So it’s here. You have finally won the presidential elections. You couldn’t be more proud of yourself. Your childhood dream is now a reality. Four years of Ghana’s destiny is in your hands. Congratulations, Sir!
I believe the eight years wait with tough lessons has been worth it. I say so having observed your campaign activities leading up to your “famous and historic” victory! In comparison to 2008 and 2012, I saw in you an ever-passionate, unrelentingly determined, and extremely committed candidate who was in control of every little detail of his campaign. I saw a man who was highly circumspect in his response to questions, even the feisty ones. Like a gifted teacher, you successfully made the citizenry understand and connect with your ideas and vision for Ghana. Not even an astute marketer could match how you branded your ideas and sold them to undecided minds. You were vociferous, persistent, and smart! You have learned a lot and have applied the lessons well. Truly, you have endeared yourself to many like me.
And, oh, for your slanderers, you have proven to them that you are not a wuss after all. It’s difficult to understand your haters, who still see you as a warmonger, even though you demonstrated uncommon valour after you lost the 2012 elections and the infamous election petition thereon. Your detractors couldn’t get under your skin in spite of career-threatening salvos against you, as well as integrity-ripping attacks on your person. You have triumphed in all these. Kudos!
Sir, truthfully, all these no longer matter; at least for the next four years! You are now the bearer of the gavel and the torch bearer of Ghana’s future. In 2008, you got is very right when you clearly indicated that our ATTITUDE is the cause of our challenges in Ghana. Yes! Unfortunately, it still is! How do you intend to morph Ghanaians to develop positive attitudes and reap the manifest and latent benefits associated with it? Respectfully, I think it starts with you. You are now the ‘headmaster’, and we wait to see the various ‘heads’ you appoint to transform Ghana. It is my hope that those you choose do understand the components of attitudinal change.
In the same way you have tolerated your critics over the years, it is my hope that you and your appointees will tolerate our views when we constructively criticize government deeds and actions. We do not expect you or any of your appointees to release on us “babies with sharp teeth” to insult, attack, destroy, and seek to rip to shreds the integrity and intelligence of those that provide such critique. We are already exhausted from such posturing; we have had enough this past eight years. In fact, we do not want any of your appointees to have sharp teeth. Rather, intelligent and smart women and men who are open-minded, willing to engage fellow citizens on policies and issues and, above all, do so in a respectful way.
Sir, when things are not going well as planned, let the country know, please. After all, there is more political capital to be gained for being truthful than shamelessly lying to us. I think you know better. On the contrary, if you wish to not tell us what really is going on in the country, please let it remain so; however, please and please, do not send to us your communications team to defend the indefensible or justify wrongs that are happening in the country. I suggest you take a cue from the outgoing government’s handling of issues related to judgement debts and the many looting scandals. I know that there are tough times ahead, the road will not be as easy as eloquently delivering those campaign promises. Sorry, Sir, but we couldn’t care less about these tough times; we will hold you to your promises. The jobs, factories, dams, million dollars, riding the country off corruption, to name but a few.
I sincerely wish you well for the next four years. Together with many Ghanaians, we will support you with prayer and play our various roles effectively, so we see the Ghana we all hope for, now and posterity. As you enjoy this victory, please do remember these five key things I have said in this note:
Congratulations on winning!
Be transparent in your actions and dealings!
Be guided by events in the past eight years!
Do not renege on the big promises you have made!
Always respect us the citizens who have offered you this opportunity, no matter what!
Thank you, Sir!
Natural Resources Institute,
University of Manitoba, Canada