So eventually the process ended and the Electoral Commission declared for us a President-Elect, one who will be sworn in on 7th of January 2021. H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is the man!
Having observed the entire process and gone through the results, I am of the firm belief that the trend of the results is one that should leave the NPP and the government reflecting on what led to the outcomes which clearly was unexpected.
As one observing from the fence, my humble views are as follows:
The journey now remains forward!
1. The government must do everything possible to trim its size from the 120 something back to the seventies and eighties of the pre-2016 era, as it made the size of the government unwieldy. Fortunately, the loss of the many ministers make it easy for the President to do this. There is the urgent need to merge some of the ministries. Government should use the opportunity of the next Parliament to cast the Ministries in an Establishment Acts so it becomes binding on all governments. Governments have had too many alignments, mergers, decoupling and splits of Ministries in our 4th Republic and we need to stop it at a point.
2. The President must tackle corruption head-on. Inherent in the trend of the 2020 Presidential Results is the fight against corruption and graft. Operationalization and enhancement of governance institutions such as the Special Prosecutor, Auditor General, CHRAJ, Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) must be taken up much more seriously and supported to deliver.
3. Civil Society Organizations in every democracy and developing countries are essential bodies that greatly help in strengthening the governance and development pal agenda of the countries. They sometimes become a bit too difficult nuts to crack but they are necessary partners in development and government must improve its relationship
with our CSOs in its quest to improve governance and development of the country across all sectors.
4. Inspite of the general success of the Free Senior High School programme, I think it will serve the government very well if it sets up a team to carefully evaluate this flagship programmes. The review should seek to make the outcomes much more efficient and
5. Legislations such as the Public Universities Bill, the Pre-Tertiary Education Bill, Agyapa Agreements, etc should be shelved for good as they have proven to be heavily unwanted by the generality of the citizens.
6. The loss of almost all the constituencies along the coastline as well as loss of the Fisheries Minister and her Deputy sends a clear message about the need for the government to deal with the felt needs of the fisherfolk – landing beaches, closed season, pair-trawling, etc.
7. In the lead to the selection of the party’s next flag bearer, the President must be much more tougher for all his appointees and set very clear operational rules beyond which any appointee will be heavily dealt with. That is the only way by which he can keep a firm grip on his new government.
8. During the era of President Atta-Mills, a Constitutional Review Commission was established. Its report got ready at a time President John Mahama had taken over and he issued a terse White Paper which President Akufo-Addo subsequently said he disagreed with. I think that the CRC did a great job and it’d be great to have the President set up a team to review the report again and take the process up from there. Our 28-year old Constitution has too many flips and flops in there that require attending to once and for all with a full review. Interestingly in 2018, the President admitted that any review that affected over 50 clauses meant that the constitution needed an overhaul, yet that’s where it ended.
9. The government needs to develop a well-orchestrated programme to deal with the programme of galamsey. In as much as there is the need to control the menace as a way of safeguarding our environment, there’s also the need to ensure that the issue of livelihoods of the young persons in the poor mining communities are taken up much more seriously. We cannot lose the fight simply on account of bad policies in the fight.
10. The matter of government communication with the citizenry must be taken up even more seriously by government in its next term. Most policies were not properly explained while at the same time Ghanaians were not fully engaged or the effect of those policies on them beyond the sloganeering. Policies such as the Ghana Automotive Development Policy, Ghana Bauxite Mining Pact relative to the Atiwa Forest, etc though very progressive were developed and pushed through without much engagement with the key stakeholders and hence saw heavy opposition. Such things are needless and only claw back from the goodwill of any government.
11. Considering the split Parliament that we will have in the Eighth Parliament, we will require a Speaker who will be cast in the mould of Rt. Hon. Justice Daniel Francis Annan or Rt. Hon. Justice Joyce Bamford-Addo. This is no time for true party people such as Rt. Hon. Prof. Mike Ocquaye. If you asked me, I’d suggest someone like Her Ladyship Justice Georgina Theodora Woode or Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas.
For now, the contest for the Presidency is done and I wish to congratulate the President for a good victory. If the incoming government is really resolute in its quest towards consolidating the gains so far made, they should seriously consider the above.
My dear friend,