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30.12.2016 Feature Article

NPP Keeps On Contradicting Itself On The Activities Of Government After Elections

NPP Keeps On Contradicting Itself On The Activities Of Government After Elections
LISTEN DEC 30, 2016

It is not for nothing that Ghana is largely considered the beacon of democracy in Africa. As such, the actions and inactions of political actors must be adding up to the growth of our governance. If our actions are ultra-vice to existing constitutional principles, then clearly, we are in a path of retrogression and that is a threat to our young but enviable Democratic dispensation. I write to vehemently disagree with those, largely the NPP, who think that governance must come to a stand still after elections.

I see governance as a continues process in every democratic system and elections or transition cannot and must not impede that process. The constitution by its wisdom, mandates the incumbent government to continue to perform its duties until 6th January mid night. The new government then takes over on the 7th of January. In my view, the constitution seeks to avoid any gab in the governing process. So it is absolutely a nonstarter to argue that government cannot discharge certain legitimate actions because of transition.

Again, people who try to justify their positions on this matter introduced moral orientation into the debate and that makes them sound ridiculous and hypothetical. Who said the constitution and its framers didn't integrate morality into the legality? Would you in that subjective view, demand that conventions, legality and democratic principles be compromised for that "morality" to satisfy one group? Governance is a serious business and rest on numerous constitutional principles and not just what is ordinarily perceived to be wrong by somebody. It sounds more of a fuzzy concept to narrow the debate to morality. We are in a democratic state and any decision by government or any group must be grounded on the supreme law of the land, THE 1992 CONSTITUTION OF GHANA.

There is nothing wrong for the government to make certain appointments that are apolitical to relevant state institutions in as much as our constitution exists. Those who do not like it in its current state can rather push for the amendment of sections of the constitution.

Then again, when government granted the proposal by National Service Scheme for an increment in their allowances, sections of Ghanaians especially the NPP and its allies have viewed the decision with political binoculars by postulating that it is bad faith on the part of the outgoing government. Others are of the view that the outgoing government wants to put a burden on the incoming government in the management of the economy. For God's sake, the proposal from the NSS has been under consideration as far back as July.

In any case, the increment is going to improve the lives of young people contributing their quota to national development. How can the improvement of the lives of section of our youth who are the future human resource of the country be a burden on the economy? Is the NPP government not coming to improve the lives of citizenry? Such pedestrian analysis of issues makes me skeptical of the commitment of the incoming NPP government to improve the lives and conditions of the people. Whether you like it or not, labour shall make legitimate demands for salary increment in the near future and if that will cause any inability of the NPP government to deliver its numerous promises, then I can say without any modicum of doubt that the NPP have failed in advance.

Let me also use this opportunity to touch on the increment of the emoluments of article 71 holders as stipulated in the 1992 constitution. Frankly speaking, I am one of those who argue that the above article must be scrapped to create a level playing field for all officers and workers to be under the Single Spine Salary Structure managed by the Fair Wages and Salary Commission. Am also of the view that the income of such officers as currently in the said article must be taxable like mine as a poor village teacher.

I was expecting those who think any increment in allowances of salaries can put a burden on the public purse to engage in a constructive debate by the recent increment in the emoluments of these officers largely the Executive and Legislature. The President elect, Nana Akuffo Addo shall be the biggest beneficiary of these increments. Ironically, the NPP is silent about it after all, their MPs who are to form majority in parliament soon clandestinely endorsed it since it is in their selfish interest. I am particularly disappointed in the national house of Parliament especially the minority caucus for demonstrating such a level of double standard. When it is in their favour, these is no banter between them but when it is in the larger interest of Ghana, they play their delay tactics around. The Right to Information Bill is one of such important bills before the house for so many years now. The minority have been against the passage of it in recent times but quick to endorse humongous increment in their emoluments including gargantuan ex-gratia. Isn't that a shame?

I think that civil society groups must push government hard in the coming days to ensure that this issue of article 71 holders is pragmatically dealt with, to save the public purse. I think the politicians are playing a "pillow game" with the ordinary Ghanaian worker. Enough of this aggrandizement!

As long us we continue to pursue the journey of democracy and want to model it to its best form, we must not remain polarized and partisan on every national discourse. Such moves only paint national policies with partisan colours and that cannot move us forward in any quest to sustain our developing democracy. Political actors should revise their notes on democracy and constitutional law well and stop confusing policy with politics. I know people as usual are going to bastardize me for coming out with this article but let the truth be told that nation building goes beyond political party affiliation.

Denis Andaban
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Denis Andaban
Denis Andaban, © 2016

The author has 135 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: DenisAndaban

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