History is littered with catastrophic consequences of choosing a bad leader, and such poor judgements have had serious negative impact on the destinies of some nations, ruining them beyond recovery. Understanding the traits of poor leaders can help us as a nation to avoid such leadership pitfalls.
The Economist Magazine beautifully captured this leadership problem in a cover story for its March 1, 2014 edition: “WHAT IS GONE WRONG WITH DEMOCRACY?” It reads: certainly many things are going wrong with democracy; chief among these is the insatiable quest of politicians, especially opposition elements to capture power at all costs, most often to the detriment of the very country they claim to love and want to serve.
According to the Economist, in most cases, when the opposition obtain power at all costs, the new regime stumbles, the economy flounders, and the country finds itself in a state at least as bad as it was before. It went on to say that the picture painted here was what happened in much of the Arab Spring, and also in Ukraine’s Orange Revolution more than a decade ago. In 2004, Mr. Yanukovch was ousted from office by vast street protests, only to be re-elected to the presidency because the opposition who replaced him turned out to be just as hopeless.
Those who think Nana Akufo-Addo has something good for this dear country of ours are wrong. Dead wrong. Absolutely wrong. There is sufficient reason to think that he is not a good leader and this calls for discreetness on the part of the electorate as far as choices are concerned in the upcoming presidential election; and I will prove it.
Leadership is all about relationships – growing trusts, building teams and utilising excellent interpersonal skills. Leaders pay a high price for ignoring the important process of building healthy relationships, and this is where my uncle, Nana Akufo -Addo has a serious problem. He couldn’t work with those who disagree with him: his Chairman, General Secretary and 2nd Vice Chairman were forced out of their offices at the party’s headquarters at Adarbraka by his private security, the Invincible Forces.
We don’t need a prophet to tell us that his hostile and vindictive nature towards perceived opponents will reflect in witch-hunting if he becomes president. This is what Kofi Koomson a staunch supporter of the NPP and a bosom friend of the flag bearer of the largest opposition party in Ghana said, “No, no, no, it’s not safe…I cannot sleep with my eyes closed with Akufo-Addo as president.
Attacks on journalists will curtail freedom of expression if he is given the opportunity. In December 2012, supporters of the NPP brutally assaulted innocent journalists and destroyed their equipment in protestation of the 2012 general elections, which the Electoral Commission declared in favour of H.E. John Dramani Mahama.
The assaulted journalists including reporters from TV3, Multimedia Group Limited and Metro TV, sustained varying degrees of injury. The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) issued a statement condemning those uncilised attacks.
It is perceived that the control of his administration by the Akyem Mafia will breed impunity in governance, and in support of this, kindly read the response Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, the MP for Bimbila and Deputy Minority Leader in Parliament gave to a statement Mr. Gabby Okyere-Darko made about a year ago:
“Gabby has done Akufo-Addo the greatest disservice by running down NPP MPs. Do you know what I went through when I raised the Merchant Bank and SADA issues? The same NPP big men were sent to beg me….” This is not good for our party. Gabby says we are sleeping…we developed the strategy with Nana…we are behind what is happening with the Pension Fund….We developed a strategy of the Pension/Strikes with Nana and the Steering Committee….He should go and ask Nana before coming to insult us….Gabby is chasing the Elephant into the sea….”
Kikikikikiki, do you want more? Please just relax, I’m just warming up. Fila dey paa. I had decided not to talk adversely about my uncle again because we both drink from the River Birim, but what has made me livid is his attack on my JM that he is a bad leader. He said this during the 3rd day of his Greater Accra Region tour at the Trobu Constitution not too long ago. This has pushed me to prove to him that he is nowhere near President Mahama when it comes to leadership qualities. Please brace yourself for more bombshells.
The Association of the NPP’s flag bearer with drug barons will derail our effort in the fight against narcotics if he becomes president. A few months after Nana Akufo-Addo took over as the Foreign Minister in the Kuffour administration, more than 50 diplomatic passports got missing from the strong safe of his fifth floor office; and it is believed that those passports got into the hands of some drug barons.
In a related issue, an NPP activist and a lawyer, Dede Djaba in an interview with Amansam FM in the UK last year, claimed that Nana Akufo Addo has in the past been arrested at the Heathrow Airport on drug related offenses, and challenged him to deny the allegations. Hear her, “Nana was my friend I worked for him, believed in him until I got closer and found out what I do know today.” Interestingly, it’s more than a year now, and Nana has not come out to deny this allegation — his silence on this is very worrying to most Ghanaians.
Like a foundation for any well-constructed house, good management is the core foundation for leadership effectiveness, and this is another area my dear uncle has woefully failed. Few months ago, in a press conference dubbed, The True State of the NPP by Save NPP Now, a group which comprise loyalists, supporters, Polling Station Executives, Constituency Executives, Regional Executives, National Executives and grass root members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) both in Ghana and abroad made staggering revelations about the rot in the largest opposition party in Ghana.
