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Opinions of Friday, 17 September 2010

Columnist: Amankwah, Kwabena

Mills Failures & Resignation Attempts

Kwabena Amankwah

Even though President John Evans Attah Mills has made public his intention to seek a second term mandate from the electorate, developments in the country clearly point to the fact that he is set to make history as the first one-tern president the nation has produced.

The President by all standards has convinced many people that he does not have the political stamina to go for a second term. And that is the obvious encumbrance that stands in his way to becoming the next presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress.

His public declaration of intention to seek re-nomination as the presidential candidate of the NDC for the 2012 election, I believe, has been motivated by a political ploy to put some kind of control over the number of people who might be interested to run for the presidency on the party’s ticket.

Some revelations within close governmental circles, as well as public pronouncements by some of his close confidants, give ample testimony to the fact that the seat of government on which the people of Ghana have put him has become so hot that he appears to have even regretted becoming the President of Ghana.

Indeed, it is now no secret that but for “the encouragement of some people around him” the law professor would have resigned from office. His close associates like firebrand Alhaji Bature have told the whole world that President Mills has made more than just an attempt to abdicate the presidency because the seat has been made too hot for him to occupy comfortably.

The major headache of President Mills has been the criticisms and opposition he has been facing from within his party since he ascended the presidency. Led by former President Rawlings, NDC founder and his political god-father, who plugged him from political obscurity and put him into political limelight, the President has come under an avalanche of verbal assaults from his own party people who have raised serious questions about his leadership.

Dr Sekuo Nkrumah and his ilk cannot be wrong when they say President Mills has not been cut out for political leadership. That is why he has clearly failed in providing the right kind of political leadership the nation requires at this stage of our development.

The President has first and foremost failed to exert the required influence over his own party people. Let us not forget that per their own party constitutional provisions, the law professor is the leader of the ruling NDC.

Leadership is all about moving people along a clearly defined path in a disciplined manner towards achieving a set goal. A leader in this regard should command the respect of his people, who should consider his instructions authoritative. But from what has been going on since he assumed office, it is clear that President Mills has lost the authority to exert influence on his party people.

It is therefore not surprising that hooliganism, vandalism and anarchy have been the order of the day, with NDC activists holding the entire nation to ransom, attacking public installations and putting the lives of many innocent people, and even top government officials, in jeopardy.

I want to draw the attention of President Mills, who is said to be a staunch Christian, to the fact that the Holy Bible makes it clear that a person who lacks the ability to manage his own family is not fit to manage others. “If anyone does not know how to manage his family, how can he take care of God’s church?” I Timothy 3:5.

Even though some activists of the New Patriotic Party were not pleased with some developments in the party and government during the previous regime, President Kufuor was able to manage the situation, and exerted the required influence that ensured that the nation was not plunged into the kind of constitutional lawlessness we now find ourselves in. That was capable, influential leadership.

You may hate him or love him, but it is also true that former President Rawlings behaved like a leader in the previous NDC government, and asserted his authority to ensure that party activists were not allowed to misbehave like they have been let loose to do in the current Mills regime.

How on earth could a political leader be moved to dance to the whims and caprices of ordinary party members, and take decisions with respect to sacking of his appointees at their pleasure?

It therefore came as no surprise to some of us when NDC National Chairman, Dr Kwabena Adjei, and his regional counterparts demonstrated the extent of authority and influence they wield over the President with respect to the issue of purging the Judiciary.

If President Mills could submit to the dictates of ordinary party activists, and do their biddings, what is wrong if a whole National Chairman of the party and his 10 regional counterparts demonstrate superior power over the President?

I am not in any way endorsing the actions of Dr Kwabena Adjei and co, but only stressing the extent to which the President has been rendered “simpa pinyin” with no influence in the scheme of affairs of the NDC.

Now to the issue of why President Mills is still at post after several attempts to resign. We are made to understand that the various attempts by the President to resign were motivated by the pressure emanating from the plethora of criticisms from within the NDC, and that he still remains the President of Ghana because of the encouragement from some people around him.

This is a confirmation of the fact that President Mills is not a strong-willed person, with a thick skin to absorb pressure. How can such a person be a good political leader? Oh yes, that is what makes Dr Sekuo Nkrumah right when he says President Mills is not a good political leader.

It is just logical and commonsensical that once the President conceived the idea of resigning, he would no longer be interested in the responsibilities he has been tasked to execute on behalf of the people whose interest he is expected to represent.

It is therefore not surprising that the nation’s development appears to have grounded to a temporary halt since President Mills assumed the mantle of leadership – Oh yes, how can one deliver the goods if he is no longer interested in his office and responsibilities?

Could that be the reason why Vice President John Mahama has got the unlimited space to run all the show?

Now, who are the people around who have been encouraging the President to stay till the end of his tenure of office, and what might be their motivation? These people are certainly the “greedy bastards”, “fair weather friends” and “politician-business people” former President Rawlings made allusion to a couple of months ago.

It is clear that their motivation is the pursuit of materialism and their business interest, and not the desire to see to the advancement of the socio-economic welfare of the citizenry whose interest they claim to represent.

One thing is clear – if President Mills resigns, they will not wield the kind of influence they now have, and will thus be denied the kind of links and opportunities they have to advance their personal, parochial gains.

All in all, it is a pity – indeed regrettable – that Ghanaians have entrusted our destinies into the hands of a President in the person of the law professor Mills who has shown that he does not only lack the capacity to provide the kind of political leadership the nation needs, but has also lost interest in the presidency and the responsibilities that go with it.

Oh, whither mother Ghana! You remain the eventual sufferer and loser. And that is why your children have to be very careful when the opportunity presents itself again for them to go to the polls in 2012.

Kwabena Amankwah is a freelance journalist, member of E/R NPP Communication Committee, former TESCON-UCC Secretary and Campaign Correspondent, Akufo-Addo for President ’08. 0244-217504.