Says 4-Year Presidential Term Not Enough, Ahead Of NDC 2016 Campaign Launch Cape Coast
One of the highly experienced politicians in Ghana’s political history, who studied at the feet of great men like Kofi Abrefa Busia, Victor Owusu, perfected their arts, corrected their mistakes and rose to become the ‘successful leader of the Danquah-Busia-Dumbo tradition’ by serving as President of Ghana, has repeated his call for an extension of the presidential term arguing, the four-year term, is not enough to make a meaningful impact as President.
According to ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor, in view of the global race for development, a Ghanaian president, needs time to implement his programmes and also plan the economy.
The ex-President, who also briefly served in the PNDC military junta led by Jerry John Rawlings, suggested that the 4-year term, was simply not enough for any person to perform a magic of development; both infrastructural and economic.
His observations, come as his kid brother and friend, John Dramani Mahama, storms Cape Coast on Sunday to plead for four additional years to continue his ‘’Changing Lives and Transforming Ghana’’ agenda, because like ex-President Kufuor and ex-President Rawlings, who both served eight uninterrupted years, a four-year term is not enough.
Over 50,000 supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), party leaders and ordinary admirers of President Mahama, including celebrities, businessmen and members of the other political parties, are expected to grace the occasion.
The Oguaa Traditional Council in Cape Coast, has lifted a ban on noise making to allow the NDC 2016 campaign launch in the Central Region on Sunday which promises to be a political jamboree, and the NDC is happy with the decision.
At International Society for African Philosophy and Studies (ISAPS) conference on the theme “Democracy Justice and Development in Africa: 50 Years after Independence”, Joy FM quotes former president Kufuor as criticizing the framers of the Constitution for failing to undertake adequate research before deciding on the duration for Presidency.
What is interesting about ex-President Kufuor’s claim is that he and his colleagues had boycotted the consultative process initiated under the PNDC towards framing the 1992 constitution. They had belittled inputs the ordinary Ghana including traders, farmers, artisans among others. They had insisted on lawyers, professors and others considered the elites in society to rather draft the constitution.
The former president’s call is not new though. Eight years ago, in his last address to parliament after 8 years in power, President Kufuor opened a debate over presidential tenure when he suggested that at least a five-year tenure should be suitable for the African situation.
President Kufuor, has been arguing that the first year in government is often used to configure the new administration as the new team tries to appreciate how governance works.
Policies are organized into a body of Bills to be submitted to parliament and programmes are also rolled out in the second year.
In the third year, the programmes and policies would have showed signs of promise or failure and government may have to decide how to finetune its programmes, he has explained.
But even before the third year ends, government begins to move into election year politics and the fourth year, planned developments could be sidetracked in favour of electioneering campaigns.
Governments tend to take short cuts in order to satisfy the electorate, he observed.
“If we have a five-year term, the third year would see to the maturing of policies and laws, the fourth year will see the good policies that would serve the nation. By the fifth year when people are canvassing for power, the good works can be judged by all”, he said in 2012.
The Oguaa Traditional Council is expected to lift noise ban today to pave way for the NDC event which will be held at the Cape Coast stadium.
Speaking to Citi News the NDC’s Regional Secretary, Sampson Ahianyo said the party cannot be blamed for the decision.
“We are living with traditionalists and our gods don’t behave like witches and wizards, they are very reasonable. If you are really an African, you will agree with me that sometimes if there is something that is to be done in a particular area and the time is not right, you can go and pacify the gods, you consult the fetish priests to pray and ask for pacification, the gods will allow you to whatever you want.”
“The NDC did not do that, it is in the wisdom of the chiefs, the Okomfos and Asafo companies in Cape Coast who through their own wisdom had to consult, we proposed and they consulted, and the gods agreed. The NDC does not dictate to the chiefs of Cape Coast,” he added.
Mr. Ahianyo further insisted that the NDC “didn’t play any role” in pacifying the gods.
“…We requested and they went and consulted the gods, and the gods have agreed. So it is up to the chiefs, we are not traditionalists. We only asked for permission and it has been granted, period.”
Director of Communications for the NDC’s 2016 Campaign, Joyce Bawa Mogtari, said earlier that it was in the interest of the party to organize the event in the Central Region.
“There is some nostalgia, there is some love for the Central Region, there is a good reason why we believe that this time, it is in our interest to launch in the Central Region and that is exactly what we intend to do,” she said on Eyewitness News last Monday.