The above lines, if not forgotten “I have instructed”, have become the popular clichés of the President, John Dramani Mahama, since he assumed the reins of power, after the death of President John Evans Atta Mills.
Immediately after taking the oath of office in Parliament on that fateful day of July 23, 2012, described as the black Tuesday day in the history of this country when we lost a sitting President in the person of President Mills, President Mahama, held a meeting at the International Conference Centre, where he outlined a programme of action and gave more than thirty directives to herald a new era and a new beginning.
Many Ghanaians hailed the initiative and were relieved that at least the Commander-In-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces has given clear and unambiguous command and instruction that were time bound and measured.
Unfortunately, 19 months down the line we have heard the rehash of those commands, including the latest one given last Friday June 6, 2014, when he toured some flood-ravaged parts of the capital city, Accra.
He had directed the Ministry of Finance to release funds for the commencement of the Accra drainage and sewage project. It is my hope that next year around this time when the rains are in again, we will not revisit the perennial floods that threatens our existence every year.
It is one thing giving directives and instructions and it is another ensuring that the directives are followed to its logical conclusion.
One thing is clear and that is like all the Presidents, we have had since Independence, the President means well for this country, but his words must carry weight and his appointees, some of whom are unfit for their positions, must begin to help the President to prosecute his agenda, which is not the “Better Ghana Agenda” that brought the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in power in 2009.
Who is supposed to monitor and ensure that when the Commander instructs, it is followed through, since when did the President words become empty?
In November last year, the President met anti-corruption campaigners at the Flagstaff House, where he renewed his commitment to fight corruption.
He directed the Attorney General (AG) to prosecute all those indicted under the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Development Authourity (GYEEDA) and Subah corruption allegations and to suspend all payments under the policy.
He also instructed the AG to retrieve all the monies wrongly paid to Waterville and Isofoton and vowed to execute with alacrity the report of the Judgement Debt Commission as and when it is presented to him.
He gave a three months grace period for his directives to be complied with; the question that begs asking is, after almost eight months, what has happened to that directive.
I bet not half of it has been complied with. The latest one is a matter of life and death, as I captured earlier that lives and properties are lost every year around this time, it has become a perennial problem that will not go away by wailing, cursing and directing. We need to ensure that we all walk our talk.
The President must ensure that whatever needs to be done to safeguard lives and properties around this time must be done, including making sure that his appointees and State Institutions and Agencies task to do a specific work do so. Many people are building on waterways, encroaching on state lands, whiles, authourities sit aloof and unconcern.
The citizenry, who are the worst affected in times of disasters, are also the worst culprits, for causing what they get. We all dump refuse in gutters, hoping that some Angel, will descend from the skies to come and clean it for us. We build on waterways and when we are told, the Government becomes our enemy. Attitudinal change is what we need if we are to have nice cities and towns. It is a collective effort that will change the country; the President is not a Rambo or Shylock Holmes to solve all problems.
Must the President always direct or instruct before something gets done, what is the work of his Ministers, who are paid by the tax payer to think?
The President’s directives is becoming more like a gimmick, the litany of commands are becoming too much, he should get down to business.
I can say without a shadow of doubt that the President can be counted among the Presidents who enjoyed a popular support of the people, he made history as being the only person to campaign for three months to win an election.
Apart from Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, our first President and founder, and President Jerry John Rawlings, President John Dramani Mahama is the next President in the listof leaders in this country, who enjoyed the popular support of the people.
But there is always a thin line between hate and love, when the people gets fed up, because they have been taken for granted for far too long, they will switch the mood and getting them to trust you again would be difficult.
I hope and so are the hopes of many Ghanaians, who today have no place to lay their heads, because the rains have ripped off the roofs on their homes, or are sleeping outside because the floods have destroyed their homes or are at the cemetery to bury a loved one, who unfortunately did not survive the floods that the directive given to the Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper to release funds for the commencement of the Accra drainage and sewage project, will not be added to the litany of commands that have not seen the light of day.
I am in a dilemma about the latest directive from the President should I cry or laugh? Only time will tell.