Dear President-elect Nana Akufo-Addo,
I write to congratulate you on winning the 2020 presidential election.
I was excited and hopeful when you first won the election in 2016. Unfortunately, I don’t feel the same way about this victory. I’m ambivalent about your second term, and the reasons are not difficult to find.
In your first term, you knew you would come back to seek our votes, yet the kind of governance you gave us was unimpressive, to say the least. You practically called our bluff.
In 2024, you will not need our votes. Some of your appointees have their political umbilical cords tied to your presidency.
They know that even if the NPP wins in the next election, they will have no chance of landing lucrative jobs. For such people, there is a lot of motivation to loot as much as they can and retire or venture into something else.
But it can also get better, Mr. President. Your second term can get better if you care about your legacy.
Since the days of your predecessor, I have always maintained that any idiot can borrow money to build hospitals or pay fees, especially when there is always an avenue to pocket a chunk of it. One does not need to be a genius of a leader to do that.
What a true leader does is to inspire hope by creating a society of meritocracy, by creating and atmosphere that rewards the ingenuity, creativity and hard work of its citizens, and by taking decisions that are in the national interest but may not be pleasing to his party and sycophants.
So your second term can get better if you pay attention to the fact that a wealthy country such as ours is very miserable because its resources are stolen and hoarded by a select few while our youth see every sunrise as a painful reminder of their hopelessness.
It can get better if you impersonate a bit of the no-nonsense disposition of the Nana Akufo-Addo of yore, and employ that against those destroying the country under your watch.
Your second term will get better if you become the Akufo-Addo we thought we knew, and not the President Akufo-Addo we know. And your hands are freer now to be your true self than when you had another election before you.
For a president seeking re-election, acting tough against delinquent and influential appointees is like killing the tsetse fly that perches on the scrotum.
But now, you’re free from those threats and political blackmail.
So let’s see a bit of the Akufo-Addo that was marketed to us in 2016. Let us see the Akufo-Addo who is a believer of the rule of law, not one that believes and promotes the rule of thuggery; an Akufo-Addo who believes in press freedom, and not one that believes only in press freedom favourable to him.
And finally, let us see a new NPP under your leadership. Let us see the democratic and civilised NPP of old, the one that was attractive to intellectuals but still maintained its core base.
Let us see the NPP that gives men and women of valour and principles a chance, and not one that has been hijacked rogues and questionable characters because of their dubious wealth.
If you remember my “Ogyam” epistle, I said you were becoming stronger, but the party was becoming weaker.
A party founded on the core principles of democracy and good governance should not be using “North Korean” principles in dealing with and eliminating candidates who want to either lead the party or contest for parliament because they are not the favourites of a few.
In this election, the NPP voters have shown the party “a little bit of Atiwa” and I hope you and the party will pick some useful lessons from there.
I wish you good luck and pledge my unalloyed support to make your second term a success. I intend to support you not by joining the innumerable courtiers of paid and unpaid praise-singers of the administration.
Like the charge given to the Prophet of God in Ezekiel 3:17, I intend to point out to you what’s going wrong. But if you do things worthy of praise and defending, I will not withhold that from you as I have done in the past.
God bless you and bless our Homeland Ghana.
Manasseh Azure Awuni
Your friend (or former friend. I’m not sure of my current status from your end)