Days after his induction, it is normal for the President to have an idea what went wrong with the last list of appointees he relied on to prosecute his agenda for the various sectors in maintaining economic growth and spreading out development.
That President Akufo-Addo has ignited a signal of cleansing the stables is evident in his dismantling, for instance, of the Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining, which was saddled with strategic responsibilities to reform the sector, but woefully failed to deliver, resulting in the governing party’s electoral losses in some areas in the Western, Eastern and Ashanti regions.
Looking back into our history, it is clear that most of the time when an incumbent government underperforms in the polls, the party’s woes are linked to the party abandoning foot soldiers or failing to connect with opinion leaders or the grounds, for that matter.
That has been the woes of both the NPP and NDC, if we have analysed the trend and figures for each election year and issues that have arisen after the elections.
Arrogance and greed
While performance in elections has a relationship with competence and delivery, the history of electoral misfortunes has been also linked to appointees ignoring ‘party boys and girls’ as well as not connecting well generally with the electorate.
As we have seen and heard over the period, particularly since 1992, such appointees have been simply referred to as ‘arrogant’ or ‘greedy bastards’, depending on the political leaning of the one analysing the situation.
For example, in Zongo communities where we expected the candidates of the New Patriotic Party to latch onto the President’s Free SHS programme, the Ministry of Zongo and Inner City Development and the Zongo Development Fund to deliver the votes in parliamentary elections, there was rather huge gaps inuring to the benefit of the NDC, with the President galloping ahead. That may be huge evidence that the party appointees and candidates failed to connect with the ground in one way or the other.
Before and after
It is only a naïve politician who will ignore the fact that people see and know where we come from before we have glory thrust upon us. While naked envy may be behind most of the needless and empty accusations, it still remains a fact that any politician in our part of the world who ignores the caution to moderate his lifestyle tends to fall victim to the canker that culminates in the tell-tale ‘skirt and blouse’ voting that is manifesting in the unheralded attrition in Parliament among members on both sides of the House.
After the unimpressive performance of the party’s candidates that also saw several pro-NPP candidates running independent, we believe the President may consider taking radical action in vetting his appointees in tapping only those who have the ability, capacity and record for connecting to the ground, just like the President himself has exhibited since 1979.
Reforming the processes
In appointing his new crop of ministers, including Ambassadors and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), we believe the President would also connect with the ground through his intelligence networking in ensuring that appointees are not people who drop from space and live away from drudgeries that assail us and which such appointees have been invited to fight.
The government and governing party must ensure that, this time around, they will have people who will be prepared to ride on their own steam to a collective victory in 2024.
That is important if the stakeholders are keen on making the record that evaded the NPP in 2008.