Following the Electoral Commission’s declaration of the New Patriotic Party’s 2016 Presidential candidate; Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo as the President – Elect of the Republic of Ghana, the euphoria that greeted the announcement gave an idea of the joy, relief and confidence that majority of Ghanaians seem to take this result. From taxi and
From taxi and trotro drivers, market women, shoe shine boys, one cannot help but notice the genuine goodwill and the belief that the much talked about economy will pick up to ease the cost of living of the ordinary person. As humans, there is always the tendency to bounce back whenever there is a setback prompting the popular phrase “fresh start requires
As humans, there is always the tendency to bounce back whenever there is a setback prompting the popular phrase “fresh start requires new ways of doing things, new ideas and attitudes”. As we count the days leading to the ushering in of the new administration, I have put down these thoughts hoping the bodies concerned will heed to them and carry us along as we follow them to chart a new four-year course.
GOVERNMENT – To our incoming government, you have won a sweet victory which none can begrudge you after coming short in the previous two. As you prepare to roll your sleeves and get to work on delivering a first class government as promised by the incoming president during the campaign, can we get these from you:
- More of issues and policy directions instead of the usual menu of pure propaganda, blame game and the name calling all aimed at making the opposition look bad and unfit to be voted for in the next elections.
- Appointees who are measured and responsible in their utterances, speak to issues whiles making room for opposing views and taking into consideration the fact that they are working for the good people of Ghana and as such will not come after us wielding sledge hammers after every criticism.
- Less of the naked display of opulence and pomposity associated with politicians especially as a result of sudden proximity with the public purse and therefore feel the best way to showcase their new found wealth and power is to shove it into our faces with no shame nor the fear of God.
- As a party who rode heavily on the back of the incorruptibility of its presidential candidate into power, can we get a government committed to upholding the highest form of transparency and accountability from the highest person in government to the least of them?
- A government that is less defensive but more forthright with facts and figures. A government that will not take us to be a bunch of meatheads.
- A government that won’t paint every person from the average Joe on the street to labour unions who criticize it as belonging to the opposition and seeking its downfall.
- Can we cut out the hypocrisy and dishonesty that is gradually taking hold of our body politics?
PARLIAMENT- To our dear parliamentarians, our honourables as you gleefully like to be called, I say congratulations to you. As you get ready to take your respective seats in the august chamber, may I ask on behalf of all Ghanaians whether we can hope to get the following from you;
- Can you at all times try to achieve more of consensus than the usual “the minority will have their say but the majority will have their way”.
- Can you have the interest of mother Ghana first instead of the party one represents?
- Can you assure us of only the best arguments at all times that will help meet the hope and aspirations of us all?
- The era of rushing loan agreements in the house will be a thing of the past.
THE JUDICIARY – As the third arm of government, the judiciary has had its fair share of public bashing fairly or unfairly, but as we get ready to welcome a new chapter in the governance of this great nation, can we hope to see ;
- The elimination of the perceived softness or friendliness towards known members of a political grouping anytime they are brought to trial on corruption charges.
- Can we hope to get a judiciary without the slightest hint of executive influence or any drop of judicial bias in cases involving individuals unsympathetic to the cause of the ruling party?
MEDIA AND CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATION (CSO) – The general belief is that the media and CSO’s are the fourth estate of the realm. The Ghanaian media landscape is polarised along the two major political parties. Despite this polarisation, we expect them to play their traditional role which is, to keep successive governments on their toes while constantly reminding governments of their social contracts with the citizenry. As we usher in a new government in a new year, can we hope to get the following from you:
- Help in shaping and discussing policies and issues that go to better the life of the average Ghanaian.
- stop inviting those politicians with the acidicacerbic tongue who are noted for spitting pure venom that do not have any positive on the life of the Ghanaian.
- increase your role as a watchdog for the average Ghanaian
- Remind the government of its commitment to upholding the tenets of transparency and accountability.
OPPOSITION – Yes, losing an election is bitter and painful especially to a government that really believed it was on course to be mentioned in the same breath as the great Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah of blessed memory. We can understand your loss but be mindful of the fact that, every party goes into election expecting two outcomes: a win or a loss. As you take stock of the variables accounting for your electoral loss, can the nation Ghana expect the following:
- Objective and constructive criticisms directed at the ruling party or government without the usual malice, cynicism, name-calling and empty allegations all aimed at scoring cheap electoral advantage. Can we trust you to hold the incoming government accountable in a fair and objective manner devoid of the usual menu we are forced to swallow on daily basis.
- Better alternatives that leave the average Joe on the street salivating over all the choices available to him in the next election.
- Putting aside the “Thomas theory” which is essentially the ‘cannot be done’ or impossible spirit that is slowly becoming a distinctive feature of our body politics.
- Party communicators and spokespersons should help shape ideas and attitudes of the Ghanaian instead of the regular dose of venom. Can we expect them to speak more to issues and help shape policies by offering us better alternatives without going for personality attacks, tribal bigotry, name-calling, dwelling on perceived party divisions and lack of unity.
- Remember that we are one nation with a common destiny
- Cut out the hypocrisy and dishonesty that is eating deep into our national life
By: Benjamin Ansah Acquaye ([email protected])