Tuesday, December 1, 2009

President Mills, Should We Shut Up?

President John Evans Atta Mills is reported to have said at Donkorkrom at Afram Plains in the Eastern region some weeks ago that his political opponents who had destroyed the nation over the past eight years should shut up and allow him to repair the economy; I saw it in the Daily Democrat and the Ghanaian Chronicle.

For a man who has built his entire political career on his so-called love for peace and tolerance, I am surprised at the comments coming out of our President. It seems to me that he has started down the long and slippery road that many a leader has trod on, that of making unnecessary and controversial public pronouncements.

The words of a President are supposed to be worth something, and I do not think that the President should indulge in fruitless inanities. Indeed, he knows or he should know that nothing in the world would make his opponents to shut up, particularly since he is messing up so fabulously.
So, Professor John Evans Atta Mills, we are not going to shut up, not today, and not tomorrow.

Fortunately or unfortunately, in making his call for all of us to shut up so that he alone can be the King Kong of Ghana, President Atta Mills also made other comments which to me are nasty indeed. For instance, he told the bemused people of Donkorkrom that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has destroyed the economy of Ghana in eight years and he was busy repairing the damage.

Sometimes, when some people speak, one begins to wonder whether they have the ability to remember their own history. Between 1997 to January 2001, President Atta Mills was the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana. In that period, he presided over an economy that could best be described as collapsed. So bad was the economy that a few months after the NPP took over from him we were forced to declare this nation as poor and highly indebted in order to benefit from favorable debt write-offs.

Why did he campaign anyway, did he and his party not say that our economy was in a mess? Or may be because it was time for campaigning he spoke freely like the way many of his ministers did within the period.

I want to borrow the words of the man I believed could have done well for this country and not Mills, Nana Akufo Addo who said “if you say the Economy is Broke, Fix It”
Buoyed with that fillip, the NPP, in eight years, built an economy that became the toast of the world. Indeed, the size of the GDP quadrupled, and so did our revenue mobilization targets. The statistics, in as far as the economy was concerned, are amazing to say the least.

Indeed, Professor Atta Mills has a daunting task meeting a quarter of the achievements of the NPP in as far as managing the economy is concerned, and it would be sad for him to go about saying that the economy he inherited is a destroyed one that needs to be fixed.

I am praying that he does not destroy the economy, and I personally have very little hope that he is going to be able to pull any miracles. He lacks the ability and he lacks the personnel to wreak any miracles. If it wasn’t so sad, I would have said that our President has a very good sense of humor. According to him there was no money in the coffers of Ghana when he took over. Ha ha ha!

Nothing could be further from the truth. This year, it has been budgeted that Ghana would spend over twenty billion dollars on various programs, and every single pesewa has been accounted for and the budget line identified. That was why he and his men were able to blow 1.6 billion old Ghana cedis on tea, the huge amount spent on painting the castle, the money spent on just welcoming the US President who was here for less than 24 hours, an expenditure which was not budgeted for, but which came to pass. So Mills should stop insulting our intelligence about there being no money to spend!

It seems that Mills is also a person who likes passing the buck. In his Manifesto for a Better Ghana, he set out six clear objectives that he expected to deliver within a hundred days. When the hundred days came to pass without even one of the objectives being met, we were told that that was because the government was still too young.

Eleven months have come to pass yet his government is still leisurely about. Now Mills has started telling the people that he won a mandate of four years and people should stop pushing him to deliver.

For me, he is seeking an excuse and he is passing the buck. The fact of the matter is that in eleven months, there should have been clear achievements under his belt. The fact that there is none to speak off should be a worrying indicator to him and to the rest of the country.

In any case, why should he go to Donkorkrom to ask them what the NPP did for them? What is he, John Evans Atta Mills, President of Ghana, going to do for the people of Donkorkrom? That is what the people of Donkorkrom expected from him, and not a litany of complaints against an old government.

In any case, why is our President such a liar? Why does he keep on saying that he is going to be a President for all and not only his cronies? The fact of the matter is that since he assumed office, many competent people have been kicked out of sensitive public and civil positions to be replaced by his friends, associates and cronies, and there seems to be no sign that this phenomenon is about to end.

Mills did not come to power because of us. He came to power because of his friends, associates and cronies and family members that founder Efo Rawlings calls greedy bastards and he should stop fooling himself that he came for the masses of us.

As for justifying our confidence in him, I can assure him that he has his work cut out for him, and so far, the signs are not encouraging. And in the face of such poor signals, I do not think that it would be wise to call upon us to shut up, because we won’t.

Atta do something before you die because the dullness is too much.

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