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Opinions of Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Columnist: Chronicle

When the President is more pious than the Pope

he President of the Republic is an enigma. Prof. John Evans Atta Mills goes around the country and abroad preaching peace and national politics devoid of insults, while all around him, war drums are being beaten.

The President addressed the 39th General Council meeting of the Church of Pentecost in Accra at the weekend, and asked political parties to tolerate and accommodate one another as the country prepares for the next general elections. The Chronicle shares these sentiments as necessary ingredients to ensure peaceful polls, and a smooth take-over in January 2013.

What we are unable to comprehend is why the President has not been able to imbibe these noble ideas in the personalities he himself has chosen to help him govern this country. When the head of state has chosen acidic mouths like Dr. Tony Aidoo, Ama Benyiwa-Doe, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo and others to lead his team, we would like to believe he has not much of a right to pontificate on decent electioneering.

When Ama Benyiwa-Doe went round the country during the 2008 Presidential and Legislative campaigns, lying through her teeth and calling leading members of the now opposition New Patriotic Party drug barons without proof, the President gave a seal of approval to her utterances, by appointing her Central Regional Minister.

Prof. Atta Mills' whole presidential campaign was run on the premise that the New Patriotic Party was a drug menace to the nation, and that Atta Mills and his NDC represented a clean break with drugs. At the time this message was being packaged, the President and his entire campaign team knew the message was false. But, because it advanced their cause, Prof. Mills gave his seal of approval to it.

Two years and a quarter into his Presidency, the President harbours ministers of state who go public and insult their political opponents, without the good old Professor raising a finger. Like most Ghanaians, The Chronicle is getting sick and tired of Prof. Atta Mills sounding more Catholic than the Pope in public, and at the same time, condoning wrongdoings so long as they advance his political cause.

We are getting sick and tired of roof-top advertisements of a pious Head of State who condones all manner of sins in his endeavour to cling on to power.

The Chronicle recalls with a tinge of sadness that on the day he launched his re-election campaign, speaker after speaker spoke of ex-President Jerry John Rawlings and his wife, as if they had committed the most heinous of crimes, simply because Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings has decided to test the President's own popularity in the party.

One placard even suggested that the Rawlingses were ignoramuses. So far, The Chronicle has no record of this pious Head of State ever condemning this declaration. We are slowly entering an era when honesty is becoming a rare commodity in dealing with serious national issues.

When it suits the President, he pontificates on God the Father or God the Son directing the actions of the occupant of Government House. We would like it to be put on record that we are not concerned about whether or not this President believes he could be God's representative at the Castle.

Thanks to our justice system, The Chronicle has a fair idea about some very heinous crimes committed by people who previously claimed to be God's own representative on earth.

It is not long ago, when a person calling himself Jesus One Touch was given a 10-year jail sentence for defiling his own 10 year-old daughter.

Last week, a prominent Accra Bishop was sent to Nsawam Prisons for defrauding a member of the congregation, who had invited him to preach, of her £12,000.

This nation, we all appreciate, is a secular state. In dealing with matters of governance, it would be in the interest of every Ghanaian to leave the heavenly father alone. In Matthew 7:21, Jesus admonishes all of us thus: 'Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but who does the will of my Father, who is in heaven.'