By Margaret Jackson
There are some people who have vowed never to change or seek the truth, therefore, when events even do not seem favourable to them, they try to turn the scales in their favour either by force or foul means. With such people, when it is very expedient to them they would either try to make a dead horse look like a sizzling chariot or portray a junkie as a role model. The danger, therefore, emerges when the things such people say or write about go unchallenged leading the public to consume any garbage that they churn out.
Transformational leaders are known as people who are excellent role models who inspire their followers with their unimpeachable moral character. Such people in addition to enhancing the motivation, morale and performance of their followers, also go to greater heights to connect to the sense of identity of their adherents and challenge them to take superior ownership for their work, whilst understanding their strengths and weaknesses. Transformational leaders can be charismatic, but they are normally not cast in the mould of pure charismatic leaders.
Even though transformational leaders have some pluses, they also have some caveats or baggage that follows them. It is true that transformational leaders have loads of passion and confidence, but often times this passion and self confidence that transformational leaders trumpet can be erroneous for reality and truth. You would understand me better if you know who in Ghana exudes this over confidence traits and tries to deceive people into believing that if Ghana makes him the next president, he would turn the country into paradise overnight.
There are some transformational leaders who have enthusiastically led their people to achieve great things, but it is equally important to note that some of them have also led their people right over the abyss with their dismal performances after their followers have sold their trust in them. Ladies and gentlemen, because somebody believes he/she is right about something, does not mean they are right. Just because somebody says he believes in Ghana does not mean he is speaking the truth. Just because somebody says he has a can-do attitude does not mean he actually has it.
An unemployed Polish electrician, Lech Walesa, who eventually became President of Poland is regarded as one of the greatest transformational leaders of our time. This man unleashed a terrible blow to the former Soviet communism when a successful strike he led at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk led to the birth of the Solidarity trade union which went on to play a major role in the demise of communism across the Soviet bloc, changing the course of history in Europe forever.
Walesa who was very passionate in his belief that communism was a bad thing and must therefore be uprooted, won the Nobel peace prize in 1983, and also met Pope John Paul that same year for talks that received international headlines. Walesa and his Solidarity union which was backed by international governments of Britain and the United States put so much pressure on the then Polish government that it adopted a sweeping political and economic reforms which led to its first free elections in June 1989, which the Solidarity won majority seats in parliament. Walesa eventually ran and won the newly re-established office of President of Poland in 1990 and presided over the transformation from communism to the market economy.
I would like readers to take just a little note. Walesa did not wait until he became President of Poland before putting his vision in scope. This electrician with little formal education, seized upon the moment of the day to do something for his people. It is therefore, important to point out that anybody who aspires for the higher office of the land must perform exceedingly well in the little areas they find themselves, in order to use that performance as a benchmark for higher office.
Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, the man with the best hidden dark secret which when unleashed to the Ghanaian public can sink and reduce him to a common robber, wrote an article expounding the credentials of Nana Akufo-Addo, NPP’s flagbearer for the 2012 elections. Read what Gabby wrote: “I have been tracking Akufo-Addo’s leadership path over the last 35 years and from a proximate vantage point over the last 10 years. What jumps at any such observer is his unwavering, principled patriotism and an incurable conviction that Ghana can and must achieve much more than what it hitherto has managed.”
Very well said. Principled patriotism is a good lingo to describe Akufo-Addo if only it was a true statement. But I would like to ask Gabby who I would personally take on and expose to Ghanaians on what he did during his youthful days in the UK, that is it patriotism for Akufo-Addo, whose party is the patriotic party, to fail to prosecute three ladies of his party who were arrested under his watch whilst attempting to smuggle narcotics out of the country? Gabby, is it a principled act for Akufo-Addo to sit down for the docket on these three NPP criminals to vanish into thin air under his watch? I would like to find out if Akufo-Addo has decided to wait until he becomes president before prosecuting these three NPP women? Gabby, since you have known Akufo-Addo for well over 35 years as a principled patriot, can you provide Ghanaians with an answer?
Now hear Gabby again, writing about his relative, Akufo-Addo. “His belief in Ghana has proven true for 35 years. Whether in fighting against dictatorship, or defending the rights of the Ghanaian in court, or organising his party or promoting Ghana’s interest abroad.” Has Akufo-Addo been defending the Ghanaian in court? What was his position in the country when 44 Ghanaians were butchered in the Gambia? He was the Foreign Minister when these Ghanaians were killed in cold blood. But what did Akufo-Addo do? Nothing. He looked the other way until the NDC government came to power and pursued the matter leading to the compensation of $500,000 to the families of the affected victims.
