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Opinions of Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Columnist: Thompson, Kofi

Real Change: The Buck Stops With President Mahama

By Kofi Thompson

Having snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, President Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) must be magnanimous in victory.

He must reach out to all those defeated by his party in the presidential and parliamentary elections. They too have vital roles to play in the coming transformation of Ghana.

He must also use the model that enabled the Democratic Peoples Party's members to return to the NDC, to reconcile his party with the breakaway anti-Mills faction that formed the National Democratic Party.

This is the time for Ghanaians from across the spectrum to reconcile with one another. The task ahead of the nation is an arduous one - and Ghanaians can only succeed if they are united.

Above all, President Mahama ought to move swiftly to consolidate his power, once he is sworn-in on 7th January, 2013.

He must put the past when he played second-fiddle, and then went on to serve out the rest of President Mills' tenure, behind him.

He must chart a new course as an elected leader - selected by ordinary people to transform the enterprise Ghana and empower the younger generation of Ghanaians.

He would be wise to align himself to his party's founder, President Rawlings - by making him the chairperson of a new presidential task-force on corruption.

It will enable him quickly reconcile the various factions in the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Perhaps he can begin that process by appointing Dr. Ezenator Rawlings to the Ministry of Health. Mr Martey Newman ought to be sent abroad to China as our new ambassador. China is a key ally of Ghana's.

He must be replaced as Chief of Staff at the presidency, by a consensus politician - who will become Chief of Staff and Minister for Presidential Affairs. There are those who say that the Hon. Alban Bagbin would be a perfect choice.

Above all, whatever he does going forward, he must never forget that as President of the Republic of Ghana, it is he who history will judge - not the late Mills' powerful inner-circle: who kept him on a tight leash throughout the late president's tenure.

They will be mere footnotes in the recounting of the history of the period when he led Ghana - and as a student of history no one need remind him of that.

In bringing about real change in Ghana during his tenure, after he is sworn into office as President next year, the buck really does stop with him. A word to the wise...

Tel:027 745 3109.

Email: peakofi.thompson@gmail.com

Post Script:

For patriotic reasons, I was an avowed critic of both President Mills and Vice President Mahama, as he then was - both of whom I often called upon to resign.

Having now been elected to serve his own term as President, as a Progressive, I will support his regime - if it works in the interest of the ordinary people of Ghana.

However, I shall be his foremost critic, if he allows the rogues in his party to continue milking Ghana.

And if he wants discerning Ghanaians to take him seriously about fighting corruption, let him bring back Martin Amidu as Attorney General.

That will convince most ordinary people that they were right to elect him to lead Ghana.