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Today is your birthday, Your Excellency President John Dramani Mahama. Happy birthday MR President. I wish you a happy New year. May God bless your gentle person infinitely.

Since you are seeking another mandate from the good people of Ghana to continue to lead us in 2017, no birthday wish would be in order than to wish you the very best in your attempt to retain your seat as the president of the republic of Ghana. Good luck, sir.

It is my hope that your handlers would allow you to rest, enjoy your birthday with your family and count your blessings - but, sake of the hustle and tussle you have  called unto yourself to win the sovereignty of the populace, I know for sure, would not accord you the breathing space to enjoy this day.

I do know for a fact that, regardless your tight schedules, a moment would be made available to observe your 58th birthday. But what I do not know is that this  be the last one you celebrate before you become a former president or the one you celebrate to herald your second coming.

On my Facebook wall this morning, I uploaded one of your pictures and wished you a blissful day. I said you are my mentor, and added that I envy you because of your flair.... Omitting the day you lost some portions of your speech at your last address at an AU summit as the chairman of the AU !!! I  commensurate with you.

Some friends had issues with me, a constant critic of your administration and performance, envying you. Yes! I criticise your governance sometimes. No sooner had I posted about your birthday than a message popped up. "What about the president are you admiring?" A friend asked me via my inbox. My response to her was to wait for this article.

MR President, my admiration for you is borne out of the fact that you and I share a birth month. Legends, they say, are born in November. That is all. Other factors that contribute to this is how friendly you are. I reckon meeting you for the first time. It was in 2011 at Goaso in the Asunafo North municipality in the Brong Ahafo region. You were the vice president, then. A hand shake with you was so cool,to me.   I will not say you are charismatic, but you  have  that charming personality that can turn a foe into a friend without a word. You are difficult to be hated once a person gets closer to you. I believe your bewitchingly likable personality does that magic. But, unfortunately, all these nice words cannot be said about your government.

People have said your government is so corrupt. I beg to differ. If you can swim through this ooze of whether or not justified, cluster of questions about how;

I- How business man Alfred Agbesi Woyome legally or maliciously syphoned GHS 51.2K into his coffers as a judgement debt.

II- Kind courtesy Hon. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, the then Minister of Sports skied $3 million as winning bonuses and appearance fees to the camp of the Ghana Black Stars in Brazil whilst we had no funds for the local league in Ghana.

III- How we, as a country could not account for the collosal lumps of  GYEEDA and SADA monies, which was intended to support your own people," the Northerners" from poverty.

Your government did well in unraveling the repugnant rot in the National Service Scheme that has since seen a massive overhauling in the sector. Bravo! But is this all? There is more room for improvement, Sir.

My take on your administration is left for another day. Perhaps when your birthday is over.

Sir, I presume you want all eligible voters to exercise their franchise on December, 7 to give you a resounding victory, yet your government is not making that day a statutory holiday for the citizens. How?  I know 2nd December is a holiday in recognition of our gallant farmers. Did we not celebrate our farmers  in early November? What is the December 2 holiday seeking to achieve when the purpose of the holiday has already been observed?

My request to you on this special  day is for you to use your executive powers to make the day a holiday for us so that everyone eligible to cast their ballot are not disenfranchised. (Apologies to Hon.Sampson Ahi, member of Parliament for the people of Bodi).

Earlier this week,the Ghana Education Service (GES) in a press statement signed by the head of its Director of Public Relations, Rev. Jonathan Bettey posited that the elections day was not a holiday and should be observed as such by Ghanaians.

On the letter dated 25th November, 2016, the Reverend minister stated that: " It is to be noted that, Wednesday, 7th December, 2016 is not a holiday, therefore all teachers, educational workers are supposed to be at post after voting. "

The statement continued to say that " Pupils and students under 18 years are not expected to be in and around the polling stations across the country. " Alabraka!!

Omanpanyin, don't you see that this does not make sense?  You know majority of the over 28,000 polling stations across the country are at school premises, and that all teachers at those schools are eligible voters. So if a teacher stands in a queue for two hours before voting he/she still goes to school, What will the children be doing as their teacher stands in a queue?

Again, granted that the day is not declared a holiday,take for instance, a teller at a private bank. That person is required to be at work on time to serve customers. Even if the said bank or a private company for that matter, magnanimously declares a half day, roughly this person may close around I pm. Imagine if this person votes at Sampa in the Brong Ahafo Region, and would have to rush from Kumasi or Sunyani there before 5pm. It can get disturbing.

I, therefore, support those who have called on you to declare 7th December as a holiday.

Under section 2 of the Public Holidays Act, 2001 (Act 601), you may by Executive Instrument (EI) declare as a public holiday, a day other than the days specified as statutory public holidays in the Act.

By these, it makes sense to superimpose the 2nd December holiday on 7th December.

This is my humble wish on your birthday.

Once again, Omanpanyin, have a blessed birthday

The writer, Emmanuel Henryson Okrah, is a broadcast journalist and a reporter with Peace FM and
His email is

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