Ghana Lacks the Right Leadership at the Presidency

Sun, 5 Jul 2015 Source: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

Ghana Lacks the Right Leadership at the Presidency - Katakyie

A competent leader, according to John Pershing, can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary, an incapable leader can demoralise the best troops. Unfortunately, Ghanaians have had to contend with the two 'devils' - an incapable leader (Mahama) and poor troops (his appointees) at the same time since 2009. The unbridled appetite for corruption, greed, selfishness, negative attitude, and mediocrity in governance, therefore, cannot be said to be accidental.

Admittedly, on paper, president John Mahama has no co-equal when it comes to political experience. This is because, his father, a former Parliamentarian and Minister of State made sure his son enjoyed free education from the primary to the university level. John represented his constituents in parliament on three occasions (12 years). This was against the backdrop of his appointments as a deputy minister and substantive minister of state between 1997 and 2001. To Mahama, he has been the luckiest ever Vice President in the world. This was as result of enormous opportunity given him by his former boss, the late Prof. Mills. With the above rich experience and exposure, it is difficult to fathom why president Mahama has struggled to find his feet as the leader of Ghana.

Resources wise, Ghana has not been left out of God's favour. Our economy has been dependent on our agricultural and mineral resources - cocoa, gold, timber etc. Fortunately for us, the prices of these commodities at the world market have been appreciating steadily every year. Besides, there is availability of oil revenue, and loan acquisition has been unprecedented in the annals of the nation's history. Notwithstanding the above, direct and indirect taxes have been increased at gargantuan levels with the introduction of new taxes such as airport, Akpeteshie, and environmental taxes. The least said about utility tariffs, the better. For, electricity, gas, water, and fuel prices have all been increased by over 200% since 2009. Surprisingly, whilst the National Debt has shot up from GHC9.5bn in 2009 to GHC69.7bn in 2015 (within 6 years), there is very little to show in terms of infrastructural development and investment. Over 5,000 units of affordable houses have all become white elephant under a Better Ghana era.

Before Mahama took over as president, a Presidential Palace was in place to accommodate his family. Similarly, a Presidential Jet had been purchased for his travels; and all social programmes - national health insurance, capitation grant, national youth employment, mass spraying etc were being operated fully before the NDC took over. The salary of the president, John Mahama has been increased from GHC5,000 per month to GHC12,000, not forgetting salaries and allowances of his over 88 ministers and deputy ministers. The most annoying part is that, the increment was backdated for two years.

Thus, from the foregoing, it cannot be easily understood why Ghanaians should be immersed with abject poverty and hardships when such opportunities exist. Prior to the 2012 general elections, we were told that Ghana's economy was the fastest growing in the world (14%), and the inflationary rate low and stable, that is, single digit. What is the situation now after the elections? Today, there is so much corruption in the system and every Tom, Dick, and Harry believes it is their turn to steal form the nation's coffers. The GYEEDA, ZUBA, Brazil '14 reports speak volumes of this particular government. Ghana's education is in tatters as teacher trainee allowance has been scrapped and a ban placed on teacher recruitment. Prices of goods continue to escalate at the local market. Unemployed graduates flood the market every year because of the ban on public sector employment. The incessant worker agitations give clearance to the fact that Ghanaians are truly going through serious economic hardships. I would therefore not hasten to conclude that, the president has been more of a "curse" to Ghanaians than a blessing, and thus failure to vote him out in 2016 might have dire consequences on the country.

As one woman put it, the name Mahama simply means "Maha man", to wit, I am the cause of your woes. In this sense, I appeal to the electorates to vote massively for the NPP's Nana Akufo-Addo in 2016 to put things right. At least, Nana has the wisdom, the skill, experience, and above all, the best troops to aid his administration. Let's save Ghanaians from the current economic bondage.

God bless Ghana! God bless Nana Akufo-Addo!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Asante Bekwai-Asakyiri


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Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku