For the attention of the President

Atta Mills

In societies other than our own, the administration of President John Evans Atta Mills would have been facing a vote of no confidence, after breaking the social contract the President entered into with Ghanaians on the campaign trail. As a presidential candidate, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills made a number of promises. Two of them stand out in the minds of most Ghanaians.

He promised to put more money in the pockets of hard-up Ghanaians. He also pledged to reduce petroleum prices drastically. The Head of State has failed to do any of these. Rather, he has hiked up fuel prices to the extent that it has affected every aspect of the life of the Ghanaian, and drastically reduced the money in our pockets.

In Parliament House to deliver the State of the Nation Address last year, President Atta Mills told a bewildered nation that he never ever promised to put money in the pockets of Ghanaians while campaigning for the highest office in the land. Since then, a number of radio and television stations have played back the momentous event, which clearly contradicts the presidential stance.

As candidate Atta Mills, the former law lecturer clearly made that pledge. On Friday, the Head of State told the nation that he would not apologise to the people for the promise to reduce fuel prices, which has turned out to be rather drastic increases.

At his second anniversary encounter with senior editors at the Castle on Friday, President Atta Mills rubbed salt in the wounds of most Ghanaians, when he suggested that if there was any apology to be given the people of this nation, it would have to come from the New Patriotic Party (NPP). It was the NPP administration, he claimed, which failed to give him the true picture of the economy.

In every sense of the word, the stance taken by the President of the Republic is insensitive to the suffering of the Ghanaian, who is enduring the harshest economic conditions since the early days of the Provisional National Defence Council of Jerry John Rawlings.

The ordinary Ghanaian aside, state institutions and private companies are bearing the brunt of the steep rises in petroleum products. A number of companies are on the brink of collapse, putting many jobs in jeopardy.

The Chronicle is unimpressed by the self-congratulatory tone from the Presidency. Though the President refused to mark his own script this time round, the answers given to questions put to him, clearly indicated that the government he heads, has no remorse about putting Ghanaians and this nation in very dire financial straits.

Instead, he appears to believe in the phantom figures being bandied about the growth of the economy that made this country a Middle Income nation, without anybody moving an axe.

We do not believe many Ghanaians would weep if the President and his leading personnel miss the boat after the 2012 presidential and legislative elections. But we are worried stiff about how the Ghanaian is going to go through the financial stress before then.

The President has broken his social contract with Ghanaians. We would implore him to be more sensitive to the plight of the people, even as he prepares his handover notes in the next two years.

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