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Opinions of Thursday, 27 November 2014

Columnist: Addo, Maxwell Okamafo

Prez Mahama, follow the path of your predecessor

Maxwell Okamafo Addo

Besides the many troubles that come with Presidency, Professor Atta Mills was a quiet man and left a clean sheet. He didn’t talk much and stayed out of unnecessary partisan debate. He was a very peaceful man, preferred the slower way of doing things to the tougher and harshest ways.

But then, he never compromised on his principle of keeping a clean moral character and led a regimented way of protecting his name.

That is why he issued an executive fiat to protect his name when he ordered thus: “Arrest anybody who ‘trades’ in my name”. President Mills was very much aware of the use and misuse of names of public officials for mischief. He would have none of it; and declared:

"There are people who come here throwing their weight around; dropping names of so-called higher ups. I have General Mordey and I am telling you, if anybody comes here with the president's name, the first thing you should do is to arrest that person,” late President Mills said.

I expect President John Dramani Mahama to take a cue from his predecessor and insulate himself from political miscreants who are using his name for mischief and, at worst, committing plain crime. Such people must be flushed out immediately!

Mr. President your predecessor the late President John Mills had said that on several occasions, not least, when he repeated forcefully during his visit to the Tema harbor where he publicly charged the customs officers at the port to arrest anybody who used his name to transact business.

We should remember that the late president Mills knew that, in politics, you can have the angel and the devil by your side at the same time. So he had to do the disclaimer publicly so that Ghanaians would be aware of those throwing his names around.

He did so because the country was being denied of due revenue by corrupt officials who colluded with private companies and individuals to under-declare value of imports so as to evade tax.

Currently, there are a lot of imposters in town who pretend they are with the government and use the name of the President to do all manner of things.

Some of them owe taxes to the state; others owe unpaid debts; others use the name of the presidency for lobbing for positions that they don’t deserve and are not qualified; while others misuse the name of the presidency for scams Some may claim family relationship to obtain political patronage. Yet, all these may turn out to be lies but sometimes they succeed in their act and go scot free.

This, they do by putting fear in many public and civil servants and sometime threaten members of security agencies that they can change their positions overnight. This they do by throwing the name of the President around. The rate at which some Ghanaian politicians invoke the name the President for electoral lobbying and influence in their favour is now at an alarming rate; a thing already considered as a ‘menace’ to our society. This hypocritical display has become pertinent in the face of our elective office seekers using the name of the President in vain. Some of the set of political hypocrites have refused to accept and appreciate the fact that election victory is not only by using the president’s name but more of hard work and good records. Mr. President, do this to further demonstrate your physical political bravery over the years, coupled with your impressive giant strides already recorded in the history of your administration so far. Indeed, you have already shown considerable resolve to be fully committed to delivering your Transformation Agenda to Ghanaians as promised despite contending distractions. President John Dramani Mahama, we know you have been able to inject a breath of ‘Fresh Air’ into the country’s continuous transformation process within a considerable short period. This is manifested in the diverse socio-economic and political sectors of the country, notably, Health-Care, Agriculture, Power generation, Education, Works and Infrastructure, Housing, Roads, Communal Integration, Transportation and the overall shape of the nation’s economy. All these sectors are now wearing a new look! You still remain focused on transforming Ghana. Many rational-thinking Ghanaians appreciate the fact that you are not only a visionary leader, but that you are also a performing leader. Your performances are evident in job creation, power reforms, agricultural transformations, roads construction, aviation, transportation, economic growth, education, water, pension reforms, oil industry reforms, electoral reforms, ports reforms. Currently you are the Chairman of ECOWAS. Your show of responsibility and your admirably high-key demeanor is a rare trait of an African leader like Osagyfo Dr Kwame Nkrumah Under your leadership, a number of critical but necessary decisions have been taken which have tended to heighten confidence of the imminent democratic path the country continues to enjoy. That is why it is imperative that you protect your legacy by doing away with all those parading the corridors of power in your name. At the end of the day, history will judge you by how society classifies you.