Feature Article of Tuesday, 11 December 2012
Columnist: Amenga–Etego, SaCut
Dear President Mahama,
Let me do the first thing first. Congratulations on your victory as President – elect of the republic of Ghana. You fought hard for this victory. It is not a fluke. I know that there were many who would rather die than see you become president of Ghana. There were those within your own party who even worked actively against your victory. They tried hard to sabotage your efforts. I am sure you know them for yourself. Within five months you managed enigmatically and charmingly to get more than half of the Ghanaian voting population rooting behind you for victory. One is left with no choice than to admire the ease with which you have become elected president of the republic of Ghana.
I want to believe that your victory has nothing to do with your ethnicity. It is a fact that more non- northerners voted for you to become president of Ghana. You even captured more votes in Ashanti – region – the opposition strong hold – than your predecessors ever got. You have been given the blessing of all Ghanaians. Therefore, I am hopeful that you will eschew tribal politics during your reign as president since tribalism is a major bane for our country’s development. I will never support you just because you come from northern Ghana. That will be ‘primitive loyalty’. I will only support you for your show of commitment to fighting corruption, ensuring probity and accountability in public office, demonstrating that you are clearly in – charge of your government among other things.
I am sure that one of your strongest attributes which brought you victory is your ability to reach across to others who may even openly disagree with you. You did it within the NDC after the demise of late president Mills. You can do it again now that you are fully in –charge. There are also many who voted for you because they believe you are very competent. Now you have the task to prove that competence.
Mr. President, your victory is a new day not only for your supporters but also for many of those who had hitherto lost confidence in the NDC leadership. You represent new hope for those of us who almost lost hope in the essence and relevance of the fundamental values of the NDC.
I have heard your spokespersons say that you are taking this electoral victory with humility. I hope so. I know for a fact that the task ahead of you is a daunting one. You cannot afford to fail where President Mills did - Unless you want to end where he did.
There used to be a lot of vindictiveness within the NDC. There also was exclusiveness. There was divisiveness and ingratitude. Flatterers ruled the presidency in the past and intolerance of divergent views reached such intolerable levels. And regrettably, truth was buried and the speakers of truth publicly crucified.
You may disagree with me on my judgment of the last NDC government, Mr. President. We are allowed to agree to disagree in a democracy. However, we have a new day to begin to make amends. Some of us are progressives and will give full support to a new, genuinely inclusive government – inclusive of divergent ideas, inclusive of genuine competition, and a tolerance for truth.
In my books, the only way to be different from the last NDC government is to get rid of all the people who have out –lived their usefulness in government. I don’t need to name them. There are young ones who must go out of government to give way for a new day. There are equally the old guards who must be retired for good if there is to be any real progress.
The opposition to your government will be strong and vicious. The NPP with over 47% of the voter population behind them do not believe that your victory is genuine and without manipulation. Indeed, the NPP have accused you of conniving with the electoral commission to rig the 2012 elections. They obviously feel embittered and may not be cheerful losers. I hope you can contain an embittered opposition, and keep them also loyal. It is important to rally the opposition behind you. Inclusiveness should be your hall mark.
Mr. President, You don’t need another opposition within your own ruling NDC party. If that is allowed to happen this time round, you may have too many enemies to deal with – a situation that will destruct you from succeeding as president. Learn from the mistakes of the Late President Mills. Don’t fall into the same traps as he did. Remember those who helped you win power. Don’t say it was the work of God because God works through men. Remember your promises to the people of Ghana too. Don’t tell us they were just promises to win elections. We would hold you accountable to your words – and we will do it without apology.
I wish you good luck as President of Ghana. As a young person considered as a global being by many, you must raise the bar and galvanize young talents from within and outside Ghana to move Ghana forward to a competitive stage in the global village of international trade and commerce, cultural integration, international relations and diplomacy as well as research and development that will make Ghana technologically competitive around the world.
It is my hope that some of us will not become compelled to be an opposition in your government on the basis of principle in the near future. That can only happen if you refuse to show true leadership – a new leadership that gives all of us hope. I really look forward to a new day in governance in our dear nation. Please don’t disappoint young people of Ghana.
Amenga – Etego SaCut
Political youth activist & columnist