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Opinions Mon, 7 Dec 2009

Open Letter To Prez. Mills

: RE-ASSIGNING SABAH Z. OKAIKOI IS NOT THE SOLUTION


Dear Prez. Mills,


I hope this letter meets you in the best of health. I know you've come under immense attack both within and outside the party about your style of leadership and particularly your communications outfit and many more. My dear President Mills, God bless you for not also pissing in so far and I pray you don’t piss in so as to keep to your title of “Asomdwehene” (peacemaker), a title that contributed to your ascension to the high office of the President of Ghana, one of the most peaceful countries in the sub-region.


Mr. President an area that has been of concern is your communications outfit and many have said your communications team is not performing to expectations and they have all laid the blame at the door step of the sector Minister Mrs. Sabah Z. Okaikoi.

But Mr. President a key issue many keep forgetting is that information dissemination is not just the duty of an individual or a few people. As recently stated by Mr. Chris Akummey , a well respected lawyer and a member of the NDC on radio gold an Accra based radio station , the Information Minister is doing very well and has proven her skeptics wrong but then many should not expect her to fight the battle alone especially against the NPP.


Come to think of it Mr. President, If the many critics lashing out at you on our airwaves were using such precious times to inform Ghanaians about the drop in inflation and its implications to the ordinary citizen, drop in rate of armed robbery, the provision of free school uniforms, the increment in the capitation grant etc wouldn’t that also amount to information dissemination. Mr. President, i wish many of these people who say there is lack of information flow could explain further what they mean by their assertion but unfortunately nobody has got the time to seek further explaination. This is because aside the MEET-THE-PRESS series which affords sector Ministers the opportunity to inform the general public about government policies there is also the PEOPLE-MUST-KNOW CONCEPT which allows ordinary Ghanaians the opportunity to ask questions relating to different sectors of government and the various sector Ministers are made to answer and is aired on TV, also they have introduced the FACEBOOK CONCEPT to reach out to people in this all important social networking site. Many criticized this initiative but perhaps what they don’t know is that currently face book is the most patronized social networking site in Ghana and in the world in general.


In addition, they have also used the traditional radio and TV to communicate government policies and programmes across the length and breadth of the country. So that if with all of these measures people continue to say there is lack of information flow then you would agree with me that the issue goes beyond the sector Minister and her two deputies.


My dear Prez. Mills, media reports suggest that you might conduct your first reshuffle early next year; I just hope is not based only on the public outcry of just a few individuals whose motives are still unclear.

Although, many names have come up Mr. President, the name of your Information Minister, Mrs. Sabah Zita Okaikoi has featured prominently in the list with many including “serial callers” blaming her for the lack of information flow. I however hold the view that with the points spoken on earlier the issue is not about reassigning the sector minister but it is more about getting more hands on deck to disseminate information to the public. Government officials like Hon. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo(E/R Min.), Hon. Ama Benyiwaa Doe(C/R Min.), Hon. Fiifi Kwetey(Dep. Min. Finance), Hon. Hannah Tetteh(Min. For Trade and Industry), Hon. Ampofo Twumasi (MP for Sene), Mr. Richard Quashigah, Dr. Ekow Spio Gabrah, Mr. Seth Ofori, Mr. Alex Segbefia etc and all other vociferous loyalists of the party who played a crucial role in the communications outfit of government should not rest but should now see it as a matter of necessity that to keep their portfolios they must talk about government achievements.


I know many might say all the names above have busy schedules but believe me an hour or two every morning or on weekends in he media is worth more than sitting in long winding frutiless meetings.


Although many young ones have shown their face for government let us not forget that the NPP still have experienced old faces like Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, Egbert Fabille Junior, Dan Botwe,Nana Ohene Ntow , Alfred Obgamey etc all making noise in the media for the NPP.


Information dissemination is all about talk! talk!talk!talk and let us not forget that NDC has never had the media at its side this means that we need to double our talking since we have a media that is tilted towards the opposition. I hold the strongest conviction that if the names provided above should come on board and make it a daily affair and not just a one stop event the work of your communications outfit would become more easier and there would be a turn around in the information flow of government to the people. Your current Information Minister deserves to remain at post since she has done well and truly represents the new NDC image you are to portraying to Ghanaians but I think she just needs a few more hands to reach out to the over 22 million Ghanaians yearning for information. So instead of reassigning her keep her and let all those names mentioned above get on board to help take our country to the land of milk and honey. The Former President and Founder of the NDC Jerry John Rawlings, Dr. Ekow Spio Garbrah and some of our Members of Parliament have also expressed their displeasure at the so-called slow pace of your government.

I would understand all these high profiled personalities and their desire to see things mover faster because as said by Pema Chodron "All over the world, people are so caught in running that they forget to take advantage of the beauty around them. We become so accustomed to speeding ahead we rob ourselves of joy." We seem to be in a world that demands we do everything faster and faster. We've learned that slow is bad and fast is good but the detrimental effects of life in the fast lane seem to outweigh the benefits.


Considering our current dispensation and our quest to deepen our democracy, generations would not forgive the current government if it does not take measures to ensure that institutions such as the judiciary etc are strengthened. Former President Rawlings is of the opinion that some alleged “criminals” who served under the previous administration are still sleeping, eating and breathing comfortably in their homes instead of the Nsawam medium prisons. As you’ve always said “the wheels of justice grinds slowly but would definitely get to its final destination,” so as a believer of true democracy and a Professor of law keep up your good work in ensuring the independence of the judiciary.


I am confident that all those who engaged in any form of white color criminality under the previous administration would be brought to book before the end of your first term.


For now keep up your concentration on saving our drowning economy and lay a solid foundation for a proper take off of the better Ghana agenda promised Ghanaians.

Thank you and hope to write again soon.


Yours Faithfully


Prince Kumah


P. Kumah89@yahoo.com

Columnist: Kumah, Prince