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Opinions of Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Columnist: Yakubu, Abdul-Razak

Why must the president take the fall?

Mr. President,
Today I write to you as fan, son and your mentee. Today I refuse to be held back by the social rods with which I have remained tied to. Today I voice out so loud that the dead may rise, that Nkrumah and John Atta Mills shall wonder the purpose of their call. I remember sometime in 2012 when there seem to be an invisible uprising of the youth in Ghana walking, dancing and organizing of campaigns in all sort of colorful uniforms to see you rise to the Presidency of the Republic of Ghana.
I remember the first time I shook hands with you and stood by your side to take a picture at Mr. Abdul Malik Kweku Baako’s residence at a point which you stood as the number two in the country. I remember the important roles you played as Communication Minister and also a Member of Parliament. Sir you are a man of great history, a man with an undying love for the nation you hold dear.
However, today when I read the papers, when I watch and listen to television and radio talk shows, many attribute a lot to failures and unacceptable commentary about you. Yet we all know you are a great man, our hero and a comrade who is passionate to fulfill your duties to mother Ghana and Africa.
As the President and Commander In-chief of our armed forces, you cannot be blamed for every mistake and you need not allow certain people to bring your name to ruin. Government is just like a machine with many parts that allows it to function effectively and efficiently. No matter how little certain parts of the machine is, when it is faulty it either brings the whole machine to a halt or it reduce its pace and effectiveness. This when applied to a government shows similar effects.
I am tired and so are all the youth who believe in your competencies as the leader of the great nation. We think it is time to let go those who form part of your government and yet cannot perform their duties as expected of them. By this I mean right from your ministers, to the person with the lowest rank within your government. You as a leader cannot do everything, that’s why you have appointed them in their various positions based on the qualifications and skills. Therefore, when they are not able to deliver, they serve as those parts of a machine that get faulty and halt the entire machine or make its operations ineffective. Such parts are either repaired or replaced, and so you should do same with members of your government.
Presently in Ghana, when the police are misconducting themselves, when there is electricity and power failures, when our communities are engulfed with filth, when houses and roads are not built to standard, when water pipes are broken, and even when citizens employed to work for the state fail, all fingers go directly to your office. Based on this, I think it is time to hold people accountable for their actions or in-actions. As long as you continue to remain silent or pardon such unforgivable conducts such people will continue to misconduct themselves with impunity and this goes on to affect the performance of your government.
If every state actor could be seen doing what is expected of them rightly our nation will triumph. If the government worker will be punished for deciding to go to work when he or she feels like, If the police office will be punished for allowing a wrong to be committed, if the Doctor could be held responsible for given the wrong prescription, if the road Contractor could be arrested for not building the road to scale, if a Minister of state could be dismissed for his/her failure to solve problems then we will grow as a nation. Until you are able to do this, many individuals that form part of your government will not sit-up and they will continue to hold the progress on your government and progress of our nation.
In conclusion Ghana will be better if people in position were made to take responsibility for their action or in-actions. It is not in all situations a leader must take up the blame for the misconduct of his followers. I think you must not be blamed for every little mistake. Hence, any part of a machine that becomes faulty be fixed or replaced. God Bless Ghana.
Abdul-Razak Yakubu (Executive Director)
Youth Movement for African Unity (YMAU) Email, razak@ym-au.org