After observing Nana Akufo-Addo over a long period of time (before and during the coronavirus pandemic), I do not need anyone to tell me that Akufo-Addo has the attributes of a charismatic leader.
Charismatic leaders are noted for their positivism, idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation and individual consideration (Nemanich and Keller, 2007).
Some experts explain that idealised influence depicts charismatic leaders as most respectful, reliable and meritorious. And more idealised influence explains charismatic leaders' unmatched ability in setting vision and implementing it to impact on their subordinates (Bass et al., 2003).
On the other hand, inspirational motivation explains how charismatic leaders consistently raise team spirit and encourage their subordinates to be creative (Bass et al., 2003).
Dearest reader, if you may recall, during the 2016 electioneering campaign, the then presidential candidate of NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, insisted passionately: “I am promising you that within 18 months of a new government of the NPP, under my leadership, the face of our country, Ghana, is going to change”.
As a matter of fact, the preceding statement underscores President Akufo-Addo’s positivism, commitment and enthusiasm.
If you would also recollect, prior to the 2008, 2012 and 2016 general elections, the then presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, made the Free ‘SHS’ his principal campaign message.
As it was expected, the opposition NDC communicators scoffed and labelled him an inveterate liar.
Astonishingly, however, some unsuspecting Ghanaians, including my maternal uncle, Oliver bought into the NDC’s manipulating gimmicks and rejected the handsome offer of the Free SHS on two previous elections (2008 and 2012 respectively).
But lo and behold, discerning Ghanaians saw the light and gave the Free SHS provider, Nana Akufo-Addo the mandate on 7th December 2016.
True to his word, President Akufo-Addo has honoured his promise of the free SHS to the delight of the vast majority of Ghanaians. Apparently, it commenced in 2017/2018 academic year.
It is, therefore, worth stressing that the implementation of the Free SHS is the judicious way of distributing the national resources. It really epitomises a true leadership.
Leadership and management scholars observe that charismatic leaders act as role models, motivate, provide meaning, optimism, enthusiasm , strategic thinking and stimulate the intelligence of their subordinates(Bass, 1985).
If you would recollect, Akufo-Addo insisted during the 2016 electioneering campaign: “We are going to get out of stagnation and backwardness, and move our country onto the path of progress and prosperity. We can do it. We, the Ghanaian people, have the capacity to change the circumstances of our lives”.
The preceding statement really emphasises Nana Addo’s intellectual stimulation and positivism. Apparently, intellectual stimulation explains how true leaders promote their subordinates innovative and creative skills by encouraging them to solve problems entirely in new ways (Bass et al., 2003).
If you may also remember, during the 2016 electioneering campaign, Nana Akufo-Addo asserted: “This ‘new Ghana will be a Ghana with opportunities for all, and where everybody is taken care off. We will have a society that is caring and compassionate and expresses solidarity. Nobody is going to be left behind. We are all going to march together, hands linked together, to that great future that beckons us, here in Ghana.”
To his credit though, Nana Akufo-Addo brought all the people who contested him in the NPP’s flagbearership race together. Yes, he resolved all pre-election issues and worked collaboratively towards the 2016 election victory.
Following his election victory, President Akufo-Addo graciously assembled a working team consisting of people from all walks of life, including a 2016 presidential candidate from an opposition party.
This is indeed a leadership by example. In fact, Nana Akufo-Addo is ‘the Moses’ of our time.
Biblically, Moses was a charismatic leader. We read in Exodus that he was a shepherd – he had a modest, humble and patient upbringing. Moses employed his humility, patience and tolerance when he had the opportunity to speak to God. He kept watching as thousands of sheep grazed the fields. Moses noticed that one sheep was missing and went off to look for it, finding it at a distance apart.
When the sheep had finished drinking, Moses lifted it onto his shoulders and carried it back to the flock. When Jehovah God saw this, he became aware that Moses was a man of reason, empathy and selfless devotion, a man truly worthy to lead His people; a man who would put his empathetic qualities at the disposal of the needs of his subordinates. After all, no one was keeping an eye on Moses; Moses could easily have thought to himself, “why be concerned with one sheep when there are thousands”?
Fellow Ghanaians, I think it is about time we distinguished between a demagogue and a true leader. In this way, we would avert the apocalypse of our dear nation sinking deeper and deeper into the mire.
But the crucial question is: how do we stop backing the ‘semi-circle’ of economic managers?
To me, I’ll always choose a forward-thinking leader over a reckless Father Christmas who cannot take good care of our scarce resources.
Yes, we, (Ghanaians), took the right decision on 7th December 2016 by electing ‘the Moses’ of our time (Akufo-Addo) to rescue us from the economic bondage of the ‘Pharaoh’ of our time (Mahama).