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Opinions of Saturday, 7 March 2009

Columnist: Owusu-Ansah, Kofi

Open Letter To His Excellency President Atta Mills

Dear Sir,

I am a Ghanaian though not a supporter of the NDC,however as you promised during your swearing in on 7th January,2009 that you would be president of the whole nation, you settled any nerves I had, because, losing a father is always very sad in a son's life but if you have the assurance that a well meaning and for that matter, a person acclaimed to be Asomdweehene as you next father, what joy. Rumour mongering has been part and parcel of our Ghanaian society and most of the time this was so because our history as a nation has witnessed regimes that were very economical when it came to sharing information. Thank God,for sometime now information is readily available and it is no longer an essential commodity that only the privileged could have access. In effect, I am saying as information becomes readily available through the Print Media,Radio and TV, it encompasses on us all to make good use of them.

I would like to draw your attention to an event that took place on the floor of Parliament on Friday 27th February 2009 during the debate on your sessional address. Honourable Dominic BE..A. Nitiwuli, MP for Bimbilla, was contributing to the debate on sport and quoted rightly from the Legitimate Manifesto of your Party and which to all intents and purposes,had its foreword dully signed by no other person than your Excellency himself.. It is sad that the gentleman would find himself in an awkward and embarrassing situation that immediately after he had quoted, the majority side which is mainly the NDC said they knew nothing about the very important document he had in his hands and to take the embarrassment even to the extreme, they ridiculed him to refer to a copy which was incidentally available to only that side of the house, A new Version. Having won the elections your Party chose to change the Manifesto. As you would recall,I have stated somewhere that in the past we depended on Hear Say(Rumour) for news but God so good,this happened in the floor of the Highest Law Making body of the land,Ghana's Parliament.

I have always had open mind on situations and would not like to pass any judgement but Mr President,your position as the duly elected President of our country is unique in the sense that you come to this position with a lot of academic excellence behind you. It is the first time that a Professor is being elected to this office and you know fully well that you could not belittle our intelligence. In the 1960s, the NDC could have done this and got away with it.Thank God,in the 21st Century your own party has made Ghanaians aware of their civic responsibilities and they know all the tricks when they see one and therefore they can never be taken for granted in any way.

A well meaning political party that have any regards for the citizens of Ghana would not present a Manifesto to them, appeal to them, that of the other competing political parties,they present the most workable programme that would transform their living standards,uplift them from the economic and social situation and what have you.Then all of a sudden go ahead and rewrite the whole manifesto.The NDC won the elections because the 50.23% that voted for you believed your MANIFESTO as God sent and that you would live by it and apply the programmes thereof contained. Within just under 60 days, the NDC now think they could not honour those promises upon which the elections were won.

Mr. President, as a Ghanaian, I need to know all the following:

1. Why did the NDC make the changes? 2. Was it not necessary to have informed us that for some reasons you could not honour the Manifesto? 3. What steps did the Party take to inform the General public? Luckily for your government, you have three prominent persons,working on dissemination of information 4. Haven't your party lied to Ghanaians ?

Mr President, a by stander would say but what is this to you an NPP supporter? It is very significant because if it had not been your party's manifesto,you would not have won the elections. I know you yourself are aware that you won because of the programmes you offered to the GHANAIAN ELECTORATE and they bought into it and voted for your party. In legal terms, the NDC made an offer through their MANIFESTO to the Ghanaian Electorate and they ACCEPTED the offer and voted for you. There is therefore a binding contract between you and the Ghanaian Electorate. Your party should not make a mistake, even though only 50.23% voted for you, once you became Elected President,as you rightly said,you are my President too and all the 22million Ghanaians and therefore we have a binding contract, which would only be subject to REVIEW by both parties(NDC government VS Ghanaian Electorate)come December 2012.

I would conclude by saying any changes you have made in the manifesto is null and void because our views were not sought before they were done. Let me remind you of a story in the bible." Ananias was a disciple of Christ and when all the disciples met one day they decided to sell their possessions to use the money to help the poor. Ananias and his wife Ziphora sold a land and kept the money and came and lied to the disciples. The Elders told Ananias, before the land was sold it belonged to you but when it was sold it no longer belonged to you". The manifesto ceased to be NDC's alone immediately Afari Gyan declared your Excellency as winner of the elections and when you took the solemn OATH,you said to me I will work to the best of my ability with this MANIFESTO which has placed me in this position.

We hold you and your party accountable based on the Pre-Elections manifesto and it is disrespectful if anybody would sit anywhere and talk about a Post Election manifesto of the NDC,we have nothing to do with that.

Yours faithfully, K. Owusu-Ansah