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Opinions of Thursday, 16 August 2012

Columnist: Afevi, Kormi

A letter to John Mahama Copied to Jerry Rawlings

Hi Mr President,
Please accept my belated sympathy on the sad demise of your boss. Whiles congratulating you on your new role, I have decided to write a long letter to you because of my conviction that your task is an arduous one and the route ahead is laden with thorns and pitfalls. It is therefore important that a nonentity like me with no track record in Ghana Politics brings a couple of issues to your attention. I have copied the founder of the NDC because some of the issues I will raise are related to him.
Your task is made more difficult because like president mills, you have inherited governing machinery which has been created for you by the so called castle mafia. The corollary of this situation is that most appointees including ministers owe allegiance to the faceless mafia and not you. I also know very well you do not want to rock the boat with elections just around the corner which is understandable; but I hope you have learnt from what president mills went through. You have to move quickly to establish your own power base. Let me be plain with you. Rush and get a tough chief of staff preferably of the northern stock. You know your people are very loyal and also appreciate the vanity in the pursuit of earthly pleasures. This will enable you to assert your authority on the government.
Mr President, there are also some choices you have to make. Make no mistake! You are at liberty to make these choices, but each of them will come with consequences. I will list a couple of them. You have a choice to still allow your government to be run from labone or west legon or grab the bull by the horns damn the consequences. It is also entirely your choice to still keep Barton Oduro in you government. It is also entirely your choice to hand over ministerial roles to people who have just completed national service in the name of empowering the youth. It is also entirely your choice to still keep a director of operations at your presidency the way president Mills did. The choice is yours.
Mr President, one thing you need to successfully govern is peace of mind. It is therefore important that you resist all attempts to put a wedge between you and the founder of your party. I hope you can see the characters; they have already started. You know their modus operandi? They will lie and bring enmity between you and your founder. In the ensuing confusion, they loot our coffers and share the booty among themselves.
Particularly, beware of the loudmouth chief commu-socialist pro-poor advocate whose daughter now attends one of the prestigious schools in the UK. He can easily lead you astray. He knows everything about solutions to Ghana’s problems but knows nothing about how to rescue the plummeting fortunes of his CPP he claims to belong to. He is the chief hatchet man of the mafia.
Also I know you are aware of the so called ace investigative journalist who has not uncovered any scandal since 7th January 2008.He could not even uncover Woyome early enough for us to nip it in the bud. He was however very quick with Hotel Wawa and the Esseku kickback scandal. You see how these so called NDC media can bring your presidency to its Knees. These guys are nothing but sycophants, timeservers and hangers on.
I was shocked when you went to launch the Al-Hajj newspaper. Anyway, I can excuse you but do well to reprimand the butcher and cook turned ‘journalist’ to stop publishing falsehood. We have had enough.
Finally, be watchful of the arm chair pollster whose respondents do not lie beyond the confines of his labone office.
It is important you take a bold step and embrace all the various factions in your party. Beware of those in the party who are stoking the flames for their own personal interest as this will not inure to the greater good of the party. Try as much as possible to accommodate your founder. He is not only an enigma you have to manage but also has become the conscience of this nation. Ours has become a nation of Hippocrates and hangers’ on. You have to appreciate the fact that Jerry Rawlings has become the most consistent politician in this country. He will not change just because some paid journalists criticize him all the time. Let me tell you point blank Mr President, if Jerry Rawlings is breathing down your neck, you will find it difficult to succeed. Of course it is also about time the founder tones down and embrace change in order to build a solid political legacy.
I know by now they are eagerly reminding you that the founder and his wife resisted your candidature in 2008. Please note that you were their preferred candidate in 2004 and in politics this things do happen.
I will have to revisit the castle Mafia issue since it is the single most important factor that can bring your presidency down. I am very convinced that if Prez Mills should wake up today he will do very well to disengage himself from the so called Mafia. You do not owe any body anything. You cut your political teeth from the scratch unlike your former boss so please stand firm.
It was the former president Ben Ali of Tunisia who was asked a question on the Tunisian system by a journalist on a visit to France. System? He asked back. In Tunisia I am the System he responded. Fact is in the political environment of Africa you have to create a system to survive. Jerry Rawlings had a system that served him well for 19 years. Former President Kuffour also created a system that enabled him to wield power and survive for 8 years. President Mills had no system at all so the cabal took over and did what pleases them like. You need your system.
Good luck Mr President. I will pray that you show some mettle and work hard to make the wealth of this nation accessible to the suffering masses in the corners of Ghana and not the Dons in Cantonments, Labone and East Legon. It is a tough task but not insurmountable. Good luck.

Kormi Afevi