OVER-PROMISE AND UNDER-DELIVER HAS BEEN THE STORY OF AKUFO-ADDO GOVERNMENT’S MANAGEMENT OF GHANA
Leadership matters in the development of nations. Today most business persons are worth less than of what they were worth under President Mahama. Without good policies of government, there is no way businesses will thrive. Under Mahama petty traders and fresh business persons rose from humble beginning to become business magnates. Without the policies of President Mahama and also making sure that there is consistency in the policies of government, this could not have happened. His administration gave financial support to Tobinco, Ernest Chemist and other companies to help them expand their businesses, increase production and also, enable them employ more Ghanaians.
I wonder what these business persons would say about President Akufo-Addo behind closed door. Hardly or never has a country deteriorated so speedily as Ghana has under the stewardship of President Akufo-Addo. In just three years, President Akufo-Addo has become the poster boy for the adage that it takes time to build but little or no time to destroy. And it is not just on the economic side that things have unraveled. Social justice, human right and fundamental freedoms are all being rolled back under this administration. Corruption and nepotism have become the new political fashion in Ghana.
Journalists, ordinary and prominent citizens are being maimed and killed, children and foreigners being kidnapped. Insecurity has become an issue under Nana Akufo-Addo. Ghana now operates a dual legal system where the New Patriotic Party politicians and hoodlums are innocent until proven guilty while the National Democratic Congress politicians and sympathisers are guilty until proven innocent. Corruption cannot kill corruption.
The administration’s double standard phenomenon continues to manifest themselves everywhere. It did not take the BNI and EOCO this long to arrest and investigate officials of the past administration. Why the foot dragging on deputy chiefs of staff and other corrupt officials in the current administration?. Why are corrupt officials allowed to continue in office during their investigation?
Over promise and under deliver. That is a pithy summary of the economic outcome of the last three years. The oasis that Akufo-Addo promised has revealed itself to be a mirage and all who had walked hopefully towards it now languish even more parched than they were to begin with. So here we are, nearing the end of Akufo-Addo’s term, with all those promises having come to naught.
The dazzle of unbridled hope has made way for widespread anger and a feeling for widespread anger and a feeling of being let down. Almost every section of the Ghanaian society, except the fanatics of the ruling party, seem disenchanted. So much so that even the president stays away assiduously these days from any mention of corruption and incorruptibility.
These words have vanished from his lexicon almost as quickly as the hopes of jobs and prosperity did from the eyes of millions of Young people across the country. Even in absolute terms, the economic performance of the last three years would be seen as underwhelming, but benchmarked against the sky high promises, they almost feel like an insult. The President and his henchmen should know that failure to deliver on his promises would have incurred the wrath of the voter when he turned to them at the end of his term for reelection. The debate about GDP growth rate, interest rate etc is really a distraction from the various indicators of the enormous distress affecting a majority of the population today. That really is Akufo-Addo’s biggest failure; the number of people in the country who are worse off after his tenure, which no statistical chicanery about abstract indices like GDP can hide.
Therefore, his economic score card is best assessed through the prism of what it has meant for Ghanaian citizens, rather than through a baseless statistical debate. Livelihood is the core issue for a majority of the population. There are other salient issues such as health, education, security and dignity, but economic status come first in the hierarchy of needs and indeed, those other dimensions of well being are often a function of one’s position on the economic ladder. The promises pertaining to livelihood were ambitious: millions of jobs etc etc
Progressively authoritarian practices in Ghana are heightening the risk of instability in Ghana long seen as among Africa’s most stable. Ghana was among the first African countries to start a trend of orderly and peaceful transfers of power and avoided the civil wars that have affected many other countries. However under Akufo-Addo, the political space is shrinking rapidly in the country causing social and political tensions and public unrest. Ordinary Ghanaians now regularly face intimidation for criticising the government, political opponents are being harassed and physically assaulted, independent media outlets continue to be closed, and the security actors are increasingly politicised.
Akufo-Addo, in turn, seems bent on dismantling any restriction on his authority and bringing the opposition to heel. Why is this happening now? The shift toward authoritarian practices in Ghana. By the end of 2018, Akufo-Addo and his government’s popularity had taken a hit due to the public’s frustration with rampant corruption, political violence and the administration’s perceived indifference to the country’s growing poverty. The diminished standing of the administration has led to ruling party members to support the increasingly authoritarian tactics of their leader as the cost of victory.
Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow