Resignation? An alien word to the Ghanaian!

Sun, 6 Jul 2014 Source: Allotey, Henry Kpakpo

Stephen Keshi, a Nigerian soccer coach led an ordinary Nigerian squad to clinch the African Cup of Nations trophy in South Africa. He then led the same team to Brazil where the team was kicked out of the 1/16th stage by soccer powerhouse France. Barely 24 hours later Stephen Keshi resigned his position as Coach of the Super Eagles team. This is what I call a man with deep principles!

Thabo Mbeki, an anti-apartheid hero with Nelson Mandela became the President of South Africa after Mandela. Barely two years into his second term he resigned his position and handed power over to his deputy Jacob Zuma because he lost majority of his support in the A.N.C party. Thabo Mbeki resigned when he saw the support was no more there. He qualifies as a man with deep principles!

Richard Nixon, a deeply popular American President was fingered in the Watergate scandal. Seeing that impeachment was imminent, he honorably resigned his position as president. No matter what you think of Richard Nixon, the man resigned when he saw that there was no hope for his presidency. He never saw the need to hang on and fight to a disgraceful end!

Pope Clement IV shocked the world when he resigned his position as pontiff of the powerful Catholic Church. The first in over 200 years! The reason for his resignation has not been clear cut but it’s been speculated that it has a lot to do with his ill health. You catch my drift? Despite being the most powerful religious leader in the world with a following of over 1 billion adherents, Pope Clement resigned when his health couldn’t sustain him anymore! This is a man of honor! A man of deep principles!

In the West and other advance countries, resignation is common place. A political figure can easily resign over mundane things like accusation of infidelity, bribery, tasteless remark or any other thing that is deem unacceptable by his or her people. They do not see any position as their bona fide property which they have to tenaciously hang on even though their circumstance does not support it. That is a superior mind at play!

Contrast these scenarios to how Ghanaians, especially those in leadership positions view resignations. I will give you some examples.

Before the 2008 elections, rumor started flying that Professor J.E.A Mills, the N.D.C candidate was sick and cannot survive in office. His own party member and an MP for Lower Manya Krobo, Michael Teye Nyaunu raised the issue of Professor Mills health at the forecourt of parliament. As is the custom, hirelings of Professor Mills strenuously denied his sick state and insisted the man was well. Professor Mills then went ahead to win the 2008 election.

The rumor of his ill state persisted throughout his presidency. There were visible signs of his sick state, he grew lean, his voice became nasal and he at a point lost his memory! Still, his appointees insisted the man was well and even went ahead to endorse him for a second term in office! Sadly, nature wouldn’t allow itself to be cheated so Professor Mills died in office! The first for a Ghanaian president in history!

What were the lessons? Maybe if Professor Mills had resigned from office to take care of his health, probably he will still be living till today but no! the trappings of political power goaded him on to tenaciously hang on to power and unfortunately he had to pay the ultimate price with his life! Have we learnt any lessons? Read on!

Coach Kwesi Appiah was unanimously acclaimed as the Black Stars Coach after serving as assistant coach under two foreign coaches. Per our standard, he was given a lucrative contract of $20,000 a month with all the perks that comes with his position. Has coach Kwesi Appiah performed? Just look at the records!

Coach Kwesi Appiah had led the team to two African cup of Nations which we have underperformed badly. After reaching the finals in Angola, Ghana was expected to lift the cup in Equatorial Guinea but we got kicked out in the Semifinals. He again faltered in South Africa when we again got kicked out in the Semifinals. Then he was given a contract to qualify the nation to the world cup and improve on Ghana’s performance in the last world cup by reaching the Semifinals in Brazil. While he qualified the nation to the world cup, Ghana’s performance at the world was not only shambolic, it was disgraceful! We lost two matches and drew one, our worst performance in world cup history!

Will Kwesi Appiah resign after performing abysmally in his role as coach of Ghana? Kwesi Appiah could not fulfil the terms of his contract so he should have resigned by now but no! The man says he will not resign today or tomorrow! He says what happened in South Africa was not his fault and he has laid out plans for the future! This is Ghana for you! Losers will hang on to their position till they are forced out of power!

Look at Ghanaian politicians. How many have resigned from their position for non-performance? Richard Anane, a former minister of health under Kuffour attended an AIDS conference and managed to get one of the female participants pregnant! He then channeled huge sums of money in maintaining the pregnancy and his illegitimate son. Richard Anane committed adultery while on official duty yet tenaciously held on to his position till he was asked to temporarily step aside by Kuffour till after the investigation by CHRAJ.

Look at the Finance Minister of Ghana! It is clear the man is not cut for the job and various stakeholders have called on the president to sack him. Time and time again the president has riposte confidence in him despite the worsening economy situation in the country. In some countries, the finance minister would have resigned by now but in Ghana, unless pushed, he will still be in post till thy kingdom come!

Look at the energy minister! Ghana is witnessing the worst power crisis in the nation’s history. Erratic power supply, massive fuel shortages etc yet the energy minister is still at post and will never resign! He draws his salary and enjoys his perks despite the fact that ordinary Ghanaians have to queue for hours and days to buy fuel! This is Ghana for you! Incompetence is rewarded and losers are worshipped!

Why is it so difficult for the Ghanaian leader to resign when situations don’t favour him or her? Because we are corrupted by political power! We are too corrupt and have no principles as a people! We are first of all enmeshed in the trappings of political patronage we think resigning will rob us of that privilege. That is our mindset! The Ghanaian will never resign even when all circumstances are against him or her till he is pushed! That is the Ghanaian for you!

Henry K Allotey



Columnist: Allotey, Henry Kpakpo