By Leo R. Sam
It is O.K. to disagree with me STRONGLY. However, do not insult me right away. I accept the fact that you have the RIGHT to disagree with me. Hopefully you also accept the fact that I have the RIGHT to express my opinion openly without being insulted. I expect that commentators on Ghanaweb will take note of this simple request.
If you think it will be a waste of your precious time to read the whole article, I IMPLORE(earnestly beg you ) to read just paragraph 4 and the last paragraph. It will take less than 3 minutes.
Most presidents usually use the first two years in office to get to know the ropes properly. President Mills is no exception.
In Ghana, where MOST citizens ( about 80% ) still secretly accept corrupt practices ( KALABULE, GYINABU, SARKAWA, 419, BRIBES disguised as GIFTS ) as the NORM, serious and honest presidents need more than four years to settle and implement meaningful and sustainable development projects.
All Ghanaians, irrespective of our political affiliation ( NDC, NPP, CPP etc ) should realize that no president can be effective if we do not change our attitude of trying to justify corrupt activities undertaken by members in our own political parties.
There are many examples to show clearly that NDC members, who point out suspicious corrupt activities among their colleagues are threatened to SHUT UP. Failure to comply with the request often results in an attempt by the PARTY EXECUTIVE to soil the reputation of the whistle blower. To support this statement, I would like to mention the name of Hon. Michael Teye Nyaunu, NDC member of Parliament for Lower Manya Krobo. It was reported on Ghanaweb ( Thursday 20, January 2011 ) that he had stated :
” PARTY EXECUTIVES ARE BUSILY AMASSING WEALTH ”
On January 27 2011, It was reported that Michael was in trouble. The party executive had called him to provide evidence to support his statement. We all know that this action was just a THREAT to get him to shut up.
I believe that this incident was the main reason that Michael LOST his nomination to represent NDC in the 2012 election. What do you think? The people of Manya Krobo will do Ghana a great service by electing Michael as an Independent candidate. Ghana needs bold parliamentarians of the calibre of Michael to expose corrupt colleagues.
There are also many examples to indicate the NPP does not tolerate INSIDE CRITICISMS. Direct personal attacks are quickly launched against the whistle blowers. In some cases the critics are labeled as MENTALLY UNSOUND.
On Friday September 7, 2007, Hon. P. C. Appiah-Ofori, NPP MP for Asikuma, Odoben,Brakwa made the following statement:
” PARLIAMENT IS A RUBBER STAMP ”
He was bitterly attacked by members in his own party for exposing the rotten corrupt deals, which were going on behind the scenes. He has also LOST the party nomination for the 2012 election. Ghana definitely needs MPs of the calbre of Hon. Appiah -Ofori.
Many of these critics should rather be seen as the TRUE PATRIOTS. They should be considered as heroes, who try to steer the party members away from selfish and unpatriotic activities. Apparently, these critics have deep understanding of Social Justice. They really care about the welfare of the average Ghanaian Citizen.
There are many NDC members, who have amassed wealth through corrupt means and are now filthy rich. Some of them are among the ” TEN RICHEST PEOPLE IN GHANA ” If our judiciary system had been working as it should, these white collar CRIMINALS should be in jail. However, they are parading as patriotic Ghanaians and criticizing others of being corrupt. God help us !!!
The same situation exists in the camp of NPP. Most Ghanaians know high level NPP members, who used dubious means during their time in power to enrich themselves and their relatives at the expense of the ordinary poor citizens. Some of them are now among the ” TEN RICHEST PEOPLE IN GHANA ” If true justice prevailed in our system, they should also be languishing in jail. However, they have been set free on technical legal grounds. They are now preaching to others about how to govern properly and honestly. God help us !!!
Hopefully as our democracy becomes mature, the appointment of judges, magistrates and other significant legal personnel will be based mainly on MERIT and not on political affiliation or political convenience of the party in power.
Ever since President Mills was sworn in – January 2009, there have been too many DISTRACTIONS to allow his administration to concentrate on matters of real practical importance to the ordinary Ghanaian citizen.
These distractions were generated not only by his political opponents but also by his own NDC members, who were expecting political appointments that they did not get.
Other NDC members expected President Mills to use the AFRICAN STRONGMAN method of Justice ( Buga Buga bullying ) to jail all members of the previous NPP administration who were suspected of stealing state property through improper channels. Thank God that President Mills was and is still level-headed enough to avoid the “buga-buga” method to interfere in the Judiciary system. We are all aware that providing EVIDENCE in Ghana and other developing countries is one of the most difficult tasks on this planet ( Earth – especially in Africa ). Hopefully the Ghanaian voter still has the option to get rid of corrupt politicians at the pools. This is one area in which the Ghanaian attitude MUST change if real development and justice will prevail in our motherland, Ghana.
Let us start voting for HONEST and HUMBLE politicians who truly believe in social justice. Let us stop voting for CROOKS, who use money stolen from our own resources as well as money from foreign suspicious fraudulent business operators to BUY OUR VOTES.
President Mills’ GREATEST DISTRACTION so far was the NDC’s process of nominating a candidate to contest the 2012 Presidential Election. If he had lost the nomination, he would have become a completely LAME PRESIDENT.
Allegations made against the President during the nomination campaign were just ridiculous. Attempts were made to soil the reputation of the President. Imagine the headline :
“PRESIDENT MILLS IS ACCUSED OF STEALING OIL MONEY” ( Ghanaweb Monday, 18 April 2011 ).
How can one expect a President to have the peace of mind to concentrate on his agenda when statements similar to the above are being thrown all over the place?
