The confidence Ghanaians reposed in President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the 2016 presidential poll puts him in a better position to reform the ailing economy.
When first time voters, like my sister Emelia Frimpongmaa, rose early from bed to go and cast their votes, they had her gaze on the future. They didn’t want to end up as their parents. They envisaged a country that’s able to fend for its people. They chose the change promised by the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
Ghanaians queue to cast their votes in 2016
Ghana’s economy has not been in the best of shapes due to many factors among which was the over-taxation of citizens by the past National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The social democratic party that is supposed to side with the citizens rather came to terrorised them. Value Added Tax on domestic aviation shot up to 17.5 percent causing operators to increase their fares. Everything became taxable to the government.
The cumulative effect of poor decisions and policies of the NDC administration led to the increase in the unemployment rate in the country with its concomitant effect high cost of living.
Former President John Dramani Mahama
Prices of commodities were increasing by the day and government officials repeatedly told the citizens things were stabilizing when in fact there was no hope in sight.
It was clear former President John Mahama was shielded from the flaws of his government. He basked in the adulation of his appointees with delight. He didn’t know he was being gulled.
Surprisingly for the first time in the history of the NDC was controlled by zombies during the John Mahama’s leadership. Nothing interested them. They were excited by their poor decisions.
None of his Ministers stood up to him. There was no one to fill the role of Cordelia, the princess in Shakespeare’s play ‘King Lear’ whose refusal to flatter the king led to her father’s descent into madness and the beginning of the play’s tragedy.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
So ‘King Lear’ Mahama’s defeat in the 2016 election came as a surprise first to him and to his flatterers. Ghanaians and the international community anticipated the outcome.
The signs were on the wall that the NDC government would not survive the election. It was repeatedly said Mr Mahama and his men had grown arrogant with appointees such as the former Communications Minister, Dr Edward Omane Boamah taking dead aim at perceived opponents of the government.
Former Communications Minister, Dr Edward Omane Boamah
They launched vile attacks on Mr Akufo-Addo but they didn’t know Ghanaians have had enough of their lies and dishonoured propaganda that do not enhance our democracy.
And although he has been part of the Ghanaian political establishment blamed for the slow development of the country, voters embraced Mr Akufo-Addo at the polls.
Apart from his stunning and overwhelming endorsement at the presidential poll, Mr Akufo-Addo was given a super majority in Parliament. Out of the 275 seats in the legislature, the NPP was given 169 against 106 to the NDC.
In the presidential election, he polled 5,697,093 representing 53.80 percent of the total valid votes cast against 4,701,162 received by Mr Mahama which was 44.40 of the votes.
Good ideas are not enough:
I have repeatedly said the NPP didn’t win the 2016 general elections because it had brilliant ideas to transform Ghana. It won because the voters completely rejected Mr Mahama and his team, a strong sign of vote of no confidence in his regime.
Mr Akufo-Addo succeeded in convincing Ghanaians that progress is possible especially in a land replete with natural resources. He showed himself to be an optimist.
Contrary to the decades old belief that there are no clear solutions in politics, Mr Akufo-Addo has proven a rebel telling the country, honey could actually flow here.
Plenty could go wrong
There may be false starts in the NPP administration, which is normal, but it will become worrying when it becomes repetitive. The expectations of Ghanaians must be managed by this government especially when it cannot completely vouch for the integrity of all the appointees.
Mr Akufo-Addo has to stop making new promises since government is yet to fulfill half of what was promised in 2016.
Glory in action, than talking
The transformation of the country is not dependent on the free senior school, one district one factory and planting for food and jobs programmes of the NPP. The key is in action.
The only way to break the cycle of retrogressive development caused by the petty political squabbles is through action. This means that opposition from political opponents especially the NDC must be faced down in the interest of the country.
The NPP has the chance to make its programmes succeed because of the parliamentary majority it was given by Ghanaian voters.
Mr Akufo-Addo can’t fail because the consequences of that on the political fortunes of the NPP will be unimaginable. First time voters such as Ms Frimpongmaa didn’t vote out the NDC regime to be disappointed.
The government must ensure its actions are measured and appointees do not become arrogant and talk back at Ghanaians as the NDC did.
Austin Brakopowers is a journalist with Joy99.7FM as well as an author of three books. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Multimedia Group’s editorial policy. Please reach me via Brakomen@outlook.com or follow me on instagram: @realbrakopowers