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Opinions of Monday, 3 January 2011

Columnist: Acheampong, Daniel Owusu

Is Mills Really His Own Man?

Prior to the 2008 elections, there was so much hullabaloo with regard to the possible manipulation of Mills by ex-President Rawlings should the former win the general elections. Mindful of those suspicions, Mills, who eventually won the polls made sure Rawlings was left out of the governance picture at least to prove to critics that he is his own man.

In the formation of his government, Mills excluded Rawlings’ men by refusing to hand them ministerial appointments, and that earned him the plaudits of key political watchers and some of his party faithful. However the opposition New Patriotic Party continued with the propaganda that Mills could not rule Ghana without consulting ex-President Rawlings or using his men in his administration of government. Rawlings thus, took a frontline position on the oppositions benches, accusing Mills of surrounding himself with self-seeking fair weather friends. The tension between Rawlings and “his political son” has since festered.

Mills surprised Ghanaians when he ignored Rawlings and brought in young men such as Okudjeto Ablakwa, Fiifi Kwetey ,Mahama Ayariga, Haruna Iddrisu, among others, to prove to his critics that he had the men to run the affairs of government. As it was expected, the move was met with scathing criticisms from ex-President Rawlings as well as other members of the NDC who variously described them as team B, greedy bastards, boot lickers, inexperienced, and job for the boy’s government. People were of the view that Mills wanted to reward those young men who worked tirelessly to ensure his victory in the elections that was why he awarded them ministerial positions. Although the Mills’ administration was accused of being team B, he has stuck with them and gladly proclaimed that he is happy to be the captain of the team B squad.

Why the rumor of reshuffle? Have you asked yourself that question? Have you heard of the old names that Mills want to bring on board? The Kwame Peprah’s, Kwesi Botchey’s, Totobi Quakyi’s, P. V. Obeng etc. Take time to ponder who these men worked for in government. Do you remember now? They worked for ex-President Rawlings. Is Mills now heeding to the advice of Rawlings? If yes, then why? Is it because Mills is afraid that he will lose the election in 2012 if Rawlings refuses to campaign for him and instead campaign for the wife who is reported to be having an appetite for the presidency?

Back to these old folks he wants to bring into government. Has Mills lost faith in his youthful team? Has the team B failed to deliver or was he saving his best for last? Maybe this is the team A that can produce results. Did they produce good results when they were in Rawlings’ government? Can they bring the better Ghana that the President says we should expect in 2011? These were the men that Rawlings groomed for his PNDC/NDC rule and they were voted out of power in 2000 because Ghanaians felt they failed in their administration. Maybe Rawlings is right, NDC is his property, and he owns it since Mills cannot refuse to use his men in his government. Don’t forget some of these men went to jail for causing financial loss to the State during President Kuffuor‘s era. Can these ex-convicts accused of financial misappropriation bring about the better Ghana we are looking forward to? With these men in office, Mills would have to obey Rawlings, sing his song and dance to it as well.


I ask myself, if it’s true, it’s the reshuffle necessary? Do you think this can bring about accountability and good governance? This is a sign of incompetence and mockery. Assuming Ghana were to be a company, what do we think will happen if we keep making such rampant changes in administration. Why should a nation like Ghana be ruled with the principle of “trial and error”? This only happens in Africa and Ghana in particular where our leadership lacks focus and a decisive sense of direction. Where in the world would you see this happening? Can’t our President find the best men to lead the country at once instead of reducing his administration to rotational musical chairs?
God have mercy