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Open Letter to President Atta Mills

Fri, 29 Jan 2010 Source: Owusu-Ansah, Kofi

Dear Mr President,

I wish you a happy new year and I wish this letter finds you in good health. I know the task of managing the affairs of a country the size of Ghana though not too large a country, but with the attendant aspirations of about 22 million independent thinking human beings is never an easy task at all. It becomes very daunting when their expectations have been hyped by no other person than your very humble self and your party, the NDC. When you have promised to put money in the pockets of the working men and women within 100 days of coming to power, you can imagine how difficult and hard it becomes when their pockets are no longer the levels they were before 7th January, 2009. As a professor, no matter what discipline it is, it is only natural that they would like to get answers why the 100 days are long gone and now into years.

As you are aware, when you were in the campus as a professor, anytime you promised the students you were going to give them lecture notes, course-trips and tours, breaks and extension of time for submitting their assignments and thesis and you changed your mind for obvious reasons, they resented it and made it known to you that they were not pleased at all? It is also true that within that same student community there were those who would complain even about your style of lecturing and there were others out of fear, who would not complain. What do you expect from a whole nation where you decide: What they would feed on; where they would sleep; how they would look after their families in terms of hospitals, educational facilities, transportation, employment etc? It is only natural that they would complain. Were you looking for dummies as your subjects when got to votes?

Your first outburst since you became Ghana's President was when your closest opponent for the 2008 Presidential Elections returned to Ghana from his European and the Unites States visits. You called a hurried Press Conference to warn Ghanaians that there is only one President and it was you, even though the supporters who thronged to the airport to welcome Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo never said he was Ghana's President.

As if that was not enough you said recently during your tours of Ashanti and Brong Ahafo that Ghanaians complain too much. I am a bit taken aback by this because you have been a public figure for most of your adult life. You have known the Ghanaian when you were at the Kwame Nkrumah Ideological institute; At the various university campuses, you came in contact with these same Ghanaians; As the Vice President, the situation was the same; when you were moving from door to door enticing Ghanaians with your so called asomdweehene mantra for their votes, they were these same Ghanaians you encountered and finally, when your propaganda machinery swung into action publicising falsehood and lies about the NPP, you never for once realized that you were COMPLAINING about the then government in power ?

Why now? "Who the cap fits, let them wear it" We shall continue to complain because when you said you would be a FATHER TO ALL GHANAIANS, you have failed to live up to those expectations. You have demonstrated to the 49.77% that never voted for you that they could not take you on your word that they are your children. You said recently that all your party top brass should OPEN THEIR DOORS TO THE NDC cadres. This is truly the father to all Ghanaians indeed. By this singular statement, you have told them they can remain in Ghana as secondary citizens who have no stake in the estate of our country, very sad.

Last week ,you said in your New Year message to Ghanaians that we should be patriotic and die a little for mother Ghana. They say words are cheap. Were you talking to your children who have access to you 24 hours a day? What type of Ghana do you want to build and which of the Ghanaians are you going to use? I don't know the meaning of patriotism, but I believe you mean that, we should put in our weight in pushing mother Ghana forward. "When you have a divisive father, who has demonstrated to their mother that you're not their father, can the same father ask them, the illegitimate children to take part in the chores of the family"? As much as we have talented and professional able bodied men and women in Ghana, they are looking for a leader who is not ashamed to call them part of Ghana so that they can make a positive contribution towards the development of Ghana. By this singular statment, you are calling on these Ghanaians to put their talents at your disposal to use to develop Ghana. Which talents are you going to use? Would you care to use the Rooster,the Elephant etc. I am not sure, Mr President.

Ghanaians by our nature have always been patriotic but the problem has always been leaders who take us for granted. Those who would think their words should be the order of the day. When they speak, because they are in the position given to them by the benevolence of the Ghanaians and as such think they are superior to all, nobody should question it. No, Mr President, we shall continue to complain so far as we are not satisfied with some of your actions. We shall complain so far as you have failed to mobilise all the human resources in the country for our national development. We shall continue to complain when our supporters are mowed down in the full of glare of the Police in Accra. We shall complain because our shops have been forcibly taken away from us in parts of Accra. We shall continue to complain because, when you complained about the previous government that they were corrupt those who voted for you bought into it a gave you power to rule.

Once again you are quiet when your Ashanti Regional Minister said your party the NDC and its supporters in the region should slap anyone who criticises you. Is that the level you want to take Ghana to? Are you telling us that as citizens we don't deserve better than the "Jungle Justice" practiced by animals in the bush? The Regional Minister said it is the only way your opponents would stop criticising you. What are are you hiding that Ghanaians should not know? Have you forgotten that you are the number one citizen of Ghana and as such we shall demand answers to whatever you do? Oh, you like the title of President but would not compromise on the downside of the position, being criticised?

I was not amused at all by your 1st Anniversary Meet the Press. You once again failed to give any policy directions. You failed to tell us why you have not put any monies in our pockets; you failed to tell us why the FUEL PRICE, your number one item on your campaign agenda was not attained. I quote what you said on the campaign trail ".the present government has failed to reduce the price of fuel even though the international price per barrel of oil has reduced (it was from $145 per barrel to about $94.45 and was sold at the pumps in Ghana at 5.20 Cedi per gallon) when I Atta Mills come to power, I will transfer every reduction without consulting anybody". What have you done so far?

You want us to shut up like zombies but I can assure you if you resented criticism, Mr President, today, you have shown us that even a working government that had ever provided our country with the best form of infrastructure and all the social amenities unprecedented in our country's history could be made to lose elections on lies, falsehood, unproven allegations of corruption through the very pill you dread: COMPLAIN AND CRITICISM, we shall therefore continue to complain until you have lived up to your PROMISES, the details which are all clearly printed in your pre-election manifesto. As a Professor, you taught us your students that it was good to CRITICIZE AND COMPLAIN when Kufuor was in power but when it came to you, we should be Zombies and shut up.

Columnist: Owusu-Ansah, Kofi