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General News of Sunday, 17 May 2015

Source: tv3network.com

Lack of leadership direction motivated my entry into politics - Andah

Renowned Marketer turned politician, George Andah, says the seeming "lack of direction in leadership" in governing the country, is one of the underlining factors that motivated his entry into Ghana's political scene at this moment in time.

Some have suggested the new crop of successful young men may be entering politics merely for financial security and may not make any critical changes for the benefit of the masses.

The affable and articulate young corporate executive acknowledged by his peers, however noted that his entry into politics at this time is far from the above and also inconsequential because it had been his idea in the future to veer into politics.

Mr. Andah made these assertions in a grueling interview on TV3's Hot Issues programme hosted by seasoned journalist Kwesi Pratt Junior every midday on Saturdays.

Mr. Andah's entry into politics has become a subject of discussion and controversy because he emerged from a supposed apolitical pressure group, Occupy Ghana, largely made up of elite individuals.

His decision to vie for a parliamentary seat in the Afutu Senya West Constituency on the ticket of the opposition New Patriotic Party, has raised questions about the objectivity of the Occupy Ghana group of which he still remains a notable member.

Political opponents particularly in the incumbent National Democratic Congress, have suitably concluded the group cannot absolve itself of a partisan link to the NPP, a claim Mr. Andah and his colleagues have vehemently denied and insisted that the group is objective and only remains committed to championing the interest of Ghana and not any party.

Mr. George Andah told Kwesi Pratt that one of the vital factors for launching a political career at this point in time was because of a ''lack of direction in leadership and his quest to make a meaningful change when given the opportunity.

"I think there is one that sums it all; there is a lack of leadership direction. I think like Dr. Otabil (Renowned pastor) said, there is the need for a change in leadership direction in this country; And if you look at the different arms of Government, the one that widely represents the people is Parliament. So I believe I have some skills and competencies that I can put to bear to help shape the direction of leadership in this country. I am not saying that I have any magic but sometimes you need some newness to fire up the whole system; so that's one of the attributes that I bring".

"There is a lot that we see going wrong in this country and for long we've sat on the fence hoping that things will happen or change but I believe that there comes a time you need to get off the fence and go on the frontline of the activity and get out of your comfort zone".

"I believe that what we are experiencing in Ghana is not the best we can offer. I don't see my children surviving in this country. I don't see myself at 80 years being happy if the state of affairs continues as it is now. Being in Parliament is one way of changing it and that's why I have chosen it. I believe that Parliament is one of the places where I can make the most impact at this stage of my life"

Mr. Pratt then asked what had changed substantially under the leadership of the current NDC administration from the NPP leadership in the past that makes him talk about a lack of leadership direction.

" I think when you go on the street and talk to people you can feel their pulse; you can sense the frustration and feel their pain. And I think that even people in government have admitted that we are going through some harsh times. If you take the power crisis, for instance, if we had planned properly we wouldn't have been at this point. If you look at last year's depreciation of the cedi, it wouldn't have gotten to that point with proper leadership. We eventually reversed it but it wouldn't have taken that longer.

“We talk about corruption or the perception of it and clearly there are weak systems and structures that make it attractive for people to be corrupt. I think for ourselves as a society we also seem to be encouraging and recognizing corrupt people. And I believe that the fixing of the problem starts with leadership and this is the kind of change that we want and deserve as Ghanaians".

Mr. Andah is advocating a new form of politicking that focuses much on the needs of the citizenry before, during and after elections.

"We should realize that power belongs to the citizens; it doesn't mean that when the politicians are elected the citizens are supposed to be forgotten or the politicians think the citizens have a poor memory and so we can do everything that we want and when it comes to elections we pump in projects and put in money and buy peoples' votes. We need to stand up now and start making that conscious effort. We can say that it's just about leadership but if we also don't do our bit and we keep sitting on the fence nothing will change".

Mr. Andah in explaining further what he meant by a lack of leadership direction in the current governance system said, "We are talking about a lot of fundamental changes. A fundamental change in terms of leadership direction, fighting corruption, commitment to providing sufficient energy to drive industry in Ghana, fundamental change in terms of providing good quality education in Ghana, fundamental change in terms of social services, fundamental change in terms of health, fundamental change in terms of systems and structures to make Ghana work. And in all these areas we have question marks".

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