“A war hero has no value or honour in his own territory”- African adage.
Exactly a year ago yesterday, Ghanaians went to the polls to make a choice between the incumbent, John Dramani Mahama and the leader of the biggest opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
It was always clear to the political watchers that Nana Akufo-Addo, was not Ghana’s best-possible presidential proposition, but the promises that, he made were enough to sway anybody to his side and so it came to pass that, he won overwhelmingly against his closest rival and sitting president.
President Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party – made appetizing promises to Nigerians in the build-up to the 2015 presidential election, but none has been fulfilled. I stand to be challenged on this.
There were great expectations from Ghanaians, but a year down the line, president Akufo-Addo and his administration has made it very easy to exorcise the ghost of the past eight years.
The president has failed in all in the indices that, he accused his predecessor of failing, if examined on the slab of economy, health, policy, national cohesion, impartiality, rule of law and fairness, I would say he has flunked the essential test of governance.
I do not want to sound malevolent in this article, but the Akufo-Addo government infected a relatively healthy economy with policy-epilepsy. That said; let me briefly examine just four of Nana Addo’s 2016 campaign promises.
On Corruption, President Akufo-Addo, promise a corruption free administration. Addressing party members at Manchester in the United Kingdom, Nana Addo said: “If your goal in coming into government is to enrich yourself, then don’t come. Go to the private sector. Public service is going to be exactly that; public service!”
The New Patriotic Party hinged their fight against corruption on the incorruptible nature of their candidate.
Nana Addo, promised to fight corruption, but he didn’t tell us he would only fight it in the camp of his personal and political enemies; he didn’t tell us his cabinet members were immune from the much-vaunted anti-corruption campaign, that the war would be restricted to members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Mahama regime.
One Village One Dam, he promised to set up an irrigation dam in every village in the three Northern regions. He made this promise when he addressed the Bolgatanga Traditional Council in the Upper East Region about his plans for Ghana’s agriculture in a future Akufo-Addo government.
Has this promised been fulfilled? Are there signs that it will be fulfilled anytime in the life of this administration?
Free Senior High School (SHS), a flagship programme, which was first announced in 2008, when Akufo-Addo, first made the attempt to run for presidency, has been implemented with so many problems. Secondary Schools were not prepared for the huge swaths of students – they lack teaching and learning materials and qualified teachers, as well as essentials like desks and chairs.
All the admonition from well meaning-Ghanaians for the government to hasten slowly has fallen on death ears. The policy, which has far reaching financial implications, is without a policy document. Secondary schools are left with so many problems and the policy is threatening to erode the gains we have made over the years to the envy and admiration of other African countries.
On employment, the president said, “The most urgent problem facing most young people in the country at the moment was the unavailability of jobs and this was frightening considering the young men and women, who idle about throughout the country”.
He went on to promise to create jobs for the teeming youth, saying job creation, should be the priority of every government.
Sadly, instead creating the much needed and promised jobs, the Akufo-Addo, government has thrown hundreds of Ghanaians into the job market. For example, 205 employees of the National Service Scheme (NSS) were unceremoniously dismissed on very flimsy and clearly partisan considerations.
110 middle level staff of COCOBOD in lawful employment, have also been dismissed for no apparent reason.
265 Police recruits, who had reached advanced stages of training, had their dreams of entering the police service crushed by an unreasonable decision to dismiss them.
525 National Security personnel, were also shown the exit and asked to go home by this government.
I have chosen to state just four seducing and lofty promises the president and his party made during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
Vigilantism has become the hallmark of this administration. It is a fact that, anytime there is change of government, especially from one political party to another, youth of the winning party, take the law into their hands, chasing away people from their offices, because they are perceived to belong to the losing party.
This phenomenon assumed an alarming rate, when Akufo-Addo, became president, because he had declared “All-die-be-die”.
President Akufo-Addo, has brought a new dimension to the people’s dissatisfaction with governance. Cronyism and ethnocentrism are some of the hallmarks of his reign.
We voted president Mahama out and got rid of his perceived problems; with Nana Addo, it is fresh man, fresh problems.
Many of us never value what we have until we lose it. We make caricature of our leaders and great men in our domain due to the fact that we can easily access them on daily basis, while many others fast and pray to God to have audience with such people.
Ghanaians have learnt a bitter lesson, one they are not sure to repeat in 2020, but until then, God have mercy on us, because three years under this administration is the worst, we can endure.
We were given a blank cheque to choose the best candidate, but we got carried away by lofty promises that, we knew from day one were unrealistic.
It is too early to ask this question, but does the New Patriotic Party, deserve a second term, I cannot answer for every Ghanaian, but I have my answer.