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Opinions of Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.

It is not support that President Mahama lacks

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Sunday, November 10, 2013
The problems cropping up to torment President Mahama have a direct bearing on his government’s inability to solve national problems, not the lack of support for him from the NDC or his own government circles. His entire team seems to lack the drive to do what they have been appointed to do. Almost every sector is beset with problems that the Ministers and their Deputies don’t know how to solve. They are talking “chaff” more than doing anything productive. Plain talk.
How is the government implementing the NDC’s manifesto to move the country forward? No one needs any conference, workshop, or summit on the country’s problems. The NDC knew long ago about these problems, which was why it formulated its manifesto to win voter support. Why isn’t the manifesto working? Anybody’s guess!!
In his response to the scathing criticisms against his leadership style, President Mahama said, among others, that “in this difficult job, the least one expects is comradeship and solidarity.”
Good expectations! What is not there for the President to remain assured that he has the support of all Ghanaians (including me) who put him far ahead of the other candidates at Election 2012? We were with him all through the rough waters of the NPP’s useless petition against his legitimate rise to power and will be with him till his constitutionally mandated era ends. Even then, we will be with him till all of us pay our dues to Nature. He needn’t nurse any doubt, fear, or suspicion of betrayal. What is written is written!!
But first things first. Every fire must have a smoke that leads to its cause/source. That is what the President has to ponder: Why should his own appointees begin grumbling about his leadership style?
Alban Bagbin says he has “ceased fire”; but the dust that his scathing criticism of that leadership style has raised is yet to settle. To worsen matters, Victoria Hammah didn’t take long to confirm public fears that most of those in President Mahama’s team are not fit to be vested with such onerous responsibilities. And President Mahama didn’t take long either to show her the exit. But is that the end of the story on incompetence, incontinence, and plain lousiness in doing government business? A resounding “No”!!
We will continue to discuss the implications of these happenings (especially the criticism of President Mahama’s leadership style) and make connections for a deeper meaning into the issues rocking the boat at the Presidency.
From all indications, President Mahama isn’t happy at the criticisms and feels that instead of the solidarity and camaraderie that he expects from his appointees, he is rather being torn apart. Although he didn’t plead his case, a friend of mine who responded to comments in an ongoing conversation on my Facebook page raised issues to that effect:
“He first became the President under mournful circumstances, had to use “4 months to campaign”, won elections by God’s grace, his swearing in and vetting of his appointees were boycotted by the opposition, for 8 months his election was challenged with all sorts of name calling, he won the case by God’s grace and he’s trying to put things together under difficult economic situations and instead of his “comrades and colleagues” to help him put things together they go public and strip him naked and we believe he shouldn’t respond in this manner?
“Definitely, the President feels hurt and troubled. It is very very unfair to treat him this way. Look at the circumstances under which we lost our late Prez Mills. He never had any peace of mind. Lets’ not do this to the Prez… he needs our support and prayers. Let’s try and understand the frustration with which he made those statements… it’s VERY painful oo. Done!!!
Gripping comments; not so? I sympathize with the President but will go beyond this show of emotions to say that the demands of the office that he occupies are really challenging. They need more than public sympathy to handle. That is why he must know that having stood by him all through the stormy period when his legitimacy was being challenged, we won’t sit down unconcerned for his government to falter.
The import of the criticisms is clear: that he is being alerted to what his snuggling advisers dancing around him for praise have failed to bring to his notice. That is no offence or any attempt to undermine him. It is a genuine display of concern and the willingness to work with him to remake government. Is the President willing to come along with the critics?
There is so much happening in the body politic to suggest that “things are knocking things”. He must be told, and he has been told by his critics, not to nettle him but to wake him up all the more.
He must e4xercise his power more stringently to get his appointees on their feet. It shouldn’t be difficult at this stage for him to rebuild his team, getting rid of the deadwood and bringing in those capable of helping him implement his vision (and the NDC’s own agenda) for the country. Only those who know what is at stake should join the team for him to implement the “Better Ghana Agenda Phase Two” (which none in government is mentioning it again, apparently because of the topsy-turvy manner in which affairs are being handled to throw everything overboard as the economy cracks!!). It shouldn’t be so.
All said and done, the President stands to gain a lot (whether he is interested in getting his mandate renewed at Election 2016 or not) if he wakes up to the reality to get his MOJO back in track to steer the ship of state on the course that the electorate set it at Election 2012. It is very simple, as encapsulated in the victory speech of Chris Christie (newly re-elected New Jersey Governor) to prompt him:
“We stand here tonight showing that it is possible to put doing your job first, to put working together first, to fight for what you believe in yet still stand by your principles and get something done for the people who elected you.”
REPEAT: to put doing your job first; to put working together first; to fight for what you believe in yet still stand by your principles and get something done for the people who elected you. No need to say more.
I shall return…
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