On March 30, 2022, you delivered the State of Nation Address at Parliament House. I have read your speech twice, noting the positive trends towards the ultimate of our national aspirations: economic buoyancy and physical development of the country.
Global events have not made it easy for any President leading a nation in these trying, exasperating times, with a cascade of unpredictable events upsetting carefully thought-out plans.
You are doing the best within your capabilities, and must so continue in the supreme interest of Ghana. What made me to write you publicly is this statement you made: “There are many problems that we have to overcome to get back to where we ought to be. I need your support. No President, no Parliament, no government can undertake this task all by themselves. We need all Ghanaians to pull and push together.”
The candid admission that it requires the collective support of Ghanaians, and who must positively engage with the government, to enable much progress to be made is a wise statement to make.
It resonated so well with me, because I have been faithful to my own creed of supporting the government of the day, by expressing my ideas for the good of the nation, and these are published in the Daily Graphic and Ghanaian Times.
I have been publishing in those publications for over 30 years now. I engaged your attention on March 29, 2021, with the article, “Mr President, Please do not mine Atewa Forest! It was published in the Daily Graphic.
Much as we desire the success of the Presidents in the governance of this nation, we often ask ourselves whether the Presidents ever listen to the ordinary people.
How do they keep in touch with the ordinary citizens for whose sake they are in power to make life worth living? Do they see those who oppose their policies or statements, or who think differently as their “enemies”?
What we expect of our leaders is humility; the humility that inspires our confidence and trust in the leader: that when we speak he would listen, and when there is merit in what we say, he would do it, regardless of whether the person belongs to a party or not, or member of the governing party.
The nation is greater than any governing party.
In such spirit of aiding your government, I published in the Daily Graphic on
June 3, 2021, the article, Registering Vehicles With Foreign Inscriptions: Ministry of Transport, DVLA & Constitution.
In good faith, I thought I should call the attention of the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, to the article, by sending him a copy.
So, I wrote him, and personally took the letter to the Ministry of Transport. I deem it important to reproduce the letter I sent him.
Dear Sir, Registration of vehicles: enforcement of article 41
I formally submit herewith a photocopy of the published article of June 3, 2021 in the Daily Graphic:
Registering vehicles with foreign inscriptions: Ministry of Transport, DVLA & Constitution. I have attached here pictures of vehicles that illustrate the constitutional breach and national embarrassment spoken of.
May I please call your attention to something that Ghanaians have observed, without establishing a correlation between that and other things.
The President is seen often in Ghanaian clothing. What it illustrates is his pride in things Ghanaian. Therefore, how could the President set the standard for us, and we, at our various levels, compromise that standard by over projection of foreign ideas and symbols?
What the DVLA does is to compromise that standard unwittingly, out of ignorance, because that has been the norm all these years.
This article gives you the opportunity to make your mark in vindicating the national pride that the President exhibits, and everything you need to know has been stated in the article.
I wish you success.
The article made no impression on the minister. The pictures of vehicles in this letter illustrate the theme of the article.
I have done what you expect of us, by revealing to you what I wrote your Minister of Transport in June 2021.
The support that you require from Ghanaians is contingent upon the government encouraging Ghanaians to comply with the Constitution, as the role of citizens in the development of Ghana has been clearly stated in it.
My reference to article 41 (a) is to stress the significance of our mindset as a requisite factor in building our nation. In proportion as we respect our Constitution and abide by its tenets, in such proportion shall we be collectively strengthened to persevere in this daunting work of national development.
It is desirable to read the article yourself, and decide whether the constitutional breach could be glossed over, or whether it is deserving of government intervention. That decision I respectfully leave in your hands for your consideration.
May success attend your endeavours.
NB: Incidentally, what I stated in the letter to the Minister about the Ghanaian dress of the President has been given special coverage in the Daily Graphic of July 28, 2022, under the topic: Symbolic communication of President Akufo-Addo.
Source: Ahumah Ocansey
The writer is Solicitor & Barrister of the Supreme Court,