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On campaign trail, the NPP accused the NDC of bloated government, but once in power, turns around and does the same thing


Is it buyers remorse? Are Ghanaians quickly regretting their choice of a party that promised to be lean, competent and capable? Well, this much I know; Ghanaians are hopping mad; they are very angry, and rightly so.

Because a party that relentlessly excoriated its rival and predecessor for bloated government and mismanagement, once in power, has inexplicably turned around and committed the same blunder with a king-sized cabinet.

With just two months into the NPP administration, the signals are not encouraging; it is becoming increasingly evident that Mr. Akuffo Addo is self-destructing. He is making decisions that could erode the confidence and trust of Ghanaians, jeopardize his vision of radically transforming the economy and ultimately doom his party chances at the polls.

I don’t know what the president was thinking, but his appointment of well over a hundred ministers and deputies is anathema to all that he espoused on the campaign trail last year.

The appointments, predictably, have incensed many. Ghanaians had hoped that Mr. Addo would tackle the nation’s entrenched economic problems with a small government coupled with lightening quick and transparent decisions.

But with his ministerial appointments, the president has been anything, but honest. Mr. Addo’s action is a big disappointment, in fact, it is a huge letdown for millions of voters spread across the partisan divide.

Not unexpected, reaction has been swift and visceral. Some have described Mr. Addo’s move as defeatist and counterproductive, and point out its potential huge drain on our meager financial resources, and its opening of the floodgates to corruption.

Still, others see it as a duplication of functions that the nation’s vaunted civil service can perform superbly for less financial compensation.

The political implications of Mr. Addo’s hurried decision to super-size his cabinet and impose the monstrosity on unsuspecting Ghanaians will be far reaching.

If after all these appointments, the promised economic miracles don’t materialize, Mr. Addo’s popularity will take a severe and prolonged beating and that certainly won’t augur well for the party’s fortunes four years hence.

Unwittingly, the president has just handed his political opponents — who are salivating at the opportunity to score political points — a cudgel to effectively beat him over the head with for the next four years.

Mr. Addo’s spirited defense of his action in the face of rising criticism has not exactly helped to soothe the palpable anger of Ghanaians.

In fact, the rationale trotted out by Mr. Addo that, “unprecedented problems confronting Ghana demand large government to face them,” was laughable, if not outright contemptuous of the Ghanaian voter.

And his information minister, Mr. Mustapha Hamid — who reportedly has four deputies to discharge duties that he and an assistant could well manage — did not help matters much with his dubious contention that the NPP did not promise a lean government.

“No, Mr. Hamid, your party did, on several occasions.” Mr. Hamid, should go back to old television and radio reports on the 2016 campaign and he will find a treasure trove of information on his party’s frequent promises to be vastly different from the NDC in terms of governance and managing the economy. So, what happened?

Well, from all indications, the president is bowing to internal power structures within the NPP and doing the bidding of the party’s bigwigs.

This is troubling development; it shows a constrained president largely incapable of demonstrating independence and shaking off pressure to pursue policies that are in the best interest of the nation.

Equally worrisome is the fact that the president and his assorted henchmen are using the weak state of the economy to justify his giant misstep; you don’t grow an economy by growing your cabinet. It just doesn’t work that way anymore.

Governance these days is not about numbers; it is about results; what you can achieve within a given time period. It is about the services you can provide voters with a small and proven group of adept and brutally efficient technocrats and not with a huge cabinet full of party sycophants.

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