Since he was sworn-in, President Mills has been holed up at the Castle for weeks – hardly venturing out. Then suddenly, he decides to embark on his first regional tour and where does he go first? The Central Region, his home region.
I read the following article on the blog of Mustapha Hamid, who was Nana Akufo-Addo’s spokesman in the run-up to the December polls. I found it very interesting and quite refreshing that an NPP stalwart – no less a person than Mustapha – questions some of the choices former President Kufuor made. He only stops short of saying that Kufuor cost the NPP the election last year. I think he did. This is not a partisan piece, by any measure and I feel it’s a good sign that our democracy is growing. That’s why I decided to share it with visitors to this site… Enjoy >>>
Someone wrote the following about me (and to me). It was published on myjoyonline.com yesterday. Since it’s about me I asked him for permission to put it up here and he consented…
The verdict is unanimous. From my count, most of those who visit this site are in no mood to welcome any “guest bloggers”. Last Monday, I introduced one of such guests and few thought it was a brilliant idea. Most others thought it was nothing but a stupid move. So far, only two people have shown interest in being guest bloggers and they’ve sent me articles. Sadly, I can’t publish them because that’s not what visitors to this site want.
Northern Regional Minister, Samuel Nayina, quite rightly, is determined to take away the illegal weapons in circulation in that part of the country. But, quite frankly, he is using the wrong approach. Shortly after assuming office, he gave the people a 30-day ultimatum to voluntarily surrender their illegal weapons.
From today, I intend to publish the writings of one or two “guest bloggers” every week. If you are interested in being a guest blogger, send me an email through firstname.lastname@example.org. Today, Clement Appah, who is studying at the University of Lancaster, starts us off by writing about President Mills’ rather uncharacteristic outbursts last Tuesday. He describes it as a “blunder” and urges the president to never do it again…
Dear Prof. Mills,
We fought for and decided on living in a country where we will be free to assemble and free to make our views known. THAT SHOULD NEVER BE LOST ON YOU, Mr President.
I have been very much ashamed of some of the issues that have occupied the Government since they came into office. I used to talk to my supervisor about Ghana with Pride. Now I purposely decide not to mention Ghana when we meet because of the pettiness that has characterised the activities of functionaries of the Government. Why the morbid fascination with putting the former president on the spot all the time? Why is it that everybody from your office, Mr President, has something different to say about what should be given to the former president (Office space, car, etc)? In my view, these are some of the things that have kept the tension simmering in the country.
I have also been worried because it appears, Mr President, that by your silence over the Kufour-benefit and by allowing everyone in your government who can talk to come on air to say what s/he thinks about things relating to Mr. Kufour, you are perpetuating a situation that we were hoping will end. I mean the situation where Mr. Kufour and Mr. Rawlings were not on good terms.
One more thing that has kept me worried for some time now is the rate at which respect for the aged is eroding in our country. I really wonder if Mr Kufour were not the former president and had remained a private person any of those people – Government functionaries and others – would have been able to stand and virtually insult him, the way they do now. I think, a seventy year old man should deserve our respect. But, what do we see? People who could pass for his (grand) children, in the name of politics, say anything they want about him and to him on air. Mr. President, you have not found it necessary to call your men and the whole nation to order.
Don’t you realize, President Atta Mills that Mr Kufour’s silence over the past two months is an invitation for you to call for sanity in the discussion of issues relating to the former president? Don’t you realize, J. E. Atta Mills that it is in your own interest to uphold the honour of the office of the former president? Do I have to say that on these matters I have been disappointed by your deafening silence Mr. President?
Now, with all that has gone on, I doubt if the window of opportunity offered us by providence to have a sitting and former president live peaceably is not fast closing.
The first assignment for the Council of State, in my opinion, is not the review of the Chinenry Hesse Committee report on emolument for former office holders. Their first assignment, as I see it, is a review of the way things concerning the office of the former president are handled on radio. We need to have some sanity in the relationship between our former and sitting presidents
With all the things I have noted above that are causing me and, I believe, a great many others, untold shame and worry, the least I expected, Mr. President, was a threat from you.
Who is threatening you? Who is attempting to usurp your authority? Did you have to remind us that you are the president of Ghana?
If by threatening us, Mr. President, you hoped to prove that you are powerful, then you have failed miserably. This is a blunder that, in my opinion, should not EVER happen again. We know who is in power. You won the election in December 2008. We are aware of that and need not be reminded of it.
When people are worried about anything and they talk, the least we expect from you Mr. President, is to make them aware that you will take care of their concerns.
I will not want to talk about what the Minority in Parliament complained about. They did not say anything new. It is true that they (the minority) should take some of the blame for some of the issues they raised in their press conference and I did not quite agree with their saying that they will advice themselves. But, the truth is they are no longer in power; you are. They no longer control the security forces; you do. So, please understand that you were not voted into power to tell us how you can deal with those who make their views known. I suggest that you were voted into power to address the concerns/problems of those who will have the temerity to make their views known to you. And even more, to listen for the unspoken heart-felt needs of those who would not/cannot so much as lift their voices to express their views.
Mr. President, did you realise that the journalist there in the Castle clapped for you when you spoke? I heard them clap. I want to suggest to you that you were so much out of character that they felt you were acting. I want to suggest that, as a nation, we want to be assured that we will not have to endure any more of the aberration in character that occurred on Tuesday, 17th March 2009.
I will end here and hope the Council of State will do what they have to do on this matter.
A Worried Ghanaian
Today, I saw the most horrific pictures I’ve ever set eyes on. They are images of young, vibrant men and women who are hanging on to dear life after being caught in a huge ball of fire at the Winneba Junction. A gas tanker collided with a salon car, leaving a trail of death, excruciating pain and unimaginable trauma.
President Atta Mills is a very angry man. Someone has gotten in his nerves and it is so serious that when he met with the executive of the Ghana Journalists Association he made no attempt to conceal his anger. His voice was shriller than usual (almost to the point of squealing), his head was swinging like a pendulum – as usual – and he was quite hyperactive with his gesticulations.
The MP for Akyem Abuakwa South, Samuel Atta Akyea seems to be quite adept at making enemies for himself. He drew the whole nation’s ire when at the height of the electoral tensions he went to the court on a holiday to try and file a writ to stop the Electoral Commission from declaring the results of the presidential elections last December. If the judge had not wisely thrown him out, the stories from the elections wouldn’t have been entirely blood-free.