The group led by Baah Acheamfour stated that the flag bearer of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo who has been accusing the Mahama government of corruption, wilfully and without hesitation endorsed the diversion of party funds amounting to over five million Ghana Cedis into a secret Ecobank account.
The group created a gloomy picture of some of the happenings in their party to the effect that it is more expensive to maintain the extravagant lifestyle of their flag bearer than maintaining the party’s machinery at the grassroots. “The flag bearer has successfully created a situation where his personal needs and expenses take priority over the operational needs of the party,” said Mr. Acheamfour.
“Quite recently, there was a fundraising activity undertaken at the Kumasi Sports Stadium in the Ashanti Region. It will interest Ghanaians to know that in effect, all the funds that have accrued to the party, running into tens of millions of Ghana Cedis, and how they have been used has been shrouded in mystery and secrecy. Any attempt by any member of the party to ask legitimate accountability questions is always met with insults, threats and intimidations. How can Nana Akufo-Addo expect Ghanaians to take him serious when he is so opposed to any form of accountability as far as the utilization of NPP party funds are concerned?” He continued.
It is for these reasons why many believe that poor management of party funds by Akufo-Addo will result in poor handling of our nation’s resources if voted as president. There would be no transparency.
Again, Nana Akufo-Addo is not well informed, and unfortunately has no capacity and skills to cross check or verify topical issues. This has over the period manifested in those inaccurate accusations, eg, cost of projects, debt stock, false promises, etc.
In one such instance, he goofed in mentioning the rank of the Late DCOP Angwubutoge Awuni in his statement to bid the late Police Officer farewell. He stated his rank as “ACP” instead of “DCOP”. This is what he wrote, “Saddened by the news of ACP Awuni’s death. Condolences to his family; may he rest in peace. Ghana has lost a fine principled Police Officer.”
In another instance, he embarrassed himself by making false and uninformed claims about the cost of the Kasoa Interchange Project without recourse to any evidence. Interestingly, it took a member of his own party to point to him that he was wrong.
A former Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly boss and a leading member of the NPP, Mr. Maxwell Kofi Jumah scathingly attacked the UK over Allotey Jacob’s “arrest” by calling its High Commissioner to Ghana a fool on NEAT FM’s morning show, “Ghana Muntie”. This is what he said, “So, if Britain wants someone as a High Commissioner to Ghana, must they appoint a fool like Jon Benjamin as their commissioner to Ghana? That man is a fool.”
In another development, the Deputy General Secretary of the NPP, Nana Obiri Boahene attacked the US early this year for bringing two Guatanamo Bay ex-detainees to Ghana. According to a Ghanaweb story dated Monday 25, January 2016, Nana Obiri Boahene said that the two ex-detainees will vanish if the NPP comes to power. These attacks will send our country on the wrong side of international relations if Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP are given the opportunity to rule.
One other alchemy of ingredient that help in leadership is vitality; something I will grade Nana Akufo-Addo 1 on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest. He was caught on television cameras sleeping soundly at the Dr. JB Dankwah 50th Anniversary Celebration, and also during the State of the Nation Address last year,
This uncontrollable sleeping in public will make us a laughing stock if he becomes president. The most serious problem about this is that no one will have the courage to keep him awake in public. An example is the Kasoa incident where he was fast asleep at the back seat of his car and no one could wake him up when his supporters wanted to have a glimpse of him. Kikikikikiki, can you wake the boss up? Who born dog?
In conclusion, I wish to state that the poor understanding of the current strategy of President John Dramani Mahama will send this nation back 20 years if we make the mistake of choosing Nana Akufo-Addo. Let’s not repeat what has cost some other nations dearly.
Col. Qaddaffi achieved the following under his rule: Literacy rose from 10% to 90%; undernourishment was at 2%, a figure lower than that of the US, free education from primary to university and free healthcare. Libya ranked No. 53 on the United Nations index of Human Development. He gave free land and seeds to anyone who wanted to farm. There was no homelessness since all citizens were given free homes and $500 deposited in the bank accounts of every Libyan every month under the oil- revenue sharing programme.
Even though some Libyans jubilated when Qaddaffi was killed, reminiscing the good old days, they have regretted the action that led to the overthrow and killing of their great leader because Libya has now collapsed. I don’t think this is what we want to happen to Ghana.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United State of America, had this to say during his First Inaugural Address on March 4, 1933:
“In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunk to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; and the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone. More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence, and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.”
So, you see, economic challenges in countries are not unwonted and does not make a leader incompetent. The important thing is how to deal with the challenges; and this goes with a high-end, cutting-edge, bold and decisive leadership. Unfortunately, leaders of this kind and type are rare; and they come once a while in generations. It is for this reason why we have to thank God for President John Dramani Mahama, his Transformational Agenda is clearly visible. Ghana is rising!
Anthony Obeng Afrane