Folks, anytime I mention that President Mahama is the best thing ever happened to Ghana, some people think I’m doing propaganda, but the undeniable truth is that he has the mark of a visionary leader. Visionary leaders are strategic planners. They possess mental mind’s eye; they have the ability to see things long before others – they seem to see the future. Average thinkers think only about the present, and about immediate gratification. But visionary leaders think about where they want to be in many years’ time.
Interestingly, only about 10% of people in the world have this kind of ability, and I believe President Mahama is one of them. I know some people will not agree with me but it is a fact. We don’t value what we have till we lose it. Kwame Nkrumah was labelled as one of the worst rulers ever during his reign. But many years after his death, we have come to recognise his value, and have wished he is alive to continue the good work he started for this nation.
Do you think it was by mistake that President Mahama was made Chair of ECOWAS for to consecutive terms? Do you think it is by chance that he is the current Chair of the African Union’s High Level African Trade Committee? Do you think it is by accident that he was appointed Co-Chair of eminent persons to champion Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN few days ago? My answer is gazillion NO. The young man from Bole must definitely have something in him to attract such top level leadership positions.
President Mahama has a genuine desire to contribute to our beautiful country, and I believe down my heart that he will not deviate from that path; he will not falter because his heart is pure and his faith is strong.
One of the worst critics of the Mahama administration confessed to me during the Christmas holidays that for once he will applaud President Mahama for conceiving the idea of the construction of the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange.
His reason was that there used to be heavy traffic from Accra Central through the Kwame Nkrumah Circle on every Christmas Eve, and people always have to walk long distances to get home. According to him the story was different this past Christmas Eve, and that there was free flow of traffic at Circle, something that has not happened in decades.
The truth is that benefits of the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange go beyond what our friend has stated. About 84,000 vehicles pass through the Kwame Nkrumah Roundabout everyday, and during rush hours, traffic is choked making motorists spend hours on end before they are able to pass through. Assuming motorists spend 2 litres (half a gallon) of fuel a day in traffic at the roundabout, at an average fuel price of GHC4 per litre, about GHC8 worth of fuel is wasted everyday on each of the 84,000 vehicles which pass through the area. If we multiply 84,000 by GHC8 we will have a figure of a whopping 672,000 Ghana Cedis. This multiplied by 365.25 days gives a gargantuan 245 million Ghana Cedis a year; and that is how much the government spends to import fuel which is eventually wasted. It takes a visionary leader to do this.
I feel so sad when people hide behind their incontinent desire for political power to do all manner of things. I am living in Ghana and I feel the scourge of tariff and tax increase, but I think some increments are justifiable. Somewhere last year, fuel prices were increased to about GH18 per gallon which made it necessary for transport operators to increase fares. However, by courtesy of the fuel deregulation policy, fuel prices were reduced to about GHC12 per gallon at a point, the poor people of this country did not benefit because transport operators refused to reduce fares, and yet no one had the temerity to question them or demonstrate.
Today, people are going on demonstrations because government has decided to increase taxes on petroleum prices to raise revenue for developmental projects, and let me state that after the increase in petroleum taxes, fuel price per gallon is around GHC15 which is way below the GHC18 mark. Which is more prudent? Government reducing fuel prices which will not have any impact on fares or government increasing taxes to rake in some revenue for critical needs of the people while fares remain unchanged?
I feel so sad, the way some of us are allowing ourselves to be used by rapacious politicians for their selfish gains while we are completely losing touch with the very things that will provide a fillip to our economic growth. I want those embarking on the demonstrations to look into the eyes of God and swear that they are doing their part to make Ghana better. One should go to our ministries and classrooms and judge for him or herself the productivity levels: and the point I am trying to make would be clearly understood.
Yes, it is true that Ghana is going through some economic challenges, but I have explained time and time again that even though massive infrastructure development is very essential to the well being of a nation, it is very expensive, and can give some shocks to the economy of a country. It is an area which even leaders of developed economies dread to tread; and this perhaps explains why former President Kuffour abandoned almost all the major infrastructure projects he started within eight years in office: Achimota-Ofankor road, Suhum-Ayinam-Kumasi road, Sofoline Interchange, Bui Dam, etc; it would have exposed him big time!
But those are very necessary foundations upon which other important things like jobs for the youth could be sustained. And I believe this is one of the areas President Mahama is going to tackle in his second term in office if God grants him the opportunity. I can tell you for a fact that no other leader could have managed Ghana better than H.E. John Mahama under the twin spectre of opposition hostilities/sabotage and Single Spine Salary wahala.
President Mahama wo krom – he is breathtakingly phenomenon!
Anthony Obeng Afrane