Will SC verdict change Ghana?

mahama-serious-debatesPresident John Dramani Mahama now has an unchallenged mandate and the legitimacy that every President needs to work. Ghana’s Judgment Day finally arrived last Thursday, and President Mahama was declared by the highest Court of the land- the Supreme Court, as the legitimate winner of the 2012 Presidential elections.

There was whaling and gnashing of teeth in the camp the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the party that challenged the results but in the camp of National Democratic Congress (NDC), the winning party, it was celebrations and jubilations throughout the night and over the weekend. Surely the celebrations will continue for a while longer.

Whilst it looks like political sunset for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo the 2012 Flagbearer of the NPP, for President John Mahama, the game has just begun. Now that the election petition has been laid to rest, he can heave a sight of relief and begin to ‘chop’ his post. Now he can walk boldly anywhere like a President, eat like a President and sleep like a President.

With this verdict, President Mahama and Nana Akufo-Addo have settled their matter, but what did Ghana and ordinary Ghanaians get? Will this verdict change anything in Ghana? While the Supreme Court was giving its judgment, the corruption laden and maggot infested GYEEDA Report was also being released on the other side.

To this very day, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament is still uncovering more corrupt acts, embezzlements and misappropriations in relation to the country’s Public Accounts. Through official acquiesce, Foreign Mining Companies are officially allowed to retain all their exports earnings while the state is cash strapped. Divestiture proceeds running into millions of dollars cannot be accounted. Investors who bought government properties have vanished without paying for them. A Ship belonging to the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) we are told was sold without the knowledge and consent of the company.

A judgment debt of USD19million was paid on behalf of GNPC, and the company did not know about it. Meanwhile, all the files on this debt are missing. From the Judgment Debt Commission, we are told that a debt of GHc60, 000 ballooned to GHc380million over five years and has been paid.

Meanwhile, statutory payments such as the Getfund, District Assembly Common Fund and NHIS payments etc to various Government institutions are all in arrears of nearly a year. The School Feeding Program is almost abandoned, Allowances for Teacher Trainees has been scrapped, and Public Universities could be closed any moment from now for non payments the lecturers’ entitlements. Even the famous free spraying of cocoa farms has been scrapped.

These nonpayments are as a result of the poverty of the State. Revenues targets have not been met, promised grants and budgetary support from so-called development partners are not forthcoming, and the country’s main exports- Cocoa and Gold prices have slumped on the world market. The 2013 Annual Budget is virtually in limbo; most of the projects outlined in it cannot be executed.

Unemployment is bursting its acceptable limits and our educational and health systems are crumbling. This is the reality of the Ghanaian situation today.

Something has to crack if the verdict delivered by the Supreme Court last Thursday is to be made meaningful to the Ghanaian people. Yes, President Mahama has his mandate and legitimacy but how will it impact Ghana and Ghanaians?

The President in an address after the verdict, pledged to work to unite Ghana. He said he will reach out to the NPP and all the other political parties and bring them on board in matters of governance for the good of the country.

Good speech and good intentions, but Ghana needs more than just unity among the political class.

We can have a union of corrupt, greedy and non- performing people to show to the world that we are one but what will it profit the nation. The level of corruption, impunity and the general lackadaisical attitude towards probity and accountability is assuming alarming proportions in Ghana and what we need is sincere action from the leadership. Otherwise, this victory will only be a victory for John Mahama and maybe the NDC, nothing more.

source: ghanaweb.com

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