Politics Thu, 25 Feb 2010

Political appointment must be competence-based

Government appointments and selection of public officials should be competence-based and not on political or social connections, Prof. A.K.P. Kludze, former Justice of the Supreme Court, said on Tuesday.

He decried the situation where incompetent officials were selected into office and stressed that the situation spelt doom for the socio-political and economic development of the country.

Prof Kludze gave the advice at the second day of a three-day J.B. Danquah Memorial Lecture series organized by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) in Accra.

It was under the theme "Institutional Responses to the Challenges of Nationhood and Democratic Governance in Ghana."

Prof Kludze called on political figures and public officials to set the right examples for others to emulate, adding that exemplary conduct was a recipe for national integration and productivity.

He said sacrificing the national interest on the altar of politics was a great disservice to the nation and stressed that corrupt politicians who dabbled in the act would not be able to build a united society.

Prof Kludze said Ghanaians needed to learn a lot from history and from corrupt political figures who allowed cronyism to destroy their good intentions, stressing that the country could not be built and governed through such vices.

He stated that though Dr Kwame Nkrumah was a freedom fighter and a committed Pan-Africanist, he later allowed unbridled ambition to cause him to subvert neighboring countries and to disunite the African continent, citing the abolition of the West African Cocoa Research Institute in Tafo, the West African Currency Board and the West African Court of Appeal as examples.

Prof Kludze accused Dr Nkrumah of turning Ghana into a one-party state at his time, for which he became the live Chairman of the Conventions People's Party and the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the party.

"Nobody dared challenge him because it was considered treasonous to challenge him. He made a law that said that nobody could stand as a candidate unless his candidature was approved by the General Secretary of the party, that is he himself," he said, and alleged that the law literally invited the military to overthrow Dr Nkrumah.

Prof Kludze said though he was against military coup de tats, the political excesses that characterized Dr Nkrumah's regime could only be halted through the coup that overthrew the first President to pave way for the liberation of detained political prisoners.

The J.B. Danquah Memorial Lecture series was instituted in 1968 in memory of Joseph Boakye Danquah, the freedom fighter who died in prison in February 1965. He was a lawyer, dramatist and a journalist.

The themes for the lectures were originally restricted to fields like law, history, philosophy and literature but in 1976, the first science lecture was delivered on an otherwise humanities-dominated platform. Out of the 43 lectures given so far, 13 have been on scientific themes.

Source: GNA