Mr. Emmanuel Yaw Mensah
Former President John Dramani Mahama’s promise to repeal Article 71 is a cheap political talk of a power-thirsty fellow that must be treated with the greatest contempt it deserves.
Those of us who are aware of the opportunities Mr Mahama got to repeal this law but refused to do it felt scandalized when we heard the same person promising to repeal it anytime he gets the chance.
It is part of our civic duties to protect the citizens against anything that is inimical to the general welfare of Ghanaians and one of these things is Mr Mahama’s calculated attempt to deceive the public for his parochial political interest. It is against this backdrop that I do this press statement to expose the lies and deception of Mr Mahama on this subject.
The courage of the former President alone to make such a promise exposes him as a man with a dead conscience. Comparing Mr Mahama’s failure to leverage the opportunities he got to repeal the law and his recent position, one would not be wrong to describe him as a deceitful person.
Facts of the matter
The talk master general and his boss, the late John Atta Mills, (May his soul rest in peace) established a Constitution Review Committee to review Article 71 and a few other Articles and this Committee submitted its report on December 20, 2011, to the erstwhile Mills/Mahama Government.
Upon receiving the Committee’s report, Mr Mahama and his boss issued a white paper on it, assuring the people of Ghana of their commitment to among other things act on the portions of the report relative to Article 71.
For the records, I refer Mr Mahama to Issue Eight of the white paper his government issued on the Committee’s report, captured under the title: DETERMINATION OF THE CONDITIONS OF SERVICES OF SOME PUBLIC OFFICERS BY THE PRESIDENT.
“Government accepts the recommendations that an independent commission be established to determine the salaries, allowances and emoluments of all public officers, from the President to the lowest ranking public officer.”
Unfortunately, however, Professor Atta Mills passed on in July 2012, living Mr Mahama with the opportunity to implement the decision of his own government. Though the former President got the bigger opportunity when he won the 2012 elections, he never acted on it.
Per Article 290 (2), the next thing expected of Mr Mahama’s government was to present a draft bill to Parliament for consideration, but he failed to do it. His argument on TV3 that it is an entrenched clause and so he needed much time is shameless cheap political talk, inspired by gross disrespect for the citizens.
The argument of the Article falling under the Entrenched Clauses doesn’t come in at all. The truth of the matter, however, is that the ball had been passed to Mr Mahama to do his part, but he failed because he loves the benefits of Article 71, which he is currently enjoying.
If four years was not enough for Mr Mahama to continue from where Professor Mills left because of the entrenched nature of the Article, it can definitely not be enough now since the tenure of a President still remains four years.
I must however state that this statement is not issued to embarrass a political opponent but rather to caution Ghanaians against the danger of entrusting the resources of the state in the hands of a dishonest, insincere person.
Mr. Emmanuel Yaw Mensah is the Deputy General Secretary NPP USA