Opinions Mon, 8 May 2017

How President Akufo-Addo could secure a second term today

Politicians are such a strange breed sometimes - ignoring the obvious when all around them can see it makes perfect sense to adopt and run with it: for successful policy outcomes.

The question is: Why do even the most honest and the sincerest members of our nation's political class never see the wisdom in publicly publishing their assets and those of their spouses - in a nation in which high-level corruption is widespread and endemic?

As it happens, beginning with the tenure of President Kufuor, this blog has humbly suggested to every party leader who has eventually been sworn into office as President of the Republic of Ghana, after winning the presidential election, that to set an example to members of his administration and society at large in the fight against high-level corruption, he should publicly publish his assets and those of his spouse.

Alas, it is advice that has always fallen on deaf ears, much to their detriment politically as incumbents, eventually.

Incidentally, it ought to be pointed out in fairness to him that President Kufuor did promise to do so in one of his earliest public speeches to the nation after being sworn in for his first term in office - although in the event he failed to do so.

One has never ceased being amazed that it never dawned on any of those who led Ghana after the end of President J. J. Rawlings' tenure that by so doing, they would more or less be able to permanently occupy the

moral high ground, in the politics of our nation. Pity.

Doubtless, they most probably all bowed to pressure from influential party bigwigs and powerful individuals in their inner circles to refrain from doing so, even if they were minded to do so personally.

But it has nonetheless always exercised my mind as to why those highly intelligent individuals never saw the manifold advantages such a move would bring them politically.

The question is: Why did they not see that such a move would insulate them from the inevitable planting of fake news of alleged high-level corruption involving them by propagandists working for their political

opponents in the Ghanaian media?

This blog has no doubt whatsoever that former President Mahama would still be Ghana's leader today had he publicly published his assets and those of his wife Lordina (before both occasions that he stood for

election as a candidate in the presidential elections of 2012 and 2016) - and hadc subsequently gone on to ask his brothers Edward andIbrahim and their spouses to do same too.

Personally, I also have no doubt whatsoever that President Akufo-Addo will never involve himself in any acts of corruption. Many fair-minded Ghanaians who are patriots who love Mother Ghana dearly, probably

share the same view too.

However, since President Akufo-Addo himself knows that he has not come to usher in rule by saints - in the choices he has made in his ministerial appointments thus far - this blog humbly suggests to him to ignore the advice of all those in inner circle who might counsel against him publicly publishing his assets and those of wife Rebecca, and do so as soon as practicable whikes he is in the initial stages of his presidency.

He will find that it will cement the bond that has developed between him personally and millions of ordinary people in our country who have placed their faith in him to transform Ghana.

And if he follows that up with a meeting with members of his extended family clan and takes a leaf from President Rawlings' book to warn them that if they fall foul of any of our nation's laws - including getting involved in high-level corruption - they must not expect the President of the Republic of Ghana to come to their rescue - because he won't.

In other words he wants them to understand clearly that they are all morally obliged never to mess up in any way whiles he serves as Ghana's leader.

Taking those two vital steps outlined above will enable him to permanently occupy the moral high ground in our nation's politics, and insulate him from any widespread perception of corruption in high places of the kind that was so prevelant during the period of the golden age of business for Kufuor & Co - which eventually led to their party's painful defeat in the December 2008 presidential


Food for thought for a very, very shrewd politician, perhaps? One hopes so - for all our sake as a people.

Finally, above all, if President Ak!ufo-Addo goes ahead and ignores the advice of his party's leadership - as well as that of those of the most powerful individuals in his inner circle - and opts to go ahead and publicly publish his assets and those of his dear wife, it will definitely guarantee him a second term as Ghana's president: for his position will become unassailable politically.

Columnist: Kofi Thompson.