Dear Mr. President,
When it comes to shocks, Ghanaians have endured many. From sports right up to politics, we have endured years of being shortchanged, and of having our expectations dashed completely by people we had high hopes for — the latter group I’d firmly place you at the apex of.
Of all these disappointments however, none is more heartbreaking and shocking than your recent speech at Asawase, during the Eid celebrations.
If I had not heard you speak myself, I would have vehemently fought such a report, that you are unaware of recent violent happenings at the voter registration centers. It would have been extremely shocking to hear that His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces would boldly claim that recent happenings at certain registration centers – albeit illegal, and worse off, perpetrated by men in uniform — had not come to his attention! Shock must be an understatement surely.
Like myself, many Ghanaians have become tired, worn out even, of the wanton disregard for our intelligence, the belittlement of our reasoning, and the brazen continual attempts to literally throw dust in our eyes everytime responsibility is demanded of leadership.
Dearest President, were you aware that the Notre Dame Cathedral got burnt? Were you aware that a certain George Floyd was racially abused, killed and a memorial service held in Ghana for him?
Were you aware that our brothers in Mali were demonstrating against their government and for which reason some West African leaders met in Bamako to help resolve the impasse? Were you aware that a Ghanaian has been killed as a result of a spat at one of the registration centres? Were you aware of the firing of a gun by one of your appointees as a means of “defending” herself against alleged “attackers”? Are you really aware of what is going on in this country? Is it selective awareness or a general desire to play ostrich?
Is the Presidency all that matters to you and not the responsibility that comes with it? Mr. President, you cannot be unaware. Not a chance! Ghanaians did not empower you with their votes for you to be unaware! Your job is not one that has room for that. Please, if you may, be aware, or in the words of a primary school teacher, “Sit up”!
Mr. President, I am sure, and I believe most Ghanaians are, that despite your below average performance as our leader so far, we at least expect a fatherly posture of the first gentleman of the land, one that embraces all the children of mother Ghana, whether they belong to the “aware” block or the other.
We have become used to being short-changed. As I mentioned earlier – dissapointment has been served to us many times, sometimes even with dessert, and if you would be truthful and be aware for a second, you will realise that the very standards you preached in the not so distant past, have been buried somewhere in outer space. Of course, that is the way of politicians, a block you belong to and affiliate with. However, to say that happenings by soldiers, armed men who report to you, the Commander-in-Chief has not come to your attention, would either mean you are not in touch with the people you are leading – an indication of managerial unawareness; or worse, that you are not in control.
While I would give you benefit of doubt, I think you are either lying to us, or exposing your lack of control, a dangerous combination of traits for a leader who was once wrongly thought to be the Messiah of Ghana.
Mr. President, since you claim you are unaware, may I take this opportunity to officially inform you that there appears to be something similar to ethnic cleansing happening at our border towns, particularly in relation to the voter registration exercise.
Sir, the laid down procedures that govern voter registration has been thrown to the dogs, and in its place, military brutality aimed at people believed to be non-Ghanaians.
There is an old African proverb which states that “It’s better for the native doctor to restore a potential client to how he was before, than to leave him worse off”
Sir, before you were entrusted by the people of Ghana to rule, such wanton abuse of selected ethnic groups did not exist with such bravado as we are seeing today. We want the Ghana we had before you became aware you wanted to be our President, back; the Ghana which had little to no traits of tribal bigotry we are seeing today, in addition to other failed and failing promises I would not delve in today.
We would like to trust that you will remember it is your duty to fix this anomaly. Posterity is watching from afar, and is clearly not pleased. Please do not be remembered in the same light as the man who was not aware his neighbor’s house was burning even though the thick smoke from the fumes triggered his asthma.
I am citizen, aware of the real Ghana,
Kuntu Joseph Karikari