Ghana: Ghana media highlight continuing transition challenges

Accra, Ghana (PANA) – The media in Ghana this week again highlighted disagreements between the outgoing and incoming administrations following the main opposition party’s victory in the 7 December elections.

The disagreements focus on what the outgoing government can and should do, especially in terms of signing of agreements/contracts and appointments.

Whereas the incoming New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration's officials say the outgoing government of President John Dramani Mahama and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) must not take any major decisions, the outgoing president’s team insists that he has not broken any law as his mandate ends at midnight on 6 January, 2017 and he has the legal power govern the country until then.

Further, the NDC says what President Mahama is doing is not different from what President John Agyekum Kufuor did from December 2008 to 6 January 2009 after the NPP lost power. Ironically, the NPP at that time defended President Kufuor’s actions which were criticised by the NDC.

The anger of president-elect Nana Akufo-Addo team bubbled over when President Mahama appointed and swore into office the heads of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).

Josephine Nkrumah heads the NCCE while Joseph Whittal heads CHRAJ. They were deputy heads in their respective institutions.

One of Akufo-Addo’s aides, Philip Addison, has filed a suit challenging the appointments being made by President Mahama and agreements being entered into on behalf of the country.

“Mahama swears in new CHRAJ and NCCE bosses,” was the headline of the state-owned Graphic.

The Graphic in another story on the subject under the headline, “NPP may review CHRAJ, NCCE appointments” quoted a statement signed by the NPP's Co-Chairperson Presidential Transition Committee, Yaw Osafo-Marfo, as saying the president-elect might review the appointments of the new heads for CHRAJ and NCCE.

The president-elect’s team has described the new appointments as disappointing and an exhibition of “bad faith”.

Osafo-Marfo said the appointments were in breach of an agreement at the Transition Committee’s meeting of 19 Decembe that said such appointments would be done subject to consultation with the Presidential Transition Committee.

“It is the view of the president-elect’s team, that these appointments coming barely 24 hours after the agreement and less than three weeks away from the inauguration of the incoming president is most disappointing and exhibit bad faith,” the statement said.

“We will, therefore, like to serve notice that the incoming administration reserves the right to review these and other high profile appointments, recruitments and contracts being embarked upon in these final days contrary to normal conventions associated with presidential transitions and the consultation mechanism agreed,” the NPP statement said.

The newspapers also played up a non-denominational church service held by the NPP at the Accra Sports Stadium last Sunday to thank God for its victory in the 7 December polls.

The president-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo, in his message of appreciation, urged Ghanaians to let go the past and chart a new course of national unity, progress and development.

He said the whole world had saluted Ghana for the peaceful and orderly manner in which it went about the polls on 7 December, adding that by this the people of Ghana had shown that they could rise to the occasion with dignity and in an environment of serenity.

He described the decision by President John Mahama to call him to concede defeat as a classic show of statesmanship and contrasted that with the situation in The Gambia where President Yahaya Jammeh had lost the election but had refused to relinquish power, in spite of promptings by international dignitaries to do so.

Nana Akufo-Addo said even though the December polls were generally peaceful, there had been certain altercations and violence and described those actions as unfortunate and in bad taste.

“Let’s unite for progress – Nana” was the headline of the state-owned Ghanaian Times on the church service.

It said Nana Akufo-Addo appealed to Ghanaians across the political divide to leave the bitterness that characterised the campaign season behind and support his government to improve the economic conditions in the country.

“I call on all Ghanaians, everyone, to act with kindness, generosity and magnanimity towards one another, and to forgive anyone who might have wronged and hurt you (in the campaign process),” he said, indicating that the journey to economic prosperity needed the support of all Ghanaians, not just the NPP.

Nana Akufo-Addo urged Ghanaians to renew their strength and work hard towards the development of the nation.

“Now, even as we praise God for His immense kindness, we also know that we have a lot of work ahead of us. It is a task that we can and will deliver with your support and hard work. I have no doubt that with God on our side, we shall succeed. Remember, the battle is the Lord’s,” he said.
-0- PANA MA 24Dec2016

24 december 2016 08:17:05

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