If a nation’s constitutional eligibility to its highest office – the Presidency – and its legislature is determined only by the age and unscientifically proven sound mind, what extraordinary governance and transformative progress should a nation expect from her political leaders? Nothing but thievery and mediocrity.
In the animal kingdom, age and ability to act normal has no place in and correlation to the leadership of a pride of lions and a baboon of gorillas. Leadership in these lower kingdoms is determined strictly by high degree of well-defined competences. And retention of such leadership role is dependent on continuous demonstration of these competences by the leaders.
What are the required competences in these so called lower kingdoms? Provide shelter and fend for the cubs and infants, (equitable distribution for healthy growth), grooming (succession planning and training), and protecting the territory (protecting the peace, security, and the public wealth).
Critical examination of these competences shows that they are developed over a time and through rigorous tests and experiences of the jungle: it does not automatically confer. The track records of every king of a pride or leader of a baboon are not only visible in the way it conducts itself, but also in the respect and reverence it commands, the evidential scars on its body, steeled bones, and muscle bundles.
The safety of a pride or a baboon hinges on the strict adherence to these competences in choosing their leaders and astute demonstration of these by the leaders. A compromise on these competences leads to either ejection of the leader from the pride, or a takeover of the pride or baboon by the one who exhibits these competences with higher quality either from within or without.
If these so called lower kingdoms of animals instinctively adhere to this governance principle and values of leadership, what intellect, intelligence, and wisdom informed Article 62 and Article 94 of the 1992 Constitution? It is rather worrying to note that public institutions that the constitution mandates to be subservient to and to take orders from the presidency, and by which the legislature makes laws to govern their conducts, have a superior criteria for selecting and or appointing their staff and recruits.
For example, can a military officer assume the post of a General, or an academic assume the position of a Vice Chancellor on the basis of age and unscientifically proven sound mind? Can a person head any of the departments of public/civil service without any evidential display of dexterity? These offices are subject to high level demonstration of competence and character derived from complex and diverse training and experiences of relevance.
Ghana’s governance systems and structures, as established by the constitution, is continuously undermining the integrity of governance that is required in moving a nation forward. This nebulous eligibility criteria is a fertile ground for mediocre governance and petty politics. It is a womb that produces political persons with petty minds, without character, without ethical consciousness, and without any proven track record of transferable competences into national governance. A few proven ones may once in a while be incubated unto the foyer of national governance with insignificant impact.
And, if Ghana wants to progress beyond her mediocre progress and shambolic politicking, it is imperative to start looking into the constitution to review, amend, or possibly rewrite the manual (constitution) that sets the governance structure and systems for Ghana.
Ghana is stealthily heading into cataclysmic catacomb.
The writer is a Governance and Policy Analyst
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