It has taken President-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo a decade of struggle to finally seal his place in the history of this country as the Fourth Head of State, since the proclamation of the Fourth Republic. When he is formally inaugurated on Saturday, January 7, he will become the seventh Constitutional Head of State of Ghana, since Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah declared Ghana a Republic on July 1, 1960.
It has been a hard fought battle. From the era of the People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice in the Acheampong days, through the battle against the culture of silence, when gun-toting hoodlums took over this country in the name of a revolution which condemned many noble Ghanaians to their early graves, Nana Akufo-Addo, a human rights lawyer of international repute, has fought on the side of the oppressed.
One of the most maligned politicians of our time, the President-elect has had to endure some of the most uninformed character assassinations of our time. In all this, Nana Akufo-Addo never budged. As he keeps reminding the people of this country, the President-elect is driven by the urge to serve the people and bring solace to the deprived.
At the thanksgiving service organised by the victorious New Patriotic Party at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra, yesterday, the incoming President acknowledged the heavy burden on his tiny shoulders, and asked Ghanaians to pray for the government and the nation.
“Even as we praise God for his immense kindness and grace towards our country, we also know that we have a lot ahead of us. It is a task that we can, and will perform with your support, and with your hard work, increasing prayers, and the blessing of the Almighty God,” he told cheering supporters.
The Chronicle appreciates the fact that the in-coming Head of State is conversant with the enourmity of the task ahead. We would like to believe that flowing out of this recognition, the President-elect will be guided by the need to appoint men and women who understand the problem at hand, and are prepared to roll off their sleeves and work to deliver the solution necessary to move this nation forward.
One of the major reasons why Mr. John Dramani Mahama failed so woefully at the polls was the recognition by Ghanaians that the outgoing President did not have the right calibre of officials to tackle the myriads of problems afflicting the nation. The kind of personalities former President Jerry John Rawlings fondly referred to as ‘Babies with Sharp Teeth’ were deficient in problem identification and solution. They tried to cover up their short-comings by attacking whoever drew attention to problems persisting in society without solutions.
We would like to urge the President-elect to be guided by the lessons from the Mahama regime, and appoint competent men and women to deliver the goods. Already, ugly noises are coming from officials within his own party about the lack of consultation that went into appointing members of the Transitional Team.
The contention is that the Transitional Team could have benefitted from a wide-range of people, with various backgrounds and experiences, if the consultations had been wider before the team members were announced.
It may be a very innocuous problem. But it is the multiplicity of such problems that lead to a groundswell of discontent within political party hierarchies, and spills over to the entire nation. The in-coming administration faces several daunting tasks, after the so-called ‘Better Ghana’ and Transformational agendas only succeeded in promoting cronyism to the highest level, and left may Ghanaians discontented.
The expectations are very high. The promises on the campaign trail convinced many Ghanaians that an administration, run by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, would evolve a system that would be a check on corruption, and save state resources for the actual development of the nation and its people.
That is one reason why the President-elect would have to hit the ground running as soon as Nana Akufo-Addo is sworn in on Saturday, January 1, 2017. Having made this observation, The Chronicle would like to take this opportunity to call on Ghanaians to be patient and give more time for the new administration to settle into its stride.
We are uncomfortable with ultimatums at this time when the administration has not even taken power. We learn, with concern, an ultimatum issued by the Concerned Teachers Association, asking the in-coming Akufo-Addo government to resolve the problem of teachers’ emoluments within the first 100 days.
Much as every Ghanaian is concerned with the unprofessional manner the out-going administration has toyed with the welfare of teachers and nurses, we do not buy into this ultimatum. In our candid opinion, it would not solve any problem.
We would like to believe that the leadership of the three teacher unions – Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers and the Concerned Teachers Association – would engage the new administration on how to resolve the many problems affecting classroom work.
As a matter of fact, we all have a duty to be patient while the incoming administration takes office and deals with the multitude of problems distorting the quality of life in our beloved Ghana.
It is not for nothing that any in-coming administration is given a honeymoon period of 100 days. Our covenant with the Nana Akufo-Addo regime is to help it succeed!