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04.02.2016 Feature Article

President John Mahama—A Perfect Candidate For Impeachment

President John Mahama—A Perfect Candidate For Impeachment

The wanton dissipation of the country’s resources, abuse of office, massive corruption, dishonest behavior, gross disrespect for the ruled as well as deliberate acts which erode the work of constitutional bodies and others, make President Mahama a perfect candidate for impeachment.

It is doubtful if Ghana’s 1992 Constitution truly protects all citizens. We have a President who sat in the 4th Republic Legislature for twelve years or so and yet has very little respect for Parliament. Unfortunately for us, he is an expert in circumventing the work of the body he once belonged.

Ghana is bleeding and may soon collapse but those who find it difficult to accept the fact that the economy is being poorly managed, are President John Dramani Mahama and his ruling National Democratic Congress. Of course, with things going from bad to worst, some of their supporters are complaining bitterly.

If all the arguments by the Minority should be taken seriously then the obvious conclusion is that, the NDC government is destroying the economic, political and social foundations of the nation. So what is preventing it from initiating impeachment proceedings against the President? After all, its collaborations with the Majority in the interest of our people have not been appreciated. And that was why the President boldly accused them of sleeping whilst bills were being considered.

Is the Minority in Parliament unaware that majority of Ghanaians support its boycotts and walk outs? What did it make of the massive participation of a cross-section of the public in last year’s demonstration? Why is it worried about the small section of the population including the Rented Press who make ugly noises on its constitutional rights? Did it not promise everyone that the demonstrations would be sustained? You might think I am posing too many questions to our hardworking honourable members but this is legitimate.

I quite remember Deputy Minority Leader Dominic Aduna Bingab Nitiwul sharply reacting to the President’s uncomplimentary remarks. He categorically told Ghanaians about the uncooperative stance the Minority would adopt to render parliamentary work extremely difficult. So far, we have seen glimpses of their threat but how sure are we that inertia would not set in.

Artcle 69 (1 & 2 ) of the1992 Constitution clearly spells out steps for the removal of the President. The Majority would not support a Minority move and therefore the two-thirds majority of votes required is not possible. However, a mere initiating of an impeachment against a sitting President will be historic and put future presidents on their toes. The Minority ought to know by now that implementing the recommendations of the Constitutional Review Committee is not in the interest of President Mahama. Therefore he is doing everything to ensure things remain as they are. He is comfortable with the almost unlimited Executive powers.

Excuse me, but what is the relevance of this provision? There is a strong case for removing John Dramani Mahama as President because he is a perfect candidate for impeachment!!!

Article 69(1) states that the President can be removed if he is seen:

(a) to have acted in willful violation of the oath of allegiance and the presidential oath

set out in the Second Schedule to, or in willful violation of any other provision of this

Constitution; or

  1. to have conducted himself in a manner
  1. Which brings or is likely to bring the office of President into disrepute, ridicule or

contempt;

  1. Prejudicial or inimical to the economy or the security of the State; or

  1. to be incapable.

Article 69(2) also states:

For the purposes of removal from office of the President, a notice in writing

  1. signed by not less than one-third of all the members of Parliament, and
  2. stating that the conduct or physical or mental capacity of the President

be investigated on any of the grounds specified in Clause (1) of this article,

shall be given to the speaker who shall immediately inform the Chief Justice and deliver the notice to him copied to the President.

Obviously, the framers of the 1992 Constitution foresaw a time when there would be a President who qualifies to be impeached. Now the question is: Have we reached that bridge? Like many others the answer is an emphatic YES. Should we cross it? Again the answer is YES.

The mismanagement of the economy has resulted in the deaths of many Ghanaians. Workers have been retrenched, marriages are breaking up daily, the number of children outside the school system outnumbers those in school. Parents have lost control over their children who are compelled to eke a living for themselves. People who are despaired resort to suicide.

Strangely, at the other side of the coin is a President who speaks condescendingly to his citizens and openly says he is not obliged to listen. He and his ruling class are busily amassing wealth and fortunes at the expense of the people. The NDC has conveniently become an official mouthpiece for the Electoral Commission that has lost its independence. Let a government department or agency be exposed of a wrongdoing and the ruling party would quickly rush to its defense.

The vibrant Civil Society Organizations and individuals who are sending out clear signals with respect to the bottomless pit President Mahama and his party have thrown us into, give some confidence to Ghanaians that something good is coming.

Now if the Minority will not act, it must brace itself to taste the wrath of the people. A time is coming when it would be made to face the same type of music that has been composed for those in government.

Frank Mackay Anim-Appiah
Frank Mackay Anim-Appiah, © 2016

The author has 12 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: FrankMackayAnimAppiah

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