I’m referring to the next President whose tenure would start in January next year as we’re in an election year and even if the current President is re-elected, his new tenure offers him a fresh chance to serve.
First of all, I’d like to say congratulations. It must be a huge honor to be entrusted with this nation’s resources to manage for the next four years. If this happens to be your second term, then you already have an idea of where Ghana is placed on the world map and what you need to do to improve on the position. If this is your first term, I’m sure you will realize the full picture now: the plight of the people at the grassroots and how organized or messed up the plans for the country are at the high table. Welcome to the next four challenging years of your life.
If this is your second term, I plead with you to share the national cake evenly amongst us. Because it kind of feels like those demographically known to be your sympathizers tend to get more of your attention than those who are located in areas known not to be your ‘fans’. Obviously, not everyone voted for you but once you are the President, all partisan sentiments should be disregarded. It is an opportunity to prove to your naysayers that you are indeed the best leader to manage our affairs.
If this is your first term, then don’t punish the regions who least voted for you by ignoring their needs to satisfy those did. I doubt there’s a polling station where you had no vote at all; so the one or two people who voted for you do need your help. All regions should be treated equally and be attended to according to their needs.
Luckily for Accra, it happens to be the capital city and much effort is made by governments to make it look beautiful enough to please foreign investors but kindly remember that Ghana is bigger than Accra. As you plan to add on to the overhead bridges so as to match up to other countries, there are many helpless mothers and children who don’t have access to quality health care and education.
In 2016, people still have to travel kilometers on motorbikes or wheelbarrows so as to deliver their babies. The fact that the roads surrounding the flagstaff house are well tarred doesn’t represent all roads in the country. And the fact that there are a lot of well-built schools in the capital city doesn’t erase the truth that there are many others still learning under trees which are also understaffed.
Just because you see lots of houses having Polytanks doesn’t discount the fact that many people in secluded communities still have to drink from dirty streams which they share with animals. These scenarios should be discussed in our history classes not mentioned as present day situations but it is what it is.
Managing people is tough, there’s no denying that. Some people may never appreciate what you do; it’s inevitable. But please don’t discount the voice of the masses when they cry out to you. You may not know how it feels for the average man to manage his meagre salary or daily wages to cater for his family’s basic needs thanks to the allowances you enjoy as President. All fingers are not equal and they never will but at least, ensure everyone have his basic needs: access to quality health care, education, water, electricity, road network, and credit facility sorted out. If these are in place, people would be in good physical and psychological condition to make lives better for themselves. Give the people what they need to survive first before you think of aesthetics.
When the people point out where they believe you are missing the point, don’t dismiss them as political. Now that you’re President, partisan colors need not define criticisms. Be humble enough to listen to the people, honest enough to admit to the people when there are challenges and trustworthy enough to deliver on your promises.
Whatever you do in the next four years will be your legacy. How you respond to the needs of the people in your tenure will go down in history books. So measure your words well with talking to the people. Don’t react to your personal sentiments. You represent your office; don’t taint its repute by uttering regrettable statements. No matter how unfair you’d find some comments about you, keep a cool head and talk to the issues.
Telling us the people who voted for you into power that you have a ‘dead goat syndrome’ doesn’t speak well of you; it only paints you as insensitive. Telling people who are crying out about their hardships as not ‘smart’ to seize opportunities around them is not in good taste. People should feel hopeful and confident about their situation getting better after hearing you speak and not provoked unto anger and regretting voting you into power. Whether your statements were taken out of context or not, your words become you. You’ll always be remembered by your words so do well to rehearse and edit your words before you speak.
The Presidency isn’t a competition between which governments built the most infrastructure; it’s about leaving office having made the country in a better place than you came to meet it. Statistics may count on the proposals you take outside to solicit for bailout but telling us inflation rate has reduced means nothing if we still feel our pockets empty and cost of living unbearable.
People are being sent home in their terminal conditions because there are not enough medical facilities to cater for them in our hospitals. The citizens constitute the wealth of this nation; please do well to save us from suffering avoidable deaths. Qualified graduates can’t find work to do to contribute their quota to society. For some of us, life has come to a standstill.
Nonetheless, I wish you well. Remember that from the moment you are sworn into office, national concerns override party interests. Don’t forget the bad roads you saw during your campaign trail when you enter the flagstaff house. Don’t forget the plight of the poor when you’re having banquets with foreign nationals. Don’t forget the terrible conditions people live in when you sleep on your comfortable bed in your air-conditioned room.
Whether you’re going on a second term or starting your first, remember you are to serve to the best of your ability. The poor man’s tax pays your salary. Without the people, you have no office to serve. I may have voted for or against you but since you’re my President, I want to see you succeed. All the best.
From a concerned citizen.
Every country has its own concerns so what you would like to tell your President would be totally different from what another would want to. But regardless of that, every President owes his power to the people and he/she should be reminded of his promises to the people and held accountable to them. What concerns would you want your President to address? Security, employment, health care, whatever your priorities are, write them down. You’d never know; he/she might end up reading it.
© Josephine Amoako 2016