If I were elected your president(not to worry, I will never run nor will I win a single vote if I did). This will be my acceptance speech nonetheless:
Today marks the the end of stupidity. Today marks the end of laziness. Today marks the end of inefficiency. Today, corruption faces antagonism of the most brutal kind. Today, Ghanaians start a new learning curve. Today, you have appointed a servant who will serve in your best interest even when you are not aware it is in your best interest. Since 1957, we have elected or been ruled by leaders who have been consumed to a degree by their personal ambitions and neglected the essence of leadership. In our history we’ve had 12 heads of state. Osagyefo being the one true visionary whose legacy is canonized into our national pride and history. We are still chasing his spark, considering he ruled for just 125days shy of 6 years. I did not come to decry or vilify any of them, God bless their lives. Today, we change our course, not out of arrogance but a vision that is born out of a selfless motive. The prosperity and security of Ghana, our motherland as my only agenda.
I will be radical, by believing in our people. I will be unorthodox by assembling an unprecedented number of educated Ghanaians across all professional undertakings and invite them home for Nation Building by offering them an equivalent of what this country has gladly paid foreigners to do. I will be vigilante in holding them to much higher standards than we have held these foreign contractors in the past. I will be a tyrant by dissolving any unproductive arm of government that cannot prove its worth over the previous decade of its existence. I will streamline the various Ministries into pragmatic and efficient arms of government with set goals that serve the public interest.
Today marks the end of the style of government driven by motives that are not designed for the servitude of the people. Public servants, will be held to the highest standards of accountability by both an independent agency designed to curb corruption or waste and the citizenry. We open the lines for policing our various governmental institutions to minimize any form of activity that negates the progress of the people by establishing resources that protects and rewards those patriots bold enough to speak up about any trace of corruption in our society and government institutions.
Today, the Directors and all in charge at ECG and Water & Sewage will be required to come up with a vision for those institutions within the next 30-days to determine if they can keep their jobs. Within 90-days, all efforts will be made to contact knowledgeable Ghanaians and other parties in those industries to offer competitive solutions that will achieve consistent, sustainable and affordable energy for both industrial and domestic use. As a matter of policy; Solar, Wind and any other form of biodegradable and environmentally friendly energy sources that will help create local jobs and ease the load on Akosombo Dam are to be included in the final plan approved by government. I will task ECG to ensure that all homes pay their fair share of the energy they consume by requiring the ECG to reform its bill collection methods to include each household paying for its own energy usage. A 10-year plan to provide clean drinking filtered water to all corners of this country will be made a priority. It is time we stopped with the silliness of boreholes. The public will be educated and warned of the dangers of refuse dumping, burning in the open and penalties in the form of fines and prosecutions enforced on those who refuse to adapt.
I will be dogmatic in reforming our educational system with educators who value the idea of practical applicable education that highlights our domestic needs as a priority and teaches students how to apply their knowledge in a problem solving manner. Through our educational system, we will reinforce national pride and history in order to give our youth a sense of unfettered pride. We will mandate that, all public schools be equipped with computers within the first term of my administration and the contracts will be given to those parties that are able to show a proven ability to supply products in a timely manner. Our youth no longer have to rely on 7 editions too old textbooks. Stationary will never be in shortage for our public schools. There are too many resources available from the West, let us use them for their worth– freely, like they used our ancestors to build their economies until we can budget to print our own textbooks. These government contracts are to be streamlined and affordable, not inflated to 3000% for personal gain as has been practiced prior to today.
I will be transparent and honest with the heads of our Military and Police to re-establish their purpose as branches of government. Through collective bargaining, we can re-structure their incomes to meet the realities of the cost of living. This is to ensure that they are there for the sole purpose of defending our security as a Nation and upholding the law of the land respectively. I will insist on all personnel going through periodic ethics classes that re-educates them about the detriments to the nation when corruption exists within national security and law enforcement. We will put an immediate end to military officers engaging with civilians in any shape or form, especially regarding the enforcement of local laws. I will use prisoners for subsidized labor wherever possible, in rebuilding Ghana’s infrastructure ie schools, libraries, hospitals etc in addition to assisting with the cleaning of our trash-infested environs. Their payback will be the requirement to learn more skilled labor such as plumbing, masonry etc that gives them an opportunity to re-assimilate themselves into labor force in our society once their sentences are served.
