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Opinions of Monday, 10 April 2017

Columnist: Adofo, Rockson

Open letter to First Lady Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo

Dear First Lady,

Peace from the Lord be unto you. It is with tremendous obligation to being of service to my people and nation that I have been moved to publish this second open letter to you since your husband assumed the reins of government.

As a well known dictum goes, behind every successful man there is a woman, you are therefore obliged to fling your full weight behind your husband in his aspirations and pursuits to liberate Ghanaians from the economic hardships and insecurities they have been bedevilled by.

Being a First Lady is not an armchair cheerleading position, but it demands practical supporting for the husband, thus, the President. The First Lady has the obligation to give her husband advice and directions on the governance of the country to the satisfaction, and the fulfilment of the dreams and expectations, of, the public, provided she is herself knowledgeable about the issues at stake. Being a First Lady comes with duties, so to speak.

Observing from afar, I can see that the President needs moral support and directions from the wife as never before, and it is about time the wife stood up tall to be counted.

It is not all those currently surrounding the President or have been appointed to head various ministries that share the same views as the President. Some of them are genuine but others could be saboteurs; wolves in lamb skin.

Some are competent but others may not be. The wife will be in a much better position to notice all these if you remained as wise as the serpent and as vigilant as the hawk.

His Excellency the President has not been in power for long but some recent developments which have not been managed well by some of his appointees have given both his rivals and friends the undeserved opportunity to question his ability and capability to govern to deliver on his numerous promises to the people.

Are all his Ministers men and women of integrity that the President can fully trust to sincerely assist him to deliver on his promises? Are all, or most of, his Ministers, incorruptible and up to the task? It is the duty of the First Lady to watch out for all these telltale signs to privately advise the husband.

Where you notice a misfit in a certain post, persuade your husband to reshuffle the person or get rid of him/her for at the end of the day, if a Minister fails to perform satisfactorily, it is the President who will be blamed the most but not the Minister.

I shall strongly advise you to provide a medium where the public can contact you with advice, suggestions and directions. It is not very advisable to publish any advice or suggestions to you by open letter. In the absence of any such private means to communicate ideas, suggestions and advice to you, I shall end here but not without suggesting to you to read about the late American First Lady, Mrs Nancy Reagan, the wife of the late American President Ronald Reagan, to know how she helped her husband perform to the satisfaction of the Americans despite his initial first term problems.

Will the First Lady again spare a few minutes to cogitate about what Mrs Aisha Buhari, the wife of the current Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, had said about his husband’s administration of Nigeria? She has said, “I might not back my husband at the next election unless he got a grip on his government. The president does not know 45 out of 50 of the people he appointed and I don't know them either, despite being his wife of 27 years”. For her, most of the people her husband is working with are corrupt and are scuppering the realisation of his golden dreams for Nigeria and the people of Nigeria.

Mrs Aisha Buhari means well for her husband and the people of Nigeria hence the warning to her husband. There is every indication that her husband is not listening to her admonitions to him hence her obligation to voice her concerns out in public. She does not stand to blame but exonerated from any future failures of her husband.

The fear people had in Nana Akufo Addo as a strict person who would be a very strict President is waning by each ticking second of the clock. This conclusion emanates from what I hear many a Ghanaian started to say. There is a new form of wave crime of robberies; police roadside corruption is on the increase with people being vocal in their condemnations of the intensified, but ecologically-damaging surface mining (galamsey).

Once the President lets these unscrupulous acts by the non-abiding citizens continue into many more months, the fear of him will have completely evaporated and he will have been reduced to a carbon copy of former President John Dramani Mahama. When he becomes so, things will start falling apart without the centre holding.

A word to the wise is sufficient.

Yours truly,

Rockson Adofo