Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

What The Papers Say

Free Press of Ghana, September 23-30, 1985

What Rawlings said

For the records Flt-Lt. Rawlings' recent frank chat with PNDC Secretaries cannot pass without our comment on the salient points he raised.

His open criticisms about the complacency in which many secretaries find themselves, their alienation from the people they are supposed to serve, and gradual bureaucratisation should be regarded as serious drawbacks to the development efforts of the government and the people of Ghana.

Secretaries of State are often supposed to provide leadership and initiative for their ministries but we find ourselves in a situation in which most secretaries prefer to be led, often echoing worn-out solutions and statements of the past, political cliches that only compounded problems then and would aggravate the crises even now.

Here we may pause to consider how much the press have been allowed to encourage our secretaries and other secretaries to feel empowered to ignore the law and allow them to totally to clinically examine the stewardship of such public offices.

For instance, Lt-Col. Christine Debrah (Rtd) was appointed the Director-General of the Post and Telecommunications Corporation amidst such fanfare publicity which promised that her assumption of office will bring innovation and improvement to the work of the P&T. As she moves away, to another department, it would have been of significance to see what impact she made. The same can be said of the public officials and institutions who raise the aspirations of the people and never ao much towards the fulfilment of their initial promise.

The media has therefore a responsibility to undertake exercises of this nature that would make all public officials note that their activities, statements and policies will be mirrored to the people.

In the interest of the reconstruction efforts it is hoped this process of examination of the record of public officials will be viewed as a contribution towards making the work of government effective and efficient. It is important we do just that, especially as we approach new government arrangements.

talking drums 1985-10-07 Nigeria at 25 - A nation in a hurry