This reform agenda is to include establishing proper public transportation systems for both taxis and trotros. The Ministry in charge of transportation will enact policy that subsidizes(tax breaks) those Ghanaians who invest in the transportation business while simultaneously insisting that they uphold stringent rules and regulations regarding the safety and condition of their vehicles and the ethics of their employees ie drivers and mates– they must train employees to pass a standardized road test for operating on our roads and highways and obeying the traffic laws. We invite investors to establish a world class railway system on a National scale to ease traffic and congestion in the Capital and other areas that are home to heavy commerce. Let me extend an invitation to those wealthy Ghanaians for an opportunity to leave an indelible legacy for their people by joining forces to build the National Railways Project. We will share this contract along with the one already established with the Chinese. I will review the merits of those existing contracts to find any loopholes in those contracts to ensure Ghana is the ultimate beneficiary of these projects. We have to establish standardized measures that takes into account the safety of citizens around these railways.
I will be relentless in setting a 20-year agenda along with the most brilliant minds and innovators in our generation to modernize Ghana and bring it up to speed with current world standards. I will not take any breaks or vacations except for family emergencies or issues that absolutely require my direct personal attention. I will unite the people by speaking to you in a language you understand, one that articulates and echoes your struggle as my struggle. All Ghanaians as equally deserving of all privileges that come with progress.
The economy, will be re-structured to have the interests of businesses and consumers as its priority. Fair trade regulations that allow for competition and makes room for affordable credit. Our natural resources and commodities will be improved to earn their highest potential by finding buyers who will pay the worth of our goods or re-negotiate pricing by encouraging other African countries to join in a collective bargaining effort(seems more difficult than is stated but we have leverage using our various harbors as a bargaining tool with our neighbors to join the efforts is one simple tool at our disposal). No longer will we sell cocoa and gold for cheap and re-import them as expensive jewelry and exotic chocolate bars. I will insist that parliament reforms our tax code within 8-years of this speech. Parliament will be required to establish and enforce a law that resolves our lack of a working National Identification system. We will outsource it to the private sector if necessary but it will be done and become a requirement at birth. We will tax every person and/or entity that is engaged in any form of business in our economy.
Yes, this requires a lot of money and trained personnel but for every educated Ghanaian with High school level education working menial jobs abroad or locally educated and out of work, your government will employ you for this worthwhile purpose. We’ll save money from Ministers who will no longer drive $100,000 Land Cruisers and inflating contract costs. That is scratching the surface of where we cut costs and invest the savings towards our more pressing issues. Prioritizing is a permanent staple in my leadership. We are not a socialist State nor do we aspire to be one but we embrace the responsibility for government to act in the areas that require the power and reach of government to solve those societal issues.
We will reform the housing and development sectors. Establish industry standards that ensure that access to public amenities and utilities are established before any Real Estate can be built. No company or citizen can bypass these rules and regulations because the Minister of Interior will be required to establish an agency that is tasked with the sole purpose of inspecting these building sites. Every Minister of government will go through a rigorous vetting process with no partiality to political affiliations, contributions or nepotism. A mandatory quarterly cabinet meeting will be required and goals re-assessed and evaluated for progress. I will cut the red-tape that prevents branches of government from sharing essential information that benefits the Country. Ghana needs a really good manager. One who understand the world and is not bogged down with mysticism. A manager who can walk the line between coaxing the traditionalists and the religious no matter how mutually exclusive they are, and give assurances to both that their goals, however pressing or sacred, are secondary to National goals without alienating their loyalties. As a person with ties to the community established by predecessors before me, I will use that voice to unite the Ghanaian community towards a common purpose. I will succeed because the tedious work required to establish such relationships already exists through familial ties.
