Prof Mills Lacks Wise Counsel

Tue, 7 Sep 2010 Source: Amenga-Etego, SaCut

I am absolutely sure of it that the biggest problem of President Mills of

Ghana is lack of wise counselors or advisors. I¹m even surer that he needs

an inclination for that kind of desired wise counsel-an inclination the

president has woefully failed to demonstrate since he became President. Why,

how can any leader ever lead successfully without the benefit of such

counsel? Perhaps, only in an Atta Mills Presidency can people delude

themselves with such a notion.

The last time I wrote an open letter to the President, I humbly cautioned

his Excellency to get his acts together as urgently as practicable before

ultimately losing his core support base in the NDC. And what did I get for

daring to make such a prudent suggestion? A flood of e-mail in my in-box.

You can guess the content of these messages that mostly came from naïve,

blind, sycophantic and avowed stomach supporters of the president. Many of

them cursed me for daring to evoke one of the cardinal principles that form

the bedrock of the NDC-the courage to speak the truth and stand by it no

matter the cost. There were others who commended me though for speaking out

openly what many of them had already been discussing privately. But one

thing became clear to me after my last letter to the President-many people

who call themselves NDC do not even have an appreciation of the core values

of this movement-and that includes the President.

I am not one of those who have been taken aback by the abhorrent behavior of

President Mills whiles in office. As for how he has treated the founder of

his party, it had long been predicted. And he¹s been on record as saying

that he will not treat President Jerry John Rawlings differently from

President Kufuor. Therefore, the reparation some of us have been advocating

and expecting President Mills to give to President Rawlings for the eight

years of damage and denigration from the Kufuor Presidency will only remain

a day dream. The ingratitude of President Mills is legendary without a


I first learnt of this in the run-up to the 2004 general election whiles I

was still a student in Cape Coast. That was an election he meekly conceded

defeat and earned himself and accolade the Œasomdwe hene¹ as though that was

worth it. One evening in the company of a couple of my colleague student

activists, we got the greatest shock of our lives from the man whose picture

boldly occupied the front of the T-shirts we regaled.

Apparently, upon his arrival at his sister¹s residence in Cape Coast during

a campaign tour of the central and western regions, President Mills had been

ill advised by his Œadvisors¹ that we were a group of opportunist students

who had come to meet him and try to get from him some favors. The truth

however is that, we had been given these T-shirts by his own sister who

revealed to us when Prof. Mills would arrive at her residence and encouraged

us to regale ourselves with them and meet him to invite him to give us a

talk in school. Upon her request, we were seated that evening and waiting

for Prof. Mills for several hours until almost mid-night. That night has

since remained one of the most regrettable nights for me as a youth

activists of the NDC.

Why, when we were finally asked to see candidate Mills, he was seated and

surrounded by a bunch of ingrates who were already day-dreaming of becoming

presidential aides and ill advisors. He was the first to address us-and it

was appalling. He spoke totally unlike someone who even dreamt of becoming

president. He said to us that he had been told that we were students who had

come to his sister¹s residence to seek campaign paraphernalia. Prof. Mills

asked us if his sister¹s residence was the party office and why we had come


I was not the leader of the group but I wished I was. Our leader had become

instantly timid-understandably. Although we were all shocked at the remarks

from the Prof. who wanted to become Ghana¹s president, our leader was even

more confused as he had the extra burden of responding appropriately and

respectfully. As would be expected, he fumbled through his response. He

could not even be coherent as he struggled to put his vocabulary together.

At this point, I only wanted to do one thing-remove that T-shirt of the

Prof. and throw it to his face. At the end, he said to us, that he would

see what he can do regarding coming to address us in school. We left his

presence immediately with disgust and full of regrets.

It became obvious to me that this Prof. was not a serious man worth my

energy in campaigning for. Here was a man who was running for president. A

group of student volunteers got invited by your own sister to come and meet

you. And if we came to your house for party paraphernalia-and yes, it was

not the party office-but in whose interest was it? Not you who is running

for president? So that if the Prof¹s so-called advisors ill-advised him, as

a Œpresidential material¹ he should have known how to handle such

information better than making it sound as though he didn¹t have a

Œpresidential mindscape¹. And as if he was going to do us a favor. But how

can you blame him if he does not have that Œmindscape¹. He simply cannot

fake it.

It didn¹t surprise many of my comrades who know about this experience with

the Prof. When I said in 2006 that the Prof. cannot rule Ghana with these

same people I met with him in 2004 as his advisors and with the same

inclination. With that kind of naked ingratitude shown to students rooting

for him to be president, how could you expect him to show any appreciation

to the foot soldiers or his financiers or even his political benefactors in

the NDC? And with such ill advisors surrounding a man who already lacks the

inclination for wise counsel, how would you expect him to act wisely and in

the interest of consolidating power for the NDC?

