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Opinions of Saturday, 22 October 2016

Columnist: Ezekiel, Chibeze

Open letter to President Mahama

Chibeze Ezekiel
Citizen of Ghana

Your Excellency President Mahama,

I trust this letter finds you doing well and hearty.

The purpose of this letter is to draw your attention to a couple of issues for your information and consideration. I took inspiration from your own words when you were sworn into office in 2012. You did indicate that you welcome constructive criticisms in the discharge of your duties.

Your Excellency, I am particularly displeased about how the nation is been governed. I discovered that the main reason is that some of people you appoint to run your government are not fit to handle the roles and responsibilities you assigned to them. Even the Parliamentary Appointment Committee at a point in time was reported to have expressed their disappointment on your nominees.

How can people who are unable to put together their own CVs, be able to read, peruse and make meaningful judgment and/or decisions from contracts or agreements to be signed on behalf of the nation? Indeed, as the President, you have all the relevant institutions and/or state apparatus at your disposal to do a proper background check on people you intend to appoint into your government but your act seems as though it’s virtually a sheer political exercise. Even if you are led by partisan force, I think there are very experienced and qualified persons in your party to run your administration.

Your Excellency, this raises questions about your leadership qualities. Would you appoint such people to run your own company? I sincerely doubt. I have heard that your father was an industrious and successful person whose fame blazed across the 3 northern regions. I am persuaded that he had the right people in place to manage his business.

Your Excellency, another disturbing issue is the unprecedented rate at which corruption is thriving in your government notably SUBA, SADA, GYEEDA, to mention but a few. I have followed with keen interest how you talk about the responsible institutions already tackling such malpractices which I honestly don’t see. Your colleague President John Magufuli of Tanzania doesn’t need to be asked how he is dealing with corruption because he is living the saying that ‘action speaks louder than words’.

Your Excellency, I believe that the period where the proper trials and challenges will come alive is when you bow out of office. By that time, your NDC footsoldiers and activists who currently are aggressively defending and propagating your work will redirect their energies and resources to the new leader of your party. Please do not be misled by those who sing your praises and chant your name.

They did same to Ex-President Rawlings and the late Prof. Mills. It goes without saying that there are people in NDC who love the party and will always defend it irrespective of who emerges as the leader. Do not be surprised when people who are enjoying under your presidency eventually turn against you in future. At least history has revealed that the one (Ex-President Rawlings) who made you ‘politically relevant’ has not been spared!

Your Excellency, I was delighted when you chose an Evidence-based approach in delivering your last State of the Nation Address (SONA). Such act is really commendable and I will recommend that to all future Presidents of Ghana. I am aware that Ghana has signed up onto various international conventions on climate change, biodiversity etc thus since your government subscribes to such an approach, I will in the coming days’ flag some questions and/or queries for your government’s attention – beginning with Climate Change.

Ghana was among 170 countries that signed the Paris Climate Agreement in April 2016. Parliament of Ghana ratified the Agreement in August 2016 making it binding on the nation as it has become part of our laws. Your manifesto which you launched on September 17th clearly states you have intention to construct a 700 MW coal-fired plant at Ekumfi in the Central Region; then your Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) at a press briefing in October says Ghana WILL NOT establish a coal plant primarily due to the Paris Agreement commitment. Eventhough, I am told EPA has canceled the coal idea, I am unable to comprehend why such confusion or inconsistency arose in the first place – more so when you are a Co-chair of the Eminent Persons to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Matters of climate change are very dear to my heart as it has severe (and in some cases irreparable) consequences on the lives and properties of citizens especially the poor and vulnerable. Your government consequently, ought to accountable on our environmental sustainability obligations which I intend to pursue.
I wish you all the best on your campaign trail.
God bless our country.
Thank you.

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