Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Nana Addo: The honeymoon is over

WHICHEVER way one looks at it, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made history, in many respects, in emerging as the 7thdemocratically-elected President in the free, fair and peaceful 2016 elections which further enhanced the democratic credentials of our dear nation.

Not only did he secure an unprecedented landslide victory of 53.85% (with results of 4 Constituencies with a total voter population of 220,270 still undeclared at the time of the announcement), but, more importantly, he will also go down as the first opposition leader to chalk such an emphatic one-touch victory which truncated the reign of an incumbent President.

If the presidential results were decisive, then the sheer magnitude of NPP’s victory in the parliamentary race was the clearest indication that the NDC had outlived the welcome of the people.

From a mere 123 seats in 2012, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have, so far, claimed 170 seats out of the 275 available and will be heading to the next Parliament with an overwhelming majority, which had never been seen in the Fourth Republic.

So what might have accounted for such a massive loss of a re-election bid by an incumbent President in the 4th Republic? What was responsible for the strong desire for change in leadership in the country?

Political watchers strongly believe the government’s corruption index and the economy were two key issues that led to the downfall of the Mahama-led administration.


The government's corruption perception index was high with several survey results indicating that the populace was unhappy with several reported scandals. 

Unprecedented levels of inflation in cost of projects, ghost names on government payrolls that had even the government's international partners holding back aid to nation proved fatal for the NDC and President John Mahama.

The scandals of the GYEEDA report and the government's inability to convince the public that it had done enough to retrieve funds and punish perpetrators as well as the association of some leading members of the party with controversial businessman Alfred Woyome in the GH₵51.2million scandal all came back to haunt the President's bid for re-election.

The economy 

On the economy, it is an uncontestable fact that Ghana's economy had been on its last legs in the past two years with Finance Minister, Seth Terkper, under pressure in massive overspending and debt levels. 

The electorate was not impressed that the IMF had to come in and dictate how the government should run the economy. 

Coupled with a freeze on employment in the public sector and unprecedented unemployment levels, President Mahama faced an uphill task to retain power.

In his congratulatory message to Nana Akufo-Addo last Saturday, former President Jerry John Rawlings, was, perhaps, speaking for all Ghanaians, when he stated categorically that: “Your victory is a manifestation of the people’s desire for new leadership and comes with enormous responsibilities, including a commitment to pursue an anti-corruption drive across-the-board.

“Ghana faces huge challenges, many of which you promised to tackle during your campaign tours. You have been elected as President because the electorate believes you have the ability to confront these challenges and lead the country with fearlessness, humility and honesty.

“The onus is on you to pursue a leadership that unifies the people so members of the losing side have no reason to feel insecure”.

Thankfully, in his victory speech last Friday, Nana Addo made a solemn pledge to all Ghanaians to that effect: “I will not let you down and will do all in my power to live up to your hopes and expectations”.

Nana, you are 25 days away from taking office as President on January 7, 2017. But one thing you can be sure of: Ghanaians will hold you to every promise you made on the campaign trail.

There is no time for honeymoon. After many years of hardships, Ghanaians are anxiously looking forward to better times under your leadership and work must start in earnest. And you cannot fail to provide that qualitative leadership which is high on the agenda of everybody.

With the Transitional Teams of the outgoing government and the incoming administration put in place, Nana Addo must begin the process of putting together a dedicated and committed team of men and women to deliver the party’s ‘change agenda’ in the shortest possible time. There is so much work to be done, within a relatively short time, to improve the quality of life of our people and you don’t have the luxury of time. 

The count has started in earnest. All eyes are firmly on Nana Addo. Why not?


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