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Opinions of Sunday, 15 January 2017

Columnist: Andoh, Isaac Kyei

Presidency was not honest about Mahama’s Ecowas assignment

In a statement released on the 9th of January under the heading PRESIDENT AKUFFO-ADDO DESIGNATES FORMER PRRSIDENT JOHN MAHAMA TO REPRESENT HIM AT ECOWAS MINI-SUMMIT ON GAMBIA, the office of our new President sort to create the impression that Nana Akufo-Addo decided to have Mahama take his place on the ECOWAS MINI SUMMIT ON GAMBIA

The statement which was released first through our president’s Facebook Page has received a lot of plaudit from many Ghanaians.

I am not against any form of collaboration between our current government and former one because it will attest to how much progress we have made in our democratic journey and why we remain an example for many countries around the world.

It will be lovely to see our former president work closely with our current one for the good of our dear nation and to a large extent the sub region.
In this case however, the presidency was very economical with the truth and I think it must be pointed out and condemned accordingly
The truth is that ECOWAS made a specific request to have President Mahama continue with his mediation role together with the Head of The Team, President Buhari.
As a matter of fact and as confirmed by all the major media reports about the new role assigned our former president, the discussion to have Mahama continue in that role took place at the Independence Square During the inauguration on 7th, January. The Sub-Regional body made their request formerly and directly known to former President Mahama.
Given the fact that it was a summit of Heads of States, the prudent thing to do was to get the clearance from the sitting government. It is part of the protocol arrangement in such instances and ours is not the first and wouldn’t be the last.
In response, President Akuffo Addo personally called Mahama to inform him of ECOWAS’ decision. It was the decision of ECOWAS to have Mahama continue assisting Buhari to find a solution to Gambia and not Nana Addo’s decision to decline going and have Mahama in his place.

In any case, Nana is aware that Mahama said he will take a rest before deciding his next step. In my estimation, it is not even right for a new president to send the former one a day after taking over his position and I believe as matured a politician as Nana is, he wouldn’t commit such a blunder.

Logically, the best person to convince Yahya Jammeh that there is life outside the office of the president after 22 years at the helm is President Mahama who accepted his marching orders after just one term in office
It was a strategic decision taken by the sub-regional body to try and bring peace to our neighbours in Gambia

To present a statement that suggests that Nana assigned Mahama to take his place or represent him as Ghanaians were made to believe is dishonesty and must not be encouraged
Truth and Accuracy must be the guiding principle of every word that comes from the ‘most august’ office in this country.
We are in massive danger if we get to the point where statements from the office of our president have credibility issues
This is the same communication team that embarrassed the President and the whole country with plagiarised inaugural speech. To follow that up with a deceptive statement is not a good way to begin.
We bought a Nana Addo sold to us as competent, incorruptible and one who will surround himself with likeminded people. We will not settle for anything less or similar to what we voted against. The bar been raised in this respect.
As we call for patience from the populace in their demand for the fulfilment of the numerous juicy promises; we will also expect them to be truthful to us in all circumstances
Populism and propaganda is not going to help the image of the new government. We seek truth as citizens and won’t settle of three quarters of it as spectators do
As if the deceptive statement was not enough, the statement was first released on the official letterhead of government and posted on the Facebook page of President Akuffo Addo. In this age of cybercrime when document are falsified to defraud unsuspecting people, classified document like the letterhead of the presidency should be protected and not be made so cheaply available.
It isn’t everything that should be shared on social media in the name of accountability. This was just unnecessarily populace that adds nothing to our lots but exposes our governments to ridicule.

When we start seeing fake statements supposedly from the office of the President circulating on social media, Eugene Arhin and co must know that the actions of government made it easy for them.
A simple note could have been posted on the page of the President and it would have carried the same weight with much less security implication.
That said, the statement wasn’t even necessarily. Nana calling Mahama to tell him that ECOWAS wants him to keep working on Gambia doesn’t warrant a statements on our official letterhead shared via social media. I am tempted to think that it was only issued to present Nana Addo as a magnanimous leader who believes in all inclusive governance

The spirit of this article is to send a message to our new government that we rate them so high and don’t expect them to be dishonest in even unnecessary things. We will hold them accountable to their words, make allowance for mistakes but won’t take kindly to deception, lies and dishonesty.

What we want is the delivery of the promises that gave us wet dreams because we are up now awake and yearning to experience the reality. The time of praise-singing Nana is over- he must deliver to prove that he is what we were made to believe he is.
Spicing his speeches with punch-lines of others to make him appear to have originated them and calling a simple communication of ECOWAS decision to the ex-president as an appointment by him is a false start and that trend must immediately grind to a halt.
We will give them time and contribute our quota in areas we can. I will keep encouraging people to be patient because Rome was not built in a day. One district one factory, one village one dam, one million per constituency annually on the back of reducing taxes, cutting down on borrowing and restoring a number of allowances for students will require time and patience. Not easy but not impossible. I have always argued that they are doable. Those who voted for it believe they are doable. Yes we can (Obama). I’m free from pla…..gia……rism
We will wait, work, while we pray like citizens do.

What we can’t wait for is the truth
Isaac Kyei Andoh
Isaackyeiandoh@yahoo.com