Year in, year out, Ghana faces cholera outbreak which claims innocent lives. According to reliable statistics, in 2014 a severe cholera attack killed 250 people and infected as many as 25,000 people between January and December. Figures from the Ghana Health Service indicate that the situation was severe in the Capital city of Accra which recorded more than 18,000 cases and 114 deaths. The causes of cholera and these preventable deaths can be attributed to poor sanitation or insanitary condition in our communities. This year, it is predicted that there would be early but heavy rains. Rain is a blessing particularly to our farmers. But again the same rain may be a curse to those of us living in low lying areas, with choked gutters.
A new dawn has broken. The celebrations are over. It is time for real business. And President Akufo-Addo is off the blocks with the naming of his Cabinet to govern the country for the next four years. As the new administration seeks to fulfill its mandate to Ghanaians, the media must also stand in readiness to fulfill their watchdog mandate to the citizenry. So, this is the time to get the cameras rolling, microphones set, and printers in motion to monitor the government every step of the way. The 1992 Constitution of Ghana, specifically Article 162(5), mandates the mass media to uphold the responsibility and accountability of the government to the people of Ghana. This is an absolute constitutional mandate the media must never abdicate. As a former Chief Justice, F. K. Apaloo, said in a Keynote Address at the Annual New Year School in 1999, there is, indeed, no modern institution that is more potent in keeping the government in check and exposing its wrongdoing and other acts of misgovernance than the media.
It is said that those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past. The December 2016 election has come and gone, with the successful inauguration of Nana Akufo-Addo as the Fifth President of the Fourth Republic. While this success story has received the commendation of the international community, the activities of some people going round seizing State facilities and even brutalising political opponent is denting Ghana's enviable democratic credentials. In spite of the fact that this lawlessness by party activists occurred in the past and was condemned, its recurrence anytime there is a change in political power democratically requires collective national effort to nip it in the bud. Allowing people to assume they have the power to storm State-owned institutions like the Tema Port and the Passport Office suggest lawlessness to the highest degree. The danger in this phenomenon is the apparent helplessness of the Police Service who are mandated to ensure law and order, especially protecting lives and property.
The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at a news briefing on Tuesday and Wednesday officially announced some ministerial nominees for approval by Parliament approval committee.The professional background and expertise of the nominees undoubtedly seem to make them suitable for their respective portfolios, having excelled in similar endeavours as politicians, business persons, entrepreneurs, public and civil servants. Comments following the announcement have been varied, but generally, it appears the appointments are in the right direction. Managing a nation requires such experienced people more especially in the face of economic challenges characterised by unemployment, high interest rate, budget deficit, high cost of living, and huge foreign and domestic debt. These challenges, coupled with the promises made by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) during the campaign place a heavy burden on the President and his appointees. The nominees when given the nod by Parliament are expected to help the President to initiate area specific policies and programmes to achieve better living conditions for Ghanaians. Irrespective of one’s political affiliation, favourable economic environment will ensure to the benefit of all Ghanaians.