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Youth still rages fierce in my blood, of course for a bubbly young man in my twenties it is to be expected. The energy of the youthful, if even at heart, is inspiring. It is for that reason, Mr. President, your election was undoubtedly a statement of hope for me. Your presidency was anticipated to be vibrant with drive towards national development and democracy.
It breaks my heart to write this open letter, knowing that you may never read it. Hopeful as youth is, I yet write. I write of disappointment however not with you, I am disappointed in myself for hoping for too much. I am saddened that I believed in you and hoped you will be different, even better.
For the avoidance of doubt, this is not political but a patriotic expression. If in doubt, the only public, close to political statement I have ever made was a eulogy of President Mills on my small blog, http://theagleswingfoundation.blogspot.com/2012/07/a-lesson-in-history.html.
To what end do I rant without course? I write these few words because you just raped the spirit of the constitution for which you are supposed to be the chief custodian. I do not intend to speak of the legality or not of your action, because I am not a lawyer, and there are so many lawyers to analyze the inaccurateness or otherwise of your action. I do not even seek to speak to the political inaccuracy because your opponent will do a better job at cashing in on such, if any. I only write as a believer in leadership and a young man who believed Ghana could be better under your leadership. As a passionate advocate of the idea that we can build stronger institutions and be civilized in the best interest of posterity, your decision to remit the sentence of the contemnors is heart-breaking to say the least.
By all means, Mr. President, exercise your constitutional right in Article 72, I only hoped you averted your mind to the precedent you were setting. How different is this pardon from any of the political ones we have seen in this country? How innocuous is your action for which you must be worried for such? I only notice three things you may not have intended but posterity will hold you a failure at, these are my thoughts in my simple mind:
- First, you abused the very currency of democracy, Trust! The whole system runs on trust, trust that state institutions are authorized to act in good faith, to protect all of us. Such trust exist because, the Judiciary keeps that trust as the final arbiter. The seemingly impartiality and appearance of apolitical judiciary is the life-line for any democracy. It is obvious no one disagrees on such gross misstatements of the contemnors for which trust in its sanctity had to be restored. To purge themselves, they were ordered to 4months in prison. Your action directly says, ‘You cannot trust the final arbiter to be right’, the executive for whom we know thinks in circles of 4 years, for good reason, cannot be left with such sacred responsibility to guard ‘trust’. Mr. President, your breach is philosophical, you have made a clear statement of distrust of the judiciary, and your actions drives them right into the politics which is unfortunate. How did you do that perhaps? You did that exactly by remitting the sentence of persons who claimed they will rape and murder the custodians of our sacred trust, a side no one needn’t support but for political gains, it hurts that you undoubtedly supported such a side.
- Secondly, you failed the leadership test, Grit! I will not pretend to understand the political pressure you were faced with. We all however appreciate this is an election year with a lot at stake. Indeed you were caught between the devil and the deep blue sea and such battle to satisfy electorates cannot be underestimated. This is a trap no leader wants to be caught in, but in my humble opinion, this was your true leadership test. I hoped you will hold on and at least persuade your supporters to the end that, nationhood is bigger than the executive, and such an act will not only be scandalous but usurping the judicial powers thereby weakening such an institution no one will dare. I hoped you will not interfere if even it proved to hurt politically, that you will not choose the part of least resistance, that will persevere for the sake of the state but clearly you deserted your sacred vow to defend mother Ghana when it needed you the most to protect it and insulate it’s lady justice from political invaders.
- Finally, Mr. President, you just entrenched the already flourishing culture of impudence under your reign. One that says, find a shield in political party’s card and you are untouchable. Unfortunately, I tend to believe wielding a party card is more powerful than a national identity card. A reality your great grandson will wish you had not supported. It is unfortunate I rage about flourishing impudence when ‘Yentia Obia’ is still on the playlist.
Dear Sir, I have written this with great hesitation and in ultimate good faith, hoping that all the many financial scandals for which we have seen little action were your worse legacies but to have remitted this sentence, you consolidate an unfortunate memory for youth leadership.
Mr. President, let me end yet with tears, hoping that you can redeem this evil you have caused. I hope all Ghanaians will reflect on this, that all partisan and nonpartisan Ghanaians will ask ourselves, if the judges were our mothers, and such threat of rape and murder were made, will we not do anything? Of course we will, some of us may sue for threat of death, some even break the law to defend our blood. I dare say, the judiciary-in every sense is the mother of democracy for all progressive states, and in this particular instance our mother was not only threatened, she was abused. Heart-wrenching as the reality is, the father who swore to protect her, raped her for punishing the wayward child who abused her. Her spirit in whose light the letter of the constitution is construed just got violated by her very First Gentleman.