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Opinions Thu, 8 Dec 2011

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Editorial: Mills, we want pretty response to ugly noises

President John Evans Atta Mills keeps on confirming the view many people hold about him as hypocrite who says one thing and does the other. He has been consistent in assuring all, including the internal community that he is committed to ensuring peace in the country in the run up to the 2012 general elections. But practically, it is difficult to pinpoint any thing the president has been doing to ensure that so-called peace he has been preaching.

This is the man who said Ghana would turn into Kenya if he did not win the 2008 election. And through to his word, the NDC adopted a very confrontational approach in dealing with issues relating to the elections, even to the point of mobilizing their members to besiege the offices of the Electoral Commission.

President Mills thinks that people who are drawing his attention to what needs to be done to ensure peaceful elections are making ugly noises. We want to assure the president that the ugly noises will not stop so long as he remains the hypocrite he has proved to be.

First of all, the president has shown that he is not honest and sincere about his sermons on peace. We were all in this country when somebody was captured on tape shooting into the crowd during the Chereponi by-election. Just like the Chereponi by-election, similar exercises at Akwatia and Atiwa witnessed large scale violence being perpetrated in the full glare of the state security. One can also recall the open butchery of some NPP supporters at Agbobloshie which took place in front of a police station.

In all these matters, not a single word came from the man who keeps delivering sermons on peace on every available platform. One finds it difficult to understand why a lawyer of his stature would not charge the police to take the necessary action in the face of overwhelming evidence of criminal acts, some of which were captured on tape.

Ironically, when an opposition leader charges him to do something about these issues to prevent people from finding their own ways to defend themselves, then the president thinks he is bad and not committed to peace.

When an opposition leader urges people to do what they are enjoined by the constitution to do, by resisting attempts to cheat and subvert their will, then the president thinks the best response is to put the state security on red alert.

When an opposition leader says policies of the government have consigned the people to a state of despondency and so there is the need to rescue them at all cost, then the president thinks the best response is to threaten to ensure that he ‘joins his ancestors.’

To President Mills and his people, Nana Akufo-Addo is drawing their attention to the right things to be done to ensure peace in the run up to the 2012 elections because he has an inordinate desire to become president.

They say this forgetting the number of attempts President Mills made before ascending the presidency. Having lost the 2000 election after being handpicked by former president Rawlings as his successor, he went ahead to contest another presidential primary and won to contest again in 2004, which did not work for him. He again did not allow it to go but contested another presidential primary again and won to contest in 2008, which he lost in first round and won in a run-off with just about 40,000 votes.

This, the president and his people do not consider as an inordinate desire to become president. It is rather the man who has made just one attempt at the presidency who has an inordinate desire to become president. Maybe, the word ‘inordinate’ has different meanings for the NDC under different situations.

The hypocrisy of President Mills has now become very sickening, as he has now become the real embodiment of all the things he spoke against while in opposition. The man who spoke vehemently against profligate spending by government officials now heads a government where the degree of profligacy now knows no bound, with himself bagging a salary of GHC7,000 a month.

What even makes it more sickening is that the president and his people keep ‘insulting’ Ghanaians by insisting that they have made their economic circumstances better, even though he has broken virtually all material promises he made to the good people of Ghana while seeking their mandate.

We at the New Statesman are not surprised that many people now consider the president as a man addicted to hypocrisy.

Ghanaians are indeed sick of his hypocrisy. They therefore don’t trust him when he delivers sermons on peace. They want to see concrete steps being taken to engender the peace we all need, going into the 2012 electioneering period. Not until he does that, he must be assured that the ugly noises will continue.

Columnist: The Statesman

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