Well done, Mr President
In our part of the world, it is difficult for our leaders to say sorry for their own inaction or that of their men and women.
Also, it is not common or within our character for top public servants, ministers and other government functionaries to tender in their resignations for exercising wrong judgement in the execution of their tasks.
Government functionaries in other jurisdictions have tendered in their resignation not for personally exercising indiscretion but for the actions of their subordinates, especially if such acts caused pain to society.
Although all our governments pride themselves as listening governments, their actions contradict such claims.
But President John Mahama demonstrated yesterday that his government is concerned about public opinion.
At the thanksgiving service to mark the first anniversary of the death of President J. E. A. Mills yesterday, President Mahama apologised to Mrs Theodosia Okoh for the emotional trauma caused her by the renaming of the National Hockey Pitch after the late President Mills by the Chief Executive of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), Mr Alfred Vanderpuiye.
Last week, Mr Vanderpuiye caused a stir by renaming the national hockey pitch after President Mills although it had been named after Mrs Okoh long before President Mills passed on.
The Daily Graphic commends President Mahama for that bold decision and the personal touch he has added to the saga. Even before the President apologised, Mrs Okoh had asked to talk to President Mahama to thank him for reverting the order of Mr Vanderpuiye.
As indicated by President Mahama, Prof. Mills was a man of modesty and would never have accepted the renaming of the hockey pitch after him if he were alive. As a leader, President Mahama has shown direction by not only instructing that the hockey pitch should remain the Theodosia Okoh Hockey Pitch but also apologised to her.
While commending the President for such a bold initiative, we believe that the Presidency and others must begin to crack the whip to serve as a deterrent to others. Otherwise, some of our actions will have a boomerang effect that will be too difficult to handle.
There must be order and discipline in the way things are done or communicated to ensure that there is sanity in the governance structures. We cannot fantom why a metropolitan chief executive should create a mess for the President to clean.
But while we address the Accra Mayor’s gaffes, we believe the Presidency may have to look beyond Accra as some of the district chief executives could be creating much more embarrassing situations. In the long run, it is the government that suffers from the actions and inaction of its functionaries.
With the nomination of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives currently underway, we have witnessed some violent demonstrations and locking up of offices by irate youth or party supporters because they are not happy with the performance of the nominees. In fact, the re-nomination of Mr Vanderpuiye was not without drama.
The Daily Graphic, therefore, calls on public office holders, particularly government functionaries, to operate within their jurisdictions.
Once again, we commend President Mahama for that bold initiative. You have demonstrated that you are indeed a leader and listening President.