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Feature Article of Sunday, 29 April 2012

Columnist: Asare, Noah Dugubrame

Tell Us Your Responsibilities, Mr President!!

It is mind blogging that we elect a president to serve as the chief executive of our land with our constitution empowering him than any other person, group of persons or institution we have. And yet he points to us so often that he is not responsible for this and that. Our President H.E John Evans Attah Mills posture when confronted with key national issues leaves some of us in the dark. It makes one wonder what at all the presidents responsibilities are.

It sounds like a man and his wife who decided to share their responsibilities in their home. The man who brought the offer on the table chose to attend to all major issues in the house whilst the wife will bear the minor ones. The wife agreed without asking for the details of what major and minor meant in that agreement. So was it that when the woman needed a new shoe the husband referred to the agreement and said buying shoe is minor affair so the woman should bear that. The man said the same when water and electricity bills were due. The irresponsible man was trying to use the same argument to free himself from paying his children's school fees. It was here that the woman saw the need to ask for a clear definition of Major and Minor as stipulated in their agreement. The man then said that all household issues and payment of bills and school fees are just minor issues, whilst major issues are such as going to the war in Liberia, Iraq or Afghanistan.

It is indeed important at this time to ask the number one chief executive of Ghana to tell us exactly what he thinks his responsibilities are. Because many a time he had used the excuse of "it is not the presidents responsibility" to hide from answering very important questions and from taking actions on same.

We will recall that on the president's return from US on one of his numerous trips there he was ambushed at the airport by journalist who were eager to know from him his stand on Ghana's contradiction of an IMF agreement by requesting for a 3 billion Chinese loan when they had agreed with the world financial body not to take more than $800,000. To the surprise of Ghanaians the man in charge of running affairs of the land, said he was not aware of the existence of any such agreement. When he was pushed harder the president clinched on his usual excuse of it is not the president's responsibility. The question "dissident" commentators asked was; per the constitution to enter any such agreement the president must be personally aware. And again signed by him or on his behalf on his orders. That mystery of the President's denial of his own direct responsibility has still not been unveiled.

Then emerged the issue of the Woyome's Gargantuan judgement debt saga. Upon confrontation the president denied having knowledge of any such payment, repeating again that it was not his responsibility to pay judgement debts but that of the Attorney General, the court and the finance Ministry. I was personally so shocked that such an amount could be paid from our national budget without the president having a hint. It was when EOCO brought out his report that Ghanaians got to know that the president lied. The report had said the president tried twice to stop it. It was by this time becoming clear to me that the president is either unable to do his duties as expected and try denying them as his. Because under no circumstance can 52 billion new "Kuffour" cedis be paid to an individual without the express knowledge of the president.

In our political history and particularly in this current republic there have never been any voter registration characterised by so much violence and tension as the one held under his watch. Journalists fearing and worrying of the incidents of violence and the absolute break down of law and order asked the president on what he had to say of all what is going on. And guess what? The president repeated his slogan. "The president is not responsible for enforcing law and order". Whilst he was saying that the constitution was still backing him to be solely responsible over hiring and firing the Head Of the Police; IGP. He is still the chairman of the Police Council. And the Commander In Chief Of The Ghana Armed Forces, according to the constitution. What he does not know is that when he left their foot soldiers to burn down properties and go free. When he refused to apprehend the thugs who committed hideous crimes in the name of party foot soldiers, they were being emboldened to commit crimes knowing they were going to go free so long us they are under the guise of party membership. If the president has no responsibility to ensure law and order and the safety of the Ghanaian then what is his use in the castle?

Of course the president is not expected to arrest criminals. But his mere stand on some of these cases will have strengthened those in charge of doing that and deter those with intents of indulging in similar crimes. There have been no message from the presidency condemning the brutal Agbogbloshie murders right in front of a police station. The outfit of the president has not got the courage to condemn his aide who is virtually throwing his weights about in Agbgbloshie brewing trouble whilst calling for challengers for a face off. The recent stabbing to death of Sadick, the shootings in Bekwai, and the weapon wielding NDC thugs in Accra could have at least been condemned by the president or his outfit. But, our president has resolved to not my responsibility to allow the country in top gear towards chaos.

It is about time the president take up his responsibilities as the leader of this nation. Because Ghana's events today can be likened only to a nation without a leader as the bible says in Judges 17:6: "In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit".

God bless our homeland Ghana.

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