“I am an unrepentant believer in democracy, and I hold that it is the only viable path to nation building,” the former President said in his presentation in Accra, dubbed: “Ghana at a Crossroads”.
“Disruptions of the constitutional order cannot be an option and would rather worsen a dire situation, but I am also pragmatic enough to realise that mere rhetoric and exhortations about democracy no longer give our people hope, particularly our young people who are desperately searching for jobs or the young families out there whose mortgage plans have been disrupted because the dollar has arrested the cedi.”
“What threatens them must threaten us and jolt us into solution mode.”
Touching on a Stronger Social Fabric for Sustainable Democracy, Mr Mahama said in his presentation Monday evening that aside reversing the economic decay, he wished to emphasise the need to reweave the social fabric, which was bursting at the seams and threatening national cohesion and democracy.
He said the despair and disenchantment that the economic and social problems had created within the people could not and should not be underestimated.
There were many in the country who questioned the relevance and usefulness of the democratic path Ghanaians chartered 30 years ago, he said.
“They see too little progress or hope to convince them that the democracy of the sort we are practicing is worth the effort.”
Mr Mahama said the citizens also had a responsibility to contribute towards national development but the structures must be put in place to support them to achieve that goal.
“In my interactions with them, they do not expect the government to solve all their problems. They are not unreasonable!”
“Therefore, we as political leaders must demonstrate through our deeds that the struggle to restore democratic rule those three decades ago and the flame of hope that was lit in our people has not been in vain. We must restore confidence in the democratic path,” he said.
He said the government could make headway if it carried out extensive reforms of the governance system and delivered the goods and services the people yearned for.
“This is the way to go so that even in times of crisis, they still see a silver lining at the edge of the clouds. And can wait out the hard times with the assurance that effective and responsive leadership will work in their best interest.”
Mr Mahama said the political elite in Ghana were taking Ghanaians for granted and were governing and using resources in a manner that suggested personal benefit overrode national collective benefit.
Under no circumstance must personal benefit override national benefit, the former President said, and that the time had come to adopt bold and radical measures to carry the people along to win back their trust and confidence in managing the affairs of the state.
After 30 years of constitutional rule, the young people of Ghana expected the political leaders to carry out a comprehensive review of the Constitution and governance system, a strengthened fight against corruption and waste, modesty, and frugality in spending.
“They expect humility and respect from those who lead them.”
He urged the Government to show commitment to building genuine consensus on the matters that concerned Ghanaians the most and rally support around a common national cause.
“I am ready to support this national goal with patriotic zeal,” Mr Mahama said.