General News of Saturday, 12 January 2019
Director of European Studies at the University of Ghana, Professor Ransford Gyampo has lashed out at the Akufo-Addo government for turning their backs on Civil Society Organisations and Experts of various fields.
Professor Gyampo accused the government of developing a ‘winner knows all’ posture which makes them hold their views as superior to all others thus no need to consult.
He recalled how in opposition Akufo-Addo and the NPP constantly engaged CSOs, Experts on various fields and people with technical know-how on various subjects in relation to issues of national concern.
This attribute he said has suddenly vanished after they won the 2016 elections.
The handling of the recent impasse at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology as a result of students’ demonstration over alleged maltreatment by security and School authorities Professor Gyampo insisted is a perfect instance of government’s ‘know it all’ attitude.
“When they are in opposition, they consult Civil Society Organisations, they consult individuals. Once they get into power, they know everything. They don’t consult anybody. One of the challenges of this government is not ‘Winner takes all’ but also ‘Winner knows all’. They go about their administration as if they know all but there are things that people have advance knowledge, people have prior knowledge and people have built expertise in them. An example is a recent incident that happened in KNUST and the speed with which the government sought to behave in a totalitarian manner, dissolving governing council and thinking about determining the choice of the various constituents of the governing council. Clearly, they didn’t know” he mentioned to www.ghanaweb.com in an exclusive interview.
Akufo-Addo listening to ignorant spiritual advise
The European Studies Director at the University of Ghana also alleged that Akufo-Addo and the NPP government are paying heed to advise from ‘ignorant’ spiritual leaders instead of well knowledgeable individuals.
He conceded that it wasn’t a peculiar situation to Akufo-Addo as it was a canker of many developing countries.
The situation he observed was rife in the lead up to elections when political leaders fall on the predictions of the so-called spiritual persons mostly because they lack credible message to convince the electorates.
The consequence of this in situations when they gain power is that they rely on these spiritual leaders to influence their decisions on key issues of governance.
“It is a feature of most developing countries and this particular government is no exception. We tend to listen more to ignorant spiritual advice than views from experts and people who know. This is a problem that plagues many developing countries. In the lead up to elections, many African leaders who have no message, take consolation and solace from the predictions and promises from spiritual advisors. And so when their predictions come true then the next thing they do is that these spiritual advisors become key advisors of government on matters of governance and matters of running the economy and so people who know will talk they will not listen but then people who do not know anything about governance and economy will give advice and that will be the direction that these governments will follow” Professor Gyampo detailed.
Akufo-Addo doesn’t trust civil service, brought his own people
He described the bloated size of the Akufo-Addo government as an attempt to create a parallel civil service.
Professor Gyampo alleged that the lack of trust of the abilities of the civil service is the driving factor behind President AKufo-Addo’s decision to appoint a huge number of people to do the work of the public service.
This he believes is bleeding the nation of its scarce resources as the civil servants have been rendered ineffective and redundant in some ministries and agencies and the work is being done by appointees of the government.
In his opinion, the civil service has the competencies and experience to live up to expectation, however, if the President doesn’t trust them, the best thing to do is to overhaul and not to create a parallel system.
“The practice where the moment a new regime assumes office, everybody, who did not or does not belong to that regime is sidelined is winner takes all and it doesn’t help the nation. It amounts to needless dissipation od national brains and talents because those who know will not be brought on board” he stressed.
“The size of government that we have now clearly show that the government does not trust the civil service but na who cause am? Isn’t it the NDC that staffed the civil service with its appointees? Was it not the NPP that also staffed the civil service with its own appointees without recourse to meritocracy? It is the politicians themselves. When they come people who do not merit those appointments are put there so another regime comes and says I don’t trust them. If the civil service is ineffective and inefficient, the way to go is not to create another civil service by having a huge size of government but the way to go is to overhaul or restructure the civil service so that they can deliver their mandate effectively as the administrative machinery of the state” Professor Gyampo said in an assessment of the Akufo-Addo government’s first two years in power.
The head of the University of Ghana European Studies rated the performance of the President 49.5% and tasked him to focus more on his key promises in the lead up to the 2016 elections.