This is why when people say that I criticize the president unnecessarily; I

say back to them that they¹re supporting a man they don¹t even have an iota

of knowledge about. Some of us have been observing the Prof. since 2004 to

see if he will become different. That is why we gave him the benefit of the

doubt after he became our flag bearer in 2006 and supported him

unconditionally. Unfortunately, a leopard can never change its colors. The

president has continually confirmed to all of us who have eyes to see and an

open mind to think that he is not a leader that can inspire all others to

follow him and work for a common goal. He is a legendary ingrate who will

only learn his lesson after his reign has crumbled and there is no indelible

mark left behind to show for it.

There are those avowed supporters of the President who say that President

Mills¹ refusal to consult and take free advice from NDC founder and former

President Jerry John Rawlings is a demonstration of his independence as a

president who is of his own ideas. I¹m not sure if that is what Prof. Mills

really thinks he is doing. But if what his supporters say is true, it will

be the most naïve thing any President can do to ignore the rich counsel of

the man who introduced you to politics-such a priceless boon- in a bid to

demonstrate independence of mind when in reality you do not have what it

takes to be independent minded in the first place. After all, does he not

still take useless and destructive counsel from his bunch of ill advisors?

What is independent about that? And how does this so-called independence

inure to the benefit of his presidency? Did Prof. Mills become NDC leader

independently? Absolutely not! So where does this independence theory

emanate from? I guess it can only emanate from ill advisors whose only aim

is to cover up their own bad deeds that would suffer exposure by the former

President Rawlings whose commitment to the truth is equally legendary and

unmatched in our political landscape.

And that is why I say President Mills is in dire need of advisors to replace

the current bunch of ill advisors. Before then, let the president develop

ASAP the inclination to heed to such wise counsel or consider himself a

failed president. Less I forget let those who have suddenly woken up to the

reality that the NDC founder is indispensible to the fortunes of our party

in any present or future election-be it intra-party election or national

election-know where to direct their Œwise counsel¹. Let them be talking to

those ingrates in the NDC pressing the self destructive button and making

sure they listen. For no one else needs counsel than President Mills and

his ill advisors who have done him no single good since he became president.

They even convinced him to forget that he became president because he was

consecrated on June 4 in Swedru where he was famously declared by NDC

founder Jerry Rawlings as heir to the NDC Flag so that he now can violate

the inviolable June 4.

I¹m also of the opinion that it is also almost too late for the President to

make any amends to assuage the King makers in the NDC to retain him as NDC

leader. He would have to fight it independently. And I double doubt if

independent fighting for political power has ever been a part of the Œfather

for all¹ president who prefers to chase after the myth called Œfloating

voters¹ at the expense of the real people who put him there. Has he ever

heard the saying that a bird in hand is worth ten in the bush?

If I were to be an advisor to President Mills for just a day, the first

thing I would tell him is that there is a different moral code in politics.

That moral code is not called Œfather for all¹. It involves having two

faces: the man and the alpha man. Seeking retribution for injustices

perpetuated by public officials for example requires the face of the alpha

man. Not the meek man. Keeping your opponents far from the seat of

government does not require Œfather for all¹. Sustaining power does not

require praise singers around you as president and espousing gentleness. It

requires people who would look you in the face and tell you the truth. If it

is too bitter, why chew it. Just swallow it. I will hasten to add that no

single political opponent has given him applause since he declared himself

Œfather for all¹. If your political opponents will not applaud you for that,

what do you expect from your neglected followers? Further praises? No.

absolute abandonment!

And if the Œfather for all¹ moral code hasn¹t been prudent, why maintain

it. As I have said earlier, it is one of the most naïve themes of the

President to even declare himself Œfather for all¹ to Ghanaians when he has

woefully failed to unite his own NDC almost two years after gaining

political power. He has been Œfather for all¹ in the judiciary and what has

been the result; a disaster in the pursuance of justice. He has been

Œfather for all¹ in the public and civil services, and what has been the

result; sabotage and subterfuge. He has been Œfather for all¹ in the media,

and what has been the result; the opposition is shaping public opinion and

leading the discourse-even gaining a moral high ground. He has been Œfather

for all¹ business men in Ghana, and what has been the result; apathy from

his campaign financiers and colossal sums of money in the hands of his

political opponents.

I cannot and will not believe that the Atta Mills Presidency is working with

strategy. If it is, what is it called and what is its purpose? I¹m sure of

one thing; it is not a winning strategy, so: it is not worth it. I cannot

rest my case until the NDC flag and membership ID card is taken away from

this president whose values, views and ideals are anything but those of the


saCut Amenga-Etego (YFL General secretary and NDC youth activist)

Columnist: Amenga-Etego, SaCut