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Constitutional Intention Of The Vice President Of Ghana


Nemesis of the 1992 Constitution – Part Two, Open Letter to the Citizens of Ghana ……

It is globally required or acknowledged that an activist or an open letter writer should explain among others who you are a requirement, show knowledge and experiences to demonstrate creditability, to carry his or her followers or readers along. This implies that the author should provide readers with the godly facts and or pungent assertions on the subjects on the front burner or what he intends to bring to their attention, logically, and lastly, the motivation factor for doing so.

So folks, before I expatiate on the topic, pardon me for the usual few pieces of information on the author and the motivation for some of the series of submissions on National Issues through the vehicle of the Website of Modern Ghana.

Mohammed Bogobiri (rtd) is a graduate of the then UST now KNUST and a former Army Officer from the stable of former Military Officers from the Great Second Infantry Battalion, Takoradi. He is now a Senior Citizen, a champion of the 1992 Constitution, and a writer on some National issues on the front burner for reasons as stated below.

Firstly, the late Pi Adiali Ayigatem the First, who was his former Paramount Chief of Chiana in the Upper East within the jurisdiction of the Kassena Nankani people, in 1992 was the President of the Consultative Assembly which drafted the 1992 Constitution. He was one of his godfathers between 1972 and April 2006 (the year of his death). The late Pi Adiali Ayigatem and his father namely the late Alhaji Seidu Bogobiri of Navrongo, groomed him. Hence, as their protégé, need to defend whatever they left as their legacies to the people of the world especially the citizens and other people of Ghana, especially in the Socioeconomic and Political Landscapes.

So, they both provided him with the necessary keys to life when they ensured his acquisition of good knowledge in the academic field as well as helped him improve his integrity, boldness, appreciation of issues, rendering of empathy (responsiveness, etc), acting with decisiveness, etc when they caused him to imbibe military (security) training and operations, hence the motivation for Mohammed is to act accordingly.
Secondly, Commissioned Military Officers both serving and not on active Services, ex-military Officers as Soldiers globally are required by Almighty God, the Owner of Heaven and Earth, hence Ghana in the case of the author and the Nation to defend, protect, uphold, and preserve the Constitution of their Country in the case of the Author, Ghana.

So, Folks, Senior Patriotic Citizens especially former Commissioned Officers imbued with richer or better experiences than what is in the public domain are required by God and Nation to rise to the Occasion to ensure sanity (Stability, Soundness, etc) in God’s Nation. Hence my submissions are by God’s design.

Thirdly, other reasons are to be disclosed with time in subsequent submissions.
Enter the 1992 Constitutional Intention of the Vice President of Ghana
The Constitutional Intention of the Vice President of Ghana as provided in the 1992 Constitution by the Consultative Assembly of the late Pi Adiali Ayigatem the First and others is a Constitutional Appointee with zero Executive Powers in the Nation called Ghana this was further affirmed or worsened with the Constitutional Amendment 1996 (Act 527).

The VP is therefore on Standby to be assigned duties to the pleasure of the President to court unflinching loyalty hence an entrenched Clause at (2) of Article 60 of the 1992 Constitution decreed that the candidate for the Office of President shall be designated by the Presidential Candidate for the election.

Based on the history of Ghana, the 1992 Constitution departed from the 1979 Constitution which allegedly saw an arrogant VP who as provided in the 1979 Constitution was the Chairman of a constitutional-mandated Economy Management Team dubbed in the Constitution as the National Development Planning Commission at section a of Article 73 of the 1992 Constitution. It should be noted that the National Development Planning Commission was formerly the Ministry of Economy Planning or a wing of the Ministry of Finance and Economy Planning as in the 1969 Constitution and or in the Regime of the late General Acheampong.

Astute Constitutional Scholars will agree with me that the Constitutional Amendment 1996 (Act527) has made the VP like a Spare Tire in the automobile of government as dubbed by John Nance Garner who was a former Speaker of the House of Representatives of the USA and a Former Vice President under the regime of President Franklin Roosevelt of USA. To authenticate this assertion by John Garner, Google for ‘Vice President; A spare tire on the automobile of government or for TWE Remembers; Vice Presidents on being Vice Presidents’ by James Lindsay.

Per the Constitution of the USA, the Vice President is on Standby to take over when the President dies, etc has therefore zero executive powers and he or she has a definite Constitutional role in the upper like Parliament termed as the Senate as the President of US Senate, thus presiding over the Senate with a voting power if and only if there is a deadlock. So the VP of the USA, as the President of the Senate rather has some legislative Powers.

So as far as Executive Powers are concerned the Office of the VP of Ghana and the Office VP of the USA are like Spare Tires and cannot and will never per the respective Constitution be spare drivers since he or she cannot and will never share powers with the Executive President that is the main driver of Ghana or USA respectively. So those who want or see the VP of Ghana as a Spare Driver need to revise their notes in Political Science or relevant Constitutional matters or Governance.

It should be noted clearly that by the Constitution of Ghana, Executive Powers are exercised exclusively by the President. The State Sword or the State Seat is never held/handed over to and sat on by the VP respectively when the VP is acting for the President.

