April 17, 2024

Former President John Mahama

Dear Mr John, Mahama,

This comes with my hearty felicitation. I mean that in utter sincerity, which is not very easy for me to summon, because I am not one of those who wanted to see you reach the high office that you reached. You know better than anyone else, that while many millions of Ghanaians were ecstatic that you will rise from the Vice President position to become President, many more millions were, in fact, against it. I was one of the millions who were disturbed by it.

I was one of those who made the system hot for you when in office through my articles and criticism on radio and on online blogs. Myself and my political ally, Okoampa made the system hot for you through our endless articles, however, I regret to say that within three years that you relinquished power things have gone extremely bad.

Before I touch on my main issue, let me commend you for your excellent performance when you interacted with Ghanaians on social media last Monday. You made the audience as the winners and positioned yourself as one of your audience. Comments about the interaction suggest that you inspired and motivated your audience. You did not take off like an express train with no stop. You invited people’s reaction by taking small pauses during your speech and allowed your guests to ask you critical and uncomfortable questions. You used your hand gestures beautifully to convey your point and used tone variation to perfection. Ghanaians need more of this wonderful engagement moving forward.

Mr Mahama, I was moved to write this letter after watching/ listening to that wonderful programme. Three years after leaving office, things are so bad that even die-hard supporters of the ruling party have started expressing anger and disappointment publicly. Ghana is gradually drifting toward the early 80s. Of course, things were not rosy during your tenure but today, the situation is more than horrible.

Mr Mahama, I still have issues with some of the decisions you took as President of Ghana, but the common people never had it bad this way when you were at the flagstaff house. We thought the economy was bad then and I wrote many articles chastising your finance minister and your economic management team over some of the policies they introduced. I never spared you. I wrote personally to some financial institutions including the IMF to abrogate their contracts with your government because of those policies. I wrote to the Chinese authorities and copied your office, to stop all financial negotiations with your government. Today, the economy is hemorrhaging. Corruption has reached an unprecedented level. The only thing working under the current administration is the harassment of your appointees and signing of dubious contracts.

Mr Mahama, history will be kind to you for being among the few Ghanaian leaders who have no mansions anywhere on this planet. Officials of this administration have started buying mansions and expensive shops in Europe and America for themselves and their families. You built secondary schools, universities, roads, hospitals, brought our international airport to a first-class standard, built interchanges and polyclinics for the use of Ghanaians. Thousands of Ghanaians got gainful employment through the projects and if this administration will put its archaic politics behind it and complete the other projects started by your administration, millions more will get gainful employments.

Mr Mahama, I wrote more than ten articles about how the Cedi was preforming under your administration and in all the articles I quoted Dr Bawumia’s magic statement “if the fundamentals are weak, the exchange rate will expose you”. How much is the Cedi to the dollar under the current administration? Prices of petrol and gas are no more within the reach of common people.

The Regional hospitals you upgraded, the polyclinics and district hospitals you built and the Chp compounds which were built from money deducted from your appointee’s salaries are now at the mercy of NO DRUG. Medical personnel are now working without motivation. We hear stories of strike actions in the health sector because of these crucial issues. Massive jobs lost now pervade the private sector. This government should have applied the prescription you mentioned during your interaction. Collapsing the banks resulting in loss of thousands of jobs was not a sensible decision. Ghanaian entrepreneurs are now wailing as businesses shut down every day because of this government’s killer policies.

Sadly, and most unfortunately, the media that supported your opponents and gave your critics including myself space to chastise your government are having it tough under this administration though some are still in conviviality with the government. The free space we enjoyed; free speech has now moved from right to privilege. Journalists are being harassed and killed, media houses being closed for criticising government and journalists being sacked by their employers for criticising this administration on their shows.

The present government labels every rational citizen who disagrees with it as doomsayer. It has detained genuine and dedicated activists who sacrifice or sacrificed their lives for the cause of the downtrodden.

Mr Mahama, allowing our state institutions to work as independent bodies must be one of your priorities. All institutions of state including the almighty judiciary have become organs of the ruling party. Something we vehemently condemned during your time. The court’s failure to act as guardians of the constitution in critical times conveys the lesson that political issues need to be resolved politically, rather than judicially.

It seems this administration does not believe in the ideology of the constitution. They are robbing Ghanaians of their constitution. It is a disappointment to see that the state has misused its police and other security agencies to suppress democratic dissent. The way this government has treated some of its political opponents especially, the bold and enlightened youth in the other parties is shameful.

Mr Mahama, universities are centres of free thought and expression, motivated by an innate curiosity and infantile quest for truth. The totalitarian regimes across the world, always, sought to dismantle this world of ideas. This government per its policies is in the forefront of this transgression. Allow the universities to enjoy their freedom and autonomy. Cancel the licensure exams as you promised in your interaction and other irrelevant policies introduced by the current administration.

Mr Mahama, I condemned some of the policies your administration implemented and still have issues with some of them. But no government in the world, in recent times, has been so imprudent to handle its country’s economy so unimaginatively like we are seeing today this administration has betrayed the suffering of the poor by breeding hatred, intolerance and naked tribalism and fanaticism. Every move, whether political or legislative has been glaringly malicious.
Mr Mahama, please note that you are not a saint and cannot make you one, but events the last three years have vindicated you. I still believe that some of the decisions your administration took were wrong. You committed few mistakes here and there but if one compares your mistakes to what we are seeing under this government, I will not be wrong if I describe your critics then myself included as noisemakers.

The policies you outlined including the abolishing of the 50% CST, cancellation of the licensure exam for teachers, stable crop processing zones, construction of regional hospitals, restoration of the indigenous banks, reducing the number of ministries, introduction of effective measures to fight corruption are all wonderful ideas. At the appropriate time I will forward few policies to your office for consideration. Ideologically, we are opposed but this is about our motherland.

I wish you well and Merry Christmas!

Francis Otuo-Siriboe


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