Nana Akufo-Addo
Nana Akufo-Addo

Akufo-Addo Returns Apau Commission Salvo In Manchester Address

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

In what appears to be his first and strongest official response to the hatchet job that was the one-man Apau Commission, established by President John Dramani Mahama to probe the activities of some key players of the Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP), the 2016 presidential candidate of Ghana’s main opposition party in parliament has clearly and unmistakably, albeit obliquely, indicated that the sole objective of the Apau Commission was personal vendetta, not the meticulous and dispassionate search for probity and accountability in government purported to be the terms of reference of the commission (See “If You Want [To] Make Money, Don’t Join My Gov’t – Akufo-Addo” Citifmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 7/19/15).

Nana Akufo-Addo
Nana Akufo-Addo

Addressing a large audience of progressive sympathizers and party faithful in Manchester, UK, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo poignantly noted that Ghana needed an independent prosecutor to fight corruption, and not a one-man political crusader appointed by any sitting president with the partisan and vindictive agenda of seeking to tarnish the hard-earned reputation and image of his ideological opponents. Rather, Nana Akufo-Addo intimated that if he is afforded the electoral mandate by the Ghanaian people next year, he intended to establish the multi-partisan-appointed office of an Independent Prosecutor to fight theft and corruption across the ideological spectrum. He was also of the firm opinion that the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), as it was currently constituted, had an operational mandate that was too broad and diffuse to be effectively met or fulfilled.

“CHRAJ is an ombudsman, a human rights watchdog; it is also an anti-corruption agency. Something has got to give.” The former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice also vowed to remarkably upgrade the image of the public-service sector by restoring it to its traditional objective of its being headed and directed by oustanding and professionally successful citizens whose topmost priority was the general welfare and development of the country, and not the lining of their wallets and pocketbooks with the public dole. “If your goal in coming into government is to enrich yourself, then don’t come. Go to the private sector. Public service is going to be exactly that; public service!”

Nana Akufo-Addo also indicated that while he had absolutely nothing against private sector operatives who, in fact, constituted the core engine of growth in any free-market economy, such as Ghana’s, the fact remained that public-service culture was clearly identifiable and functionally discrete from private enterprise. What the preceding also points to is the fact that an Akufo-Addo administration would ensure that all its cabinet appointees were appointed outside of Parliament, in order to ensure a healthy balance among the three branches of democratic governance – namely, the executive, legislature and the judiciary – as well as guarantee the functional independence of the legislature.

If the preceding interpretation has validity, then it also well appears that an Akufo-Addo government would strive for the organic decentralization of all executive positions, such as regional ministers, metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives. Conseqently, rather than being arbitarily and capriciously handpicked and appointed from Accra by the President, holders of all the foregoing portfolios would now be elected by voters of their respective jurisdictions or service areas.

The preceding creative and innovative proposals and ideas notwithstanding, I still maintain that the 2016 political fortunes of Nana Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party would be considerably dependent on the judicial outcome of the case involving the brutal acid-dousing assassination of Mr. Adams Mahama, the former Upper-East regional chairman of the New Patriotic Party. Tough talk is exciting, but practical action on the ground is even more edifying.

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
E-mail: [email protected]

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