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Feature Article of Saturday, 22 September 2012

Columnist: Nka, Bimu

Open Letter to His Excellency John Mahama

Nkpa,
When you arrived in Bole in 1995 to launch your political career, some of us saw in you a leader, a charismatic leader! We saw in you someone capable of taking not just Bole, but Ghana as a whole out under the shackles of perpetual deceit to “the promised land”. How that was going to pan out was something we couldn’t articulate at the time given Ghana’s political permutations. But we held a conviction. And that conviction was not misplaced in that we had a dream. It was a dream deeply-rooted in a conviction which was shared by many who saw you launch your political that you will one day lead a nation. It was a dream deeply-rooted in the conviction of the dried-okra seller in Aboabo -Kumasi; It was a dream deeply-rooted in the conviction of many in the diaspora who admire your affable and non-confrontational approach.
For me personally and for many young men and women across the length and breadth of Ghana, you personify that perfect role model. A role model because you exude the very qualities expected of the average Ghanaian youth: respect for authority! And for many Ghanaians in the diaspora, you espouse the qualities which build in them the confidence to return home to invest. After all, the average Ghanaian resident abroad wants to return home to ‘give back to mother Ghana’ but to do that requires that the political atmosphere ‘back home’ is conducive enough for any investments. Your demeanour and non-confrontational approach to issues is one that strikes a chord with many in the diaspora in that they are assured that by your calm and peaceful persona, any investments we come home to make will not get caught in the fires of “any die be die”.
Since sharing a dais with you in Bole, some of us have followed your political footprints with no regrets. Not only have you been consistent in your respect for authority, you have left no stone unturned in showing that politicians are meant to serve and not to be served. I and many within Bole-Bamboi (where you served as an MP) are living witnesses to that. I was in Bole recently and it was exhilarating to see the changes and successes chalked since you assumed the mantle of leadership as an MP for the area. Gone are the days when able-bodied young men and women used to congregate under the shades of mango trees waiting for ‘manna’ to fall from heaven. Gone are the days when young men and women used to congregate under the shades of trees waiting for the next ‘big man’ to come from ‘Kupoto’ (literally, from the city) so that they can ask for hand outs. Gone are the days when every passing private car was the cynosure of all eyes in the town. Through your exemplary leadership, every young man in Bole-Bamboi is no longer waiting for hand-outs but a willing giver of hand-outs. Through your exemplary leadership, an almost “egalitarian” community has been created with young men and women who have adopted the ‘can do’ attitude you have bequeathed and inculcated in the community.
That leaves me to conclude that the greatest legacy you have bequeathed to the people of Bole-Bamboi lies in not only the opportunities for development you have created in the constituency, but also, the ‘can-do’ attitude you have successfully inculcated into the average individual in the Bole-Bamboi area. And that is a legacy that will stand the test of time. It will stand the test of time because you have created in Bole a youth of ‘go-getters’ with a true sense of determination and tenacity of purpose. If you had given us millions in money, we would have squandered the money and (like the proverbial chicken) would have forgotten that you had ever done anything for us.
And that is why I believe you can deliver on the national front. As Ghana decides in 2012, some of us are aware of the formidable challenges that lie ahead. Some of us are aware that your eruption from the political magma following the death of one of Ghana’s finest politicians (May his gentle soul rest in peace) means that your political opponents are having to go back to the drawing board. This is because you pose a threat to their fortunes. A threat they didn’t anticipate will come their way. Admittedly, some of us even in the NDC camp were a little diffident during the latter days of the late learned-man. But your eruption like molten magma from beneath the crust of Ghana’s political landscape has reinvigorated our energies and we can assure you of our unflinching support. Our unflinching support not because you are the “son of Gonjaland” as some writers on this platform will wont us believe. But we will support you because we are living witnesses to the indelible mark you left in Bole (as an MP). We will support you because Ghana as a nation knows and appreciates what you have up your sleeves for Ghana.
As pointed out earlier, your emergence as the leader of the NDC means others in the other political camps are having to go back to revise their strategies. Knowing them and the way they conduct themselves, beware that some of the strategies will involve baseless allegations and calumny. They will get their scribes to go back to churn out the garbage they known for churning out. They will get their cacophonous serial callers to fill the airwaves with their deafening and screeching voices. But in the face of those potential threats, remain resolute that you are where you are not because of your might, because the good Lord who makes kings out of men has ordained your place. It is God who chooses and you have been chosen. And that is why we will support you.
We will support you because unlike some of your political opponents who had to be ‘repackaged’ in order to demystify overwhelming perceptions of them as rather pugnacious and loquacious individuals, you have consistently shown humility and integrity in everything you have done throughout your political career. We have heard insults on the lips of politicians; we are living witnesses to comments made by leading politicians in Ghana which bordered on ethnolinguistic factionalism; comments which have the potential to undo the gains we have chalked over several years as peace-loving and united Ghanaians. But in your entire political endeavour within and without Bole, your fine self has never made any intemperate comments…and that is why we will give you our unflinching support in that a leader is one who brings people together.
And who is better at giving a testimony about you than the very people you indefatigably served. So by this letter I seek to tell you how many hearts you have touched by your genteel mannerisms. By this letter I wish to reiterate that some of us are confident that having successfully managed the hitherto disparate factions in Bole, you will bring Ghana together to entrench and sustain the gains of the BETTER GHANA AGENDA. Having brought a smile in the face of the diffident boy on the streets of Bole, you will surely bring same smiles on the face of the despondent t boy on the streets of Accra who sells dog chains. We are confident that, you will bring smiles on the faces of the many men and women in every nook and cranny of Ghana who, in their small ways, are leaving no stone unturned to actualise our collective dream as a nation. Unlike some on the other political divide, you don’t need to make empty promises in that the promise is you. You don’t need to be repackaged in that when some of themselves as belonging to the upper echelons of Ghana and will not shake hands with the boy on the streets of Kumasi, you were indeed eating from the same bowl with “the boys” from across the gutters of Mamobi. And that is why you don’t need “rebranding”.
God Bless Ghana!
Bimu Nka
London

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