When the President throws his hands in the air The End Could Be Nearer!
4/16/2012 3:30:05 PM -
By: Ebo Quansah in Accra
President John Evans Atta Mills
When Kutu Acheampong seized power on January 13, 1972, one of the main reasons he gave was that the few amenities the army was enjoying, even under Nkrumah, had been taken away, promising to lead an administration that would ensure that the Ghanaian suffered no want.
On the evening of his administration, when Ghanaians complained that under Kutu's leadership, everything had stalled and that rain had even stopped falling, leading to drought and the danger of famine, Acheampong retorted in Twi: 'Nsuo Nto A Yese Acheampong, Meye Nyame Na mato Nsuo.' Literally translated, the military head of state was saying that 'even when the rains failed, Ghanaians were blaming me. Am I God to make rain?'
Those were in the last ember of his regime, when the clamour for the military to depart was at its zenith. I am afraid, the President of the Republic, Prof. John Evans Ata Mills is beginning to sound that agitated.
On a day's whirlwind visit to the Central Region, where pockets of resistance to his rule is beginning to take shape, Prof. Mills toured some troubled spots in the region, taking on board a fleeting visit to Otuam, the largest town in the newly created Ekumfi district, where the Head of State was born.
Trust newsmen to intrude even on a Presidential tour. A member of the media drew the President's attention to a submission by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, New Patriotic Party Presidential Candidate, who had challenged the sitting Head of State to bring an end to the mayhem threatening to undermine the biometric registration exercise. A Presidential Aide, Nii Lante Vanderpuiye has been consistently cited as a source of confusion.
President Mills' response told everything about the frustration of a leader, who is beginning to sense that the end is near. Read the lips of the President of the Republic of Ghana. 'There are some who also think that the President should be directly in charge of enforcement of laws.
'Unfortunately, the President is not a law enforcer. The President can't be a prosecutor. Those are not the powers which have been conferred on the President,' Prof. Atta Mills responded.
I am afraid the Head of State goofed. He is the repository of justice and law enforcement in the country. Under Article 58 Clause One, 'the executive authority of Ghana shall vest in the President and shall be exercised in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.'
Under clause two, 'the executive authority of Ghana shall extend to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and all laws made under or continued in force by this Constitution.
Subject to the provisions of this constitution, the functions conferred on the President by Clause (1) of this article may be exercised either directly or through officers subordinate to him.
In clause four of the same Article, the Constitution says:'Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution or by a law inconsistent with this Constitution, all executive acts of Government shall be expressed to be in the name of the President.'
I am not a lawyer. But my little knowledge of the Queen's language tells me that by the tenets of this constitution, all aspects of the governance process do take place in the name of the President of the Republic.
President Atta Mills is no mean lawyer. He is a Professor of law who knows the letter and spirit behind every pronouncement in the Constitution of the land. The Inspector General (IGP) of Police is appointed by the President with the advice of the Police Council. The Vice-President, the Head of State's immediate deputy, heads the Police Council.
The President appoints the Attorney General and Minister of Justice who leads all prosecutions in this land of our birth. As a matter of fact, all prosecutions are done in the name of the Republic, headed by the President. I find it extremely strange for the President, who is a law Professor to claim that the President is not a law enforcer, neither is he a prosecutor.
The irony of this pronouncement is that on the same tour and on the same day, President Mills had promised to make sure that all trouble makers in the current biometric exercise were brought to book to ensure the peace of the process.
No one person or group of persons, President Mills retorted 'is above the law. We are determined to ensure that those who disturb the process face the full rigours of the law. Peace is paramount.'
In a matter of this nature, it is difficult to conceptualize the thoughts and pronouncements of this
Head of State. As I wrote last week, President John Evans Atta Mills would lead this nation to
war unless he puts an end to his concept of playing the three wise monkeys - see no evil, hear no
evil and speak no evil, while his own people beat the war drums around him.
Last week, I enumerated a number of flash points in the current registration exercise,
orchestrated by people very close to the President or are identified as agents of the political party
he leads. The adventures of Nii Lante Vanderpuiye, Special Aide to President Mills, who is
alleged to be promoting ethnic cleansing in the Odododiodoo Constituency, where he is standing
for election to Parliament on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress, is well
documented. When Ursula Owusu, New Patriotic Party Parliamentary Candidate for the
Ablekuma South Constituency and John Abu Jinapor, an aide to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-
Addo, were assaulted on a visit to the Odododiodoo Constituency, Nii Lante Vanderpuiye had
the timidity to come public to justify the assault allegedly carried out by agents of the
Read the lips of Nii Lante Vanderpuiye, a former sports commentator with Radio Ghana: 'When
Ursula goes around in Accra, saying things that are insulting to the youth of Ga Mashie; when
she goes around throwing herself about and Abu Jinapor sitting on TV and on radio
saying all sorts of things against the people of Ga Mashie, they should expect that anytime they
go into the area, they precisely could have such a reaction from the people.'
This incident and many more involving his Special Aide could not have been lost on the
President. One interesting thing about the pockets of violence undermining the biometric
registration exercise is that they appear to have been well choreographed to take place in areas
where the NPP could genuinely pose a challenge. It ties in perfectly with the recommendations
alleged to have been made by a thee-man academic team who put up a document under the so-
called 'Agenda 2012 Club.'
For the uninitiated, the 'Agenda 2012 Club' emphatically stated that the NDC has so lost its way
in the governance process that the only way the party could retain power would be through the
rigging of the 2012 poll. The academics were said to have recommended that the NDC should
prevent the NPP from maximizing potential voters at its strongholds by organized activities by
the NDC to frustrate potential voters from registering.
What is of interest to all Ghanaians is that the registration exercise has virtually recorded no
Incident worthy of a report from the NDC strongholds in the Volta Region and the three northern
I do not believe we need any ghost to lecture us on why there is so much trouble in some of the registration centres. They have been deliberately timed to happen, I dare state.
I would like to submit that President Mills statement that the Head of State is neither a law enforcement agency or prosecutor, fits in well with the divisive politics he has introduced. I am of the firm view that President Mills knows that he stands to gain from the violence enveloping some centres in the registration exercise.
The tendency for Prof. Mills to play the Acheampong card, in my view, could be prognosis of things to come. At the time Acheampong cried that he was not God to make rains, his end as leader of the dictatorship he unleashed on the body politic, was nearer. Coming events, they say, cast their own shadows!