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Opinions of Friday, 27 November 2009

Columnist: Abdulai, Mohammed Mubarak

Rawlings' comments are righteous indignation

Former President Rawlings' recent comments about government's performance in some areas are a show of courage and good sense; he has chosen candour over old politics of deceit and fawning.

It is interesting that when Mr. Rawlings praises President Mills, no one condemns him for praising the President, but when in equal measure he criticises the government, everyone screams at the top of their voice for him to shut up. By vilifying Jerry Rawlings, we are providing perfect grist for political decay.

The former president has not strayed away from the principles of a social democratic party. JJ is simply saying - I'm not going to sit back and watch you slip Mr. President. The political reality is that when you are president, people would inveigle than tell you the truth, and he “ JJ“ learnt that in nearly thirty years as head of State.

Who better to advice the President than a former office holder? JJ may not be the repository of all wisdom; he is simply accentuating the concerns of the grassroots and I dare the government to conduct a poll on the president’s opinion ratings amongst members of the NDC and Ghanaians generally.

It is counterproductive to pretend all is well. Pretending that all is well is sheer sycophancy. And asking Jerry Rawlings not to speak his mind is a feeble attempt to hide the shortcomings of government.

The rub of the government is its communication team which has failed to exploit the government’s early opportunities. The team has been unable to articulate the successes of this administration and do not have a strategy to repudiate the knives that are being drawn at the president from within the NDC and outside. They do not understand the cut and thrust of politics.

There is absolutely no question about the fact that government is doing well in many areas. I strongly believe the economic management team is in good hands. I have seen a great effort at trying to fix a broken nation. However, government is incapable of addressing all the flash point issues in eleven months.

It will take more than eleven months to undo the wrong-headed policies of the last eight years. The handling of the economy is an indication of good things to come. Health and agric sectors are doing fine. I feel a lot safer driving in the night even though there are still some challenges. On the whole I think we have a firm grip on crime though our defence budget is nothing to write home about.

But I find it amazing for people in government to suggest that all is well in every sector of government. Isn’t it a fact that government information machinery is a complete nightmare bereft of ideas to meet the challenges to the Mills administration?

Eleven months into its tenure, government is losing popular support and has given some ground to the discredited opposition. Ghanaians should blame bashing of the President on his communication team who simply are not up to speed with the job and have no serious communication strategy to counteract the overly simplified arguments by the Presidents detractors and the party’s opponents.

The worries by some supporters of the party have festered because government has failed to tell Ghanaians the hopeful stories about work done so far.

The President should do himself a favour and reassign or simply fire.

Mohammed Mubarak Abdulai (Ras Mubarak)

mmubarak79@yahoo.com