When the nomination process was settled decisively by a vote of 96.9% to 3.1% , we all thought President Mills will be allowed to spend the remaining period of his first term in office to pursue issues, which were really of practical value and importance to the ordinary Ghanaian. However, this was not the case. Other obstructions and impediments were created to distract him and his administration.
What about dealing with the obscene practice of giving outrageous ESB (End of Service Bonus ) to politicians. This so-called “ex- gratia awards” should be adjusted DOWNWARD immediately. Both the Rawlings and Kufuor Governments wholeheartedly supported this award.
I fully agree with Dr. Michael Bokor when he questions :
“WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE POLITICIANS IN PARLIAMENT OR THE
EXECUTIVE THAT ENTITLES THEM TO EX-GRATIA AWARDS BUT WHICH
THE GOVERNMENT DOES’NT DEEM TO BE APPLICABLE TO PUBLIC-SECTOR WORKERS AS WELL ?”
My suggestion to give President Mills a SECOND TERM in office is not based on the assumption that everything has been running smoothly since he took office. Some of his appointees are fully engaged in the “AFRICAN POLITICIANS’ GAME” of illegally amassing wealth from all available sources ( depleting the national coffers, awarding non productive contracts just for the sake of collecting KICKBACKS etc. ).
The technique of using payment of so-called “JUDGEMENT DEBTS” to defraud the state has now been exposed.
Technically we know that the president can be held responsible for these activities. Practically we know that it is impossible for a single person ( the President ) to know of all these activities. This is one area that the individual Ghanaian must change his/her ATTITUDE. Self discipline is crucial. Whatever your position is in your workplace, work diligently and honestly. If you are not satisfied with your wages, let your employer know. Supplementing your income with bribes is NOT the right step. Form powerful trade unions to negotiate living wages with your employer.
Vote for people who care about the welfare of ordinary workers even when they do not belong to your own party. Vote for advocates of SOCIAL JUSTICE. Support honest whistle blowers in your own party. Do not allow the executive to harass these true patriots.
I strongly believe that change in Presidency in 2012 will not be in the best interest of the country. We need a President with certain qualities to stabilize conditions for the benefit of the ordinary citizen. President Mills has these sterling qualities. He may not be successful in bringing about a significant change in four years but definitely he will be able to implement some dramatic changes in eight years. When a President is in a second term of office he is empowered to deal with corrupt officials in the administration more effectively. He is not forced to kowtow to the whims of political CROOKS.
Rating African Leader in January 2011, President Mills was highly placed.
The rating was based on:
“.RESPECT DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES, STIMULATE BUSINESS GROWTH, UNDERTAKE EFFECTIVE DEVELOPMENT PROGAMMES TO LIFT THEIR POPULATIONS OUT OF POVERTYAND REFRAIN FROM PROVOCATIVE OR WARLIKE ACTIONS. THESE OUTSTANDING FEW LEADERS TEND TO BE BRILLIANTLY EDUCATED, HAVE STERLING CREDENTIALS ONE WOULD EXPECT OF WORLD LEADERS AND CAN USE DIPLOMATIC CHARM . )
Find below the first five leaders and the last three. For readers, who are interested in the FULL list, it is available in the Archives Section of Ghana web (Friday,21 January 2011).
1. Sir Anerood Jugnauth Mauritius 83.54 A+
2. Pedro Pires Cape Verde 78.91 A
3. Ian Khama Botswana 78.7 A
4. John Atta Mills Ghana 72.56 A
5. Hifikepunye Pohamba Namibia 71.07 A-
50. Teodoro Mbasogo Eq. Guinea 20. 72 Morgue
51. Omar Al-Bashir Sudan 15.67 Morgue
52. Isaias Afwerki Eritrea 12.14 Morgue
President Mills just needs 115 HONEST members of Parliament to transform Ghana. It does not matter, which party these MPs belong. They could belong to PPP, CPP, NPP or NDC or whatever. The Parliament must be a REAL one, where national issues are honestly discussed and decisions transparently made. It should NOT be a Rubber Stamp Parliament.
President Mills has been the subject of unfair criticism lately. Consider a recent article on Ghanaweb entitled:
” Blame Mills For Kennedy Agyepong’s Outburst”
( Ghanaweb Tuesday, 24 April 2012 )
President Mills has not been involved in any corrupt deals to enrich himself and spouse and other close relatives. He is an ideal candidate to be genuinely considered for the Prestigious $5Million Mo Ibrahim Prize. He has clearly demonstrated that you don’t have to be a crook to be a politician in Africa. He is fit to be considered for the prize whether or not Ghanaians give him a second term of office. Africa just needs HONEST politicians not pathologically greedy opportunists.
All Ghanaian Politicians ( Past, Present and Future ) should ponder over this:
IF YOU MUST choose, take a good name rather than great riches, for to be held in loving esteem is better than silver and gold. ( Proverbs 22-1 )
Those who ignore this TRUTH, should be aware that sometime in their old age, they may be wheeled, lying on a hospital stretcher, to a court of REAL JUSTICE, to account for the fraudulent wealth acquired during their term in office. The judges appointed out of political convenience will not be there to set them free on technical grounds.
Perhaps we should remind our politicians that:
We reap What we sow ( Galatians 6: 7 – 9 )
“. every cause brings its effect, every action has a consequence. ”
Let us all examine our personal and business activities critically to determine whether we are contributing to the development of our Motherland Ghana or we are part of the group engaged in drawing the country backward. Let us all hold ourselves to a little higher standard than our legal system demands. Let us not point accusatory fingers only at our PRESIDENT and other politicians whilst we are busily involved in corrupt activities in our daily lives and use the excuse – everyone is doing it. This excuse is UNACCEPTABLE !!!
” An unexamined life is not worth living”.
GOD BLESS GHANA !!!