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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Atta Mills vs. Obama, any similarities?

Since the premix fuel shortage begun the President has not told Ghanaians what he is doing about the premix fuel problem which is preventing fishermen from going to sea despite their threat to hit the streets to demonstrate their displeasure over the shortage of the fuel. More importantly they have so far not shown any sign that they are in control of the economy.Since taking office, inflation has been soaring hitting 20% in May. Fuel prices are higher today than they used to be 6 months ago. Unemployment is rising steadily with companies like Vodafone promising to slash over 950 jobs. Our currency the Cedi has lost more than 30% of its value putting prices of commodities beyond the reach of ordinary Ghanaian. Simply put Ghanaians cannot associate President Mills' administration with a new project, programme or even maintainance of conditions that was existing before he took office. All that we have been hearing from the President are complaints of debts, confiscation of cars which are relatively less important compared to the many daunting problems confronting Ghanaians today. Readers should not get me wrong. I am not saying confiscating stolen state assets or asking former ministers to account for their stewardship are not important, what I am saying is that it should not take 80 to 90% of government time, energy and resources.

Since taking office Obama has implemented a stimulus package aimed at helping struggling businesses to stay in competition and to stabilise the US economy. He has directed that Guantanamo Bay detention Camp be closed. He has reached agreement with Russia to cut down the number of nuclear arsenals that each country has. He is working hard to withdraw US combat forces from Iraq by 2011. He is working with Congress to send more American troops to Afghanistan to contain the Taliban and bring stability in that war torn nation. He has made US a key player in the fight against global warming and Climate change, an unthinkable thing under the Bush administration. He is working hard to get US Congress to pass his Healthcare Bill that would overhaul US Healthcare system and makes it more affordable to all Americans at a cheaper cost. He has sent his envoys to the Middle East to get the Palestinians and Israelis talking again in the hope of finding solution to the ME problem. His Ministers are everywhere in the world to repair broken bridges in the international system. In what has been called US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue he has acknowledged that the future of our planet and what happens in this 21st Century would be shaped by what goes on between his country and China, as a result he has declared a new era of cooperation, not confrontation with China. All these he has done within six months of taking office, the same period that your Excellency President Mills has occupied our Castle. What makes Obama's efforts so enviable is that these are the issues he campaigned to address when elected and he seems pretty anxious to deliver.

Besides, Obama's Defence Secretary Robert Gates does not come from his Democratic party. Gates worked as Defence Secretary under the Bush administration and Obama maintained him without hell breaking loose in his Party. President Mills should compare that with the call by the founder of NDC to drive away from office Ghanaians who do not hold NDC Party IDs. Obama has resisted every call within his party and that of the Republican Party to prosecute former Vice President Dick Cheney because he says that is not his priority. Compare that with the arrests and the detentions and confiscations of cars which seem to be on top of President Mills' agenda. What I am saying is that President Mills and his government are not making any in roads to heal the economy and meet their campaign promises because that has never been their priority.

Obama and other leaders around the globe are pushing forward to save jobs and help their own citizens obtain employment despite the economic crunch and the fact that they owe a lot of money to their creditors. What we hear everyday about them is that they are arresting the collapse of their financial system, they are reducing the soaring unemployment problem, they are working with Russia and Ukraine to ensure steady flow of gas to their countries, they are working to contain inflation, they are supporting small businesses to increase production and provide jobs to the unemployed, they are working with the opposition to cut down deficit and are working to inject sanity into the world economic system not complaints, complaints and complaints.

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