Despite a non-existent constitutional dictate of measuring performance or otherwise in the first hundred days of any regime, there have evolved a convention for 100 days’ assessment. The objective of this first 100day assessment is to ‘Look how far we've come.’
That is the aim of the 100-day retrospective, to assess our new leaders after they've had enough time to take action but before they've solidified their legacy. And although it seems like an arbitrary measure Presidents can get a surprisingly a good amount of things done in their first three (and some odd) months.
In Ghana, the first time we got glued to the 100days rule was during the reign of the late Prof. JEA Mills. In 2008, the National Democratic Congress, NDC introduced the novelty of setting the standards for a 100day assessment which among other promises sought to;
“Establish a lean but effective and efficient government by cutting out ostentation and profligate expenditure; Rationalizing Ministries and Ministerial appointments; and Promoting service, humility and integrity as cannons of government.
Initiate various tax and tariff measures designed to provide relief for Ghanaians; ensure prompt and effective implementation of existing legislation such as the Person with Disability Act and the Whistle-blowers Act; review and reconstitute the membership of Commissions and Boards, solely on the basis of expertise and competence eschewing all partisan and familial considerations;
Protecting the safety and security of Ghanaians by streamlining, harmonizing and resourcing the agencies of state with responsibility for ensuring the security of life and the safety of property.”
Prof Mills said his government would take bold and comprehensive measures to deal with the appalling filth in the communities, and the related health problems of the people caused by inadequate, inappropriate and ineffective waste management systems and practices.
The 100-day timeline can be traced back to Napoleon Bonaparte, because that's how long it took him to return from exile, reinstate himself as ruler of France and wage war against the English and Prussian armies before his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon reclaimed power in 1815.
Americans didn't start assessing their Presidents in 100-day increments until Franklin Delano Roosevelt came along more than a century later. Roosevelt was a presidential overachiever — and his swift, take-charge method of governing was exactly what an ailing, Depression-weary nation needed in 1933.
He delivered one of the most famous Inaugural speeches in presidential history — "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Roosevelt had been in office barely 24 hours when he declared a four-day bank holiday and drafted the Emergency Banking Act which helped to calm a financial panic that was quickly spiraling out of control.
By the time he hit the 100-day mark, Roosevelt had instituted the "fireside chat" tradition, called Congress into a three-month-long special session and passed 15 pieces of major legislation — the beginning of what would come to be known as the New Deal which created everything from the Tennessee Valley Authority to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. With farm credits, federal works projects and new financial regulations in place, the U.S. of June 1933 was a substantially different place from that of 100 days earlier.
Roosevelt was enormously popular (hence the fourth term), and later administrations have tried to associate themselves with his early success. "Jerk out every damn little bill you can," President Lyndon Johnson reportedly commanded his strategist Larry O'Brien in 1965. "Put out that propaganda ... that [we've] done more than they did in Roosevelt's hundred days." Propaganda or not, Johnson actually had a very effective 100-day run: after being sworn in as Kennedy's sudden and unexpected successor, he advanced the passage of the Civil Rights Bill, established the Warren Commission to investigate J.F.K.'s assassination and got into a political fight with Fidel Castro over the water supply at Guantánamo Bay.
Akufo-Addo so far
Undisputedly, the fifth president of the Fourth Republic has been very fast in naming his appointees with style. Barring constitutional injunctions such as requiring the advice the Council of State this President, it is believed, could have even named the Office of the President staff in his inaugural speech. The complaint that have attended the president’s appointments so far is the unprecedented large size of government he has formed.
A number of assessments have been conducted by think-tanks and civil society organizations as well as the office of the President led by the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana. While the administration is claiming 103 achievements so far, the opposition is sceptical about their claims.
In a press conference the NDC said; “The government led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is on a path to utter failure and will soon flip flop on many of its campaign promises.
“Contractors were told that they will be paid within 100 days, now it is a different tongue today, practically impossible.”
Touching on the recent disturbances by pro-NPP groups, Invincible Forces and Delta Forces, Mr Iddrisu observed that government’s failure to handle these groups is a threat to the country’s security.
“You have a country with growing insecurity which is a betrayal of the country’s democracy and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s compromising partisan attitude and failure to bring to order the disturbances and violent acts of vigilante groups like the invincible forces and delta forces is a threat to constitutional rule, if not properly managed," the Tamale South MP said.