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Opinions of Friday, 20 July 2012

Columnist: Atta-Boakye, Ken

Leaders of high Value and Integrity are needed.

Ghana is in a gargantuan turmoil because of the lack of integrity among people elected to serve in high positions. Public servants have placed emphasis on their own survival and success as against the interest of those they are supposed to serve. Thus, these elected public leaders and government officials happen to do well for themselves and their families while others live in obscure poverty and misery. These leaders are financially successful because of the state monies they misappropriate. They have no remorse for the system they corrupt to be successful. Such success is thievery and does not command respect and dignity. Their selfish actions create misery for others. As leaders, they should learn to understand the difference between being successful and being valuable.
Albert Einstein couldn’t have said it any better: “Try not to be a man of success but rather a man of value”. People of value and integrity leave their vision on mankind even after they have passed away. The leaders do not place their needs over and above their vision. Hence, they live by the code and ethics of the job at their workplaces. They are viewed as assets to the job and a vacuum is created in their absence. This is what is required of our future leaders of today and that should be the long term objective in the schools.
Our Movement, Project Citizen aims at training students to be valuable from the school. Their goodwill attitude will also be demonstrated in the communities through the various activities they embark on. The activities include voluntary projects, communal labor, sanitation, health care, diabetes and High Blood Pressure screening. Most people suffer from diabetes: the killer disease, but are unaware of the necessary medication, diet, and exercise. Additionally, the students will interact with the rural folks and share with them ideas to improve upon their livelihood. These would eventually make the students valuable and useful to their communities. Our objective is to make Project Citizen a national agenda and to be accepted in all colleges and tertiary institutions. This reminds me of my days in college when I was a member of the National Voluntary Organization. We built the Pokukrom Clinic in Ashanti Region in 1975.
A list of values that might be important to work on may include: family, community, social, and national. All these would sharpen their morals and lead to making responsible citizens fulfilling the tenets of Civic education.
Ghana is in need of leaders of high moral character who can steer the affairs of the nation to fulfill the promise made at Independence - Freedom and Justice. Right now, the stakes are too high with numerous corruptions to succeed. We need to make a “U-Turn” and go into the schools to train future leaders who can be trusted. Let us do something now to solve the problems rather than waiting for the next generation to accuse us for our ignorance and inaction. The judgment debt issues are staggering, damaging and incredible. It is funny how our leaders rush to settle cases outside the court without exhaustively putting all legal minds together. Isn’t it for personal “kickbacks and cuts?” If I’m wrong correct me. Where is their integrity and morality? Or that is their so-called good faith act? They have to change and to do the right things. It is not too late to change. Please, decide candidly and accordingly.
In conclusion, I suggest that the government should team up with National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), and under their umbrella of Project Citizen introduce Civic Education in the schools to train future leaders of high moral character. This is what our motherland, Ghana needs for the next decade and beyond.
(This article is an extract from the Study Guide Book of Campaign to Promote Civic Education in Ghana) Please, share your thoughts.
Ken Atta-Boakye
(703 986-8438)