It should be noted that assigned Delegated Officers as subordinates, exercise executive powers in the name of the President. Read all these in Article 58 of the Ghanaian Constitution. You may also read the Public Lecture in 2002 by Professor Nana Dr. Krobea Asante, the current Paramount Chief of Asokere Manpong in the Ashanti Region, so please Google for the Reflections on the Constitution, Law and Development and the report of the Constitution Review Commission by Professor Raymond Atuguba and others in the case of Ghana on the President’s exclusive executive powers.

The Zero Powers of the VP are further made clear on why the Speaker of Parliament is required by Constitutional provision in section (11) of Article 60 of the 1992 Constitution to temporary seat for the President when both the President and VP are unable to perform the functions of the President. This is weird to ask the Speaker to act as President.

It is perceived that maybe the framers were of the view that the Speaker of Parliament would come from the ruling government but the current situation with a strong opposition member (Strongman Right Hon Speaker Bagbin) elected as the Speaker of Parliament has proved my godfather and others wrong. Note Acting President cannot make a major decision say a removal or change of the Chief of Staff at the Presidency, he cannot appoint or shuffle Ministers nor remove the IGP, CDS etc and he or she cannot appoint a new IGP or CDS.

So, the VP or the Speaker of Parliament when acting as temporary President is toothless no teeth to bite hence he or she will be just a Titular President, Titular Head of State, Titular Head of Government, and Titular Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces because the State Sword and the State Seat are not handed over and occupied by him or her respectively when seating in for the President. Interestingly, in the absence of the VP of Ghana from Ghana, no requirement for an Acting or Temporary VP thus speaking volumes of the zero powers of the VP.

Let me reiterate that in the case of Ghana, the amendment of the Constitution of Ghana in 1996 by Act 527 stripped the Vice President of Ghana naked from performing the Constitutional Roles granted to the VP by the framers of the Constitution as the Chairperson of Defence Council, the Police Council and the Prison Council, So dubbed the Office of the VP as Spare tire or a driver mate is appropriate since he or she is to perform any national duty at the pleasure of the President of Ghana.

Folks, it is therefore not strange that it is manifested accordingly that for the first time in the history of Ghana or the Fourth Republic of Ghana, a sitting or the current VP of Ghana is elected as the Flag bearer of his Party which is the ruling regime of the day is openly acting like an Opposition Leader. This was the situation when the current President of Kenya who was the VP in the regime of former President Kenyatta suddenly became a rival to his boss, the then President of Kenya. So, VP Dr Bawumia demonstrates that he has taken over power as the Leader of NPP emanating from his Party from the President who before that was the Leader of the NPP and must therefore come out with his vision as a new Leader of his Party.

So those demanding that His Excellency Dr Bawumia as the sitting VP per the Constitution of Ghana should resign with the President for alleged bad governance etc must revise their notes and note that the buck stops with the Executive President. Those demanding the VP of Ghana who doubles as the Flag bearer of the Party of the government of the day should implement his vision now need to revise their notes in social or political science and Governance to appreciate that the Constitution of Ghana Executive Powers is exercised exclusively by the President so the buck stops with the President and the VP has Zero Executive Powers (no National Executive or Constitutional powers).

The VP of Ghana was made a nonentity (insignificant person) with the Amendment 1996 (Act 5‬27). This nonentity situation in the American presidential System was clearly explained by John Adams, the first Vice President in the History of the USA when he wrote in 1793 to his wife that ‘My Country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant Office that ever the invention of Man contrived or his imagination conceived’’. ‬

It was buttressed when Theodore Roosevelt, an American once said that I would rather be anything says a Professor of History than VP of the USA. Thomas Marshal who served as Vice President under President Woodrow Wilson of the USA compared being VP to being a man in a cataleptic fit, he cannot speak, he cannot move, he suffers no pains, he is perfectly conscious of all that is happening but has no part to play in it as it goes on. The unfortunate beating of a former VP, the late Mr Ekow Arkah in 1996, and the evidential material on the allegation of the attempt of two previous Vice Presidents to resign from the Post of VP are cited to drive my point home that the Office of the VP is a Spare Tire. The Contingency Plan has placed the Office of the VP as a Redundancy one.

So, by our Constitution, Executive Powers are exercised exclusively by the President. Hence, Dr Bawumia, the sitting VP suddenly acting like someone from another Space, is just demo like any other competing Flag bearer for Executive Powers. Hence, he is just a Leader of a Political Party yet to be duly registered and granted Constitutional powers or Authority when gazette by the EC to compete with a new vision presented to the electorates when campaigning in the impending National Presidential election to become a new Driver for the Vehicle called Ghana to navigate to a new direction, hence the VP cannot a spare driver but a Spare tire. A spare Driver in STC or VIP Bus from Accra to Paga drives the bus on its return and thus shares the driving seat with the main driver.

So, folks, by the Constitution of Ghana which was further worsened by the 1996 amendment of the Constitution of Ghana, history tells or will tell that the sidelining of the VPs of Ghana was/is the order of the day. But for the alleged performances of the current VP, a careful study of the Office of the Vice President will reveal that the Office of the VP is a waste or ambiguous and superfluous.

It is therefore recommended that the Constitution should be amended to abolish the Office of the VP and rather make it free for the President to nominate one of the Cabinet Ministers or the Cabinet Ministers to nominate one of them to act as President as and when necessary like the Constitution of South Africa.

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