the thank you tour contrived by the defeated head of state to attempt to repair his battered image. If President Mahama has any reason to thank a section of the people, he is very much welcomed to foot the bill.

The Ghanaian is already overtaxed. We cannot continue to underwrite unnecessary expenses for Mr. John Dramani Mahama to undertake an ego-mending trip. The outgoing President’s thank you tour, we dare state, is ill-timed, ill-advised

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