Wed, 22 May 2024 Feature Article

For Lack Of Principles, They Still Want To Govern

For Lack Of Principles, They Still Want To Govern

Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are, honest people can change their opinions but they keep to their principles; honest people can change their leaves, but they keep intact their roots. In the world of honest people, ethics and equity and the principles of justice do not change with the calendar. Honest people obey their own principles without making excuses.

In the lead up to the 2016 general elections Ghanaians witnessed one of the most formidable yet deceitful political campaign since 1992. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) and their candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo together with his running mate Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia seized every opportunity to convince the electorates that they were the better alternative. They attacked all the actions, policies, programs and decisions of the then-government of John Dramani Mahama.

They were consistent and diligent in their attacks and message, the message was simple Ghana was headed for the wrong direction, and they had the answer to the problem.

They denigrated, vilified, maligned and eviscerated former President John Mahama with all sorts of disparaging adjectives, they called him corrupt and incompetent. They promised to better manage the affairs of the country and the economy, they promised lower exchange rate, lower debt to GDP, lower inflation and lower cost of living.

Candidate Akufo-Addo stated emphatically that he will transform the country within eighteen months and as a matter of principle, he will resign if he fails to fulfil these promises and improve the lives of Ghanaians with all the micro-economic indicators such as inflation, exchange rate, debt to GDP among others.

In a post on February 22 2016, the president wrote “This year try me too. Give me the chance to show you what I can do. Four years is not so far away. If I come and I don’t succeed, kick me out”.

The message resonated with the electorates and candidate Akufo-Addo was eventually voted for based on these promises and assurances to deliver them.

At the time he took over, 1 United States Dollar (USD) was equal to GHC 4.1 and 1 Great Britain Pound Sterling (GBP) was equal GHC 5.90. The country’s Debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was 54 percent, the national debt stock had reached GHC 122.6 billion.

The year-on-year inflation rate as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 15.4 percent in December 2016, down by 0.1 percentage point from the 15.5 percent recorded in November 2016. The government was still able to service its external debt without any default.

Almost eight years after winning the election, all the micro-economic variables have gotten worse USD1 is equal to GHC15.5 whiles 1GBP is equal to GHC18.13 (this is despite the fact that, the government has suspended servicing its external debts, the situation would have been worse than it is now) inflation is 24 percent, and debt to GDP is 104 percent. The country’s debt stock is currently close to GHC 700 billion.

Six months into his presidency, the new president promised to fight illegal mining and even put his presidency on the line, “I have said it in the Cabinet, and perhaps this is the first time I am making this public, that I am prepared to put my Presidency on the line on this matter” he said.

Today the illegal mining menace has become so rampant that, the president has even avoided making any pronouncement on the issue whiles he still hang onto power. Mr. President, where are your principles?

The government has borrowed more than any other government in the history of the country, despite the introduction of numerous taxes including the most ludicrous tax ever, the E-Levy, which directly takes monies from people’s pockets, pensioners are still denied their monthly stipends that sustains them due to the Domestic Debt Exchange Program (DDEP), caused by the unprecedented economic mismanagement.

Despite all these mess, the government is bent on continuing beyond 2024. If they had principles they would not even contemplate contesting in the upcoming elections. Yes, it is politics and politics is about power, however, there are politicians who have principles and will bow out if they think they have failed to deliver.

Former UK Prime Minister, Lizz Truss resigned after she realised it was unable to implement her vision of low-tax and small government state. She was in office for only 49 days. This is a person of principles and honesty.

The Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government promised to right the wrongs of the Mahama government, but they ended up wronging all the rights of the Mahama government, if they had principles and integrity, they would not even contemplate contesting the 2024 elections.

They are contesting this election because they lack principles, they do not care about their integrity and dignity. To them, the most important thing is power, not how to change and transform lives with power.