Former advisor on corruption to former President John Dramani Mahama, Daniel Batidam is not taking things lightly with President Akufo-Addo with regards to the president’s comments on the National Cathedral project.
President Akufo-Addo while speaking at the Fund raising dinner in aid of the National Cathedral, Friday night said his passion for the construction of the cathedral emanates from the fact that he had pledged to God that he will build it in His honour should he win the 2016 elections.
But according to Mr. Batidam, it is needless for the president to drag the generality of the Ghanaian people into his personal relationship with God, adding that the move smacks of misplaced priorities on the part of government and the president in particular.
In a long write-up, Mr. Batidam quizzed ‘’ how about the numerous pledges you made to the people of Ghana on open campaign platforms prior to the 2016 elections, some of which have not been redeemed within the stipulated time, in some cases the first 18 months of your Presidency and/or Government, and in others, your first 2 years in office which expire in a few days. These include your promise of US $1million per constituency ANNUALLY, the One district, One factory (1D1F), the construction of dams in every constituency or district in some regions of the country (One district, One dam), etc, etc…?!?’’.
He also described the just ended referendum for the creation of the 6 new regions as nothing but suspicious on the part of Electoral Commission.
See his full write-up below.
Today, the 29th of December in the year of our Lord 2018, I AM SCARED FOR GHANA, my Motherland. Why? Two things have happened in the past two days of the first two years of the Nana Addo-led NPP administration that got me scared:
- The just ended referendum organised by Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) 2 days ago (on 27th December 2018) for the creation of 6 new regions in the country, whose outcome, as officially declared by the EC itself, is nothing but suspicious…and,
- The “revelation” by President Akufo-Addo last night at a fundraising dinner that the proposal to build a National Cathedral – the purpose of the said fundraiser – is actually in fulfilment of a “pledge made to God” by our President in the run up to the 2016 elections. In other words, our President had made a personal pledge to his Maker (without our knowledge) to have a National Cathedral built in honour if he was elected to lead our country.
Let me begin with the second, ie. President Akufo Addo’s pledge to God to build Him (the Supreme Being) a National Cathedral when elected as President – a pledge our President is in the process of redeeming – and ask just 2 simple questions for the attention of His Excellency the President:
- Mr President, what other pledge(s) did you make to your Maker before or leading up to the December 2016 elections that brought you and your governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to power so that we, the citizens of Ghana, whom you have exhorted not to be spectators but citizens in our democratic process, would know before hand, so that we do not waste precious time debating DIVINE PLEDGES as though we were having public policy debates?
- How about the numerous pledges you made to the people of Ghana on open campaign platforms prior to the 2016 elections, some of which have not been redeemed within the stipulated time, in some cases the first 18 months of your Presidency and/or Government, and in others, your first 2 years in office which expire in a few days. These include your promise of US $1million per constituency ANNUALLY, the One district, One factory (1D1F), the construction of dams in every constituency or district in some regions of the country (One district, One dam), etc, etc…?!?
Needless to say, Mr. President, your enlightenment on the above (2) initial questions would not only help us (citizens) to appreciate WHY certain otherwise NON-PRIORITIES have suddenly taken centre stage in our public policy making and indeed in the national budget reading and application, but also help us avoid certain needless public debates. More importantly, from where I sit, it would be a great mark of a President and/or Government that believes in and upholds TRANSPARENT GOVERNANCE.
As for the (first) issue to do with the referendum of Thursday, 27th of December 2018, I don’t think we need a soothsayer to tell Ghanaians that with the kind of results announced by the Electoral Commission (EC) yesterday and the subsequent concerns expressed by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) in its official statement as well as through radio interviews broadcast earlier this morning, the less said about it, the better. Apart from the CODEO expressing its concern about the “unusually” high turn out in most of the 6 regions (notably over 98% or so), the experienced and respected domestic election watcher (CODEO) also expressed deep concern about the excessive numbers of MANUAL VOTING in many areas of voting where the BIOMETRIC VERIFICATION (BV) system of voting was available and working efficiently and effectively. (FACTUAL: the manual voting procedure is supposed to be a back up to the BIOMETRIC VERIFICATION system of voting. Yet it turned out in some instances that the former exceeded the latter).
Besides the CODEO, social media has been replete with lots of video and audio visual recordings pointing to possible widespread rigging in favour of the YES vote across the regions where voting took place. And infact, the Jean Mensa-led EC itself has already issued a statement announcing it’s readiness to investigate the allegations of vote rigging as well as vowing not to shield any of its staff, permanent or temporary, found culpable, while urging the public to provide any evidence they may have (of rigging) to the police or the Commission.
I have never wanted to be a prophet of doom. But those who have been following my pronouncements since the appointment of the new EC Chairperson (Mrs. Jean Mensa) and other new colleagues of hers, would recall a piece I wrote shortly after their appointments by the President indicating that the new EC urgently needs our prayers. I also did point out my reservations about the COMPETENCE of the new EC Chairperson in particular without going into much details, except to indicate that I have evidence of the incompetence I was talking about from past experiences working and dealing with the nee EC Boss at a professional level. Maybe, just maybe, it is about time we all come out and speak about what we know in order not to let our great country down. Because, if the just ended referendum is anything to go by and given the level of incompetence and helplessness displayed by the EC, as well as the fact that there were even open attempts to block the media from covering the referendum vote in some areas of the country without any visible restraint by the powers that be, etc then Ghana is in real serious trouble.
Some have already called for the resignation of the EC Chairperson. I would say, it is early days yet. But given that in a matter of 5 weeks or so, a bye election is scheduled to take place in one of the swing constituencies of the Greater Accra region (Ayawaso West constituency), the NEED FOR ALL VOICES OF CONSCIENCE/REASON TO SPEAK UP AND MAKE THEIR VOICES HEARD AND/OR STAND UP TO BE COUNTED AT THIS CRITICAL HOUR OF GHANA’S DEMOCRATIC DISPENSATION,, cannot be overemphasised.
Greater honesty still works indeed!!