An Open Letter to President Mahama

I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to you, members of your government, your party, the late President’s family, and indeed all Ghanaians on the death of President Atta Mills. I also wish to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your assumption of the highest office in the land. Mr. President, I am addressing this letter to you because since assuming the office of President, you have subtly tried to dissociate yourself from the failures of governance the country has experienced in the last three-and-half years. This is very disingenuous on your part because as both head of the Economic Management Team and the Police Council, you were an integral part of the government. In other words, as part of President Mills’ management team, you are equally culpable for overseeing the slide of our country from a true democracy into what a fellow African scholar has termed a “Zerocracy”, government of nobody for nobody since you were given the mandate in 2009. Yes, this Hobbesian state of war of all against all, this anarchy, this descent into moral decadence, this national despair is exactly what Ghana, a beacon of democracy in the 21st century Africa, has become under you and your party’s watch. Your Excellency, in recent days you have been almost evangelical going around the country misleading the public to the effect that a second term is automatic for every sitting president, and by extension, his/her ruling party, contrary to the four-year mandate stipulated by the Constitution. Since, according to our Constitution a second term is performance related, the questions I believe every Ghanaian must be asking are: A second term for a party that has presided over the near burial of our nascent democracy? A second term for a party that has presided over the emergence of a looting “middle” class? A second term for a party that has presided over the worst economic management in our recent history? As far as nurturing and deepening of our nascent democracy are concerned, your actions and inactions have knocked us off a positive trajectory. Even though as every Ghanaian knows, you may be having personal differences with Mr. Rawlings, I have no doubt that he will forever be in your party’s debt for continuing, with alacrity, the legacy of violence which he so successfully introduced into our body politic with the founding of the NDC. You see, democracy of the type that underwrites our present constitutional dispensation is an all-encompassing culture of civility our affairs as nation. On this score of civility and domestic tranquillity, you and your party’s steerage of the affairs of the state and society have failed miserably. No sooner had you been ushered into office in January 2009 than the so-called foot soldiers of your party were let loose on the innocent populace seizing toilets, cars, offices, jobs and almost everything that was left by the outgoing Kufuor administration for the benefit of all Ghanaians. Mr. President, as you may well know, the one thing that has been missing from our analysis of the violent nature of the NDC as a political party is that the concept of the foot soldier has been used by the party as a veneer to hide the structural nature of the violence that defines the party that you now head. In other words, as long as we accept the reality of the foot soldier, any violent act perpetuated by your party can be attributed to the so-called uneducated, marginalised and uncontrollable youth followers of your party. But we know that this is a facade because violence has been the modus operandi of your party since its inception and prominent members of the party have, over the years, engaged in or masterminded various acts of violence against the very citizens you swore an oath to protect. In the three-and-half years of your party’s stewardship, we have witnessed violence perpetuated and or instigated by prominent, highly educated members of your party during such crucial moments as elections and by-elections and indeed during the recent biometric registration process. Recently a Municipal Chief Executive in my home region of Brong/Ahafo was questioned by the police over an incident in which he allegedly masterminded the attempted assassination of a member of your own party by pouring acid on the poor man. And it was the Director of Operations at the Castle who instigated these same macho men to assault a female member of the opposition in the Odododiodoo Constituency during the recent biometric registration exercise. Finally, and most significantly, it was the National Chairman of your party, a PhD, who threatened members of the Judiciary with his infamous “several-ways-to-kill-a-cat” statement. There are countless other atrocities that have been committed against innocent Ghanaians at the behest of the most “enlightened” men and women in your party. But, like the late President, you have been silent in the face of this reign of terror and psychological warfare by both the foot soldiers and enlightened men and women of your party. Your relative silence suggests that you indeed acquiesce in these violent acts by members of your party and government. Democracy, Mr. President, also entails respect for diversity, tolerance and participation of all in the affairs of a society. The ethnic strife, community violence and the general political intolerance that raged across the country recently were yet another evidence of your dismal failure in managing our diversity as a nation. This was indeed consistent with your party’s long-term plan to stoke the fires of ethnic conflicts in the country as a political strategy to retain power. By bussing in foreigner from neighboring countries to register during the recent biometric registration, you and your party, contrary to our National Pledge, have sown the seeds of ethno-religious conflict of the stripe that led to the conflagration in the neighboring Ivory Coast last year. The explanation by some of your party ideologues that those community conflicts and violence were spontaneous sadly discounts the active role of your party in playing the ethnic card and hence stoking these ethnic fires to achieve political ends. Mr. President, you and your government’s management of the economy so far leaves much to be desired. When you swore that oath of office you and your predecessor were entrusted with the constitutional obligation to ensure that taxpayers’ money would be properly accounted for but on this score too you have failed dismally. First, your “Medo Nyame exchange rate” (to borrow a phrase from Dr. Bawumia, the guru of macroeconomics) and other macroeconomic figures which party apparatchiks have been touting have turned out to be a mirage because those contrived figures, especially, your so-called single-digit inflation rate, have been inconsistent with the exchange and interest rates. Second, at no time in our post-independence history has the national currency, the cedi, depreciated so much in such a short space of time. The consequences have been dire for the national psyche: Record business shutdowns in our history, spiraling unemployment, especially, youth unemployment and the collective national despair and skepticism about politics. Sir, contrary to your party’s claim to be a social democratic party, we have witnessed the worst form of wealth accumulation by individuals in your government and party than any other time in our history. Your actions and inactions have led to the creation of an illegitimate middle class, a class of judgmentdebtpreneurs and tenderpreneurs that is dependent on state largesse for survival instead of the good old-fashioned creativity and innovation which defined the historical middle class. Mr. President, this is your scorecard and barring the planned stealing of the December elections as has been revealed by the founder of your own party, it is difficult for any sane Ghanaian would vote to renew your mandate. As part of this plan, in your usual element, you have kept quiet about the illegal conduct of the Electoral Commission in the creation of 45 constituencies barely four months before the elections. But, please, if you and your party indeed have any such plans to steal the elections shelve them because given the groundswell of anger and despair it would be a tragic mistake to implement those plans. At the moment, our country is not bereft of people who can do a better job than you and your party in managing the affairs of both the state and society. THANK YOU AND BEST WISHES AS YOU PREPARE TO YIELD TO A MORE COMPETENT ADMINISTRATION AFTER DECEMBER 7. YOURS SINCERELY