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Opinions of Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Columnist: Mensah, Dominic Nana

Dear Prince Dramani Mahama of Bole Bamboi

Dear Prince Dramani Mahama of Bole Bamboi,

In your previous letter, you asked me what makes a successful statesman, in addition to enquiring on what measures you could take to ensure victory in 2016.

Now, On your first question, What you must always remember is that what is important is to get and keep power. Morality plays no role whatsoever in the successful leader. A successful leader must be able to lie, to steal, to kill; he must be utterly treacherous. And all the while, however, presenting a face of benevolence to the world. He must be fearful, rather loved. It's better to be hated than loved, because people will do things for you out of hate when they will not do them out of love because they fear you. And the worst you could is to be seem to be weak. And just like I said previously, Christianity matters not at all, although a successful leader would adapt the maxims of Christianity in order to be seen as pious.And thus I recommend on your latest accounts of appearing in public to be a prophet, man of prayer rather than a secular president. And never ever try to get into politics for good reasons. Don't dream of bringing about changes. This would mean the surest way to get into trouble with the big men of the party you serve. You don't do good thing when you are into politics. The best thing is to enjoy your position and just try not to be a whistleblower. To maintain social peace, always remember to butter the bread of the military and police officers.

And on the coming general election of 2016, I'm glad you're taking extra care to prepare two years in advance rather wait till the last minute. You have no reason to be worry about losing your presidency. Luckily for you, democracy requires intelligent populace in order to hold those in power accountable. The smarter the ruled, the wiser and incorruptible the rulers must become to maintain their ruling role. Irrespective of your incompetence and nepotism, the electorate of Ghana must become critical thinkers, vote on issues, and challenge the traditional voting pattern if you are to lose your office. If they loved their children dearly and were also smart enough to recognize that each generation lives, not for the generation that precedes it, but for the generation that will follow, they wouldn't have voted you in the first place and neither should Election 2016 even be competitive. But fortunately for you, the electorates are hopelessly uneducated and that's why Ghana Decides 2016 will highly be competitive. No matter how formally instructed they may be, they are not educated and you must resort to use this lack of insight to your advantage.

No matter what goes wrong, never cease making promises even when you don't have the intention or the resources to fulfill the promises. A promise is a comfort to a fool and your electorates simply are not willing to leave their comfort zones. A promise of instant gratification is your ticket to next term's election: Promise a pot of gold and instant gratification, rather than a gradual national improvement through hard work. Even though your performance and policies in the past could be (and should be) considered as an insult and perversion of the international socialist ideology, continue to play to the fantasy of the common man's president who cares about the poor and the underprivileged.

And on relating to your strongholds, here's a psychological approach to be used to maintain your traditional loyal and sympathetic voters. Everyone yearns to be important: continue to sell them the baseless idea of nationalism, rebranded as "Made-in-Ghana Patriotism"-- quite the opposite of the kind of patriotism that is based on concern and care for the people of your country. Rallying them around the flag means you must create an enemy (NPP) for them. Fear and hatred are two powerful forces to be used for this purpose. What have you done in the Northern Regions, your World Bank of Volta Region, Central and Brong Ahafo Regions? Didn't I tell you two years ago the Anti-Asante-Akyim sentimentalism would work because people need to maintain their feeling of importance. And the best way to fuel this feeling of importance is to create a common enemy for them and their urgent concerns of building catalysts (infrastructures and strong and neutral institutions) of economic activities will without question and resistance vanish into thin air; the same way SADA and GYEEDA report will continue to vanish into the air.

And before I sign off, never forget our insider secret: "It's not the people who vote that count. It's the people who count the votes." In my next letter, I will give you practical advice on how to counter the amateurish suggestions your enemy proposed as means of transforming the EC-- a rather very important instrument to Victory 2016.

Yours affectionate Uncle,
Niccolò Machiavelli.

P.S: Letter Intercepted and Published without Permission by D. Mensah.