Respect for the opinions of others is a measure of a society’s democratic maturity, for freedom of the word is inseparable from freedom of individuals. Without freedom of speech nothing changes.
Without freedom of expression, there can be no social change, and development would be unthinkable. Criticism is the ship with which we can put some distance between ourselves and the mainland of the status quo. In fact, the freedom to express criticism is the hallmark of public opinion. Exercising it is the highest discipline in a free society. And so when the president decried the continuous criticism of his government I realized how desperate the man was. We need to thank God for small mercies because if we were in a military regime with John Dramani Mahama as the de facto Head of State, we would have gone back to the crazy days of Culture of Silence.
The hands of the president have been tied with a democratic rope and so he cannot do anything.
In the dark days gone by, whenever those in power believed they needed to defend themselves against change and criticism, the persecution of men and women of letters was a central component of oppression. Those who feel threatened by free speech preferred to take direct action because their power was built on serfdom, injustice and despotism. Not so today when we are in a democratic dispensation. And so John Dramani Mahama must reposition himself well because he ain’t seen nothing yet. Is the kitchen too hot? Then ‘get out” (Apology to a certain Brigadier-General)
Of all the former presidents of the United States of America that I have had the opportunity to study, George Walter Bush Jr. is the one who captivates me a lot. Bush is an eagle and believes in taking the bull by the horn. Have you taken time to study the behavior of the eagle? When the storm starts to gather other birds fly to hide somewhere. As for the chickens, they would not even wait for a drop of rain. They will just chicken out. At the peak of a raging storm, the eagle will fly high to meet the storm as if it has a score to settle with the storm. When an eagle sees a snake crawling on the ground, it will fly high and descend to grab the snake whit its claws, fly high to perch on a tree, tear it into two with its sharp beak before devouring its prey.
When those sick brains commandeered planes and obliterated the World Trade Center in the US on 9/11, George Bush was unaware of the situation until an aid broke the news to him.
The moment the news was broken to him, he turned to another aid and barked: “Get me Tenet.”
Mr. Tenet was the CIA Director and Bush knew there was a job to be done. Speaking to the nation at such a critical moment he released the pitcher within him and shouted on top of his voice and vowed: “We need Osama Bin Laden, dead or alive!” In a matter of minutes, Bush assembled his cabinet and told Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense to prepare for war in Afghanistan. And so to the shores of Afghanistan, Uncle Sam went.
To George Bush, resignation would have been the worst of all possible answers, as well as seeking support from the United Nation before striking.
Within some months, the man who was virtually in charge of a whole nation, Osama Bin Laden was driven to hide in the caves at Tora Bora mountains. As for Mullah Umar, the Spiritual Leader of the Taliban, he fled on a motorbike to be seen no more. At the start of the war, the Taliban and Al Qaeda felt they had the means to actually win.
They were impressed with their own courage but when George turned the heat on with smart bombs, B52 Stratofortress, Stealth Bombers, Scatter Bombs and bunker busters, the war ended earlier than expected. That was the mark of a decisive leader.
More than a decade after the conquer of the Taliban and the Al Qaeda; no terrorists have attacked the US again. Bush solved the problem by action not inaction. So you see, leaders solve problems, they don’t apportion blames.
Saddam Hussein was a threat to humanity because he was in possession of weapons of mass destruction and very dangerous chemical weapons like Anthrax, nerve gases like sarin, blister agent sulphur, mustard, VX etc. He had used these weapons to gas his own people who were fighting for autonomy. In that attack, more than seven thousand Kurds perished. During the Iraq-Iran war, Saddam again used the same weapons to gas more than five thousand Iranian soldiers.
When the Al Qaeda and Taliban were dislodged from Afghanistan, they regrouped in Iraq. George, the brave warrior, saw the situation as dangerous to the people of America and one more time went to war. He did not blame his predecessor for looking the other way whilst Saddam amassed those weapons. That is how decisive leaders act.
Unlike Ex-president George Bush, who I referred to as an eagle, President John Dramani Mahama could be likened to the chicken. The man cannot face the storm. He chickens out at the slightest storm. Instead of finding solutions to problems, he blames others for the problems. Apart from the army, police, farmers and Parliamentarians almost all sectors have gone on strike or threatened to go on strike and continue to do so baring the threat given by that docile Brigadier-General that striking workers would lose their salaries when they go on strike. As at the time of writing this piece the TUC had said that they will go on strike on 18th November 2013 if nothing was done to reduce the current high cost of utility tariffs.
