THE ATTITUDE of President Atta Mills towards the recent hike in the price of petroleum products has plunged him on a political suicide mission and he can only be saved if he goes on his knees to beg for forgiveness from Ghanaians; says Dr. Charles Wereko-Brobby of the defunct Ghana @ 50 Secretariat.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mr. President, take the bull by the horn and do the honest thing now. Say sorry to your brothers and sisters and remove the self tied noose that threatens to suffocate and strangle your tenure of officeÃ¢â‚¬Â, Dr. Wereko-Brobbey, aka Tarzan, noted in a news statement.
He said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The President must ask Ghanaians to forgive him for the unconscionable and false promise he gave to them that he would reduce the price of petroleum products substantially if the people voted his party into power in the 2008 elections.Ã‚Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“He must also say sorry to his fellow brothers and sisters for the rushed and ill-judged action of his Government in rushing to reduce taxes on petroleum products in its first Budget Statement, and then going to cry to Ghanaians about the supposedly insurmountable debts of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) allegedly left by the Kufuor Administration.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is essential for President Mills, a committed and devout Christian, to do these acts of penance before the people of Ghana if he is to get the necessary elbow room to do the right things that will ensure that the not too complicated business of assuring reliable supply of petroleum products to our country is devoid of the long tales and false dramas for the remaining three years of his tenureÃ¢â‚¬Â, Tarzan noted.
According to Dr. Wereko-Brobby, if the President does not bite the bullet and render his Ã¢â‚¬Å“mea culpaÃ¢â‚¬Â now, the specter of drastic reductions turning into massive increases will further erode his political credibility and credentials as an honest and decent human being.
It will almost certainly cripple his ability to deliver whatever good intents that pressed him into the service of his people and nation.
He opined that the President has some of the best brains in the petroleum and energy sector as part of his team so he cannot claim to be uninformed when he was making campaign promises and playing politics with the petroleum matter.
He said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The President must then disassociate himself immediately from the untenable and unrealistic posturing of his erstwhile allies and colleagues in the Committee for Joint Action (CJA) that selling petrol below its cost of production and/or not taxing petroleum products to raise revenue for national development is a responsible and sustainable policy direction for a responsible government to prosecuteÃ¢â‚¬Â.
Tarzan continued that all expectations are that as the global economy picks up in the coming months, the price of oil will continue to rise on the international oil markets and the Mills government will continue to be faced with the reality that its choice will be limited to increasing petrol prices to recover the full cost of supply or persistently plunging the country into the uncertain panics of supply shortages.
He advised that the President continue and expand government interventions in the form of subsidized public and mass transportation services that were revived by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration as the way forward for giving real help to the poor to cushion them from the effects of economic pricing of petroleum products.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“To sustain this, President MillÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Government must restore the Social Impact Levy, established by the NPP Government for the purpose that it abolished so hastily in its quest for quick and cheap political points in the early days of its administrationÃ¢â‚¬Â, Tarzan added.
By Halifax Ansah-Addo