Barely 48 hours from now, a new administration will be sworn in to take over the reins of government in the Republic of Ghana. After over 40 years of political agitation, President-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will take the oath that would legally make him the fourth President of the Republic since constitutional rule was restored in 1993, and Seventh Constitutional Head of State since Ghana was declared a republican status in July 1960.
From the elaborate programme outlined so far, Saturday’s installation is going to speak loud to the body politic of this nation. It is going to signal a new dawn.
According to the President-elect, his administration aims at bringing back that feeling of this country spearheading the emancipation of the black race. In other words, the world should take note of the return of the Black Star.
The Chronicle is delighted with the stance of the President-elect. For quite some time now, this country appears to have lost its soul. Officials of state appeared over the years to be more interested in their personal gains, than promoting the welfare of the nation and its people.
Cronyism was virtually promoted as if it was national policy. It got to a very ridiculous extent, where ministers of state were chasing state contracts, instead of ensuring that contracts were awarded with value for money.
It is unfortunate, but The Chronicle is unable to discuss serious matters of state without recalling the rather shameful episode of the state awarding a contract to a Burkinabe contractor to erect a fence wall around a four-plot property in Ouagadougou, for an outrageous sum of US$650,000. It may interest readers to note that the contract came via the dubious sole-sourcing route.
When the contractor, Jibril Kanazoe, presented a Ford Expedition car, costing US$100,000, to outgoing President John Dramani Mahama, it gave the game away.
We would like to believe that the return of the Black Star into the body politic of Ghana is a signal that state officials would not be allowed to loot state resources, and line up their pockets, while the state is unable to meet its obligations.
When newly-qualified teachers and nurses were denied their basic wages for as long as two years, and those providing essential services were denied payment, it told the story of a nation that has gone astray.
As the President-elect prepares his team and himself for the great day on Saturday, The Chronicle would urge Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to signal the new Black Star stance in his inaugural speech.
We would like to hear that the inauguration venue, for instance, would henceforth revert to its original name of Black Star Square. We are not sure how the Independence Square squeezed into the lexicon for identifying the venue. What we know is that when the arena was constructed, it was named the Black Star Square. Like the name given to the senior national football team, the name aimed at portraying the rising spirit of the black race.
While we are at it, we would like to urge the incoming administration to revert to the original name given to Government House – Golden Jubilee House. We would like the President-elect to give that clear signal in his inaugural speech, if possible. Flagstaff House is a colonial heritage. Apart from that it owes its original existence and name to its military use. In this democratic era, it is anachronistic to our desire to reconstruct the rising spirit of the black race.
The Chronicle is also urging the incoming administration not to shy away from doing away with names of state edifices that do not truly reflect the hopes and aspirations of the people of this country.
We would humbly request that the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra, for instance, should revert to the name appropriately given to celebrate the achievements of the first Ghanaian Director of Sports.
Like most Ghanaians, The Chronicle is uncomfortable with the decision to cast aside the contributions of Ohene Djan to the development of sports, just because a few tribal bigots wanted to reflect the name of the national capital in the development of sports in this nation.
We cannot promote the tribal sentiments of a few misguided elements at the expense of national cohesion and the celebration of individual contributions to the growth of this nation.
We recall, with pride, how the late Mrs. Theodesia Okoh fought to retain her name given to the National Hockey Stadium, even on her sick bed. But for her heroic fight back, the tribal bigots who plotted to obliterate the contributions of this nation’s first indigenous Director of Sports, would have succeeded in replacing her name given to the national edifice for hockey promotion.
Having made these observations, The Chronicle would like to trumpet it loud and clear that the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Presidency signals a new era in Ghanaian politics. It is the era when the nation and its people should matter more than those who have been entrusted with the task of navigating the ship of state through the turbulent waters of national politics.
Forward with Ghana!