By Gilbert Adu Gyimah, Canada
A little over a week ago, I was supposed to have emerged to the sound of vuvuzelas and the throbbing of atumpans to announce that I, Kofi Dubai, had done it again. I was supposed to have given Nana Opana the shellacking of his life. What actually happened could not have been further from what I had been psyched up to expect by my army of Aides, Assistants, Party Apparatchiks, friendly pollsters and my fans on Social Media. What a “father-and-son” spanking I got? Dear Country-folk, what happened?
Exactly four years ago today, I was preparing to head off triumphantly to Dubai to spend the Christmas holidays with my family. I had just sent Nana Opana crushing to the canvas in the 2012-Elections. The victory was made sweeter by the fact that I had achieved this feat after only 3 months of campaigning. Of course, I don’t like to mention that those 3 months of hectic campaigning effectively emptied the Ghanaian treasury of every single pesewa and more. But I considered every pesewa spent then as well-spent. Of course, a short while later, I expressed a little contrition to our good Country-folks by saying that “the meat was down to the bone”. What happened four years later?
Over the past week, I have been doing some soul-searching of some of my missteps. I have sadly come to realize that they were so many. I knew they were wrong when they were happening. But I took no corrective steps because I felt I had become invincible. I, your Excellent One could do no wrong. I felt that a knowledgeable person like Dr. Kofi Prophet dare not criticize me because he had not been President before. What arrogance?
I have penned down the following as some of my ill-advised actions and inactions:
- What was I thinking when I put my Photos on commercial buses at public expense? Even Jahya Jammeh would be too bashful to do a thing like that. And I am supposed to be the nice, modest and affable one.
- What respect did I show Ghanaians when I cut short the jail sentence of the Montie 3?
- After the Independence Celebrations brochure fiasco, I did not apologize to the Ghanaian people. Rather, some people who had been appointed into office courtesy of their NDC connections were quickly assembled to make a public display of offering me an apology. But I failed to apologize to the Ghanaian people.
- The Ghana Project needs to be taken a bit more seriously than was reflected in the qualifications of some of my appointees. When one looks at the CV of some of my appointees, if one doesn’t laugh, one will weep. Dining Hall Prefect on a CV paaa? As a Deputy Minister in the Republic of Ghana? Ah ah ah ah ah ah.
- Removing folks who had soiled themselves in Brazil (during the World Cup) and bringing them to the Office of the President to soil themselves some more away from the prying eyes of the public left much to be desired.
- The strategy of 3 years of austerity, 1 year of “E dey bee ker ker” is no longer very attractive to a discerning electorate.
- The “money swine”, “oga dey chop am nyafu-nyafu” campaign-model whereby everyone who could be influenced with a V-8 was so influenced left a bad taste in the mouth of many a Ghanaian. Talk of Obaa Opanaa Donkor and two V-8 vehicles; and for doing what? Singing my praises?
- Some of my young appointees at the Presidency had gained media publicity for all the wrong reasons. Some of these young appointees insulted women who criticized me. Others smashed the equipment of journalists they did not like very much. I failed to lay the smack down on these appointees.
- The BNI was gaining steady notoriety. I failed to exercise leadership.
- We should have paid closer attention to the constructive criticisms of Dr. Kofi Prophet. Sending the “Babies With Sharp Teeth” after him did not amuse Ghanaians. Why Paa PKay failed to answer the 170 questions of Dr. Kofi Prophet beats me.
- Ghanaians do not want their President descending into the arena of name-calling and playing the ethnicity card. I should have learned from the conduct of Kofi Diawuo and Kofi (Fiifi) Asomdwee.
- I should have used the resources of Ghana more wisely to improve the living conditions of Ghanaians rather than to have focused predominantly on winning the next election.
Dear Country-folks, I failed you, I failed to meet your expectations, I failed my Party. I did try but my efforts were far from adequate. My predecessors could have done better with half of the resources I had. For my failings, let me do something I did not do in the past 4 years: I apologize.
I wish Ghana and Nana Opana well. All of the above 12 failings of mine boil down to one thing: RESPECT, or better still, lack of it. If Nana Opana will show respect to the sensibilities of the Ghanaian people as I know he would, he would be a much loved President and a most successful one at that.
President Kofi Dubai