President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is the typical African leader who believes in peopling his government even when the jobs available require few hands.
He’s a man who’s all about numbers. More people. More people. And more people. He doesn’t care if that puts pressure on the taxpayer. He will add more appointees. And more.
His fixation on this long-gone decade philosophy of leaders provides powerful evidence of his level of thinking. He claimed he was on a mission to rescue Ghanaians from their hardship but this is simply not the thinking of that type of man.
But a year into his four-year term, ending in 2020, his government has nothing tangible to show for his supposed supersonic performance after controversially handpicking 110 ministers.
At best, president Akufo-Addo could be labelled a man on an urgent mission to restore the affluent status of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its members by his government’s party members first mantra.
It is evident from the actions and speeches of the president’s appointees that they have been tasked to create jobs for party members, especially when the president is yet to do same for Ghanaians as promised in 2016.
The truth is, it’s always NPP members first. Everyone else, secondary.
Truth is, although the past National Democratic Congress (NDC) regime secretly prosecuted similar agenda, this government has made it palpable that it is all about that. If there is anything Ghanaians need to be united against it is segmentation.
We must repel the attempt by any government to foment dissension in the country by dividing the people through illogical decisions, overtly or covertly.
It is against this backdrop that I find the staggering 998 staff at the Office of the Presidency baseless, misguided and senseless. It’s simply the handiwork of a leader who has lost his moral conscience after tasting power.
This is simply not candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who professionally begged for votes from Ghanaians and pontificated more than the pope in the lead up to the 2016 general elections. He promised to protect the public purse but he’s rather burdening it.
How can the government defend 24 presidential staffers, 43 caterers, 36 stewards, 54 drivers, 14 night-watchmen, 2 caretakers, 22 sanitary labourers, 3 other labourers and 85 cleaners as Household staff at the Office of the Presidency? This is darn madness that must be condemned.
I have heard loyalists of Akufo-Addo, including veteran journalist Kwaku Baako make a mockery of themselves by defending this crazy decision of the president that only exacerbates Ghana’s problems.
Arguments that the output is what matters and not the numbers is a simple solution to a gigantic problem. It’s an unintelligent response that could come from the political leadership because, save the implementation of the Free senior high school (SHS), nothing else is going on.
The one-district, one-factory, one-village, one-dam and one-constituency, one-million among others are still in the manifesto after several promises.
You don’t need this huge number of appointees to fulfil your many pretentious promises. You get that done by being smart and assembling a small team of smart and patriotic people. Honestly, this list of 998 staff, clearly, won’t pass that test.
We need to eliminate waste in the system by cutting back the unnecessary duplication of activities. Our government needs to be efficient and effective by getting the few best people to do the work and not huge numbers.
It’s a gnawing sense that much of what transpires on the public stage is but an acting job, a reprise of famous performances from the political actors. The current government had accused its predecessor of burdening the citizens with more appointees but it’s following the same path.
The government’s defence, so far, smelled of hypocrisy typical of politicians who are dishonest to the core. They only see something wrong with the system when they are in opposition.
The author, Kwabena Brakopowers is a journalist, blogger, traveller and life enthusiast whose work focuses on politics, health, relationship, environment and international affairs. You can reach him via Brakomen@outlook.com.