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Opinions of Sunday, 14 March 2010

Columnist: Ansong, Joshua

Your Excellency,I am one of your sons; this is my opinion...

Your Excellency,let me congratulate you,albeit lately,on your assumption of the only office without equal in this land; May I add that I write to you with humility. I still fondly remember the joy my associates and I shared as the announcement of the results that lent your presidency legitimacy was underway. On account of the various artificial interventions that characterized the electioneering process,only a people with an indestructible resolve could treat the Kuffour regime with the scorn it had worked hard to deserve. Even if we worked relentlessly till January 4 when the ‘the man with royal blood’ eventually capitulated, I still Am more inclined to believe that your presidency was divinely ordained. The nation was almost topsy-turvy... An emasculated Kuffour watched on helplessly as subterfuge, sophistry and a bunch of arrogant and opinionated politicians, urged on by an inordinate ambition for power, held all of us hostage for a greater of the period in question. Only God, I strongly state, could have pulled us back from the brink. I have not forgotten the sobriety with which we took various pieces of information that trickled in within the twilight of the run-off …about irregularities here and there. Thank God, today, your administration isn’t one that can be said to be nascent, as it has burgeoned into one that’s deserving of honor, in my opinion. As a youth, I am quite enthused about the fact that they were like-minded colleagues who helped us together take actions that spawned groundbreaking developments in our body politic, the result of which was your election as president of Ghana, the overwhelming incongruities notwithstanding. Some fifteen months down the lane, Your Excellencey, I wish to state and with candour, that there are successes as well as challenges that require urgent attention. These challenges, Your Excellency, are not insurmountable but portend danger for our party and Country. Let me proceed, granted I have your permission, your Excellency, to discuss only a few of our successes as well as challenges over the last fifteen months. In the immediate aftermath of your inauguration, we witnessed an inflationary trend that was quite embarrassing. In fact, I recall there were times our friends in opposition would mock at us by saying: ‘President Mills, arrest the inflation and stop chasing cars!’ You and your team have taken steps that have eventually culminated in the arrest of the situation. There’s no gain saying inflation has plateaued and the significance of this lies in the fact that microeconomic stability spurs sustainable growth. With due respect to the critics of the Mills’ Administration, touting this great feat cannot be said to be plattitudenous,as the dollar-cedi parity is now within a modicum of prediction,nuetralizing the state of flux that had regrettably characterized it in the initial stages of the better Ghana agenda. Your Excellency, I also wish to hail your modesty, perhaps a novelty in contemporary African politics. You and your vice have been very modest, demystifying the high office president and ridding it as well of the vulgarity that had characterized it in the erstwhile NPP administration. I am left awe-stricken whenever I see either your convoy Or the Vice President’s; Am deeply convinced those who know you and the ‘veep’ at close quarters are aware that this virtue is sincere and not a façade on grounds of political expediency. You offered to live and work in Castle, sparing the ordinary Ghanaian the daily ordeal of giving way to long retinues or convoys that would leave us all struggling to make do with ear-splitting noises at insufferable decibels.Mr President, that you are not vengeful is no news, as you have given the Almighty his pride of place in the scheme of your affairs…There’s no denying the fact that a man who is modest is naturally not given to materialism, a monster to which many in the jettisoned NPP administration unfortunately fell prey. This measure of modesty, as I averred earlier, is unprecedented in African political history and testifies to your sense of sensitivity to the plight of Ghanaians, especially when juxtaposed with the opulence that defined the Kuffour presidency. Again., I wish to thank you for the equanimity with which you take the concerns of President Rawlings.It is a fact that President Rawlings is venerable and it’ll be foolhardy to challenge the germaneness of his concerns on this platform. If I were privileged to offer an opinion to President Rawlings, however, I’d rather He channeled these concerns in-house, as his genuine concerns make prime fodder for newspapers diametrically opposed to the Better Ghana Agenda. Am greatly moved by the fact that you’ve not shown publicly that the manner in which president Rawlings expresses his comments irks you.Besides,I love both of you in equal measure,Mr President. For obvious reasons, I concede that His Excellency President Rawlings might be more accessible than you are and thus is the recipient of information that would be meant for your attention. Mr.President,the list of your administration’s achievements is inexhaustible; I intend to dwell more on that later.However,I wish to identify some of the challenges that require urgent attention.Frankly,the exigencies of the times we live in require that we move quickly to resolve these difficulties; I want to be quite blunt about my standpoint,Mr President. First,It would be recalled that you instructed your ‘then’ spokeman,Ayariga,to cause to be made, a statement that appointees of your administration give attention to party apparatchiks. I need not refer to the rumpus that followed that announcement, as that was to be expected.Mr President,If am allowed to speak from my prism as a sincere party person, I will say, without ambivalence, that the situation’s no better. One of the major reasons that account for our perceived unpopularity, am inclined to believe, is