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Opinions Fri, 4 Apr 2014

The President Must Beware of Ticks!

Dr. Raymond Atuguba Cannot be Out: The President Must Beware of Ticks!

It is absolutely imperative for any government especially with reference to President JD Mahama to carve a good legacy for himself. Since governments come and go, and him being fortunate to win the mandate of Ghanaians to govern, must make use of the opportunity judiciously to leave a great legacy. With this as a standard, he needs to literally watch out for the ticks around him. If needs be that he “shaves” them away or sheds them off, so be it, in order to focus on his agenda in delivering for Ghana.

Presidents come to govern with clear-cut agenda. Some of them, in the process, try to reset a policy agenda. For instance, President Barack Obama upon assumption of office reset American foreign policy button to one of diplomacy in their foreign policy approach and touted a ‘no boots on the ground’ approach in the situation of conflict stricken or war torn areas, where American intervention might be needed. We see this drive in foreign policy shift of President Obama in Libya, in Egypt and in Syria.

On a professional level, the USA soccer team coach, Jurgen Klinsmann relegated his assistant coach to some peripheral responsibilities, only to make a bold decision on hiring Berti Vogt as his technical advisor. Read what Klinsmann said: “I decided that his best role is in the scouting area…not on the field with the team…It’s simply a professional shift. I have to make decisions with my staff to put them in positions where I think they’re best in order to hopefully do well this summer in Brazil,” he added. “Sometimes it’s a shift that doesn’t please everybody, but this is part of the head coach’s role. You’re not there to please everybody, you’re there to put people in the best positions to get the job done, and the job is getting out of the group stage this summer.” (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/world-cup-jurgen-klinsmann-addresses-231616468--mls.html)

On his part, President JD Mahama, must remain focused like a laser on the economy. The fall and depreciation of the cedi is enough focus for him to deal with and at the same time to multitask on other relevant issues of national development. No wonder, the President is going grey! But that is the hallmark of the heavy responsibilities of the millions of Ghanaians on his shoulders as father of the nation. It is the expectation of concerned and patriotic Ghanaians to see the President to continue to make or take bold, tough decisions for the good of the nation.

That is why the recent media reportage by the Al Hajj newspaper which purports to suggest that some notable functionaries at the Flag Staff House are on suicidal warpath to do each other in must not be treated with the contempt it deserves. Even if those allegations were unsubstantiated, for the sake of the rumor, the bit of truth must not be shredded.

Al Hajj reports that, the biggest casualty on the plate in the ongoing chess game at the Flagstaff House is no other than the Executive Secretary to the President, Dr Raymond Atuguba. According to the paper, Flag Staff House sources say due to the intensity and enormity of the ongoing bickering at the seat of government, the Executive Secretary to the President who among others manages the affairs of President John Mahama, are being cited as “latter day saints” creating unhealthy relationship between the government and the NDC party, and that but for the insistence of President Mahama would have long been history so far as the handlers of the President is concern.

It is a step in the right direction for His Excellency the President to take a tough position on this one, and rightly so, because normally when presidents are sworn into office, they are constitutionally empowered to govern thanks to the mandate of the people and must basically assemble his men/staffers to fulfill his agenda.

Question: which Government would not want to engage the services of Dr. Raymond Atuguba? It will be suicidal, but preposterous to want to do away with a legal brain at the presidency. What tangible reasons are advanced for his outage apart from the tag that he is a “latter day saint? “What nonsense! Absolutely nonsensical! Is he not a patriotic Ghanaian? Do you have to have a political tag in order to serve your country? Does he not have the credentials? Go to Harvard Law School; find out about him, and thou shocketh, consider his accomplishment, and be a proud Ghanaian!

Those clamoring for his outage, do they even know how much legalities are involved in governance and politics not to have this young and dynamic legal think thank to deal with all the legal intricacies and complexities at the Presidency? The running and operation of government is not that simple! And make no mistake! Raymond does not just pass for a statistic there, but a force to reckon with, by virtue of his high academic and professional pedigree. Now is even the best time his services would be needed by the President, as the newly elected ECOWAS Chairman.

For those sluggards, so unabashed about their diabolical machinations to oust a legal brain must rethink their modus operandi. It is grossly silly, unprofessional and at worst their evil intentions will not see the light of the day, but dashed against the wall.

Cletus D. Kuunifaa, Long Island University, LIU Post, New York. Can be contacted at dipnibe@yahoo.com or Follow him on twitter @ckuunifaa

Columnist: Kuunifaa, Cletus D