Ghana needs a “one-term sacrificial” president


That Ghana is up the creek without a paddle is indubitably undeniable, and the only way out of the current socioeconomic conundrum facing the 65-year-old country is for its leaders to sit up straight. The current economic challenges require some unpopular decisions that may not sit well with a cross-section of the populace but may be able to steer the country out of its predicaments. It is at a crossroads and requires a resolute and fearless political brinkmanship leader with the willpower to take and implement decisions that would eventually be beneficial to the masses.

Such a leader would have a laser-precision focus on his or her given four-year mandate, without concentrating on winning the next election. The mindset would therefore be that of a one-term president bent on optimizing executable programs and projects within the given time. A premeditated focus on winning the next election is a dangerous distraction that could compromise vital economic developments. For several reasons the sociopolitical plate of a typical elected Ghanaian president becomes full the moment he or she is declared the winner by the electoral commissioner.

What Ghana needs is a president with the mindset of one term rather than focus on winning the next election and beyond.


The impact of foreign taste and by extension (foreign) culture on most Ghanaians cannot be overemphasized. Many, especially the youth, prefer expensive imports beyond what they can really afford. It is not uncommon for a minimum wage earner to own gadgets and fanciful accoutrements that only the wealthy were hitherto able to afford. Living in Accra but practicing a virtual lifestyle of a Parisian, Londoner, or New Yorker dictates that merchants and importers bring in items of ostentation, straining the country’s meager foreign reserves. Because the local currency has no value outside the borders of Ghana and foreign trade is carried out with internationally acceptable currencies such as the U.S. dollar, Ghana’s foreign exchange must not be expended on trivial imports in these challenging times when the local currency is on a tail dive. A small step to arrest currency depreciation would go a long way to stabilize the free-falling cedi.

With Ghana’s arable and fertile lands being destroyed by illegal mining, known in local parlance as galamsey, it wouldn’t be long before Ghana’s international trading partners sanction exports of cash crops and produce such as cocoa. Toxins such as mercury and cyanide used in gold prospecting and extraction render the environment poisonous. Further, because underwater mining is as prevalent as open pit, some river bodies in Ghana are being destroyed. Fauna and flora as well as aquatic life are either fast vanishing or pose potential risk for consumption. 

As such, the real need for basic imports, hitherto once locally available, will manifest when the environment is poisoned and destroyed, and Ghana no longer can subsist on its environmental resources such as water and food. Unfortunately, no government thus far has been able to uproot the menace of galamsey. “A stitch in time,” it is said, “saves nine.” The destructive effect of galamsey, both in the short and long term, is tantamount to the war on illegal drugs and must be confronted as such.

Ghanaians are known for their happy, enjoyable, fun lifestyles, and so the prosecution, conviction, and punishment, preferably jail time, of some big fishes involved in galamsey would bring the dastardly act to a screeching halt. Galamsey utilizes capital-intensive heavy equipment and machinery that are not locally manufactured. Imports of such equipment therefore place premium on much-needed foreign reserves. Imports of heavy machinery must be used for national development rather than national destruction.

A regimentally strict president who is not afraid to be a one-term leader and would not play to the gallery or kowtow to anyone, irrespective of sociopolitical affiliation or status, would be able to confront the threat and dangers of galamsey.


For most Ghanaian adults, politics is an acquired family and ethnic phenomenon. Historically, people were born into it, based on the existential environment. By virtue of the late President Rawlings’ long existence in the political arena, most young adults, until recently, only knew and towed the military/political lines of Rawlings’ leanings. Predictably, only a small percentage of the Ghanaian electorate are swing voters.  A preconceived political voting pattern is endemic in the system, mainly due to ethnicity, religious affiliations, and other intangible factors.

Thus, being politically sophisticated or savvy is immaterial to the average voter. The effect of the non-homogeneity of Ghana and several African countries carved out intentionally by colonial masters was to create division, which in turn foments fear, suspicion, and even hate. This diabolical strategy by colonial masters is unfortunately extant and functional, with most politicians exploiting same for political score.

In the contemporary political climate, buying votes has become a norm rather than the exception, and the practice is evident especially among incumbent politicians. The current upheaval in Ghana’s Parliament of some members of government calling for the head of their finance minister is unprecedented in the annals of the body politic in Ghana. The economy has faltered, and Ghanaians are burdened with spiraling inflation and an asphyxiated economy.

As much as the parliamentarians are responding to the wail and cry of their constituents, they are also protecting their political interests, lest they be voted out. After all, some have assumed the status of professional lawmakers. Notwithstanding the stand taken by the ruling government’s members in Parliament, it is a lesson in objectivity that cannot be wished away.

