13:30, 24.Mar 2017
A political science lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) Osei Kwadwo, has applauded former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan for chastising African heads of state for their penchant to clinch to power through fraudulent elections.
Mr Annan delivering his treatise during a lecture on leadership and public service dubbed ‘An afternoon with Kofi Annan’ organised by the alumni of his alma mater Mfantsipim College on Thursday August 10, 2017, said: “A growing number of Presidents are changing their constitutions and subverting elections to remain in power indefinitely. According to international watch dogs, democratic freedoms seem to be in retreat on our continent. Although governments organise elections, many lack integrity.”
He further decried the divisive politicking of “unscrupulous African leaders” noting, “Elections with integrity confer legitimacy on the winners and offers protection to the losers. But many elections have paradoxically exacerbated identity politics as unscrupulous politicians banded to ethnic and religious cravings and prejudices to mobilize voters in their favour.
These developments he warned “are all the more serious given the size and expectations of our youth population. African population will grow to 2 billion by 2050 and 4 billion by the end of the century. This demographic boom can be a blessing or a curse depending on the policies we adopt. But on current trends, there are grounds for concern.”
Speaking on this development in an interview with Accra News on Friday August 11, 2017, Mr Osei Kwadwo who is also a legal practitioner said: “I agree perfectly with what Mr Annan has said. For instance, Ghana’s first president became like a patron in Ghana, he adopted the father figure style and positioned himself as such, he became an authority on himself and so he was worshiped.
“That meant that positions were given based on praise singing but not just on competence. Today, it appears we are experiencing same development because the constitution has entrusted too much powers to the president in terms of appointments and that has been Ghana’s problem.”
He added: “This problem exists in almost all other African countries and so most African countries are suffering from the square pegs in round hole problem. And so Mr Annan is right, he has hit the nail right on the head. It appears in Africa we are our own enemies.”