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No Other Fante Will Ever Become President If

Thu, 16 Sep 2010 Source: Pryce, Daniel K.

Fiifi Mills Resigned!

A September 13, 2010, news item published on Ghanaweb.com, titled “Mills could resign – Bature,” stoked in me embers of disenchantment and consternation at the Ghanaian presidency, as I grappled with the facts and opinions proffered by Alhaji Bature, a staunch President Mills acolyte; Dela Coffie, a notorious Jerry Rawlings apparatchik with a penchant for denigrating President Mills via his incoherent and tedious pieces that regularly appear on Ghanaweb.com and, perhaps, other pro-Ghanaian Internet conduits; and the compendium of lay people, analysts and connoisseurs, via comments and invectives under the piece. If, indeed, President Mills had contemplated resigning his position as the nation’s top civil servant, due primarily to the avalanche of criticisms directed against him by the restless and egotistic Jerry Rawlings, then the man has no business being at the helm of the nation’s affairs.

A principal reason I am unwilling to pitch tents with any of the two largest political parties in Ghana – National Democratic Congress (NDC) and National Patriotic Party (NPP) – is because of the freedom that I need to traverse the country’s political terrain and lodge and/or uproot any ideological poles that I deem necessary for the growth of our fledgling democracy. So, here are my thoughts and suggestions, devoid of any impediments and encumbrances.

First, if President Mills were to resign because he could no longer endure the inundation of criticisms and unabashed balderdash from the maniacal Jerry Rawlings, then he would have proven that he never deserved to be president! How can I brag about my president – Ghana’s president – if that person were a weakling? How could he protect me from foreign aggression, if he could not deal with mere criticisms from his opponents and enemies? Well, I hope President Mills will toughen up and run the show – his show – because Ghanaians invested time, money and effort at the polls in Election 2008 to choose him over others – and the sooner he realizes that he has more work to do, the easier it will be for him and the proletariat.

Second, the aphorism that “the buck stops at the top of the hierarchy” may be true, but only a child would argue that the president could govern alone. Without a doubt, a president’s success at the helm of affairs is only as realistic as the men and women he surrounds himself with: he must have seasoned politicians, accomplished careerists, and dedicated party members to help him navigate the coarse path of governance, especially on an African political terrain, such as Ghana’s. Perhaps, Mills has not accomplished as much as he would have liked to at this point in his presidency, because he has surrounded himself with novices and people with no clue as to what it takes to govern and get things done for the hoi polloi. In fact, President Mills risks being replaced at the polls in 2012, unless things change – and they must change very quickly!

Third, if President Mills were to resign, it will be a victory for the unappeasable Rawlingses – Jerry and Konadu – as the touting of an ill-advised Konadu run for the presidency in 2012 by her epigones may just have an element of truth in it. Konadu Agyemang Rawlings for president of Ghana? Are Ghanaians naive enough to hand a third term to Jerry Rawlings? After serving as “First Lady” for three months in 1979; as “First Lady” from 1981 to 1992; as First Lady from 1992 to 2000; after enjoying the trappings of power with her husband for 20-plus years; and after being part of a chthonic team that persecuted hardworking Ghanaians and destroyed their businesses, in the process, is this the person that Ghanaians now want for president? If Konadu Rawlings ever became president, I will permanently sever my consanguineous link to my Motherland, for I would have concluded that we are a bunch of irrational people with the collective brain size of a housefly! Well, let Konadu Rawlings run for president and Akufo-Addo will thump her at the polls!

Fourth, if Mills were to resign, the NDC will definitely not retain power in 2012, irrespective of who is chosen as the party’s flag-bearer. Party politics is about popularity, and Akufo-Addo is the next most popular person in the country right now, sans John Fiifi Mills. If the Rawlingses believe that the Ghanaian presidency is a bequeathment, then they certainly have underestimated the intelligence of the Ghanaian electorate. As is done everywhere, a sitting president generally runs unopposed for a second term, so people expect that President Mills will represent the NDC again in Election 2012. If, however, the recalcitrant Jerry Rawlings and his wife believe that they can unseat Mills at the party’s forthcoming Congress, then good luck to them – but they must understand that, were Mills to be replaced by Konadu Rawlings, Akufo-Addo will be smiling all the way to Jubilee House in January 2013.

Fifth, a possible Fiifi Mills resignation will automatically elevate John Mahama to the presidency. (This scenario would be similar to what happened in Nigeria, the difference being that the president of Ghana did not die while in office.) If the Rawlingses assume that John Mahama will not be a bellicose participant in the NDC, were he to become president, then the former are daydreaming. Why would John Mahama, were he to succeed Mills, due to the resignation of the latter, turn over the affairs of the party to the Rawlingses? Honestly, by the time the disagreements and power struggles are over, Nana Akufo-Addo would have been steering the wheel of governance for months.

Sixth, as frustrating as it is to know that Mills actually contemplated resigning from office (I hope he has now given up the idea, for the sake of those who stood in the sun and rain to elect him, for the sake of those who endured physical attacks to get him into office!), the man must have known all along that the presidency was no steak-and-wine party! Why did he run for the top job if he was not prepared to deal with future criticisms, a scenario that did not require a prognosticator for confirmation? Fiifi Mills must develop a thick skin, which will help him repulse the sadistic, insipid attacks from the founder of the NDC, Jerry Rawlings. Ghanaians did not elect Jerry Rawlings to a third term; Ghanaians elected Fiifi Mills to a first term, with the hope that he had what it took to pilot the ship of state.

Finally, in obsequious terms, President Mills is the pride of all Fantes at the present time. Being the first Fante to become president, a Mills resignation will irreparably dent the image of Fantes – and no other Fante may ever become president of Ghana, were the unthinkable to happen! Suddenly, an attack on Mills will be extrapolated to encompass all Fantes, and then the derisions will begin! President Mills does not need the first-president-to-leave-office-because-of-sheer-criticisms tag around his neck; he must gird his loins and face his daily task of governing the nation – and the idea of a calamitous resignation must remain only a sibilant sound in his genial spirit. Mills must ignore the petulant Jerry Rawlings, reinforce his position as president of the republic, ignore the verisimilitudinous statements of his detractors, and work assiduously for the common good of all Ghanaian citizens.

Written and submitted September 13, 2010.

The writer, Daniel K. Pryce, holds a master’s degree in public administration from George Mason University, U.S.A. He is a member of the national honor society for public affairs and administration in the U.S.A. He can be reached at dpryce@cox.net.

Columnist: Pryce, Daniel K.