A ‘REVELATION’ FOR PRESIDENT JOHN ATTA MILLS
By CAMERON DUODU
Your Excellency President John Atta Mills,
It having pleased Our Lord Almighty to reveal unto thee in a dream, the true meaning of “Separate unto me Barabbas…”, but thy intentions having been entwined in the different strands of wires that encompass thy National Democratic Party administration, I do hereby now, of mine own accord, dispatch unto thee this epistle, which is the distilled version of the admixtured potion that I would have administered into thy cranial vessel, had I been permitted to ‘think-tank’ with the others at blessed Akosombo Hotel these past few days.
Believe me I am not attracted to the place merely because of the enormous tilapias and fresh-water prawns that its kitchen can dispense. No — my first and foremost concern would have been to ensure that you understood that unless thou eliminate from thy followers, the notion that “It is our turn to eat”, and therefore anything goes, thy sleepless nights will have been endured in vain, and thy physical discomforts shall be as sweet-smelling as a bed of roses, compared to the spiritual torture that thou shalt endure hereafter.
“It is our turn to eat” doth not know the crappy project; it doth not seek out fruit-yielding indicators. It careth not for pre-feasibility; it abhorreth not duplication. Its criteria are: what percentages doth the project deliver; where will its procurements be sourced; are variation orders built therein; is the ‘invisibility’ to be trusted; can silence be enforced against ‘white-mailers’.
Yet, as thou knoweth, the earth is into a recession spiralled; a depression doth show his face round the corner, awaiting its chance to pounce on the unwary. The wealthy Lehman Brothers is no more; AIG’s tentacles are good only for Federal monetary transfusion; Freddie and Fanny incest do commit in the boudoir of the threshing machine; and HBOS hath capped the knees of Lloyds Bank of London. Yea — how are the mighty fallen!
Now, if these green bay trees no longer the winds’ buffets can bear, what shalt be done unto deadwood, which produceth not what it eateth, but exporteth it abroad, unto counter-parties, whose pockets do now exude the odour of toxic bonds? Verily, verily I say unto thee: when the abomination of desolation showeth his face, as now, then unless thou doth husband thy nation’s resources — cash, men, women, adolescents — to till the land well until it yieldeth forth plantain, cocoyam, yam, cassava, maize, rice, millet, banana, oil palm, groundnuts and beans; unless thou resurrect the rivers and the streams of the land by scientific desilting, and planting of trees along their banks, so that they can once again be enabled to bring forth tons of fish; if thou doth not learn from Joseph’s methods in Egypt to not waste the harvests of the land, but to store them safely till they be bought; thine fate shall be as that of Nero the villain, who was cursed to fiddle whilst Rome burnt.
Verily, verily I say unto thee: The Lord thy God hath given thee land of great fertility; yet thou importeth food from dust bowls abroad, where thought hath been employed to cultivate even inferior land, till it cedeth forth seeds of growth. Wherefore art thy people hungrier than those of Israel? Or of South Korea? Of Malaysia and indeed, Singapore? Think— what would happen if the Japanese had as much “waste” land as thyself….!
Arise, therefore, and gird thy loins, oh Mills. Prioritise the use of the land. Build unto thee small dams to water the ground and plant thereon, pepper, garden eggs, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower and what vegetables the land will accept. And irrigate also on a large scale. Ask China how ’twas done on the banks of the Yangtse. Resurrect Dawhenya. Don’t let the sea swallow the Volta for nothing. Create new waterways along the river routes to the sea and turn the deltas into oases of greenery — just as the people of Egypt did in those ancient times long ago, and have continued to do even unto this day, despite the plagues they did suffer, for not letting my people go in time. Dust off the ‘Operation Feed Yourself plans.’ Seek knowledge wherever it may be found and apply it with any means available.
Cut thyself off from dependence on raw materials. Save each year a fraction of income from cocoa and begin to build a huge chocolate manufacturing plant. Ask thy statisticians to compile figures of the meagre amounts your cocoa crop receives, as a contrast to the earnings of the chocolate makers in Europe and America. Add the earnings of the hedge fund operators; the short sellers; the entire spectrum of speculator brethren. Also compile figures of the enormous cost incurred in shipping raw cocoa and unprocessed timber logs. Take the figures to the G8 and the WTO. Convict them of sin. Verily, verily I say unto thee, just as Ruth pleaded with Boaz and was not denied, and Moses changed Pharaoh’s evil mind many a time, so wilt thou be helped to pluck thy people out of their economic morass, unto self-generating takeoff, to land on a level playing field, where the goalposts shall not be moved against thee, even as thou squareth up to score.
Educate thy children well, oh Mills. Stuff not your ears when experts tell thee a system will short-change them, or that another will produce illiterate graduates. Thou wast thyself a teacher; sift what was good from what was chaff when thou wast in it and apply the good to thy situation.
Thou hast travelled — to Canada, to England. Let thy mind remember what impressed thee most and apply it to thy home. It was never a shame to adopt and adapt the good practices of others. The Greeks learnt from the Egyptians and the Babylonians; and the Romans learnt from the Greeks. Each boat that landed on foreign shores gave something new to the people it found and took something from them. Thus it has ever been and thus it shall ever be. So go for it, oh Mills.
Finally, remember, oh Mills, that the Lord thy God is pure and keen on cleansing, and doth hate filth, dust and dirt. Make thy streets and thy gutters clean so that thy people may walk on the sidewalks without holding handkerchiefs to their noses. Create sidewalks where there be none.
Plant trees along thy boulevards, so that children and the old may find somewhere to rest when they walk in the hot sun. Create parks where people may just safely sit and dream. Give them clean toilets where they may relieve themselves. Build houses for the poor and turn the slums into nicely planned estates.
Trust the people, oh Mills. Always tell them the truth, embarrassing though it may be, and avoid spinning like Kwaku Anase. For Ananse’s spinning is self-defeating and ends in disgrace, which makes him to hide in the ceiling. Give the people the means — cement, building materials, expert advice — and they will do everything for themselves. For who desireth to live in surroundings where houses are so packed together that no air can blow between them? Where shacks of rusted corrugated iron and cardboard, pass for homes, and privacy is sacrificed on the altars of convenience and, or profit?
I end here, with greetings to thee and all those who honestly toil to help thee.
May your mind be opened and kept open; may your safety be assured against ambitious villains who see in thee an instrument for obtaining power and ill-gotten wealth. May thy health be preserved so that thy work may progress. Be thou the avenue for binding our ethnic wounds and marching us forward to the goal of national advancement. May God bless you.
Yours truly — “Yours Truly“!