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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

An Open Letter to the President of Ghana, His Excellency President John Daramani Mahama

"Following his recent election into office, a concerned Ghanaian has something to say and did it this way... in an open letter."
Open letter to President John Dramani Mahama

Dear President Mahama,

I am writing to you as a proud National Democratic Congress (NDC) activist with high hope in my heart for our great party. I have listened to you keenly since you became the President of Ghana and your commitment to job creation and preserving the peace within the NDC family and the nation as a whole is quite critical

as far as your vision for the nation is concerned.

Mr. President, you will agree with me that as the President of the Republic and the Leader of our party, you have a twin duty to perform. I am quite sure that you will agree with me that it would be politically naive to assume that the two (That is, national duty and party duty) are mutually exclusive. It is in this regard that I wish to bring to your attention the happenings in our great party.

I have never doubted your commitment to party unity and I also know that you have appreciable knowledge of the challenges of the party’s “foot soldiers”. Your endorsement as the leader of our great party brought some energy and resonance not only within the party but, across the nation. It was clear to some of us that you were winning the election 2012 hands-down even though the National Democratic Party (NDP) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) tacitly combined their efforts.

Your detractors, as vulgar as they were, have failed wilfully in their bid to play the tribal and religious politics using their vulnerable Vice Presidential candidate, his wife and their National Organiser to stage their barbaric and antiquated political strategy. For this reason the task is even bigger than anticipated because your detractors will not stop using your geographical position as a political tool for their advantage.

Mr. President, having recognised your efforts for party unity, it is important to consider with the necessary alacrity, the current challenges in the party with regards to appointments and the display of “machoism” by some group in the party. The blatant disregard of party members must be addressed and the inability to engage and communicate to aggrieved party people especially at the branches should be of grave concern to you Mr. President.

Meanwhile I would have to respectfully register my disagreement with you with regard to the increment of salaries of our members of parliament. The quantum leap from GHC 3000 to GHC 7200 in my opinion is superfluous. Interestingly, I have not heard the so called people’s representation in parliament make comment to the effect that there are more bole holes, markets, schools, hospitals etc. to be built. I dare say that per the current constitutional qualification for members of parliament, the august house will be filled by popular politicians and not necessarily those who have the legislative prowess and the ability to deliver. Just force your way into parliament and receive an annual salary of GHC 86,400 (864,000,000 old Ghana) and GHC 345,600 (3,456,000,000 old) at the end of your term plus ex gratia. We cannot even sacrifice for posterity. If this is serving the nation, then we all want to serve Ghana “some”.

Graduates from the university and the polytechnics who are equally qualified to be Members of Parliament enrolled under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) now GYEEDA receive GHC 145.00 and GHC 135.00 respectively as monthly allowance and only God knows how many months it takes for their monies to hit their account. 

It is improper to receive a little over GHC 240.00 during national service as allowance only to enrol under the NYEP after service to receive GHC 135.00 to GHC 145.00 as allowance. This should be of a grave concern to you. Recently national service persons are being asked to direct traffic in the spirit of serving the nation and patriotism whiles their colleagues who make their way to the parliament house to receive GHC 7200.00 (72,000,000 old cedis) in the name of serving the nation and patriotism.

The notion that politics is an avenue for making money and that politicians are corrupt must not be encouraged and am sorry to say that moves like this only reinforces that perception.

Mr President your call for sacrifice and patriotism is in the right direction, but it does not seem to me that the huge salaries (for both executive and legislature), the car loans, the huge rent allowance, provision of laptops for MPs even though they can afford, scholarships for those who can afford, huge per diems, super expensive and high fuel consuming SUVs (whereas decent and low fuel consuming saloon cars are available).etc are all signs for sacrifice and love country. Leadership by example is an essential element in your call for sacrifice and patriotism. 

Leadership must sacrifice for posterity if they really want to serve. Malaysia is a shining example.

The payment of huge ex gratia in the wake of recent labour agitations was politically wrong, morally problematic and cannot be defended. Even though some of the strike actions are politically motivated, it is because we gave room for it. All doesn’t look well Your Excellency, and the plethora of press releases from the Ministry of Information and Media Relations (today, 8th April, 2013) deepens my worries.

Mr. President, to demonstrate enough commitment to engaging the youth for sound growth and development, I would be extremely delightful if your government will focus more on the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) now GYEEDA even though I admit that the programme was haphazardly implemented for political advantage. Remember you are the most “youthful” President we’ve had in this fourth Republic and your success or failure will be a test case for the youth in Ghana with regards to our leadership capabilities. We are willing to make those sacrifices you called upon us to render to our dear nation, but before that, imbue in us the confidence that you are also irrevocably committed to do same through your leadership skills and intolerance for corruption and profligacy.

I thank you sincerely and wish you the very best on this lofty quest to make our motherland a better place for the next generation.

Abdulai Seidu


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