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Opinions of Monday, 23 April 2012

Columnist: Akyeampong, Prince

Mills' Loss Of Control: Recipe For A Coup D'etat

In light of the recent acts of lawlessness, highly volatile language and disturbances that are gradually seeping through Ghana's political landscape, and Mills' inability to take the bull by the horns, some of us are beginning to wonder whether Mills really appreciates his role as President, and what the current situation could lead to if it continues. I mean, winning an election is one thing and discharging your duties as a country's leader is another thing. If you ask me, President Mills appears to be still stuck in the 2008 post-election victory mode and has not learnt to separate pre-election rhetoric from present realities on the ground. How else could one explain his persistent nonchalant attitude in the face of continuing acts of lawlessness by supporters of the two main parties in the country, namely NPP and NDC. Folks, there is clearly a disconnect between the President and discerning Ghanaians who feel he is not living up to his role with regards to recent goings-on. My concern is, when is he going to finally snap out of this post-election victory trance and address issues the way he's expected to, as President?

True to my Ghana-first mentality, I have always wished our leaders well, regardless of what party they represented, and President Mills has been no exception. After all, it's not far-fetched to say that a good job done by our leaders is likely to reflect in the well-being and lifestyles of Ghanaians as a whole. Mills, however, has continued to be a major disappointment with regards to addressing critical issues. I'm sorry folks, but I see our President as a man of words, not deeds; and unfortunately, even his words are controversial, inconclusive and divisive in certain instances. Mr. President, it is inappropriate and unbecoming of a leader of your caliber to shirk responsibility by claiming you are not a law enforcement officer! Such remarks are apt to bring our young democracy into serious disrepute. In fact, such remarks smack of arrogance and a level of aloofness which I find disturbing, being that it's coming from the supposed "asomdweehene'" of Ghana.

When a "father for all" President decides to remain on the sidelines instead of actually playing a key role in ensuring that Ghanaians remain united, the imminence of a coup d'etat cannot be ruled out. Think about this, folks; if the registration exercise could generate such intemperate language, threats, violence and acts of lawlessness from supporters of both NDC and NPP, I shudder to imagine what could happen when it's time for the real election. No telling what could happen! Historically, leaders of coup d'etats have always had a number of "justifiable" reasons for taking over: the first and foremost being economic mismanagement by the government of the day. In the event of such a thing happening now, (God forbid), can we sincerely say that it's unjustified, considering the turbulence in the country presently? I am not in any way calling for a military takeover; my point is, why create the necessary environment to justify one? A weak and unresponsive President representing a party that is not ready to be in opposition anytime soon and is thus bent on retaining power through fair or foul means; on the other side, an equally determined opposition party whose presidential candidate goes by the infamous slogan - "all die be die." Both sides have overtly or covertly backed random acts of lawlessness by party members and supporters especially regarding the on-going biometric registration exercise.

The result: for both parties, it's DO or DIE! Even if it means pitting one ethnic group against another, as was evidenced by Kennedy Agyapong's dangerous remarks. Thus, with election time drawing near and tensions escalating, would it be a big surprise if our friends in the barracks decided to take advantage of the situation and justified their action by pointing out that this was to avert a potential ethnic unrest/civil war, considering the current tense situation? Folks, unless Mills steps up and lives up to his name as President, all options are on the table. Who would have thought that a coup d'etat would take place in Mali of all places - a country that seemed to thrive within a democratic system for a good while. That is why we cannot afford to take anything for granted. Mr. President, are you listening?

For those of you who are of the opinion that military juntas are things of the past and can never happen again, think again. With Egya Atta's die-hard lackadaisical attitude, we are edging closer and closer to a military takeover. Adherence to the rule of law is what guides us in our everyday social and legal interactions, prevents anarchy, and holds us together as one nation. Until Atta Mills recognizes the fact that all are equal in the eyes of the law and that no is above the law, regardless of ones position or party affiliation, the current tense situation is not likely to change anytime soon. Mr. President, Ghanaians are not ready for another coup d'etat nor are we ready for civil war! I'm sure Egya Atta does not want to go down in history as the President whose tenure saw an an unprecedented rise in ethnic tensions; nor would he like to go down in history as the leader whose actions and inaction led to a brutal military intervention. Over to you Egya Atta; you still have a little time to deliver and thus redeem your dented image. Ghanaians are watching you closely! God bless mother Ghana!

Prince Akyeampong, Washinton D.C.