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Opinions of Friday, 1 July 2016


A leader’s honour and integrity

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forbears fought are still at issue around the globe-the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God, (John F. Kennedy)

Leadership at whatever levels of creation come with responsibilities as well as benefits. Leaders are expected to offer directions to those they lead and get those they lead to follow those directions, rules and regulations for the collective good of the society. In social relationships, trust and belief and confidence in the leadership from the led are essential ingredients for the stability of the society. This requires that the leadership exhibit unalloyed and undiluted candour, honour and integrity. Once these traits are exhibited, confidence and trust are built in the people and for the leadership, which leads to a more cohesive society.

Leaders are human beings and therefore fallible. They may make mistakes even when they mean well for society. The recent referendum in the UK which saw its exit from the European Union was originally intended to solicit the popular support of the British people as far as the membership of the UK was concerned. It has turned out to be awful. David Cameron, in organizing the referendum did not intend to get the British out of the EU, but it has happened. Posterity will not be too hard on him.

Today, the British have taken a decision, for ill or good, but Ghanaians and many Africans are worried. The fear that the British, per the outcome of the referendum, are going to be strict on immigration has given many Ghanaians and Africans generally, those on the continent and those in Britain, cause to worry. To those out there, should the British become hard on migrants, many of them are going to come back home. What will they be doing back home? To the millions who have lost hope in securing legitimate means of livelihood in their own countries and believe that migration is the only hope available to them, will have the doors shut to them as far as Britain is concerned.

Why should Africans be so traumatized about the internal policy of a host country when they have places to call their home? The tragic failure of African leaders has enslaved the African of today to consign his thoughts to the belief that the only means of living like a human being is to move out of his own country. The reasons are not far to find. I disagree with those who have consistently blamed colonialism for the plight of Ghana today, after almost 60 years of independence and 56 years of republican status.

What have we done with the 60 years of birth? It is clear that even as the colonialists were exploiting our resources, they did same with ‘human face’. There was discipline in our society, laws and regulations were followed by all and those who deserved what, had them not on the grounds of tribal, religious or political affiliation. Critical social infrastructures were put in place for our use and benefit. We allowed them to collapse, and even where we have been able to maintain them, their services to the citizenry are nothing to write home about.

Over the past almost 60 years, leaders of this country have put this nation in one form of economic trauma or the other, poverty has expanded its territory to cover more people as a result of poor management of our collective resources, unemployment has become so rife and the able bodied citizens have nothing fruitful to do with their youthful lives. Basic needs of life, food, clothing and shelter have become essential commodities for the majority of the people while for those in leadership and their cronies, they are in abundance and taken for granted in some cases.

Over the past 60 years, this country has been divided sharply on ideological lines to the chagrin of commonsensical approach towards our national development and progress. While those holding political power have emasculated other citizens who hold different political views and ideologies, those out of power have fought everything being done on ideological lines rather than the general benefits for the citizenry. This sad situation which blossomed at birth, has divided this country to the point that criminals have their way once they are covered by the canopy of a ruling political party they belong to or claim to belong to.

Our leaders are either ignorant in the art of leadership or they are largely wicked, greedy, selfish and inhuman. They care more about wealth and material things for their unborn generations; they do not care about their image, honour and integrity. This government, over the last eight years has made life worse-off for the majority of our people while some of its members are building empires in and out of this country without blinking an eye. They keep the people poor and ignorant.

. President Mahama is one President this country will remember for promises made in very beautiful language but never fulfilled. He directs, instructs, orders one thing or the other to be done, but those orders, directives and instructions are never obeyed. So a dumsor problem persists for over four years in spite of promises of ending them by the President. Corruption and thievery of public funds are so rife that no day passes by without one form of reported case of looting by government or public officials. The President’s response is ‘I am fighting corruption’. A fight he never wins and does not intend to win.

He himself crowns these pungent criminalities in government by receiving a vehicle as a bribe from a foreign contractor after the contractor had executed a government project and a new one added unto him. His defence is that he does not like American cars and that his cars are Toyota cars presuming that the man who offered the bribe did not know his taste. He is denying the bribery because the car was an American car. Honour, integrity and credibility lost.


This week’s political discussions have shifted from the failures of the NDC, the ‘wagadril’ behaviour of the EC and the Supreme Court’s orders to it to what my brother Kennedy Agyapong said at a political rally. I disagree vehemently with him on that score. It is simply out of place to attack someone’s personal life, granted that it is even true, as a reason for his or her misconduct in public office. Remember, she is someone else’s wife. The NDC is already down, Ghanaians have made up their minds on the NDC, attacking the EC boss in that manner is unacceptable to good conscience.

In 2012, the NDC capitalised on a statement whose interpretations were harmless and ran riot with it, creating a lot of disaffection for the party. The time and energies used in fighting that could have been used to organise a house-house campaign. At the moment, all concordant voices are on Ken Agyapong and trying hard to drag Nana Akufo Addo into it. Do we need that at this point in time? Ken Agyapong is a strong member of the NPP, very passionate about the future of this country and the wellbeing of the citizenry particularly the youth, but Ken, discreet is the better part of valour. Statements well measured can achieve the same results.

My worry is the dishonesty and hypocrisy of the Ghanaian society and organised groups, particularly women groups who all of a sudden have found their voices to condemn what Ken Agyapong said about Mrs. Charlote Osei, calling on Ken to apologise. I am wondering where they were when the NDC organised thugs to beat up Mrs. Ursula Owusu Ekuful, created a non-existing sexual relation between her and Nana Akufo-Addo who is also married. The Peace Council, Christian Council etc. What is bad is bad no matter who does it.

Three tots of my bitters this chilly holiday.