Recycling of incompetence: The sad reality of Ghana's democracy

Incompetence Rubber Stamp Vector 12827181 It is most likely incompetence will be recycled successfully come 2024

Fri, 7 May 2021 Source: Daniel Yiadom Boakye

If there is any word which has become a cliché for which the average Ghanaian's ear probably is fed up of hearing is the word 'incompetence'.

Following the victory of the 2016 elections and having experienced the governance of President Akufo-Addo, Former President John Dramani Mahama qualified the word with super making it super incompetence to describe the President's government.

One wonders if Ghanaians have bothered themselves to understand the word incompetence. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, incompetence is " lack of sufficient ability, power or means".

Therefore this article would examine the sufficient ability, power or means employed by the recycled political parties in the 4th Republic in relation to protection of our environment with primary focus on our forest cover and water bodies, unemployment, electricity supply and its reliability, security and how they have performed generally on democracy index like corruption, tolerance, incumbency advantage among others.

The intention is to explore to better understand if indeed any functionary of one political divide is deserving of using the word incompetence against the other.

In spite of the frailties of President Mahama, Captain Smart did his 'fa b3 wo so' programme at Adom Fm, a programme which was very critical of him, his ministers, his CEOs etc and Manasseh was also running riot all over which means in terms of tolerance, President Mahama stood tall. It was particularly impressive witnessing his composure towards almost every Ghanaian in respect of the excoriation he suffered as regards 'dumsor' to the extent of composing songs for the fun of it.

However, seeing river bodies like Pra, Offin at Dunkwa and rivers in many other places told the extent of his failure in protecting our land, forest cover and river bodies which posed existential threat to all of us. He failed miserably also basically due to the moratorium placed on public sector recruitment, a situation which affected graduate teachers until around September 2016 when clearance was given to recruit. Even that was in relation to Mathematics, English Language, Science and Geography teachers.

The issue of Woyome and many other corruption scandals summarised his fight against corruption and incumbency advantage was also a huge dent on his image as almost all television stations especially GTV had become the medium through which the 'Greenbook's' contents were disseminated nationwide.

Fast forward after 2016 came President Akufo-Addo whose image had revolved around competence, a man of courage, advocate of democracy and its tenets like freedom of expression owing to the role he played to repeal the criminal libel law, industrial revolution in the contemporary Ghana among others.

He posted a backlog of nurses from 2014 in 2017 and graduate teachers in February 2018 in the Limited recruitment, Free SHS recruitment in November 2018 and recently some graduates have been recruited again in January 2021. He has also implemented Free SHS which deserves commending irrespective of its challenges.

Again, he started very well on the protection of the environment in the wake of his determination to end galamsey, an activity which had deteriorated our water bodies beyond recognition and soon, most rivers began to recover from their sickness of extreme dirt. Eventually, he lost the fight and the river bodies turned to their former selves.

His record of tolerance arguably has not been the best as some journalists and critics of his government receive acidic reactions from functionaries of his government. A member of Parliament's insult to the Fixthecountry activists and Captain Smart, we are told is being punished in respect of criticisms of his government are some few of such examples.

Dumsor again, reared it's ugly head although the situation keeps improving, it is no excuse judging from the political capital he enjoyed from it in the run up to the 2016 elections. There have been numerous allegations of corruption which has dented his image as the then candidate who promised to deal ruthlessly with allegations of corruption.

From the litany of examples above, the two parties have failed miserably in terms of the courageous attempt at reducing corruption if not eradicating it completely, they all hike petroleum products when in government but seek to make political capital about it in opposition, fail to provide jobs in government but promise same in opposition, criticise family and friends and nepotism only when in opposition among others.

The Cedi has depreciated as a result of imports exceeding exports which is a fundamental problem of the economy but again, the argument is shifted to whose era the Cedi deprecated faster in percentage terms.

Thus, the two parties have approached galamsey, corruption, nepotism, handling of the economy including the Cedis's depreciation, hikes in the price of petroleum products and other thorny issues with "lack of sufficient ability, power or means" and that makes them an 'incompetent duo'.

Therefore, one cannot be far from right to conclude that an election of either of them is a recycling of one incompetence to the other and it is most likely incompetence will be recycled successfully come 2024.

Columnist: Daniel Yiadom Boakye
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