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Opinions of Thursday, 19 August 2010

Columnist: Awafo, Edward

President Mills, it is never too late!

History has thought as that for a new conqueror to rule in peace and succeed in achieving his good intentions (as I firmly believe professor Mills does) the new conqueror immediately after assuming powers must eliminate all his foes that stand in his way. Only the few who truly can be counted upon should be spared. Numerous Kings and Princes who refused to acknowledge this gospel so amplified by Machiavelli in his book “The Prince” saw the neglect of this simple wisdom the main architect of their downfall. The few who followed this simple piece of maxim like the Romans, the Persians, the Turks, had peace for a very long time; for the King’s enemies leaving in peace will soon form a formidable army to undo the new King.
In today’s democratic political system and especially the one practiced in places like Africa, this same maxim must persist albeit in a different form even if in truth it is difficult to gain total control as in the days of Kings and Princes. Democracy supports many parties all fighting for one purpose: to attain power! As a result, opposition parties aiming to unseat the incumbent will (1) offer no constructive criticisms for the national good, (2) will see nothing good in all that a ruling government does, (3) will only seek to sabotage the good intentions of the ruling government, and (4) like what former president Kuffour did before leaving office, will in an election year hurry to fill all sensitive positions that is protected by the constitution such as the Judiciary with their party member so that in the event of losing power they will not only intimidate the new government but also protect them from being exposed of their wrong doings. These acts by the opposition parties must be handled with all seriousness if the new government is to succeed in achieving its agenda which on so many occasions are the promises made to the electorate on their campaign trail.
In any change of government, opposition party faithful in sensitive positions must make way for new people who the new government trust and believe to be competent to fill such positions. This act of replacing opposition members with loyal followers must not be seen as a crime and whoever believes otherwise like professor Mills will sooner or later leave to regret. Moreover, even in constitutionally mandated positions like that of the judiciary, the government has the right to make sure that there is no bias in their judgment. If this is not the case, the government with the powers vested in her must find a way possible to rein in on those judges who are seen as pulling her down. This must be done with zeal and quick. There may be uproar at first for taking such bold decisions but for the new government to succeed this must be done without waver or quiver. Failure to do this, the new government will be battling with hidden forces that will make sure it never succeeds.
Such is what the well intentioned professor who I strongly believe has the ordinary Ghanaian at heart should have done. No matter how the good professor wanted Ghanaians to believe he is of his own man and not taking orders from Jerry Rawlings, this wisdom propagated by Jerry Rawlings in the early days of his administration should have been swiftly implemented without haste. For as in the days of Kings and Princes, leaving NPP activists in sensitive positions in the country meant every effort put in by the new government to expose and rid all the wrongs of the NPP will hit a wall. Further, leaving your rivals still at post in sensitive positions which the constitution enjoins on you as a president to give to whomsoever you wish is a catalyst for disaster. Thus, it is not a wonder that the Mills led government is finding it difficult to ‘freely’ and ‘peacefully’ implement any good plans it comes up with. The NPP on the other hand freely and peacefully carried out all the atrocious spending, unnecessary buildings and celebrations, and jailing of former perceived corrupt officials without any hindrance. They were able to do this because they first exerted their authority on almost all the opposition sources that stood their way. Today, the NPP party activists still left at sensitive positions are causing the government more harm than good. Such activists not only acts as insiders for the opposition to quickly scuttle plans yet to be implemented but they work in the dark to make sure all well intended projects fail. A clear example of this crime is the case of Dr. Wereko-Brobbey and Mr. Kwame Mpiani; here are two people who clearly have amassed ill-gotten wealth and yet are walking freely on the streets of Accra jumping from one radio station to another and making mockery of Ghanaians. This is one of the end products of the Atta Mills government’s failure to exert the authority vested in them by the state. Blaming the Attorney General will do no good, for the main problem lies in the hands of those pronouncing judgment. The judiciary of today have made it clear they are for the NPP and are so blinded that the same rules they deem it fit to jail people under the previous administration is twisted and interpreted in a manner that defies logic to serve and embolden the NPP.
It is never too late for professor Mills to stamp his authority in taming these saboteurs. This is one of the chief reasons the people of Ghana voted him to power. They voted for a man who they saw as honest, learned, uncorrupt, and who will help turn the country back from the wrongs of the previous government. Yes, a lot has been achieved such as the reduction of cocaine trafficking, stabilization of the economy, massive construction of schools for children previously sitting under trees, paying off most of TOR’s debt, but the electorates are impatient that none of those clear-cut thieves have been apprehended to date. This is sending wrong signals to political thieves in the country especially as we enter into the oil era. The electorates want to see that just as the ordinary thief who steals a chicken or a fowl is sent to prison the political thieves will also be chased out of their bad practices to serve as a lesson to up and coming politicians.
The president should be reminded that in addition to his good manners and honesty, and his love to be the father-for-all, we expect him to be a bit ruthless in his dealings with the opposition especially when they are the first to act ruthlessly. Failure to do this emboldens them and some of the end products are the disrespect they have for the presidency which they so worshipped in high esteem not so long ago. The president has given too much room for the opposition for a very long time. The NPP never did and will never do that. Not that their thirst for power will not even permit them acknowledging their opposition but they will quickly sack, and if need be eliminate all opposition activists holding sensitive positions in the country (even if protected by the constitution) to make sure nothing hinders them on exerting their authority.
I believe by now the good professor have come to the conclusion that there is nothing under the sun that he can do to win the good of the NPP and the earlier he matches them boot for boot the better. They will never receive you with open arms and that unfortunately Mr. President is the game of politics. Instead, they will always find fault with whatsoever you do or come up with. A clear example is your achievement on inflation. Not long ago, the NPP made us to believe reducing inflation is an achievement worth glorifying, something they wanted us to praise them for. Roll it back today and your genuine achievement on inflation means nothing to them.
Time is running out and we are hoping that he reins in those NPP activists in sensitive positions sooner than later or like some of the ancient kings, the professor will live to regret. There is only 13 months left to kick start the electioneering campaign and precisely this 13 months is what is left for the professor to find answers to the problems his government is encountering due to the sheer arrogance and sabotage by the opposition activist in sensitive positions. Like the ancient Kings and Princes, he needs to assert his authority by dealing ruthlessly with the NPP who have already pitched the battle and having time and unpatriotic citizens and groups on their side, like Rev Asante Antwi and Daily Guide , together with their ill-gotten money they so looted, are marshalling deceptive armies to return Ghana to the hands of the wicked looting brigands they formed not so long ago. This must never happen and the president must help us to resist this.
By Ato
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