Opinions Fri, 7 Jun 2013

Open letter to President Mahama

Your Excellency, Thomas Jefferson once said, “when the people fear the government it is tyranny, but if the government fears the people, there is liberty”.

Mr. President I am sorry to say, the former is what many Ghanaians seem to feel is happening in the country today.

Indeed you were candid in admitting that your first five months in office have been a baptism of fire in your interview with the BBC recently.

I trouble you with my humble thoughts because I am very shocked about the staggering level of corruption which seems to have riddled GYEEDA, (NYEP) as highlighted in a series of exposes by Manasseh Azure Awuni.

Mr. President I do not understand why government should pay 500 Cedis to Zoomlion, whereas only 100 Cedis is actually paid to the workers. The remaining 400 Cedis is charged as management fees.

But what are they “Managing”?

Your Excellency, should the widow with three children clearing the chocked gutters at the Agbogbloshie market earn only 100 Cedis after toiling for a month?

Should this poor woman, unlike a minister, who can’t afford a surgery in the UK or South Africa, be deprived of the little she earns?

Mr. President I thought we marked 56 years of the end of oppressors rule on March 6, so, are there new oppressors?

The first question I asked when I heard the reports about GYEEDA, was whether the Minister who signed that contract was a Ghanaian.

I ask this Your Excellency, not because I’m unaware that one cannot become a Minister if he’s not a Ghanaian, but because this is certainly not the spirit with which our fore fathers toiled for.

Can the Minister live on 100 Cedis a month even as an ordinary man?

Why should a guinea fowl egg that costs 50 Pesewas be sold to the government at 2.50 Cedis-a price four times more than the original cost?

Your Excellency, why should a programme aimed at reducing the unemployment rate, rather become a haven for staggering corruption?

It is heart wrenching, when people use politics, which should be used as an opportunity to serve their people, rob the innocent poor of what they have.

Mr. President, I’m sure by now, you or your aides may be wondering whether this lad writing this piece is a puppet of a political party, because even the price of kenkey is politicized in Ghana.

But I assure you, your Excellency, my motivation for disturbing your peace this brief moment is because of the boy in Zabzugu who was mocked by his mates because I took a photograph of his tattered school uniform; the boy in Savelugu who wore half a shoe, not because he preferred it but because the shoe had worn away; the disabled girl at Diari who’s dream of becoming a medical doctor is uncertain and the boy at Winneba who was sold twice by his mother for less than 200 cedis due to poverty.

Your Excellency, if there is anything I would remember you for, it would be your abhorrence to the politics of insults and your use of decent language, even when you were a member of parliament.

But I wonder, Mr. President, if my unborn son would get to read about President John Mahama who fought corruption and reduced it to the barest minimum.

As I end my conversation with you, Mr. President, I would like to quote the 7th US president, Andrew Jackson; “I weep for the liberty of my country, when I see at this early day of its successful experiment, that corruption has been ascribed to many public officials and the rights of the people have been battered for promises of office”.

I rest my case!! God bless our homeland Ghana.

Felix Akoyam


Columnist: Akoyam, Felix