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Leadership as Simply Defined, Yet It Remains ...

Sat, 21 Jul 2007 Source: Obenewaa, Nana Amma

... a Scarce Commodity in 21st Century Ghanaian Politics

Any nation that is addicted to borrowing for its survival, and seeks external validation, amid catalogues of policy failures, and developmental misfortunes, creates a state in name only. This little piece is my way of demystifying the contention that a true leader is one who supervises a smooth transitioning of power. Personally, I think that a smooth transition of power of is not a sufficient proof of good leadership. A leader is one who leads, and not rule. A true leader is one who understands the complexity that attends the governing of a nation’s with eclectic ethnic interests, and divided loyalties, yet sees the moral essentiality in weaving a divided nation into one big multi-ethnic quilt.

A true leader is one who understands the changing field of international diplomacy and politics, and is in tune with policies that generate productive outcomes for his/her nation-state. A true leader is one who is ready, and willingness to take an unpopular position on issues that s/he feels are morally justified, and ought to be enforced at any cost.


A true leader is one who is prepared to take on the challenge, when necessary, to sacrifice his/her own as a way of demonstrating his/her commitment to law and order in the face of resurging sanity and corruption. A true leader is one who sees, and takes measured comfort in seeing his/her nation grow. S/he rejects arrogance, and enjoys modesty in the face of unparallel feats.


A true leader is one who embraces piety and frugality, and chides needless material acquisitions. He is one who stands tall, and takes the moral highroad, and in his/her wake creates a feeling of nostalgia in the conscience of the nation. Among many of the world’s leaders, Fidel Castro Ruz, Nwalimu Julius Nyerere, Kofi Nwia Ngoloma (i.e. Kwame Nkrumah) the Dalai Lama, and Madiba Rolihlahla Mandela are the unique individuals who fall under true leadership.


Putting the above in context, Ghana lacks true leaders. What we have instead are; a class of political entrepreneurs and scandalous characters with acquisitive mastery in script and mood-altering political speeches. Some of our nation’s leaders are untested political amateurs schooled in rudimentary political thought. They take pleasure in in using indigenous abstract theories to sedate the agitated public to extend their tenure in office. My moral question is: can the Ghanaian public be absolved from the kinds of leaders that our nation produces? Are our leaders not products of the Ghanaian environment?


Jumping the partisan marshlands to point faulting fingers at our leaders is not the most effective prescription to undoing our nation’s daily struggles. As a nation, we have pawned our conscience and voice for a buck. We have allowed governments’ policies to go unscrutinized, and instead, cultivated an obsession with meaningless party motifs. Like the Plebeians of Caesar’s years, we lack criticality and intuition. We accept unwholesome policies as a problems-eradication package. Sadly, but truly, our partisan loyalty has overshadowed our sense of postcolonial patriotism and historical communalism.

The concept of leadership must not be consigned to those who occupy the upper levels of political power. We are all leaders in our own right. Individually, we constitute part(s) of the whole, and we can make our presence felt at the grassroots by committing to meaningful ways to effect needed changes at the grassroots.


Against prevailing beliefs, politics is not the only way to establish one’s leadership. There are many other mediums that we could use to help our nation regain her place in the community of civilized nations. Among them, we can initiate programs without waiting for instructions from our nation’s detached political overlords. Let’s give hope to the hopeless. Let’s help preserve the rights of the voiceless. History is never lenient to unruly political leaders whose perception of governance is founded on a deformed philosophy that marginalizes the “exotic” other, and punishes them for their political leanings.


Good day and cheers.



Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.


Columnist: Obenewaa, Nana Amma