But why now? The answer is buried in Ghana’s Constitution of 1992, where the President is required to choose majority of his/her ministers from Parliament. Call it “camouflaged intimidation,” but a parliamentarian of a governing majority stands no chance whatsoever and risks a lesser chance of being appointed to a government position upon criticizing his/her own government. Until recently the majority in Parliament had been a “yes” legislative entity, rubber-stamping and defending the executive arm of government.

Ghana’s Constitution of 1992 was basically crafted to protect the then President John Jerry Rawlings and also give him almost absolute and unfettered power to rule. Indeed, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Thus far, no sitting president has initiated a move to overhaul or amend the Constitution, except the late President John Atta Mills, who created a Constitutional Review Committee (CRC). The work of the CRC is sitting somewhere in an archive gathering dust.

A selfless “one-term” president would call for the amendment of the Constitution that gives unfettered powers to a sitting president.


Challenges in the macroeconomics may be improved, among other ways, by reviewing existing import structures in the country. The recent announcement by the Bank of Ghana to cease forex support and activities of some imports is a step in the right direction that was long overdue. In Ghana, big-time merchants influence the political establishment on the sidelines and out of the prying eyes of the public and media. Given the dearth of the country’s foreign reserves, the announcement by the Bank of Ghana should be extended to all available products in-country.

If Ghanaians are not encouraged to utilize locally produced goods but rather prefer imported ones, the economy of the country will be in perpetual dire straits and eventually tank at the mercy of external dictates. Available local products must be protected by banning imports of same. However, the quality and efficacy of locally manufactured goods must meet standards and protocols of the Ghana Standard Board. The Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) with relevant stakeholders should educate, monitor, and control price gouging and apply sanctions to recalcitrant members. In essence, people must not be made to have open sesame of price gouging when and where there is no need for it.

A sacrificial president would call for measures that would not sit well with the business community but would ultimately be beneficial to the masses.


Orthodox Christianity has co-existed with traditional belief without many conflicts and confusions since Europeans and Muslims first brought their religions. But the recent mushrooming of so-called one-man, charismatic, or spiritual churches in every cranny and corner of Ghana has taken Christianity to a different level. Their sort of gospel preaching has mostly divided families, pitted friends against one another, and broken matrimonial homes. Taking advantage of the ignorant and the frustrated, they scheme to rip off the very people who troop to them for help. And surprisingly, their congregations continue to grow in leaps and bounds.

Pastors of these churches have therefore become almost untouchable by the political establishments by virtue of their sheer numerical strength. They huff and puff and pronounce invectives and judgment on critics and perceived political foes, influencing their congregation in the process. They contribute next to nothing to the socioeconomical and religious health of the nation. They thrive on the notion of “the most ignorant being the strongest believers.” If unchecked, the surreal nature of these non-taxpaying “Men of God” will overrun the country. Unsurprisingly, Christian and Islam worship centers in contemporary Ghana outnumber healthcare facilities and tertiary institutions combined.

It would require a president with political spine to stop the exponential progression of dubious and questionable religious centers that are fast becoming a pariah to nation building. 


According to the World Bank, Lee Kuan Yew’s zero-tolerance policy on corruption in Singapore propelled the country – with no mineral resources – from a developing nation in 1959 to a developed one in 2020, with a GDP per capita of US$400 to US$59,798 respectively.

Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has so far honored one of his campaign promises of eliminating corruption by going after former government officials.

Earlier this year, President Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi stripped the powers of his Vice President Saulos Chilima after the country’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) accused Chilima of accepting kickbacks in return for government contracts.

And in Paul Kagame’s Rwanda, properties of corrupt officials convicted of corruption are auctioned off and the culprits heavily fined. He also banned several hundreds of churches and mosques for breaking regulations. A potential pastor in Rwanda is now required to possess a degree in theology to start a new church.

And the late Tanzania President John Magufuli reviewed and renegotiated dubious previous contracts and saw that culprits were punished.

Critics by and large have called these unapologetic presidents dictators and authoritarians, in a “guided democracy,” but most of their citizens would prefer that critics tell that to the marines. Irrespective of the epithet, they’ve been able to alleviate the acute suffering of their people. Ghana, without doubt, needs same before the nation of over 30 million people heads south.

A fearless, incorruptible, and fiscally disciplined president of Ghana with the political willpower for a zero-tolerance policy on corruption would persecute and prosecute friends and foes, and government officials to nip the canker in the bud.

If and when that happens, Ghanaians would wholeheartedly extend the four-year term of such a leader without much political election campaign. After all, a good product needs no advertisement, it markets itself.

Posted by on Nov 30 2022. Filed under Features. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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