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UN General Assembly: Analysis of President Mahama’s speech [1]

John UN President John Mahama

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 Source: Osei, Nana Yaw

By Nana Yaw Osei

The joy of many Ghanaians across political divide knew no bounds when Mr. John Dramani Mahama was selected as a vice presidential candidate of the then candidate: Professor John Evans Atta Mills of President Rawlings’ fashioned National Democratic Congress (NDC) in April 2008.

As an astute politician and a member of Ghana’s legislature through the nod of Bole-Bamboi constituents, Mr. Mahama was affable, not disconcerting, simple and noble. He is best remembered for his role in seeking justices for 44 Ghanaians who were murdered by the iron fisted Gambian ruler, Yahya Jammeh at pan African parliament in somewhere 2005.

Indeed, he was a great legislator and posterity will judge him greater still. However, as a president, his political image is sinking fast like a butter on top of a fire partly because of his preference for kakistocracy (a system of government by the worst or least qualified citizens).

Here, confusion interposes because not all his appointees are least qualified and bereft of ideas to manage their portfolios. I am much particular about the likes of those from dining hall prefect work experience to ministerial positions. I am also concerned about the president’s appointments not his personality.

The price to pay for President Mahama’s somewhat lack of derision for kakistocracy, is the number of embarrassments his government has caused Ghanaians in both national level and international arena. For example, during Ghana’s 59th independence anniversary, Kenyan President, Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta was referred to as the President of Ghana in a brochure prepared by some of his appointees.

The famous “Vikileak” is another example. In his speech to address the 71st session of the UN general assembly, Mr. Mahama raised many issues. Three of them are worthy for discussion.

In the first place, Mr. Mahama’s call for USA to completely lift economic blockade on Cuba was a needless diplomatic aggrandizement. This was like shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted. President Obama made a historic trip to Cuba in May, 2016 and Delta airline has already began flights to Cuba.

So Mr. Mahama’s call was unnecessary interference in the foreign policies of Cuba and USA. Ghana was supposed to be neutral.

Foreign policy of a country is purely domestic affairs of that country. USA’s foreign policy on Cuba is her internal issue and vice versa. UN principles prohibit member countries from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. The United Nations act in accordance with the following Principles.

1. All member states are sovereign and equal.

2. All are pledged to fulfill their obligations under the Charter in good faith.

3. All are pledged to settle their international disputes by peaceful means and without endangering international peace, security and justice.

4. They are to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against any other state.

5. They are to give the UN every assistance in any action it takes in accordance with the Charter.

6. The United Nations shall not intervene in matters which are essentially domestic ones of any state except when it is acting to enforce international peace.

Fellow countrymen, why must our president drag Ghana as a member of UN into the relationship between USA and Cuba? What actually plunged me into a state of mental disquietude (uneasiness) was when President Mahama told President Obama to complete the total process before he leaves office.

USA-Cuban relationship is a serious debate between the Democratic and the Republican parties and it was not appropriate for Ghana to interfere in USA’s politics.

Many republicans were opposed USA’s decision to lift trade embargo on Cuba. For example, "Monday's events at the U.N., Washington and Havana leave no doubt that we have entered the most dangerous phase of the Obama presidency in which the president is flat out? abandoning America's vital national security interests to cozy up to the world's most reprehensible regimes," Marco Rubio, Republican Senator from Florida said. http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/07/27/424736858/republicans-stand-against-cuba-change-despite-public-opinion-shift

In Cuba, not all citizens support the move. For example, “Cubans who left the island in the last two decades and those born in the United States are more supportive of increasing U.S.-Cuba engagement than those who left immediately after the revolution,’’ said Jorge Duany, director of the Cuban.

Research Institute, which cosponsored the polling initiative, along with the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs and the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center.” There are intellectuals who are firmed on communism and loathe USA’s capitalist ideology. Readers can visit the following website

https://news.fiu.edu/2016/09/majority-of-cuban-americans-in-miami-oppose-u-s-embargo/103975

Those who wrote Mr. Mahama’s speech must be answering some questions. Ghana as a member of non-align movement (NAM) was supposed to be neutral.

One would expect that President Mahama could use such a platform to ask for help to lift economic and social blockades he has bequeathed to the citizens of Ghana as a leader. Issues like energy crises, youth unemployment, education and health should have been prioritized on such a platform. The bifurcation of Ghana on political line is so severe that it is no respecta of life.

For example, Professor, Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng who established the national cardiothoracic center at Ghana’s biggest hospital had been kicked out of Korle Bu Teaching Hospital because he is not part of the ruling government.

A president who dislikes a health care blockade on his citizens would have partnered with the accomplished physician to set up cardio centers throughout the country. Which serious government will allow such a brain to go waste in the name of partisan politics?

What is the doctor-patient ration in Cuba as compared to Ghana? Cuba under trade blockade leads in Doctor-Patient ratio. Cuba leads the world with the lowest patient to doctor ratio, 155:1, while even the U.S.A trails way behind at 396:1.[6] With a surplus of Cuban doctors, Cuba is able to help ailing nations around the world.

They have medical missions in over 75 different countries lead by nearly 40,000 health professionals, almost half of them are doctors. In Cuba education is free. Room and board, books and amenities are included. Doctors are not burdened by student loans and live comfortably though not extravagantly. Readers can check the webpage below.

http://www.socialmedicine.org/2012/07/30/about/cuba-leads-the-world-in-lowest-patient-per-doctor-ratio-how-do-they-do-it/

Doctor-patient ratio in Ghana is an open secret. All is not well in Ghana and our leaders must be transparent about the problems in Ghana. In the absence of the criminal libel law, BNI has been causing arbitrary arrest in the country. BNI intentionally arrest on Fridays and argues they don’t work on weekends.

Although I disagree with some of the content of Mr. Fadi Dabboussi’s articles, BNI must avoid this kind of constitutional lawlessness. If you don’t work on weekends, don’t arrest on Fridays. I am curious to know, is it a job of BNI to hunt for those who defame others? Where is Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)? This is where you are needed but not to punch holes in Dr. Bawumia’s economic lectures you don’t understand.

President Mahama per his experience is over qualified for the job, but his problem is his appointments. As a seasoned politician, Mr. Mahama must be firmed and appoint qualified people regardless of their political affiliations especially on the economy and the energy sector.

For the sake of nationhood, he must do that albeit his party opposition. Always listening to his party foot soldiers will impugn his political integrity. Dear President Mahama, remember, Niccolo Machiavelli, said “The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.” Psychologically, many Ghanaians both home and in diaspora think you are joking because of some people around you.

Cubans under blockade have a better health system than Ghana without trade restrictions. President Mahama’s call on USA to totally lift economic blockade on Cuba was a needless ego aggrandizement. “I know that I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing.” (Socrates).

Nana Yaw Osei (Padigo), PhD Candidate, Psychology, Arizona, USA. E-mail: padigogoma77@yahoo.co.uk

Columnist: Osei, Nana Yaw