Opinions of Thu, 26 Apr 20189
Why Akufo-Addo should sleep with one eye open (II)
This article discusses the reasons why Akufo-Addo cannot afford to repeat the same unpardonable errors of judgment by Mills and Mahama.
Ex-President John Dramani Mahama, unlike his predecessor, the late John Evans Atta Mills, did not expect to be the president of Ghana so soon, and hence never prepared for the highly important position.
That said, it could be true that the then Vice President Mahama had an ambition to ascend the throne one day, albeit his presidency happened sooner and fortuitously following the sudden death of former President Mills.
As a matter of fact, Ex-President Mahama was only forced by the Ghana’s 1992 Constitution to ascend the throne he never prepared for, and, therefore had no burning desire, or had little interest to move the country to the right direction.
If you may remember, it was the late Mills who hand-picked John Dramani Mahama as his running mate for the 2008 election. Although the late President Mills met with stiff resistance on his decision to select John Dramani Mahama as his running mate for the 2008 election, the indefatigable Mills defied the fierce opposition, stood by his then running mate John Dramani Mahama, worked in valence and emerged victorious in the 2008 election.
Subsequent to his victory in the 2008 election, the late President Mills did his utmost best and continued with the excellent economic foundation laid by former President Kufuor and his NPP government, until his sudden and inexplicable death in July 2012.
It must be pointed out that former President Kufuor quadrupled Ghana’s GDP to a staggering $28 billion in 2008. While the late Mills inherited the discovery of oil in commercial quantities and managed to increase the GDP to $47 billion by 2011.
Unfortunately, however, President Mahama reversed the GDP to an incredible $37 billion as of October 2016.
Besides, the late Mills left an economic growth of around 14 per cent, but Mahama succeeded to asphyxiate the economic growth to an amazing 3.5 per cent.
Moreover, President Mills left an agricultural growth of around 7.4 per cent in 2012, while President Mahama dragged it to around 2.5 per cent as of October 2016.
It is also true that President Mahama obliterated the late mills “unprecedented” single digit inflation and replaced it with double digits (15.8 as of October 2016).
Believe it or not, despite his brief spell at the presidency, the late Mills performed exceedingly better than his predecessor Rawlings, and his successor Mahama.
Indeed, the late Mills was an excellent human being and a real patriot who meant well for his country. But he was unfortunately let down by the very people he reposed his absolute trust.
In spite of the late Mills good intentions for Ghana, the naysayers within his own Party gratuitously kept nagging, shrilling and grumbling about his style of leadership until his inexplicable death in July 2012.
I hate to admit this, but the fact of the matter is that the late Mills greatest mistake of his short spell in government was his decision to mix religion with politics.
Of course, there is nothing wrong if a devoted Christian or a Moslem decides to play active politics. But a supposedly religious person, in my view, must not and cannot claim sainthood in the political arena.
“The idea that religion and politics don't mix was invented by the Devil to keep Christians from running their own country (Jerry Falwell).”
It is absolutely fine if a politician is altruistic. But that does not mean a politician must seek to “play God”. Indeed, governance is not about “let us give to God”. It is all about cracking the whip when necessary. After all, Jesus Christ even once cracked the whip in the Temple.
Yes, “let us give to God” does not work in governance but rather, it leads to absolute failure. It is all about assertiveness and the strict application of the existing laws and regulations.
Somehow, the late Mills wanted to please everyone, and hence earned the weird epithet-‘Asomdwehene’.
But the crucial question we should be asking: is it possible to please each and every one in our day-to-day living activities?
I remember my grandmother once advised me not to ever seek to please every human being on this planet. After a brief, albeit a carefully considered deliberation, I asked my grandmother why I should not seek to play “nice man” to every person that comes my way.
My grandmother, however, retorted poignantly that it would be extremely dangerous for everyone to accept me as the nicest person on the planet.
My grandmother maintained that in the event of me playing the nicest person, the people around me could take undue advantage of my leniency.
Well, I could not agree more with my grandmother. How could a leader hesitate to step on people’s toes in his/her line of duty?
Indeed, every great leader must be prepared to step on toes if he/she is to be successful. And, to paraphrase the great man Nelson Mandela of blessed memory, any person that changes his/her principles depending on whoever he/she is dealing with, can never be a great leader.
To be quite honest, the late Mills would have been very successful in his short spell in government if not the shenanigans of the conspiratorial plotters that surrounded him.
I have always maintained that although I am not, and will never be an NDC apologist, I will forever vouch for the late President Mills unparalleled adherence to moral principles.
Apparently, it is on record that apart from the gargantuan corruption allegations that were disturbing the late President Mills, he was also worried about the dealings of his appointees, including the then Vice President, John Dramani Mahama.
Take, for example, it has been documented that prior to the dubious Wayome’s judgement debt payment of GH51.2 million, the late Mills warned the ‘create, loot and share’ cabals not to effect payment.
However, the incompliant appointees took advantage of his leniency and disobeyed the good old Mills orders and doled out the staggering amount to Wayome, who had no contract with the government of Ghana.
Despite his unmatched moral upstandingness, the late President Mills somehow yielded to his appointees shenanigans and allowed the create loot and share cabals to have their way.
And in spite of his appointees impishness and dereliction of duty, the late Mills blatantly failed to crack the whip. He bizarrely held on to the weird appellation of ‘father for all’.
But the truth of the matter is that the late Mills spared the rod and spoilt his children. Yes, his appointees were all over the place canvassing for people to come forward for the non-existent judgement debt. It was an illustrative case of let us ‘create loot and share’. How bizarre?
Apparently, the late Mills successor, Ex-President Mahama, was not perfect either.
Although I am not privy to his religious background, I am well aware that Ex-President Mahama sought to play Mr Nice Man, and as a result, the people surrounded him took undue advantage to dupe the nation.
Somehow, the people around him took advantage of his lacklustre approach and indecisiveness and created alliance with a view to emptying the national purse.
The scandalous bribery and corruption cases such as SUBA, GYEEDA, SADA, Bus Branding, Brazil World Cup, amongst others contributed largely to the country’s economic meltdown.
It is absolutely true that the erstwhile Mahama’s government’s disastrous economic management and gargantuan corruptions sent Ghana’s economy deeper and deeper into the mire.
And rightly so, discerning Ghanaians voted the NDC government out of power in the 2016 election as they were not happy about the way President Mahama and his appointees were managing the affairs.
Indeed, the good people of Ghana found in NPP, a redeemer, whom they trusted to set them free from Mahama’s government economic bondage.
Given the pestilential dynamics of politics, we would humbly beseech President Nana Akufo-Addo to sleep with one eye open in order not to commit the mistakes of his predecessors.
In sum, when promises are broken, the bonds of trust are breached, thus President Akufo-Addo must not and cannot disappoint discerning Ghanaians.