President Nana Akufo-Addo with Otumfuor Osei Tutu II
Admirers of Nana Addo who clamour not for political appointments, have been thinking. They will not talk loudly. But they will be elated with the Ashanti King’s most wise counsel, as reported by Ghanaweb (Sunday, April 2, 2017). President Akufo-Addo should ‘be wary of backbiters amongst persons he has surrounded himself with.’ The report added that the King referred to how other presidents before Nana Addo had confessed regrets for not heeding that caution.
Flashback, ‘twas not a total jubilation when the kitchen staffers were announced. People said he couldn’t have appointed a more capable and competent chief of staff. Beyond that, though, there was some degree of iffy about some of the others. I remember beefing ‘beware of babies and babies beware.’
I cannot tell whether it is a normal practice that the president does not publicly disclose his closest advisers such as Blaa Kutu’s Afro Joe Appiahs. And I am unable to imagine the extent of influence of those close to Nana the President. Whichever way, I think it is for him to look out. But it will be far more benefitting if those around him will swear to themselves never to abuse the trust he has reposed in them.
The temptations are great. Being around the one person in total control of the huge resources of the motherland, to think self is very tempting. It is goodies everywhere one turns. Perhaps, the trick is to tell one’s self that everything you think is goodie belongs to someone else within the motherland. That should make you appreciate what’s yours is your conditions of service.
Anytime you charge a fee to introduce someone to the president, you have stolen money in his name. Remember he has promised to rid the motherland of corruption. His promise of an anti-corruption crusade was a key resonance with the electorate. Any corrupt practice on the part of a close associate therefore constitutes a betrayal. So if you don’t want to be a Judas, live within your conditions of service.
Three presidents ago, a presidential spokesperson felt as presidential as his appointer to the extent that he would contest to be president with his appointer still in office. Such appointees can hardly be too loyal to betray. Later, the tittle tattle was all over that when he was in the election strong room, he was thinking more ahead than the task before him then. When the congresspeople slipped a fast election stealing around him, he could hardly recognise their trap.
As for the next two presidents, their faith in campaign staff undid whatever they could have done. One ended up losing his precious life because his ‘handlers’ were more interested in the politics of elections and not his welfare. They would rather lead him to lose his life for the sake of winning an election.
The other one, the second congressperson in succession, surrounded himself with election propagandists who thought governance was electioneering. Propaganda was all they knew. They thought onaapo was so sweet a song that it would overcome the dumsɔ handicap. That didn’t happen. He was annihilated in the election they, in true ‘emperor your clothes are beautiful when there were no clothes’ manner, was exposed in election nakedness. Young, with no life or living experience, his ampℇbrℇ staffers and appointees developed a huge appetite for stealing public funds. Whether they were copying his own appetite or they were amassing wealth illegally to go and contest elections, he, that president, would say they let him down because he lost the election heavily.
Nana Addo is caught in the embarrassment of so many ɔsonomma rich in competence to choose from. There is so much competence it’s hard to select one over the other. That is why, I guess, he has decided to principally settle on loyalty and trust as his main appointment criteria. It will, therefore be a great pity if any of his appointees should fail any of the appointer’s integrity, honesty and value for money tests. That will disable help and support him to serve the motherland. I can clearly hear President Nana Addo address his appointees: “Don’t let me down.”
To me, it hard; so so hard, for the President, as one person to know who is telling him what will help and not hinder the successful prosecution of his agenda. However, the helpful ones will tell him that he has no clothes on when there are no clothes. If appointees care, I heard this old woman say: ‘God punish any Nana Addo appointee who betrays him and his Ghana first agenda.’ The King has said it all: ‘Gye di pa, na din pa yℇ sen ahonya’ (‘Pursue good reputation because good name is better than riches’). Nana’s close associates, take note.
By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh