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Col. Festus Aboagye criticizes Ghana’s democracy for failing to deliver after 30 years.

Written by on July 2, 2024

Security Analyst Col. Festus Aboagye (Retired) has asserted that Ghana’s democratic system has failed to deliver on its promised benefits after more than 30 years.

According to Col. Aboagye, the expected advantages of democratic governance have not materialized in the lives of Ghanaian citizens.

Former Minister of National Security, Francis Poku, echoed similar concerns during a public lecture on July 1, highlighting a growing lack of confidence in democratic governance in the country.

In his lecture titled “Reflection on Democratic Control over the Military: A Way Forward for Sustainability,” Mr. Poku emphasized that unless these issues are addressed, Ghana could face another period of political instability.

In an interview with Caleb Kudah on the Citi Breakfast Show on July 2, Col. Aboagye echoed similar sentiments, criticizing the narrow interpretation of democracy as merely a periodic voting process every four years. He argued that democracy’s essence lies in electing officials who will effectively manage the state’s affairs across all sectors to enhance citizens’ well-being.

“When we assess whether democracy is delivering or not, the resounding answer is no. Democracy has not lived up to expectations. There’s a mistaken belief among politicians and others that democracy is simply about voting every four years to elect government officials. That’s not democracy.

“The primary purpose of electing officials is to entrust them with the responsibility of managing the state’s economic, social, political, security, and other aspects, all aimed at improving people’s livelihoods. However, over the past seven years, the situation we’ve witnessed does not reflect true democracy. In fact, the well-being of individuals has deteriorated, as highlighted by the statistical data presented by Francis Poku.

“We are unable to manage the cedi; we are unable to stabilize it. Prices have skyrocketed. Although I do not personally go to the market, I purchase medications myself. Some prices have tripled. Medications that were GH¢200 now cost nearly GH¢700. Fuel prices have soared, and just yesterday they increased again, yet incomes have remained stagnant,” he stated.

Col. Festus Aboagye also questioned the effectiveness of democracy when ministers and those in the political class act with impunity and without consequence.

“Then we come to the issue of corruption. Can a democracy function effectively if ministers and other officials act with impunity, without consequences? I served as a soldier before attending university, and I learned from my military and academic training that all laws must be publicly promulgated.

“No minister has the authority to unilaterally purchase medicine for the country without parliamentary oversight and public transparency. Ministers are spending millions of dollars on vaccines, and when confronted, they simply say, ‘Oh, I was confused,’ with no repercussions.

“They remain in office until retirement or resignation. Is that democracy? The necessary checks and balances and sanctions are not being applied,” he added.

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