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Opinions Wed, 3 Feb 2016

How Well-Prepared To Govern Ghana Are The Opposition Presidential Candidates?

By Kofi Thompson

One's prayer, as our nation's politicians step up their campaigns for

this year's presidential and parliamentary elections, in November, is

that all the opposition political parties are putting together solid

transition teams - and, most important of all, are also actively

preparing to actually govern the country after the elections.

During the campaign for the December 2008 presidential election,

Professor Mills, who was the candidate of the then biggest opposition

party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), told Ghanaians that he

would 'hit the ground running', if elected President.

Yet it took quite some time for his administration to find its feet -

and fill many positions that should have been quickly filled if much

thought had been given to the actual governing process: and there had

consequently been prior preparation for administering the nation.

Why weren't capable people penciled for various positions, and vetted

well beforehand by the NDC, itself, at the time, one wonders?

The question independent-minded and patriotic Ghanaians ought to

ponder is: How well-prepared to govern Ghana are those opposition

politicians currently seeking the presidency - should one of them win

power after the presidential election this November?

Should opposition politicians serious about winning power and

governing Ghana still be at each others throats' for control of their

parties even at this late stage of the game - when they need to be

actively preparing to govern the nation?

What kind of an administration will a presidential candidate,

seemingly incapable of uniting his own party, form, when in power? Who

is pointing out the potential for never-ending tension and paralysis

in such an administration to Ghanaians?

Having listened to the many promises made by some of those seeking

power, ordinary people need to know just how well-prepared for

governing the country, the various presidential candidates actually

are.

The Ghanaian media can ensure that by demanding solutions for

resolving our nation's many challenges, from opposition politicians,

each time they criticise the present regime.

Being able to clearly outline sound alternative policies, to resolve

the myriad of problems our nation and its people are currently

grappling with, is proof-positive that a politician vying to be

president, is indeed well-prepared to govern our nation.

There is a world of difference between making countless promises in

order to win votes, and being well-prepared to govern the country,

after winning power and becoming president - in a nation that faces

the conundrum of having to fund its development itself whiles spending

nearly 70 percent of total tax revenues on about 600,000 or so

mostly-unproductive public-sector employees.

By what magical process is a debt-distressed nation that currently

imports virtually everything under the sun, instead of manufacturing

such goods itself, and which is said to be virtually bankrupt

(according to some opposition politicians), going to be turned into a

prosperous one within four years - when all its traditional cultures

kill curiosity in the young and its educational system seldom produces

innovators who can effect dramatic change in society?

Can our commodity-based national economy - the health of which is at

the mercy of the volatility of international commodity prices and

realistically will take nearly a decade to be transformed - really be

turned into a booming economy producing wealth and jobs within four

years by any political party in Ghana, today?

And will politicians whose inner circles are criticism-averse, and

frequently resort to the Machiavellian controlling-tactic of

intimidation-by-proxies, to cow free-spirits and the

independent-minded within their own parties, guarantee the freedoms

needed to spur the creation of an entrepreneurial culture that will

bring about prosperity in Ghana? Food for thought.

Be that as it may, at least one hopes that as we speak, all the

opposition politicians vying for the presidency in the November

elections, are at least actively preparing to govern Ghana effectively

- even as they criss-cross the country campaigning to be elected to

the very important position of President of the Republic of Ghana.

They have their work cut out satisfying a disgruntled and

disillusioned populace. For Mother Ghana's sake one wishes all of them

well.

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi