This President is not on top of his brief
Ebo Quansah in Accra
A number of top notch National Democratic Congress (NDC) officials say I am a bad boy. Some are of the opinion that I am deliberately running down my tribesman and kinsman. In a number of other instances, close associates of mine, who are now kingpins in the ruling NDC administration, including ministers in Prof. John Evans Atta Mills government, have even suggested that I am not a proper Fanti.
In the diction of some desperate officials of this administration staring defeat in the face, to be a Fante should be synonymous with supporting the President and his moribund administration. I am a proud to announce myself as Ekumfi-born, bred and schooled as a native of Ekumfi land.
What I know is simple, I am nobody’s poodle.
Those hanging me for failing to be part of the misinformation on the performance of this administration can go ahead with what they know best. I do not believe it is right to look a man in the face and lie.
That is why people would have to put up with what they obviously believe is my temerity to state in public what is being whispered in private all over the country. I do not know what the President and his image makers make of people’s opinion on the President’s health. For me, the real Prof. John Evans Atta Mills is not what we occasionally see moving slowly on television and trying rather hard to speak on major issues.
Opinions, like noses, are varied. Everyone has his or her own. My candid view is that the President of the Republic of Ghana appears to be making himself irrelevant in the governing process. He is hardly heard on matters of national importance. His public appearances have been carefully cheorographed to make him look good.
Even then on the evidence of the few times he appears on television, his demeanour has given people cause for concern. This President is not enjoying the best of health. And that has limited his ability to be an influence on the governing process.
The President is trying hard to influence the governing process, but the stark fact is that the harder he tries, the more distance that comes between him and those carrying out all sorts of deeds in his name.
People, many of them mischief makers, are hiding under his effigy to cause all manner of mischief. I am afraid this situation is creating problems for the President of the Republic of Ghana. Many claiming to follow him know he is not well. But, like the Emperor without clothes, close associates are goading him on, because that is the situation which appears to synchronise with the wishes of most of them to continue with various negative schemes to maximise their benefit from the system that has been created.
Like the case with the Emperor without clothes, ministers of state and close associates are reluctant to tell the President the truth about how his failing health is damaging the governance process. In the nineteen century classic published in Copenhagen on April 7, 1837, as the final installment of the Andersen’s Fairy Tales, an emperor hires the services of two tailors, who are known swindlers, to sew him a suit that was uncommon in society at the time.
According to the world-wide Wikipedea web-site, the tailors promise him the finest of clothes made from a fabric invisible to anyone unfit for his position as emperor. When the suit is delivered, the emperor cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can, for fear of appearing unfit for his position.
His ministers do the same, impressing upon the emperor that he is wearing the best fabric ever. The emperor marches in a procession before his subjects, who play along with the pretence for fear of victimisation. Suddenly, a child in the crowd, certainly too young to go along with the pretence, shouts that the emperor was wearing nothing at all. At that stage, the cry is taken up by the crowd.
The emperor cringes, suspecting that the assertion could be true, but proudly continues the procession stark naked. After the procession, he swears never to be taken in by praise singers anymore. But, it is rather too late for rescuing his damaged image.
I am afraid the President is reaching the stage akin to the emperor without clothes. After the farce of a Kotoka International Airport welcome ceremony, in which the President jogged and could have made the qualifying time for an Olympic Game event on his return from a ‘routine check-up in New York, Prof. John Evans Atta Mills was whisked to the Castle, pronouncing that he was as fit as a fiddle.
“I have a message. The report of the review tells me one thing. That the energy that I have is strong enough and, therefore, I will drive from here to the Castle to continue with my work. We should all work together, because we in the NDC have a job to do. Let us make use of the opportunity that has been given us.”
Since the Presidential motorcade swept down the Liberation Avenue en-route to the Castle, the appearance of the President in public has been fleeting, at best. Even when issues heat to boiling point, as the controversial judgement issue has raised, the Head of State of the Republic has been conspicuous by his absence and rather loud silence.
Apart from an unimpressive television appearance on the day traditional rulers of the National House of Chiefs called on him at the Castle, President Atta Mills has been an absentee President. On Sunday, July 1, the kick-off for the President’s Cup, the annual classic cup match to celebrate Republic Day, which this year featured Kumasi Asante Kotoko and Berekum Chelsea at the Ohene Djan Stadium, was delayed to await the arrival of the President.
Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills did not show up. Instead, Vice-President John Dramani Mahama had to, as has been the case on countless occasions, filled in for his boss.
The only occasion when he was said to have ventured out was to visit the treacherous Teacher Mante-Suhum stretch of the Accra-Kumasi Highway, according to official bulletin. Even then, the only footage of the President on the visit was at the Achimota-Ofankor Road, where the resident engineer promised that the road would soon be completed.
Many Ghanaians do not believe that the President reached the treacherous Suhum end of the road. This assertion is buttressed by a presidential submission that the public should bear with the contractors as they work to satisfy the people of Ghana. The contention is that if the President had really been at that stretch, which has many long haulage vehicles and buses stuck on its rough surface for a very long time, the Head of State would have taken the contractors to task.
Certainly, this President has exhibited no leadership role in the crisis of judgment debts now bedeviling his administration. A government led by an able Professor of Law would certainly not be found wanting on the legal front. What is happening is not the very best, to state the least. When the Supreme Court dismissed the application for Certiorari in the case of the Mr. Kennedy Agyapong’s trial, the state, headed by a Professor of Law, had lost 18 straight cases, and still counting.
I do not know whether or not these losses have any meaning to the former university don. Meanwhile, legal authorities advising the party in government have been talking from their hearts instead of their minds. What is more alarming on the legal front is that we have an Attorney-General who is alleged to have been indicted by the police in a matter of criminal nature.
It is beginning to look like judgement debts are the main thematic areas in the Mills Presidency at the moment. It started with the President suggesting in his maiden State of the Nation’s Address that the nation would have to brace itself for huge payments in judgement debts. Every where you turn to in the media at the moment, the focus of attention is on huge state money being dissipated in the name of judgement debts. There are strong indications that Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa is earning a reputation as the harbinger of the judgment scandal.
From the GH¢51 million dole-out to Alfred Agbesi Woyome, through the 94 million Euros payment to Carl Ploetner (CP) to the Galloper issue, the state has been short-changed by officers appointed by President John Evans Atta Mills to aid the construction of this society under the Better Ghana concept.
It is not normal that a Head of State enjoying a clean bill of health would allow the governance front to so collapse, while the ordinary Ghanaian with whom the President signed a social contract with at the time of the last election to seek his welfare wallows in the quagmire of economic mal-function. I have every reason to believe that this President is not on top of his job. I dare state that his health is one reason why President John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills has failed to perform.
This roof-top advertisement of constructing a ‘Better Ghana’ has ended up like rotten eggs on the faces of those who are busily trying to create castles in the air.
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