What a year 2016 was! As I closed my eyes and tried to catch my breath, the best I could manage was to compose a wish list for my countrymen and women.
Unfortunately, the Daily Graphic was not published on New Year’s Day but the message still remains relevant and I am presenting it again for today.
First of all, I must send Ghana the twin messages of courage and hope. For the tasks we have set ourselves for achievement in coming years require stout and not faint hearts.
Specifically, I wish President John Mahama the courage and grace to take defeat on the chin and soldier on to a retirement of fulfilment, while he grooms up himself as an elder statesman worth consulting by Ghanaians of all shades of political opinions; and to his amiable consort Lordina, I say continue your good works and prove that philanthropy and political donations are not the same.
To President-elect, His Excellency Nana Akuffo-Addo, I wish you the courage to translate your astounding mandate to take hard-headed decisions required to pursue the change agenda you have been preaching. You will certainly have to trample on a lot of toes but that is all change is about. You need to create a super Ministry of Moral Rectitude to spearhead change. Without such a ministry to create a whirlwind of moral force in our lives, all your toils for change will amount to business as usual. May the political campaign messages of the opposition in 2020 not be an earworm called change?
To Alan “Cash” Kyerematen, the Minister of Trade and Industry-in-waiting, I wish you the grace of courage and of patience to revise your notes on the President’s Special Initiatives for Industrialisation. You gave this initiative your fair shot in the Kufuor Government but results were at best very mediocre. The knowledge of hindsight should make you now wiser in the choice of projects and the selection of people to manage them. The Ayensu Starch Company and the Volta Star Garment Factory are veritable test cases to guide you. Now with 216 factories to be established in a period of four years under your watch, your task is near-herculean. There will be a clamour for a factory from each district and you must not fall into the temptation of rushing to satisfy everybody. Worse, there will be plant and machinery suppliers from all corners of the world peddling Mickey Mice of machinery they cannot support technically. They will quote outrageously expensive prices claiming they are state-of-the art. Be wary of them and I wish you have a seasoned technical team to advise you on such matters.
To the Minister-in-waiting of Local Government and Rural Development Hajia Alima Mahama, I wish you the strength of character dominated by clear-headedness to provide the oversight for the monumental structures that should underpin the change agenda. The election of Chief Executives for the District and Metropolitan Assemblies is one task Ghanaians are anxiously waiting for. That it has only been touted for the past years but not implemented should tell you that all parties suspect a booby trap in its implementation. I wish you the courage to trigger the implementation right away. Beware of thieving chief executives and their financial directors who may have honed up intricate tricks with suppliers that may evaporate the cash into the thin air. I wish you strong financial oversight.
To my editors of the Daily Graphic led by Ransford Tetteh, I wish you the fortitude and modesty to keep level-headed as you have always done in the face of partisanship by other media houses. I wish you better conditions of service that will trickle down to poor columnists as well. I wish the doyen of Daily Graphic columnists, Dr K.B Asante many more years. I wish strength and perseverance to Dr Sodzi Sodzi Tetteh, Razak El Alawa, Elizabeth Ohene, Yaw Boadu - Ayeboafoh, and all those whose pens light up the columns of the Daily Graphic.
To my mentors, I.K Gyasi and Professor Lade Worsonu, I say higher heights. Your pieces of advice which you usually drop unobtrusively are like showers of blessing from heaven.
To the little man and the little woman who eke out a living from an impoverished soil with the hoe and the machete I say, “May all the promises made to you of tractor, dam and cheap fertilisers on the eve of December 7 be fulfilled.”
It is said that what is not mentioned is not necessarily missing. I wish all the readers of My blog a very peaceful, productive and a happy new year.