One unique practice of democracy in the 4th Republic of Ghana is the (8) eight years mandate given to a government formed after general elections. The NDC government strived on two occasions in 2000 and 2016 to break the EIGHT and failed woefully. Objectively, the fiasco by the NDC in 2016 to convince Ghanaians vote in their favour so as to retain them in office was not only as a result of incompetent leadership demonstrated, but beautiful exhibition of corruption by some Government appointees, and the worst of it all is mismanagement of the Ghanaian economy then; many of the social interventions enjoyed currently in Ghana were existing in abstract policies of the NDC; National Youth Employment Programme, National Health Insurance Scheme, Capitation Grant, School Feeding Programme and the Nation Builders Corps as well as Free Senior High School policy are some of the social interventions that are on the records of good governance in this country at present. The NPP government came very close in 2008 to breaking the EIGHT but narrowly lost. The NPP as a ruling party nearly won the 2008 general elections because of the massive transformation of good governance that positively impacted the lives of Ghanaian citizenry; but for some internal differences and wranglings then the NPP Government could have broken the eight years.
Now to the substantive issue; if the NPP with its government officials are seriously thinking of breaking the EIGHT within acceptable standards, they should employ “Control Democracy” as one of their planning and strategic mechanisms to build in-house structures in the impending polling station and constituency executive elections. In my view, “Control Democracy” is the logically inputting and extracting some certain things even though the constitution thinks otherwise, before going into elections. For instance, in conducting polling station elections, conscious efforts must be made to avoid two or more people from the same house/household contesting and winning. There are references where a polling station in Salaga with catchment area of five settlements having three out of the five executives from a single house; there are also instances where more than one polling station executives are from a particular nuclear family. My point of contention at this stage is that, in such an instance, people from the same house or area or family should not be allowed compose a polling station executive committee for the party, if not on exceptional cases. We need to strategically spread the polling station executive membership to cover many areas or families or homes at a polling station; the office of the women organizer is responsible for mobilizing and organizing women in the party irrespective of their socioeconomic and cultural background; do we allow any woman who can win elections to contest? The chairman is the custodian and umbilical cord of the party at the constituency level. In fact, the chairman owns the party and plays the role of a pilot to an aircraft; do we allow any person to captain the NPP flight because they are capable of contesting and winning elections? These and many more questions and answers are instrumental ways and means to breaking the EIGHT. Of course, the NPP deserves breaking the EIGHT if Ghanaians want to accelerate growth and development in this country.
HAMZA ABDUL-MUMIN HARRUNA
SALAGA SOUTH COM. DIRECTOR