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Opinions Sun, 10 Feb 2019

Under your watchful eye, A letter to Prof. Mike Ocquaye

Mr. Speaker,

I am sorry if I am writing at a time where your name hasn’t been in the popular hymn of Ghanaians like the Methodist Hymn Book 1 of Charles Wesley. I write to you as your student and a great admirer of your books and intellectual works .one evening, as I had engaged one lady in an intellectual argument in Legon, I remembered the contributions you have made towards women education in the University of Ghana and beyond and how it has developed our state in women participation in all sectors of our economy. Indeed you have contributed much to this land and your forebears like Dr.Danquah, Dr. Kofi Abrefa and other nationalists would be happy of such contributions.

This day, I write to remind you of some of the good works you have done towards the strengthening of our democracy and good governance in contemporary Ghana. As an admirer of your good works and as a student of Politics, I draw inspiration from all these works as Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli and others did.

Last year on 10th October, at the University of Ghana’s Great hall, I was again blessed to sit under your feet as you blessed me with the political sermon when you were in your intellectual cloak and you masterfully lecture young souls like mine. Indeed, you identify most and the major challenges facing our young democracy as a state and you again suggested good resolutions to it.

I have preciously waited for you Mr. Speaker for these recommendations to curb the challenges facing our democracy to see the light to our nightmares and woes. Sometimes I get frightened because the challenges we face grow each day and night. So I ask if all these recommendations are implemented our may be a better place.

Mr. Speaker, I am writing to you in your capacity as the speaker of Parliament and the display of quality leadership you have exhibited over the years. I know that many academics have written on subjects concerning democracy and have made a lot of recommendations, but they never got to be implemented. May it never be said that our Political theorists and thinkers have failed this nation.

I remember clearly when His Excellency the President was declared winner of the of the 2016 election, you were the one that said the victory prayers at Nima. I remember again, through the good fight our Late Hon. J.H Mensah, the president was sworn in office before Parliament. The legion powers of the president you write against and recommend for change was sworn before you and if it is indeed power is needed to change things, it was your prayers that blessed the power.

I recall, in your eloquence, you made a profound statement that ambition must be made to counteract ambition. You stated that it is a conscious effort to bring government Government under control.

Mr. Speaker, it is under your watchful eye that the president weakens Parliament through the powers granted by the hybrid constitution by appointing majority ministers of state from among members of Parliament. By these appointments, the committees cannot carry out investigations and enquiries into proposals and bills. Mr. Speaker , it is two years into your administration and still the president still have the legion powers to appoint majority ,if not all members of council of state. You wrote that, Decentralization is essential and power sharing mechanism which produces counter vailing authority and a liberate sense of local self-governance. The status quo has continued under your watchful eye that District Chief executives and Municipal Chief Executives have been appointed by the president.

Mr.Spaeker, under your watchful the independence of judiciary is not fully guaranteed. The 1992 constitution provides independence of the Judiciary but indirectly controlled by the executive. Arm because the recommendations you have given to curb this challenge have not been implemented.

I pray that oneday I will not wake up to hear similar case of Mr.Justice Amuah Sekyi in 1995 happening for good jurisprudence and Rule of law to prevail.

Mr.Speaker , I pray thee that with your good influence and leadership, women participation in politics will increase and Ghana will have more of the Hon. Mabel Dove Danquah and Mrs Lydia Bondinpo Okugblenu so we can have a good number of women representation in the house like Cuba, Rwanda and others.

Mr. Speaker, I write to you because I admire your leadership and I believe in the traditions, good democracy and constitutionalism you believe in. I believe that if you put actions into the recommendations you make, the Right to information Bill would be passed, the National Planning Committee and good democracy would be practiced. I trust that in your capacity as the speaker of parliament the Report of the Constitutional Review Committee would be taken into good faith and we will progress as a state and elections wouldn’t be boot for boot and the effects of winner takes all election would not be seen again. I know that you will do this for our generation and may the good Lord bless our country and make great and not Cowards.

Thank you.

Columnist: Emmanuel Owusu Agyei Ampem