Competent or Not Competent Debate - I Am For And Against

A butterfly can never consider itself a bird. So also the saying goes that when a crocodile tells you what is happening beneath the waters, one cannot doubt it. If I put these axioms together, then I can only agree with the president for people calling his competency into question.

The president of our dear country said it's only former presidents who are qualified  enough to question his competency. Yes it is true. I very much agreed with him. Because 'xoxoanu wo gbia yeyea do' ( Leadership by example).

If, as a nation, we have not set a benchmark for assessing how competent a president is, then how can we say he is competent or incompetent? Wait a second. In the game of football, many of us are not coaches but we are able to tell what makes good team/coach even though we do not have the technical competency of a coach. And so people believe the same logic can be used by any ordinary Ghanaian to assess the competency of the president.

In fact, assessment is subjective and it comes with its own challenges especially when you do not have a benchmark. This is why we need a National Development Policy, the framework of which will serve as a guide in assessing the president. That way, any Ghanaian can assess the performance of a president.

Over the years, we have seen political parties come into power with their manifesto message. So if indeed we want to be fair in assessing the competency of a president, then we must subject it to their manifesto. Therefore I still agreed with the president. But there is so much double standard in our politics. I know there are certain international organizations that do periodic assessments of presidents across the world. And I am convinced those organizations are not owned by former presidents yet we hail their reports especially when it favours us and criticize them when it goes against us. I have no doubts whatsoever that if a former president should describe a sitting president as incompetent, the latter will still disagree!

Now let me disagree with the president that assessing the competency of a president is not the reserve of only former presidents. We have seen this country ruled under different presidents and political parties. So, even though I have never been a president before, I can assess another president by doing a comparative analysis based on what his predecessors have done. I can equally base my assessment on what other excellent things other presidents are doing around the world. And I think this is a genuine and a fair way of assessing the competency of our president.

The president's claim that Ghanaians will retain him as president because of the successes he has chalked is not true. A sitting president winning an election is not a true reflection of how good he has ran the country. If one advertises a product of low quality with a strong message, one would get a lot of buyers but that does not make that product a high quality one. It is only a few who can differentiate a high quality product from that of a low one.

Indeed every product has its own targets. The focus of a politician in an election is mostly on the 'ignorant' majority. So they craft their message such that that majority can assimilate it even if they cannot relate with it. Quite apart from that, the government in power has all the state apparatus to its advantage. I quite remember in 2008 electioneering campaign, all the media houses in Ghana including the state-owned, were focused on only one political party during their final rallies. Clearly, any party that wants to win an election focus its attention on the 'ignorant' majority who have short memories and will accept a few cedis just to vote for you.

So measuring the competency of a president is not the preserve of only former presidents and winning an election is not a true reflection of how good you have ran the country. Winning an election is about tactics and strategies that is aimed at a section of the electorates.

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