I have evaluated every administration in Ghana since 2001. And I have had cause to criticise each and every one of them; because they repeat the same mistakes for political expediency to the detriment of national development.
My standards have been consistent, fair and objective – anchored on the principles of good governance in politics, the economy, corporate governance and on the social front.
Consistently, each administration has pointed to flaws in the previous administration to justify their own flaws, ranging from abandonment of projects initiated under the previous administration, unlawful takeover of state institutions and property by political party activists, physical assault on activists of the previous administration, cancellation of contracts and politically motivated, usually unlawful termination of appointments of public and civil servants perceived to be friends of the previous administration.
The abandoned footbridges on the Adenta-Madina Highway have already claimed close to 200 lives. The victims got knocked down by fast moving vehicles while trying to cross the road. The construction initiated by the previous administration was abandoned because funds were not made available for the contractor to complete them.
The current administration came to power on the back of the message of change, about a year-and-a-half ago, but real change in the area of political and economic governance for development is hard to find.
I have written about Prof. Frimpong Boateng who was sacked as Chief Executive Officer of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital for political reasons and Mr. Hodari Okine when he was sacked as Director of the Ghana Immigration Service to mention just a few.
I am reliably informed that the recent crisis at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) was escalated to pave the way for the removal of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Obiri Danso, from office, because he belongs to the other side of the political divide. Government’s aggressive posture seems to validate the conspiracy theory.
If you check the backgrounds of all the capable men that I call Ghanaian jewels, who were relieved of their posts for political reasons you would wonder if the decision makers really love and want the country to make progress. Some of the men so wrongfully dismissed have returned to government since “their party” returned power.
But we must come to the point where we appreciate how public and civil servants in other parts of the world have earned the deserved reputation of not being partisan, and for that reason, remain jewels in the executive arm of government, who must make the dreams of the executive a reality, with professional integrity and competence, without fear or favour.
Unfortunately, in developing countries like Ghana, leaders have perceived such public servants as political rivals and have terminated their appointments as part of the winner-takes-all system.
Commentators on the summarily dismissal of former FBI Director, James B. Comey, by American President, Donald Trump, have situated the action in the context of developing country leadership style. Trump has been accused of exhibiting developing country leadership traits. Once power gets into their hands, our leaders, their families, party members “take all” and ride above the law.
One of the jewels of Ghana is Mr. Charles Abugri, former Chief Executive Officer of the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA). Abugri took over SADA when it was in a mess. It was always in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Under his leadership, however, he put the organisation on a different path with the development of a comprehensive integrated long-term development framework to guide the transformation of the Northern Savannah Ecological zone.
Unfortunately, we have been made to believe that government has a different idea on the development of the northern sector, under its “special initiative to eradicate poverty, focusing on the 275 constituencies in the country, with emphasis on rural and deprived communities.”
Under the initiative, the government will offer to each of the constituencies an amount of US$1 million annually to be invested in infrastructural development. The programme is also aimed at supporting the “One District, One Factory;” One Village, One Dam;” “Agricultural infrastructure (warehouses and markets);” “Water for all (boreholes);” as well as “Sanitation (toilets) etc.
All these initiatives are nice and lofty and we must all help to make them a reality. But is the government of Ghana saying there is no role for this Ghanaian development guru – Charles Abugri, in its new development initiatives? I rest my case!