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August 21, 2018 | Feature Article

The Solution to Developing Ghana actually lies in the late Colonel I. K. Acheampong’s UniGov

Ignatius Kutu Acheampong
Ignatius Kutu Acheampong

In my moments of silence and months of contemplation to finding answers to why Ghana is lagging several years behind the countries of our contemporary Whites in terms of development, I have finally come to settle on the defunct ideal of Union Government (UniGov). UniGov was the brainchild of the late-executed Head of State General (initially Colonel) Ignatius Kutu Acheampong.

Following the public outcry against his military junta government (Supreme Military Council I), he decided to turn over his coat by becoming a civilian President through a civilian government called UniGov. This would have permitted him to probably continue to rule Ghana for only God knows how long. He proposed a national referendum of YES or NO on his ideal UniGov.

The late-executed former Head of State of the National Liberation Council (NLC) government, Brigadier General Akwasi Amankwaah Afrifa, who had by then become a civilian person after handing over the reins of government to the late Prime Minister Dr Kofi Abrefa Busia and his Progress Party government, led a campaign of NO to defeat General I. K. Acheampong’s UniGov proposal.

Therefore, the UniGov could not see the light of day but died immediately on the outcome of the referendum when the majority of Ghanaians voted NO. However, the UniGov, concluding from the persistent dismal corrupt attitudes by Ghanaians and the direction of affairs in Ghana, could have been a saviour in disguise to come to catapult Ghana into the sphere of real development.

Colonel (General) I. K. Acheampong despite his shortcomings, was a visionary Head of State. He is credited with building the Dansoman Estates; started Low Cost housing in Ghana; implemented the Operation Feed Yourself Policy that saw abundance of food production in Ghana; respect of human rights and the prevalence of peace and security in the country. Despite his overly kindness that culminated in his infamous promiscuous “Fa wo to begye golf” and final overthrow from power through a palace coup d’état by his “Akyeme kwaa” colleague-in-government, General Akuffo, to his summary execution by Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, he could have been the best leader for Ghana.

“A summary execution is an execution in which a person is accused of a crime and immediately killed without benefit of a full and fair trial”

For a country to develop to a desirable level, it needs an established National Development Plan spanning over several years. This plan of thirty to fifty years must be stringently followed through. It should not be like the current case in Ghana under the multi-party or two-party system where each political party tries to undermine the one in government through mudslinging, propaganda etc., all with the ulterior motive of unseating it from power to take their place.

Under this multi-party system, and in the absence of a nationally-accepted and written into law development plan, each president comes with their own ideas about how to develop the country. When one starts some projects and gets voted out of power midway through the implementation of their projects, the succeeding government normally abandons them to start their own. This is borne out of the wicked and infantile black or Ghanaian mentality of, “the predecessor government or president will take credit for the projects should I complete them since he started them. He will say, I have no ideas or projects of my own to develop Ghana so I am not fit for purpose”.

Subsequently, each government or president would like to start their own projects by implementing their party’s political manifesto. Should the cycle of starting new projects and abandoning uncompleted projects by the previous governments continue unabated, is it not the country and the citizenry that suffer but not the irresponsible and short-sighted presidents taking to the idea of seeking their own fame by initiating policies of their own?

The multi-party system that has been the trend of affairs in Ghana and in Africa as a whole does not help with continuity of progress development but rather brings about discontinuity, corruption and embezzlement of Sate funds and assets by our markedly corrupt politicians. To avoid this wastage, Ghana needs not to become a one party State but a no-party State where the UniGov comes in. With the UniGov, anyone willing to become a President, a Member of Parliament, a Municipal or District Chief Executive will have to campaign on their own as individuals and when they are lucky to be elected by the Ghanaian electorate to serve the nation and the people, they will do exactly that without being served. This will make it difficult to embezzle funds and assets and should they do, they can easily be dealt with without getting any group of persons rallying behind the culprit in support because they belong to the same party as them, as it is currently the case in Ghana.

When someone perpetrates any wrongdoing that merits that the person is disciplined or prosecuted, you will see their party members rallying behind the person with their nonsensical baying of political witch-hunt. This attitude makes it difficult to punish the perpetrators of crimes against the State. However, if there were to be no political parties, the degree of people rallying to support their colleagues to get them off the hook because they are their party’s financier etc., will be minimal.

With the UniGov type of government, the policymakers and the think-tanks will be able to come up with a concretised national roadmap to developing Ghana. This development plan of say fifty years will be followed through by whoever becomes the President without the usual abandoning of projects started by a previous president to start another one. This will do away with the financial loss caused to the nation through the much talked about abandoning of projects and starting new ones with the concomitant bloating of costs with intent to rip off the State.

I am not calling for autocratic or dictatorships but a type of government that can guarantee the continuity of commenced national projects until completion. I am calling for a type of government that will not allow the members to group themselves like hunting pride of lions to rally behind their colleagues all of the time to obstruct the law from dealing drastically with them when they cause infractions.

Once the country has well been developed, then we can go for the multi-party system.

Malaysia had independence around the same time as Ghana. However, Ghana lags many years behind Malaysia in terms of development. Why? It is because the country had a farsighted, selfless and well-focused leader who stayed in power continuously for about 22 years to implement his good policies for his country. “Under Mahathir Mohamad’s long Prime Ministership (1981–2003), Malaysia’s political culture became increasingly centralised and authoritarian, due to Mahathir's belief that the multi-ethnic Malaysia could only remain stable through controlled democracy”. He was not corrupt. He was visionary. He was ready to be of service to his people and nation. Because of how good he (Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad) was to his people, he has been re-elected even at the age of 92 years as the Prime Minister of Malaysia this year. He assumed office on 10 May 2018.

His Excellency Paul Kagame of Rwanda is one of the three or four most visionary and selfless leaders in Africa. He has developed his country beyond the admiration of discerning Africans. He has been in power since 2000. He has a fifty-year development plan for his country hence the success story of Rwanda under his presidency.

He has been able to achieve what he has achieved for his country which makes him an envious icon of Africa because he is farsighted and is ready to be of service to his people and country. There is no political party to undermine or to derail his good policies for his country unlike in Ghana where the NDC continues to sabotage the good policies of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. The NDC have decided to abolish his free Senior High School education, re-introduce galamsey that is devastating our ecology and to bring back their stupid propaganda and rampant embezzlement of State funds and assets.

To avoid the recurrence of the cyclical commencement and abandonment of projects which incur unnecessary debt to the nation, I suggest we go for a UniGov type of government that will guarantee continuity. Once Ghana has developed like Rwanda or Malaysia, then we can go back for multi-party system.

In Ghana, the political parties only think more about winning elections than developing the nation to better the conditions of living of the people. This must stop! My fear is, should this trend continue, then one day, the known Ghanaian cowards will muster courage to deal drastically with our corrupt and myopic leaders.

“Every great nation on this earth was built on the sweat and the blood of its citizens”, said the late President of Russia, His Comradeship Boris Yeltsin.

Let Ghanaians be realistic to look into the benefits or otherwise of UniGov. I shall be back to treat this topic in detail if need be. I regret voting NO during the referendum but I never knew that our subsequent leaders were going to be that malicious and corrupt beyond the stretch of human imagination. Look at President Mahama and his younger sibling Ibrahim Mahama.

Rockson Adofo

Rockson Adofo
Rockson Adofo

The author has authored 1666 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author's column: RocksonAdofo

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Rockson Adofo and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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