Gabby also talked about Akufo-Addo promoting the interest of Ghana abroad. I would have loved to hear him elaborate on that because when the chips settle down you will rather find out that Akufo-Addo indeed tarnished the image of Ghana to the international community when he was the Attorney General and Minister of Justice. When the NPP member of Parliament for Nkoranza North, Eric Amoateng was arrested in the United States on drug charges, was Akufo-Addo not part of the NPP gang who initiated a bill in parliament that would have enabled Ghanaians in foreign prisons to be repatriated home to serve their sentences in Ghana? Was the bill not a face saving act for Amoateng who was reputed to be one of the financiers of the NPP? Whose interest was Akufo-Addo seeking, Ghana or Amoateng? You be the judge.
Talk, they say is cheap, therefore, you can never equate free speech to real actions on the ground. Gabby quoted some speeches given by Akufo-Addo as evidence of his hunger for the transformation of Ghana. I pity Gabby, because when Akufo-Addo headed the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs what transformation did he bring to those ministries. If I were Gabby I would have gone to those ministries to find out the good things Akufo-Addo did when he headed those places instead of using mere speeches to promote his man.
I was appalled when Gabby again wrote this: “Nana Addo stands out as one African leader who, soaked in the full sense of our history and driven by a strong vision of what we are capable of, has his finger on the pause of the situation and solution. His hunger for transformation is inspiringly phenomenal.” What has Akufo-Addo so accomplished in Ghana for him to be regarded as an African leader? Does Gabby know who qualifies to be an African leader? Even on the shores of Ghana Akufo-Addo’s accomplishments come short. If Gabby thinks being a part of demonstrations to protest against injustices makes Akufo-Addo an African leader, then he is dead wrong. African leadership is not born out of mere “Two boi”.
Gabby in that quote also stated that Akufo-Addo has his finger on the pause of the situation and solution. Haba, is Akufo-Addo God? If indeed this man has his finger on the pause of the situation and solution to Ghana’s problems, NPP would never have gone into opposition. I strongly believe Akufo-Addo would have assisted Kufour with that so-called gift to transform Ghana.
I would like Gabby to note this carefully; transformational leaders who have emerged in the world are normally not violent people. They do not urge people to spill their blood in order to see them in power. They do not urge their followers to use every means available to see them achieve their dreams. They do not incite the public to adopt chaotic tendencies as Akufo-Addo has been doing. A good transformational leader would never go to the Volta Region and accuse them of voting one way. Transformational leaders rally people around them, assist them to overcome their weaknesses whilst helping them to build on their strengths.
Next time if Gabby wants to talk about Akufo-Addo he should highlight his achievements rather than speeches because speeches alone does not make somebody transformational. Ghana needs leaders who will come on board, be on top of issues and assist communities to develop. When we talk about transformation, it means bringing water to communities that have none. It means constructing roads to open up the country to commerce and industry. It also means bringing electricity to the rural areas and also constructing drains and gutters to curtail the situation where any downpour brings untold misery to many communities.
Is Gabby aware of what massive transformation Ghana is going to get from the $3 Billion Chinese loan to finance agreed Infrastructure Development Projects under the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda? The loan would be used for the development of the oil/gas pipeline and processing plant, Takoradi harbor and Volta basin/ coastal landing sites, Accra Plains Irrigation, and Takoradi to Kumasi railway line. This is what we call bringing transformation to the doorstep of the ordinary man, because many unemployed people would get gainful employment through the disbursement of the loan facility.
Therefore, to take Gabby back to the classroom, I would like him to note that transformation has nothing to do with going round and promising the moon to Ghanaians when you do not elaborate on where you are going to get the money from. It also has nothing to do with telling Ghanaians that you are the only one with the magic wand to turn the country into paradise when your numbers does not add up and you have never excelled in any portfolio you have held in the country. Yes, it has nothing to do with doing “big talk” when you know that you do not have the capability to transform the country but only want the presidency to boost your ego and credentials. Finally, I want to tell Gabby that Ghanaians are wide awake and can therefore easily separate the wheat from the chaff.