Feature Article of Saturday, 21 August 2010
Columnist: Prah, Prince
My beloved countrymen, I stand before you today with joy and with all humility to thank you for making me the President of this Great Nation of ours. If I am your President today, it is not by my works or anything, but by God’s own Mighty Power and Grace.
I again thank you for heeding the urgency call that I made to you in voting the NDC back to power. I declare to you today that it’s a new day. Yes, this is a new era and the change that Ghanaians need has come. Before I proceed further, I want to assure you that the trust that you have reposed in me and the NDC party would never be betrayed.
Ghana today stands at a crossroad. The country faces so many challenges that cannot be overcome overnight. But with dedication, support, accountability and the will of the indomitable Ghanaians we shall overcome most of the hurdles.
Touching on the challenges facing our country brings to mind the current global economic meltdown that has affected all countries. Every country is belt tightening, and even top-notch world analysts are not able to better predict the Economic Outlook for the next two years. It is not going to be easy for my administration in the next two years, therefore, I expect my fellow Ghanaians to tone down on their high expectations. But I promise you that once the global economic situation turns around; my government would do all it can to deliver on its promises.
One key area that is dear to my heart is the high unemployment rate. We would not abandon some of the programs that the past administration put in place to resolve the issue. But we would review them, make changes and build upon it so that we would reduce the high incidence of the youth who turn out of our schools every year but do not have work to do.
The development of every country depends out how well it develops its youth. The major streets of all our big cities are littered with dog chain, nkatse cake and plantain chip sellers. These are kids who we consider as part of our future leaders of the country. Therefore, if we fail to put them back to the classrooms to educate them, we would be leaving a bad legacy for the country. I would therefore, put in place a program to train these kids to acquire employable skills that would not only help them, but also help them to play an integral part in the economic development of the country.
I love Ghana just as everybody does. I feel the pains of people when they loose their daily livelihood. I am therefore assuring Ghanaians that I would not be vindictive. You did not vote me as President to do witch hunting. I am prepared to work with all those who can contribute their quota towards national development no matter your party affiliation or differences. That is why I have stated that I will consult both former presidents to advice. Wisdom to me is not embedded in one person; therefore, consulting them does not mean I do not know my way ahead. I believe in censuses building for the betterment of the country.
I now move on to the uneasy tension in the country today. First of all I must tell you that we all love Ghana. The NPP loves Ghana. The NDC also loves Ghana. The other parties do not love Ghana less. We all aspire for the greatness and the betterment of the country. Where we digress is how to get things done in the country. Therefore, the NPP people should not see themselves as our enemies. They are our friends in opposition and together we can build a strong Ghana.
I wish to throw an invitation to the NPP to support my administration to rebuild our economy. If Ghana wins, we all win. Likewise if it fails, we all fail. Since we do not have any honeymoon period, I will move to institute a policy whereby we would tap the skills of some NPP people. The days whereby it’s a winner-takes-all is over.
God being so good, the country is set to tap into its huge oil reserve. This is not only Good News to Ghanaians in general but Good News to the people of the West Cape Three Points. A committee that I would put in place to manage the execution and distribution of the oil goodies would not abandon the people in that area. In fact we would provide all the basic amenities like hospitals, roads, schools and good drinking water to show our appreciation for the people in that area. The committee would also ensure that monies allocated out of the oil goodies for developmental projects throughout the country are initiated, executed and measured as a way of building public trust in government.
I want to assure Ghanaians that we would honour our international obligations by paying down on our national debt. But any agreements that have been signed that do not favour Ghana would be reviewed to cater the interest of Ghana. This is not to say we are going to chase out investors. We would rather put in place additional measures to make Ghana more investor friendly. To this end the focus of the Ministries of Tourism and Trade and Industry would be geared towards that direction.
Key workers who play critical roles in sustaining the economy would not be abandoned. Talk about doctors, health workers, teachers, farmers, blue-collar workers, fishermen, drivers and market women among others. I will role out a program that would better their needs in the course of my administration. I promise them that, I would not abandon them.
In conclusion, I would once again thank Ghanaians for getting me this far. And I promise you that I would not let you down. Times are hard, therefore, this is the time for us to pull together and rebuild this country. This country is ours. We must do all within our power to move this country forward. And with the help of God we shall get there. I love you all and may the Lord Richly Bless us with wisdom as we work together as a team to move this country forward. This is what our President, John Evans Atta Mills read out to Ghanaians on Wednesday, 07 January 2009.