On 7th December 2016, Ghanaians went to the polls to elect a new leader. It was a time where our democracy was put to test once again amidst political unrests in some African countries. Ghana once again proved to the world that, when it comes to conducting peaceful elections which is an integral part of democracy, she can be counted amongst the crème de la crème.
December 7th, 2016 also provided an opportunity for the ordinary Ghanaian to prove to politicians what sort of development they want.
Ghanaians proved to the politician that when it comes to development, they’d rather prioritize their quality of life over humongous infrastructural projects.
Ghanaians also proved to politicians that their conscience and “kokromoti power” (the power of the thumb) is priceless and cannot be substituted for a pittance.
The popular saying that “Whatever a man can do, a woman can do better” was brought to life and given credence to in our democratic history as a result of Charlotte Osei’s (Electoral Commissioner of Ghana) stellar performance in the conduct of this year’s election. This is a woman who was placed in a predominantly male-oriented position and as expected, she faced a herculean resistance especially from the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP). She has been vilified on several occasions as a result of some of her actions and inactions and on some occasions, her competence was questioned based on her gender. Amidst all these, she kept her head up as DJ Khaled would say and delivered on the “King making” mandate bestowed on her by the 1992 constitution of Ghana.
On Friday 9th December 2016, the electoral commissioner of Ghana Charlotte Osei declared Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo winner of the 2016 presidential elections with 53.85% of the votes as against President John Mahama’s 44.40%. This is a significant turnaround for Nana Addo considering the 2012 elections result where he polled 47.7% of the valid votes as against President John Mahama’s 50.7%.
Change has indeed come to Ghana in terms of government and I believe it is the wish of every Ghanaian that this change will reflect in their quality of life and enhance Ghana’s prospects of being counted among the list of developed nations.
The big question is, what sort of leader should our president- elect be, to effect this change? From my point of view, I’d delve into the pack of wolves and suggest he having some traits of an Alpha and on some occasions, a lone wolf.
An Alpha is the leader of the pack. It makes the decisions and takes the most responsibilities in the community. Alphas are natural leaders. An alpha is a wolf that went against the odds, turned his back on his community and dared to walk alone in the wilderness until he found a suitable place to establish a family or community of his own. The alpha commands authority and reeks of strength. This is very important because, when wolves in a pack sense weakness in an alpha, a stronger wolf will sometimes come out to fight the leader. If it wins, it takes the leader’s mantle and becomes the new alpha.
Ghana needs a leader who is assertive, visionary, thick-skinned and has the mental fortitude to turn the fortunes of this nation for the better considering the state the nation is in now. The era of ministerial appoints being doled out on the basis of ethnic affiliation, family ties and friendship has to come to an end.
The president is the leader of this nation and no more the leader or flagbearer of his party. He has to resist the temptation to kowtow to pressures from his party to give some individuals appointments based on roles they played to grant him victory rather than prioritizing competence. He has to always prioritize Ghana over his political party. President Mahama is currently paying the price for kowtowing to party pressure when he granted the famous “Montie trio” presidential pardon after the Supreme Court of Ghana handed them a four months’ prison term each for contempt after threatening the lives of judges of the superior court. This should be a great lesson to the incoming Akufo-Addo led administration.
The incoming president should also not make short term decisions usually coterminous with their terms of office and aimed at attracting votes. My observation about previous governments since I became discerning, is they implement policies to credit themselves and sometimes isn’t in the interest of Ghanaians at large and posterity to come. The only way to salvage the current state of this nation is to implement stringent and drastic measures which I believe is Nana Addo’s call to make.
There are times when Ghanaians would be unhappy with some of his genuine decisions because it might not favor them at that moment. They’d surely threaten to vote him out of power but he still has to be impervious to these threats and make the tough call for posterity sake.This is when he’d have to be like a lone wolf. There are times when leaders have audacious visions that their followers can’t even have a glimpse of so they become cynical and skeptical. The visionary leader still has to be led by his/her vision. This might cost him/her the leadership position, it will definitely not cost that leader his/her integrity and legacy.
Finally, president-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo should always remember, the ordinary Ghanaian is now more discerning and smart like never before. They cannot be taken for granted neither can their intelligence be played on. “the Kokromoti Power” (power of the thumb) has no expiry date, unlike his executive power. After all is said and done, in four years’ time Ecclesiastes 5:5 “It is better not to make a promise than to make one and not keep it” will stare him right in his face. The prospects of him being mentioned among the likes of Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela lies in his hands. With the guidance of the almighty God and his commitment to Ghana, we can make Ghana work again as he envisages.
I end by asking “What sort of leader do you think president Nana Akufo-Addo should be?
Image Source: The Official Facebook page of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.