Opinion: Highlights of Akufo-Addo’s 2019 SONA – Part 2 by Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

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Ghana’s former President Jerry John Rawlings

Former President Jerry John Rawlings, the acclaimed and undisputed Founding-Father of Ghana’s main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), pointedly described the third State of the Nation Address (SONA) as “Disarming,” by which the former strongman and junta leader probably meant that Nana Akufo-Addo’s SONA-3 was the most comprehensive, democratically enlightening, progressive and civilized of its kind since the inception of Ghana’s Fourth Republic. We shall make time, in due course, to critically and dispassionately examine and discuss the details of just what the long-retired Ghana Airforce’s Flight-Lieutenant meant. We must also underscore the fact that Mr. Rawlings has consistently maintained that his former Communications Minister is the most thoroughgoing corrupt Ghanaian leader in the postcolonial era although, hitherto, it was former President John Agyekum-Kufuor who, according to Chairman Rawlings, held the title and accolade of the “most corrupt” and “wicked” postcolonial Ghanaian leader. This is rather strange because it was Mr. Rawlings’ own late and former Vice-President, President John Evans Atta-Mills, who collusively and staunchly engineered and orchestrated the infamously unprecedented Woyome Mega-Heist.

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At any rate, what makes Nana Akufo-Addo’s SONA-3 at once the most progressive and enlightened of its kind in Fourth-Republican Ghana is the fact that it seeks to deepen the country’s democratic political culture. For the first time in the postcolonial era, Article 55 Section 3 of the country’s 1992 Constitution has been duly amended and gazetted to ensure that local executive administrators, such as Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives are directly elected by the people whom they are mandated to serve, rather than being literally handpicked and imposed on the people by the President and/or his assigns. The perennial result of the old neocolonialist Ahwoi-fabricated system has been that most of these administrative appointees have never felt that they owed their political fortunes to the taxpayers who underwrote their salaries and other privileges and perks that went with their plum jobs. Now the appointment of these local chief executives will be done by popular vote on a partisan basis, which means that all the legitimately registered political parties in the country will be allowed to field candidates for these local elections. We don’t know, as yet, what the situation is apt to be at the level of the selection and/or appointment of Regional Ministers, whose number was just recently upped from 10 to 16. Even if the Regional Ministers continue to be appointed by the Presidency, it is almost certain that it shall not be very long before personnel at this middle-level status of governance also get thoroughly democratized in their selection or appointment.

What the preceding significantly means is that the hitherto democratically unjustifiable culture of “Winner-Takes-All” gambit has been effectively relegated to the status of an ancient relic. Now, nearly every legitimately registered political party in the country, such as the Nkrumah-inspired rump-Convention People’s Party (r-CPP) and the Kwesi Nduom-founded and owned Progressive People’s Party (PPP), and even the decidedly kaput Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings-led National Democratic Party (NDP), will have a fair Afari-Gyan-untainted chance to practically participate in the sharing of the spoils of political power. This is rather scandalously ironic, being that the salutary democratization of Ghanaian political culture has been unduly delayed because of the history of the megalomaniacal tendencies of the key operatives of both the rump-CPP and the so-called Progressive People’s Party. We must equally underscore the fact that it was the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress, in particular the Three Ahwoi Brothers, namely, Ato, Kwamena and Kwesi Ahwoi, who have been fiercely fighting against the democratic decentralization of Ghanaian political culture and the patently unenlightened stalling and, actually, the decidedly regressive stage-management of Ghana’s democratic culture.

According to Nana Akufo-Addo, a multidisciplinary panel of experts is being presently assembled to plan, cost or assess the fiscal expenditure that the democratic decentralization of Ghana’s political culture would entail. As well as the preceding, this multidisciplinary panel of experts will be charged with the scheduling and implementation of a Roadmap for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs). To the preceding effect, Nana Akufo-Addo made the following landmark declaration in his SONA-3 address on Thursday, February 21, 2019: “We are committed to devolving more and more power to the Ghanaian people.” In effect, for President Akufo-Addo, Ghanaians deserve nothing less than a healthily decentralized democratic culture WRIT LARGE, as it were.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

The views expressed by this author remain solely their own and are not to be taken as the view of the Editorial Board of www.africanewsanalysis.com,  www.zongonews.com and African Diaspora Media Group