The indecisive leader, in the person of president Mahama, sits there, arms folded on his chest, doing nothing.
The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Coalition of Concerned Teachers Association (CCTA), Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Teachers and Educational Workers Union (TEWU), Federation of University Senior Staff Association of Ghana (FUSSAG), Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG), Ghana Registered Nurses Association (GRNA), Unemployed Graduates Association of Ghana (UGAG), Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), etc have all gone on strike at one time or the other since the NDC came to power in 2008. And yet the NDC apparatchiks continue to disturb our ears with this bogus Better Ghana Agenda. All too soon, the NDC apparatchiks are not mentioning single digit inflation, Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS), building one thousand schools under trees, provision of free school uniforms, laptops, Okudzeto Ablakwa’s one million, six hundred thousand jobs etc as part of their success stories.
In the run-up to the 2012 elections, the NDC disturbed our ears about their ability to migrate 80% of workers onto the SSSS but today the same people are telling us that the SSSS has distorted the economy and that it would not be sustainable.
They told us that they would implement a one-time premium for the National Health Insurance Scheme but ended up running down the scheme. They told us they would take one hundred days to get rid of filth in all the cities, especially Accra but more than five years into the regime’s tenure in office, all cities are engulfed with filth. They said they will make sure we go to bed without fear of armed robbers but sadly, in John Mahama’s Ghana, there is no single day that we don’t hear of an armed robbery attack. They teased the NPP in government that the party was a Narcotic Peoples’ Party (NPP) but they turned out to be National Drug Cartel (NDC). You see, when you throw a ball against a wall it will surely come back to you. The NDC is reaping what they sowed.
The other day when the president was lamenting over the winner-takes-all-syndrome in Ghanaian politics, I knew what was on his mind. He came to realize rather too late that he had no men to do the job and needed competent hands on board. Ex-president Kufuor and Rawlings were smarter. When Kufuor took over power he knew there was the need to bring people who were not supporters of the NPP on board if only they had the competency. And so Paa Kwesi Nduom, PV Obeng, Mrs. Emma Mitchell etc, were brought on board. In fact, behind the scene, ex-president Kufour, like ex-president Rawlings worked with technocrats, who were not necessarily supporters of their parties. We had so many MMDCEs who were appointed even though they were not members of the NPP. A typical example is the former MCE of Kintampo, Mr James Kwabena Bomfeh, the father of Kwabena Bomfeh, alias Kabila who was a staunch member of the PNC.
To succeed in these turbulent times, President John Mahama should shed his chicken feathers and don the feathers and character of an eagle. Ghana is not at war with any nation. Ghana is at war with poverty, corruption and naked thievery of state resources and it must be fought ruthlessly like the way Bush fought the Afghanistan War. The President must realize that dinosaurs became extinct because they could not adjust to a rapid change in the environment. The president must adjust to the rapid change in the thinking of the ordinary Ghanaians.
Mahama should know by now that times have changed and so propaganda would not help in anyway in this era of information super highway.
When you are governing a country, you don’t put your cards close to your chests; you put your cards on the table. In this world called global village, nothing can be hidden from anyone.
The report of the IMF on Ghana’s economy is an open secret. Mahama must be bold and tell us the truth.
Telling us that we have eaten all the meat, leaving the bones is not enough. Who and who ate the meat anyway? As for me, I am not one of those who ate the meat because I am living from hand to mouth.
Car In First Gear?
When President Mills died, the funeral was duly performed. John Mahama went to the Central Region to thank the chiefs and people there for helping in their own small way to make the funeral celebration a successful one.
Speaking to the chiefs and people of the Central Region the president said the late president gave him a blank cheque to operate.
He said the late president virtually gave him a green card to do whatever he wanted to do as the Vice President of the Country and thanked the late president for the kindness and trust reposed on him. It therefore stands to reason that the car has been in motion since 2008. So was the car using a reverse gear or what? To tell us today that the car has now been put on the first gear is laughable.
Was the car being pushed by NDC foot-soldiers or dragged by the bulldozer, which John Mahama had intended to kill a fly with (sic).
No, Mr. President, hold the baton first. On your marks! Get set!! Prrrr!!! It’s a relay race so when you reach the line, give the baton to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to FINISH HARD like the way Usain Bolt does in a relay race.
Source: Eric Bawah/Daily Guide
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