The President�s Brothers

President John Evans Atta Mills has the prerogative to do a lot of things as his tenure lasts. He can appoint persons he deems fit to serve as his aides and order what he wants them to receive as remunerations. The discretion should however be exercised with his head on. When the president overstretches this discretion and pegs salaries beyond a certain level, the action would prompt questions from members of the public, especially at a time when the economic conditions are rather harsh, and this is exactly what we are doing. When some of the beneficiaries of the president�s largesse happen to be his blood brothers, then people are compelled to assess him against his campaign time remarks and the angel picture of himself he seeks to display. The doctors� strike has brought to the fore a number of issues which have taken more points from the governance scorecard of the Mills Administration. Ghanaians want to know why the president appointed two of his brothers to serve as his aides at the Castle and who are receiving more than the medical officers for doing next to nothing. We wonder what he would have said if this had happened in the previous government. Those were times when he deemed it appropriate to join persons who have made protests an industry and now benefitting wantonly from the pastime. The Mills government is experiencing a major integrity challenge and unless he works towards reversing this by the time he leaves office, he would be left with nothing to show for the integrity of his team and we regret revisiting it repeatedly. In their bid to manage the fallouts from the doctors� strike, government propagandists put out what they claim were the salaries of doctors. Little did they know at the time that the real details were going to be released shortly and even juxtaposed against those of the president�s brothers. Although the propagandists smiled when members of the public began attacking what for them was the greed of the doctors at the time their spin was at its best, it was all short-lived. No sooner had the salaries according to the government propagandists been churned out than the real details hit town, with devastating effects on the image of President Mills and his team. Ghanaians do not deserve to be insulted in this fashion and it is painful that lying between their teeth has become an entrenched hallmark of the Mills government. If there are people who sympathized with government position in the face of the protracted strike action, this has been changed by the emerging facts. Verity is an essential ingredient in every government which seeks respect from the governed. Whoever was responsible for the lies churned out to Ghanaians must be sanctioned for doing such a massive damage to the aura of the presidency which should not, under any circumstances, be associated with such mendacity. Propaganda, although not a good practice in modern times, having long been buried with Hitler�s Goebelof the Third Reich, should carry some finesse if it must be used at all in the face of desperation on the part of a non-performing government. We have discovered regrettably that it is being used recklessly to insult our intelligence by some young Mills appointees as though they are the only wise men in the country and the rest of us, fools and imbeciles with no capacity to read between the lines. Even after former presidents John Agyekum Kufuor and Jerry John Rawlings have declined the Trassaco houses offered them by government, a deputy minister of information has sought to rubbish the assertion by saying that he has no knowledge of the decline. It is a subtle way of saying that the former first citizens have accepted the offer.