Mahama, stop debasing the presidency

I have read with dismay, President Mahama’s address to traditional rulers at Suhum on Monday 31st October that Nana Akufo-Addo would destool chiefs if he should become President. This baseless warmongering hate speech was irresponsible and unpresidential.

Firstly, when and where did Akufo-Addo say this about chiefs? What policy measures or steps taken by Akufo-Addo with regards to chiefs can justify such outrageous conclusion?

Secondly, if Mahama had a little knowledge of the 1992 Constitution he should know that no chief holds his office at the pleasure of any President Constitutionally. This is not his Council of State. No President of Ghana can dream of destooling any chief. And no chief sits on his stool or skin at the sufferance of a President.

If Mahama had taken the trouble to read a little about our political history, he would not be making such diabolical and unfortunate statements. During the first Republic, President Nkrumah threatened that the chiefs would run away and leave their sandals behind. Chiefs were destooled, banished etc.

They reigned at the pleasure of the President. This happened because under the Colonial Rule and under Nkrumah, the official definition of a chief allowed this. A chief was “a person who had been nominated, elected, installed by his people and also recognized by the government as a chief”.

The Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition which has always respected chiefs fought against this for years. In 1969, when an opportunity came for a new Constitution to be written, late President Akufo-Addo who was chairman of the Constitutional Commission, led us into redefining chieftaincy and lifting the institution to its original traditional status. The element of recognition by government was totally removed.

Prof Oquaye

By this, the chieftaincy institution was liberated and respected. Once a person was nominated, elected, and installed as a chief according to custom, that is it. Nothing else matters. You are a chief. Gazetting issues are only for administrative purposes. No recognition is part of the process and government cannot withdraw recognition and use it to destool.

Why should Mahama invoke a constitutional impossibility just to attack his competitor? This is below the belt, incompetent and regrettable of a President. He should leave this for the serial callers and the “babies-with-sharp-teeth”.

It appears that Mahama is so much disoriented by the fact that he no more has an insider support in the NPP. As a result, he makes baseless attacks on Akufo-Addo for allegedly suspending some people. This is a total falsehood. He should stop these baseless allegations and account to the people by proper income and expenditure, value-for-money reports rather than innuendos and cheap propaganda.

President Mahama and his NDC have accused Nana Akufo-Addo of presiding over a disunited party because of the suspension of some members of the party. Listen to the pot calling the silverware dark!

Mahama and his NDC should explain the following:

The suspension of the 23 members of their party including 3 of their sitting MPs just on Tuesday 1st of November 2016.

The arbitrary, indefinite suspension of their former General Secretary, Dr. Josiah Aryeh.

The manhandling of Dr. Obed Asamoah, then substantive National Chairman of the NDC, who subsequently resigned to form the DFP.

The assault and on-the-spot dismissal of Frances Assiam as the National Women’s Organiser who joined Dr. Obed Asamoah and later NPP.

The breakaway of Goosie Tanoh and Tweretwie Opoku, who formed the Reform Party.

The resignation of Mr. Kwaku Baah as the former National Vice Chairman of the NDC. He protested against corruption.

The resignation of Mr. Bede Ziedeng as the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC.

The breakaway of the wife of the founder of the NDC and a serving Vice Chairman of the party to form the National Democratic Party.

The suspension of Mr. Kofi Adams as Deputy General Secretary.

The party’s refusal to accept the forms of Mr. George Boateng, who wanted to challenge President Mahama. The NDC declared the member a “mad” person and even went ahead to dismiss the official who issued the form, despite the fact that he had worked for the party for 10 years.

A whole District Chief Executive in the Volta Region was brutally murdered after some disturbances within the NDC in his district. No one has been arrested for this murder.

Mr President, would you describe your party as “united” when your own Majority Leader of your Party in Parliament, openly describes your government as “a government of ‘family and friends’ and of fair weather friends?”

 Between Nana Akufo-Addo and President Mahama, who is presiding over a “disunited” Party? At least we know that no one has left or been forced to leave the NPP to form a new political party, whilst out of the NDC at least 3 political parties, Reform, DFP and NDP have been born out of the intimidation, suspensions, attacks and dismissals in the NDC.

Mr. President, the message Ghanaians are yearning to hear from you is this: where is our money? You have borrowed over $37 billion for projects alone; the total cost of all your so-called projects listed in your Green book is about $7 billion.

Where is the rest of the money you have borrowed for which all of us as Ghanaians will pay with huge interest? How can you renovate Ridge Hospital from 200 to 420 bed capacity at a cost of $306 million when Dangote constructed a brand new 1000-bed hospital in Kano for only 12.3 million?

Ghanaians also want to know why Ameri Power Barge which should cost $220 million for outright purchase cost us $510 million for 5 years renting? How can you renovate Kumasi Airport runway for $23.5 million when Ethiopia built three new Airports for $21 million each?  Did you say the Circle Interchange cost $442 million? Please Kufuor’s N1 Highway cost $115 million.

It is 1401 kilometers from Tetteh Quarshie to Mallam junction, with two interchanges at Dimples junction and Mallam junction, 6 foot bridges, 13 bus bays, 23 minor junctions, 2 transport terminals, link roads like the GIMPA-Dzorwulu junction road and over $12 million paid as compensation to individuals and firms whose properties were destroyed. Mahama, God has seen you!                                

These and other projects which we shall soon release, together with Woyome (GH₵ 58 million), ISOFOTON ($ 1.2 million), SADA ($25 million), GYEEDA ($ 100 million), “Mahama” Ford ($100,000) etc are what have destroyed our nation.

Mr. President, give proper account and stop throwing dust into our eyes!