the conduct of our ‘big men‘ Within the entire election year and especially in the heat of the elections, there’re appointees of our administration whose names I will not mention for obvious reasons, that I worked with. We had been working together towards victory for our party. We communicated frequently and met consistently in pursuit of this objective; am glad God graced our efforts…I can also count a number of people(more than 200) who helped me and these ‘BIG MEN’ in our party to prosecute our agenda, the details of which I won’t discuss here…Some were Media personnel,Some men of God,some military personel,some intelligence officers and others were just ordinary Ghanaians whose resolve to bring about change was indestructible.Mr president,If I told you what all these groups did to bring about change,you would be shocked…These were gallant men who went out of their way to marshal resources and joined forces to effect the change.They worked with people who’re now ministers,deputy ministers and heads of strategic institutions and agencies under our administration. They did not do all they did for a fee, it was wholly voluntary. Of all these people, I can’t remember a single person who’s glad about the turn of events some fifteen months down the lane. I know a number of them who came perilously close to death and suffered personal losses in their lives… Recently,some of them came to me with grave concerns…They were of the opinion that I had not been of help to them, for they thought I still had access to these ‘big men’ who are now in government! I then told them the situation had changed and that those ‘big men’ now treat me too with disdain! Those whose lines have not changed would not pick my calls and those whose lines have changed would not see me.Mr.President,is this fair?Interestingly,some of these ‘big men’ shivered as events took shape to make the change possible,others were clueless,picking their calls with alacrity and showing veritable ignorance when called upon in the dead of the night. All these despondent men I mentioned have children,some of these children are of voting age… They’ve not asked for anything more than ‘mere’ recognition! I will always espouse the ideals of our great party,no however the challenges…but I don’t know how long enough my words can placate these exasperated numerous friends of mine.Mr.president,let’s recognize and praise our ‘people!’My daily prayer has always been about our success but the lives of most of these people I mentioned have never been the same and it’s all because of our party!As for those ‘big men,’ perhaps if they reversed the trend,putting themselves in the stead of these ones I have mentioned,only then would they know whether they’ve been fair or not,whether they’ve helped the NDC or hurt it.Your Excellency,there is simmering,justifiable anger in our party.There’s hardly a day I am not confronted with this anger wherever I go; if these exasperated friends were opposition elements, I would not lose sleep…but these friends were NDC fanatics some sixteen months ago!! I don’t envy Auntie Betty at all. Those who’re able to gauge the pulse of our party are not amused about the heat she’s had to take.Auntie Betty,I’m convinced even if you resigned today or were substituted,the difficulty in your office would still persist. The penchant with ministers come under fire in our party is quite regrettable. It’s time we sincerely realized that these comments leave us all bruised. It’s perhaps curious that we have elements in the NDC who descend on ministers and other appointees with careless abandon! Even if am chagrined by the relative inactivity at attorney general’s office, especially in the face of some of the egregious mistakes that characterized the Kuffour regime, I am of the obstinate conviction that Aunties Betty Mould and Hannah Tetteh would not ingratiate themselves with the NPP.Aba!!!There are elements in your administration who have been most high handed to me and my friends I mentioned earlier but I will not interpreter this attitude of theirs beyond the obscene cruelty or callousness that it represents. Am certain that if I had died in my struggle to effect change,and these cruel monsters were at the helm, our covenant would definitely have been betrayed.Mr President,what I know about in our party makes me worry about the future.If this tide of despondency is not stemmed, we could run the risk of returning to where all dread most-opposition. Mr President,I sincerely hope am not bleating, as I shudder to think about the consequences of our failure as a government for our country. I have absolute confidence in My President and vice president and sincerely wish all the other appointees at least reflected the stature of the two but this is not the case. Be that as it may, if there’s a groundswell of lethargy in our party, how then do we take on the opposition elements that, as a government, placed their comfort above the dignity and survival of the Ghanaian? Am still bullish about our future, as I know the tide will change. Beyond these energy,water and social challenges,am positive things will turn around.However,as a matter of urgency,I think,Mr President,that we must resolve these internal challenges,emerging as one voice against those who set out to annihilate us.Nothing can obliterate our memories about the economic plunder that took place over the last eight years. Once again,Mr.President,let us act now,avoiding the surliness that precipitated the NPP into defeat.Let your appointees realize that their actions are alienating us,especially those who suffered personal losses in that watershed election and are still living with pain.Let me reiterate that I have confidence in you,your vice and a number of people in your administration.I beseech God’s mercy on our country.Your Excellency,it’s well and I know many Ghanaians will eventually testify to the genuineness of the resolve of the Mills regime to make this country a BETTER Ghana. Thanks Your Excellency,for your attention.Long live Mills,long live Ghana!Amen!!! Justice Ansong ansongj@gmail.com 027-4184164.