Ghanaians have once again demonstrated their democratic maturity by going through a successful election.
At the end, the opposition candidate defeated the incumbent President. This invariably calls for a transfer of power from the current administration to a new one from an opposition party.
Thankfully, unlike what is happening in the Gambia, President John Mahama has gracefully conceded defeat, congratulated his opponent and expressed his willingness to hand over power peacefully.
In accordance with the Presidential Transition Act 2012 , Act 845, both the out-going and in-coming administrations must constitute a Joint Transition Team, to be co-chaired by the incumbent President and the President-Elect.
The Joint Transition Team is to among other things, ensure smooth transfer of power. In so doing, the team is to take stock of state assets and also receive handing over notes from Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
The Joint Transition Team has since commenced its business. However and regrettably, the transition process is not happening as smoothly as envisaged, as the outgoing government and the incoming administration attack each other.
Both parties have been trading accusations and counter-accusations against each other, suggesting a mutual lack of trust.
The latest evidence of this politically-motivated debacle is the outgoing government’s dismissal of allegations by the Acting General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party, John Boadu, that the handing over notes made available to the incoming government have been “doctored”.
A statement signed by the spokesperson for the government’s transition team, Hanna Tetteh, said Mr Boadu's allegations can only have one purpose: to demonise the out-going John Mahama-led administration.
Before this latest rebuttal by the government's transition team, the NPP team also claimed that the handing notes were not ready. Again the outgoing came out to deny the claim, insisting that the handing over notes for the incoming Nana Akufo-Addo-led administration were ready.
The incoming government says it has received handing over notes from only eight out of the over 30 ministries. The government transition, however, says handing over notes for the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies have been made ready within the time frame required by the Presidential Transition Act, 2012 (Act 845).
The point must be made that the law requires that the handing over notes be deposited with the Administrator General about 30 days to the election.
It will therefore appear problematic if days after the election, we are being told some of the handing over notes are not ready.
A statement from the government team explains that, the Ministers responsible for each sector are required to sign the handing over notes before sending them to the office of the Administrator General.
The obvious question however is, how long will it take ministers to sign the handing over notes? There have also been claims by the incoming government that that outgoing government was awarding last minute contracts and recruiting personnel into the public service a few weeks to the official change in government.
The point must be made that the current administration has the mandate to rule upto the 7th of next month when the President-Elect takes office. The fact that the incumbent has lost the election does not mean everything must come to a halt. In 2008, when the NPP lost the election, President Kufour continued to exercise executive power even hours to handing over.
It will be recalled that on the 6th of January, 2009, President Kufour announced the coming into effect of the new pay structure, the Single Spine Salary scheme and also granted Presidential pardon to some jailed former ministers and government appointees, notably former GNPC boss, Tsatsu Tsikata.
In all of these, what is required is good faith. Every action and decision of this current government within this few days must be seen as being done in good faith and without malice. It will also be important for the incoming team to eschew the unnecessary suspicions and the mistrust so that they can work in harmony, and in the best interest of the nation.
BY GEORGE DARLINGTON, A STUDENT OF POLITICS AND HISTORY