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Opinions of Saturday, 14 January 2012

Columnist: Asare, Noah Dugubrame

What A Second Term For Mills Mean!

The first mandate of every political leader and his party is a probational period which determines the possibility of the electorate either giving him or refusing him a second term. Politicians being well aware of this, always work out everything within their reach to impress the people who have the power to either prolong their stay or fire them at the end of the first service.

It is worth noting that anything done by a politician in his first term is aimed among other possibilities at gaining the goodwill of the people and to pave way for his dream to complete a full cycle of two, three or whatever number of terms as determined by the democratic constitution of the country he rules. In our case, a second term is the limit and so our politicians will like to use the first term as a campaign message with which they can secure the second and last term in office.

With this in mind politicians are very wary of what they do in the first term. And when they happen to secure the second term, believe me politicians become proud and self content. Often not really caring what their actions will spell for the future of the country, the electorate and their parties. That is why it is rare to see parties who have been in power for two complete terms being maintained again after the leadership of the incumbent world wide. Of course in countries where democracy is in full force.

As a good example, Rawlings ruled for two terms and the NDC was voted out because in his last term as president Ghanaians were so disappointed in the NDC that everybody demanded for a change. In Rawlings' first term as a democratic leader he did things that presented him as new and changed person to Ghanaians. Arbitrary judgements and executions had been completely halted. Rawlings refused to sign any execution warrant leaving prisoners on death warrant in custody. He subsidized fuel from the beginning of his term till the end. In that first term the GETFUND was doing a wonderful job all across the country. Rawlings in that first term introduced what they called the Free Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) which sought to give all Ghanain children of school going age to a free basic education only at the primary level. In his second term however, he relaxed and virtually stopped chasing up his appointees and they freely looted the state the results being that some of his most trusted appointees like Tsikata, Victor Selormey, Dan Abodapki and others were eventually caught and thrown into jail later on. It was during that last term that the Mabel and Johnson Saga was recorded.

President Kuffour inherited an economy which had been declared HIPC. Cars were queuing for fuel. Gas shortage had hit Ghana. But with his mind on impressing the Ghanaians who voted him into power, he entered the boldest initiative (HIPC Ini) to defray our debt. He was within two months able to eliminate the queues for fuel at our filling stations. By the end of his four year he was among other things able to cancel our debt and Ghana had started benefitting from the good governance he laid to bare. But by the end of his second term he got swollen headed and even went to the extent of buying gold to award himself. He reduced fuel prices in an insulting manner which actually affected the party's return to power. The 50th anniversary could have been done in a more modest way to have avoided the criticisms it attracted. But as many others, he did not need to impress anybody any more. His tenure had ended.

In these two most recent democratic administrations, I have given you a sketch of how our leaders seeking first terms do everything to avoid a defeat in their quest for a second term. The love for party alone does not make a president and candidate to put his best after his term as he will when he is seeking a second chance.

So if in President Mills first term as president Ghanaians have so much to hold him for, I fear what he and his team will do when he know his mandate has expired. If now that he is seeking a second mandate he can increase fuel prices to this height and bring such a hardship upon us as people. If now that he is in need of our mandate to go for a second term he can place ILLEGAL taxes on fuel products, I fear what he can do in the second and last term. If in this time that he wants his mandate renewed by us, he can openly defend a stinky case like that of Mutaka and Woyome, Ghanaians will have to be cautious in giving him and his team a second term. If when seeking for a second term the NDC can deny ever promising to put money in our pockets or arrest the killers of the overlord of Dagbon all need to be careful in giving them another mandate. Whilst asking for our mandate to take another four years people are victimized and even those acting like patriots in reporting rot in TOR and GFA were manhandled the way they were, I am sorry a second term will send us many years back. People are transferred for reporting corruption in their places of work and yet we are being asked for a second mandate. If our debt has been increased for more than 200% in just this first term, I wonder where we will end as a country after another four years.

In the first term of NDC we have seen an unprecedented abuse of power. With national security operatives throwing their weights about everywhere. Party general secretary and a member of the board on the Bui project at the same time manufacturing blocks at a higher price, showing a clear double standard for which he has not even been cautioned by a president who is seeking a second term.

Openly Ama Benyiwa Doe and Allotey Jacobs spewed out dirty words on each other on air over contract allocations and other matters which smell of corruption and favoritism in the allocation of contracts and have not even been given the least of reprimand from a president who wants us to vote for him again. If in the first term of president Mills he can preside over a team which turned off the electronic meters of the oil drilling machines and used dip stick for very inaccurate measurements duping the state of volumes of oil then I wonder what will happen when they will no more need our vote.

I can boldly say that a second term for Mills will be desastrous for Ghana. One, it has become clear that the current leadership is not fully having the NDC as a party at heart. I have reasons to believe that if not because they have ridden on the back of the party to come to power they will have ignored Rawlings and all what is associated with him. A second term will mean, after this you can take your party. It will mean an administration which will be constituted of people who will only look for their own interest, having it in mind that they are not really welcome by the founders of the party. The second and last term of Mills and this his team is likely to be a more assets grabbing one which will have no hope of fielding their own candidate as they did in Sunyani. When Mills is gone the party will most likely fall back to the Rawlingses who may not tolerate the people who choreographed the humiliation his wife at the coronation park. A second term will be a last chance to rob the nation without fear of what impression their acts may create in the mind of the Ghanaian electorate.

A second term for president Mills means more unfulfilled promises than the ones recorded in this first term. A vote for Mills again will be a spell of doom for Ghana and Ghanaians.

God bless our homeland Ghana.

Noah Dugubrame Asare. Frankfurt, Germany.