Professor Fiifi Atta Mills must be in a deep psychological inner self conflict, similar to Shakespeare’s Hamlet: the fight between what Mills wants to be and what Mills is, rages on.
From his public demeanor, education and training, he comes across as peaceful and well meaning. Many Ghanaians were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, that a gentle law professor from Ghana’s premier university will abide by the constitution of the land, sincerely pursue the “better Ghana” agenda, and be the president for all Ghanaians as promised on the campaign trail.
At the very least, President Mills would like to be seen as such within Ghana and in the comity of nations. Ghanaians also thought that perhaps he will be his own man, not be encumbered by the dark past PNDC agenda and leave his footprint in the sands of history.
Ghanaians were looking up to President Mills to continue good governance with its components of fundamental humans rights; such as free speech, freedom of movement, sound economic management of the nation’s resources, equitable distribution of the nations resources, the right of every Ghanaian to employment, irrespective of one’s ethnicity or political orientation.
Therefore, when Professor Mills was sworn in as the President of the republic of Ghana in 2009, although many were not amused, Ghanaians were hopeful that at least, the gains chalked under former President Kufour in the areas of good governance and stable economic growth and management will be maintained.
However, in government President Mills soon found out that the NDC’s Ghana is like his own chief advisor Kofi Nyedzevu Awoonor’s proverbial “chameleon feces into which he has stepped”: going forward with his better Ghana agenda is as difficult for him as going back to the unfinished PNDC agenda. In the ensuing labyrinth that he finds his government stuck in, he has left Ghana’s democracy floundering, the economy keeps plummeting as Ghana continues to wallow knee deep into IMF conditionality. The dream of better Ghana for our youth is being drowned in despondency. The average Ghanaian cannot make ends meet. Corruption within the government is flourishing unabated, while political and ethnic witch hunting have become the order of the day.
The exhibition of President Mills’ schizophrenic self conflict, torn between the need to be seen as upholding democratic ideals in Ghana versus promoting the dark PNDC communist and anti democratic agenda is poignantly demonstrated in the following instances. While he is seen preaching modeling good governance to Nigeria, he is at the same time presiding over a regime that arrests people from radio stations and have them jailed for two weeks for exercising their right to free speech under the constitution.
Nana Darkwa, a 27-year-old New Patriotic Party activist, was arrested from the premises of Top Radio, an Accra-based radio station, for claiming that he knew the former president Rawlings burnt his own house, which was reduced to ashes on 2/17/10. This young man was remanded in jail for two weeks. It took the minority New Patriotic Party’s boycotting of parliament to secure his release from jail. What an example of President Mills’s good governance to Nigeria!
President Mills pontificates to Ghanaians and the international community that he will be the president for all Ghanaians while his appointments to cabinet and diplomatic missions lean heavily towards the Ewe tribe leaving out people from the Akan regions and tribes completely with impunity. He also sanctioned a policy of hounding the majority Akans from their jobs.
It got so bad that the King of Ashanti who usually stays above partisan politics had to sound a cautionary note to the nation to avert a catastrophe. As a president of a nation, President Mills publicly declared what amounted to a Presidential fiat to government officials to take care of the needs on NDC members, thus leaving out the needs of non NDC Ghanaians.
In a frenetic attempt to capture power, the then candidate Mills rhetorically asked Ghanaians if economic indicators are meant to be eaten? Now in Government President Mills in the hardest of times is telling Ghanaians that the level of inflation has dropped and that prime rates will be reduced. My question to President Mills in his own parlance is this: Do Ghanaians now eat economic indicators?” Uncle Atta “afei dze economic indicators wo dzi a?”
The tragedy of Professor Atta Mills’s presidency is that the good old Mills is a polarized man. The fight between what he wants to be and what he is has been heightened to an epic proportion. His good self has been trapped in the circle of hawks that surround his presidency and he is in constant struggle with what he has to do.
As this fight between the good and the bad within the Mills Presidency rages on, Ghanaians continue to suffer and wallow in abject poverty. Ghanaians must summon the courage to tell President Mils in plain language that he cannot have it both ways. To be or not to be, that is the question. President Mills must decide to be his own man, or not to be, and meekly tow the line of his old PNDC and implement its unfinished diabolic agenda.
Source: Nana Agyei Yeboah
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