Management of a country is about utilizing resources and creating ways to generate revenue that aids in the progress and security of the country, simply put. To know the value of what we have and how to maximize its revenue without jeopardizing the countries viability/prosperity in the long term. Management is about managing people and their varying motivations, skills and work ethics to align behind one agenda; developing Ghana to improve the standard of living of its people. Management is about negotiating on behalf of the country in the most skilled way possible without compromising any intrinsic, extrinsic or monetary value to the country and coming out ahead, not the irresponsible and cowardly giving away of 90% of our oil resources to foreigners, done by our predecessors. Negotiating need not be that awful. I will re-negotiate every bad deal doled on us by our irresponsible predecessors and for those countries that choose to hold us captive to these terribly negotiated deals, we will respectfully tell them to get in line and wait for payment while privately telling them what Busia said to the Russians; Apeeey. In all seriousness, re-negotiate or HIPC II shall be the order of business.
How will I achieve all this? We do it together! Sounds idealistic and fairy tale-ish right? We can because I am humble, selfless and pragmatic. I will unite not divide, encourage not dismiss, serve not lord over. The human spirit for progress is universal and the Ghanaian is every bit just as human. I will not only paint a picture, I will help you find the best place to hang it on the right wall. I am not afraid of the work it requires because it is worth it. Most men follow, they just need to know who to follow. Because I know you need a leader like Askia Mohammad not a Mansa Musa. I know these things because I have endlessly been devout to the idea of pragmatic governance since I gained consciousness of right and wrong(age 9). A blend of the positives of Confucius and Machiavelli. One who can take our long established traditions/cultural rules and re-interpret them to support the agenda of developing Ghana. I will have this speech translated to every one of our 9 Languages.
We do not seek power for the sake of it but we maintain power because it is necessary to do what is right by the people for the people and for our progeny. I will be ruthless in upholding the law of the land but practical in making room for that and those who are on the outliers of our societal comforts, standards and expectations. We choose wisdom in order to establish security and prosperity. There is no peace amongst the starving and stifled and one day soon they will rise in violence if those trusted with power continually ignore them. We understand the common human desire to succeed and the need to allow room for all to have equal opportunity to achieve their dreams. Today, I take on the responsibility to shepherd you where you belong. Our healthcare system is one of the most deplorable by world standards, let us work to change that by valuing our medical professionals and investing in building state of the art healthcare facilities in place of “Jubilee Houses”. There is no reason why we should be captive to Korle-Bu for any of our averagely complicated healthcare needs. We require that we have National emergency response in case of Natural disasters. My laundry list is long but I know they are yours too. We share the common desire as Ghanaians to change our trajectory and that is a great place to start.
Today, I realize that I will never be president but I hope to God a man like the one in this speech takes the reigns of our ship. Obama came and disappointed, regarding everything I believed in his “Yes We Can” speech for the most part but that is because we live in a world where men lack conviction. Not that he is Ghanaian but in a way, he gave so much hope and promise to the prospect of sound governance that all people across the world clung to his words. My purpose is not oratorical, instead, actionable. Those that come to power would rather be loved than do what is necessary. Scared of sacrificing self for the benefit of all. Monitoring polls and succumbing to the media agenda. I have news for you; if a plan is right and good for the people, a great leader will find support for it against all odds. Ghana is a small country, it lacks proper management/leadership. Are we simply too stupid and dumb to resolve our issues? I think not! We just need a leader who understands people and has a backbone to fight to do what is right by organizing his people for similar purposes and goals. I’m not your president but vote for a man who holds half these ideals and has the spine to fight for them and we’ll be better for it. If not, Ghana will never be what we all want it to be. You know what they say about how a fish rots? Head down! Yen Ara Ya ‘Saase Ni.