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Mon, Aug

Purposeful initiative

President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

The initiative and resourcefulness of the President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in going round the country to thank Ghanaians, through the chiefs, for giving him the mandate to govern this country for the next four years underlines a belief that indeed, sovereignty resides in the people of this country.

Nana Akufo-Addo has demonstrated beyond doubt that he has the energy, after the hectic campaign, to go round the country to express his gratitude to the people.

There were some who before the campaign, postulated that he was too old and could not endure the stress of travelling the length and breadth of the country to canvass for votes. He has proven the doubting Thomases wrong and has shown equally that he is more than ready to take the country to the next level.

It is even more important that he is going round to thank the people before he assumes office. This way, he will have the opportunity to focus on the pressing needs of the people and tackle the problems immediately.

The thank you tour has also provided him opportunity to reiterate some of the campaign promises that his opponents derided as gimmicks and intended only to buy votes.

The chiefs have a better perspective as to whether the promises were political gimmicks or are serious programmes that can influence policy directions of the government.

There are some closely associated with Nana Akufo-Addo, who have affirmed that he will do all that he has promised to do and that he will improve upon the record of John Agyekum Kufuor and by the end of his tenure, he is likely to be second to Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, in terms of the strides that the nation would have seen in terms of development.

It must be noted that the decision of Nana Akufo-Addo to go round the country to thank the people for the trust reposed in him underlines a leadership that is ready to serve the interests of all Ghanaians, irrespective of the voting pattern.

But that is where it becomes imperative for our chiefs to ensure that even where they do not support a candidate, they would keep quiet rather than make derogatory comments, some of which frown in the face of our Constitution.

It might even be necessary for the Constitution to be amended to enable chiefs to engage in open partisan politics than to disguise themselves in the name of supporting a sitting President to assure him of the votes of their subjects, when the mandate of a President does not include re-election.

Since the people expressed their choice and gave the nod to Nana Akufo-Addo, some of the chiefs have had to eat humble pie by swallowing their pride. There are some who swore that there was no way that he would win the election and that they and their subjects were totally behind the sitting President.

Now some of them are saying that they are there to serve any government and President,  as if a pledge of massive vote is part of the mandate of a President. Presidents are elected for fixed terms.

It is only when the people repose their trust and confidence in them that they may be returned to power after their initial mandate.

However, Nana Akufo-Addo has demonstrated a kind of magnanimity. He is not thanking only those who voted for him but all Ghanaians because as a liberal democrat who believes in constitutionalism and the rule of law, he knows too well that the mandate of a President is more than those who vote in an election.

Those who do not have the franchise naturally are more than those who vote. Therefore, it does not make national sense to discriminate against those who vote against you when they are in the minority.

The regions will see even development and no part of the country will be neglected in receiving its fair share of the national cake, especially with the policy of equal support of a million dollars to each constituency.

As Nana Akufo-Addo tours the country and drops the names of his potential cabinet and ministerial appointments, we must have faith in the fact that the New Patriotic Party indeed has the men and women to move this country forward to help us develop in freedom.

For now, my only plea to Nana Akufo-Addo is that the government must think through some of the constitutional amendments to be introduced to move our democracy forward positively. 

These amendments must be made in the last half of his mandate to take effect after the next general election, by which time we will all be ready for their full implementation.