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General News of Thursday, 25 August 2016

Source: peacefmonline.com

Mahama’s leadership style to earn him victory - Prof. Boukary-Martinson

The Executive Director of the Centre for Ghana Studies (CGS), Prof. Harold Boukary-Martinson, has observed that the transformational leadership of President John Mahama will translate into votes to earn him victory in this year’s polls.
 
He said the massive investment in educational infrastructure and some social intervention programmes had bridged the gap between the rural and urban areas, which could be a long-term catalyst for poverty reduction.

“Some of us who are elderly have lived through the period of the first President Dr Kwame Nkrumah to the current President, so we are able to read through the lines and reconcile facts as they are.  The transformational leadership of President Mahama, in the midst of daunting challenges, will be a strong weapon for him in the 2016 elections,” he added. 

Prof. Martinson made these observations in an interview with the Daily Graphic last Monday.

He used the opportunity to introduce two of his latest books, Ghana: John Mahama in Election 2016 – I speak of One Touch Victory and “Ghana: the North and the U.P. Tradition – the Paul Afoko Factor.”

NPP’s friction

Making reference to his second book, Ghana: the North and the UP Tradition – the Paul Afoko Factor, Prof. Boukary-Martinson observed that the internal friction that had rocked the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was a major setback to their electoral fortunes in this year’s polls.

He said it was a difficult task for a political party in opposition to win an election with a divided front as was the case with the NPP and described the suspended National Chairman of the party, Mr Paul Afoko, as a victim of “Pepephobia.”

“Both President Mahama and Afoko are victims of what I refer to in my books as “Pepephobia” – a situation where some people feel that these two people cannot be at the top of the political ladder because their parents were not shareholders in corporate Ghana or because they hail from a certain part of the country. We must change from this kind of mentality and be aware that Ghana is for Ghanaians,” he added. 

Prof. Boukary-Martinson, therefore, urged the electorate to vote for leaders who show some level of commitment to national cohesion rather than tribal sentiments. 

Nationalism

He further stated that the dwindling spirit of nationalism and increased acrimony and ethnocentrism in the political discourse could hinder national cohesion. 

“There was no tribalism during the nationalists struggle and the early part of post-independence Ghana. But today, some people think they are major shareholders in corporate Ghana because their parents and grandparents toiled to build the country. This is not the way to go,” he stressed. 

Media and academia are key

Prof. Boukary-Martinson urged the media and the academia to play a front line role in educating political actors and the public on the best way to rebrand the political history of Ghana.

He observed that the lack of knowledge about the country’s political history accounted for the insanity in the political discourse.

“I am of the view that history ought to be made a core subject at the basic and second cycle institutions to ignite the spirit of nationalism in the younger generation. Politicians in the national assembly need to be abreast of the political history of the country to serve as a guide for them in their discourse,” he said.