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Opinions of Sunday, 25 March 2012

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

Akomea: Kufour’s Bad Leadership

Before Kufour left office, he proclaimed to have delivered on his promise. Ghana, he maintained, was healed and open for business. Many of us knew better and did not give any credibility to his gassy effusions. I knew it was just a matter of time that his grandiose proclamations will be stripped bare to the bilge that it rightly represents. What we see now are catastrophic electricity problems and crippling water challenges. Surely, Atta-Mills as done nothing to make things better for Ghanaians. Ghana is not on a sustainable path as far as dealing with its water and electricity problem. Everywhere you look, shoddy work is the rule instead of the exception. If we had any journalists worth their salt, investigative pieces on these issues will bring to light, the chicanery of Kufour’s government. I will like to know how much we spent on electricity, for what, where did the money come from and who was paid to do the work. I am sure if we follow the money, it will be quite clear that nothing much was done and the money was divvied to party cronies and tribesmen. For eight years, Kufour and his band of tricksters could not solve Ghana’s water problems. What was all the traveling about then? Now we are back to square one again. Akufo Addo wants in on the action again! God please save us!

One thing Nana Akomea got right is that, after 55years of independence, we still cannot provide clean water for our people. Please add adequate healthcare and enabling education to your list. Why is it so? Why should a country with tremendous blessings in the form of natural resources, continue to suffer needlessly? Why can’t we solve problems permanently? Instead, we employ band-aid solutions and beat our dirty chest in the name of vainglory. Oh my gawd!! I implore every well meaning Ghanaian to reflect on this sobering question: what is it about us that make it impossible to make progress on the basic things in life? Oh how I wish I had all the answers! I may not have all the answers, but I know leadership is our biggest challenge in Ghana. The damage that bad leadership is imposing on us is gargantuan. Yet, we have a system of governance that continues to commit us perpetually to bad leadership. The recycling of bad leaders every 4 years must stop. Now is the time to come up with pragmatic strategies to kill bad leadership. We need interest groups and leadership organization to act as watch dogs. Weed out the bad leaders no matter who is in power. We need non-partisan collective action on this front. Once a politician is in power and performs badly, we must never let that person hold office ever again, regardless of which party is in power.

Akomea was an integral part of Kufour’s corrupt government. While dancing with the wolves, he kept his gargantuan beak shut while he was intravenously fed the goodies. Three years out of power, he all of a sudden has a gilded epiphany. Finally, on the road from, not to Damascus, he sees the glaring light. So tell me this, do you think Akomea should ever get near power? This man, like Akufo Addo, kept quite while the inmates run the asylum. Now he is back pointing fingers at an obviously incompetent government. Again, you see how poor leadership authenticates mediocre level “C” performance? How else can most of Kufour’s minions come out and brazenly make such nauseating claims? In the end, you can’t help but to conclude that Ghana is a cesspool of majority incompetent leaders. So long as recycling of politicians is the norm and incompetence is tolerated, we will continue to wallow in this sad sea of melancholy. Kids will die, women will suffer and men will continue their evil ways and surely get paid for it. We need a rating and monitoring system for these so called leaders. All bad leaders must be permanently kept out of politics by highlighting their incompetence and misdeeds. The least cost and most effective tool is to shine light on the roaches.

We know that leadership is sadly lacking in Ghana. Our so called leaders lack vision and are not results driven. They believe society owes them a living. Maintaining the status quo and driving it further into the gutter is a pastime of our leaders. How do we change this? How do we make sure we have the right leaders in place to do the job? Below are some basic ideas that can help us move forward. If you have other great ideas share them on the comments section or write to me at Akyere@aol.com.

Stop voting along tribal lines. Seek to learn more about the characters you vote for. Ask for information about a candidate’s past and present. Share all the information you have and be ready to speak up. Until we start getting the right people in place, this democratic experiment is bound to fail. If you go and vote for an incompetent tribesman, don’t come crying about how worse off the country is. We can’t continue to do the same thing and expect a different result. We have to change our thinking and actions. It is only when we do the right thing that right results will follow. If the right thing means voting for the other guy or girl who is not your tribe person, do it. A competent leader is a blessing to us all. Now is the time to draw the line in the sand for competency.

Though difficult, we should fight to take money out of politics. We should never allow money to stop good and poor people from getting into office. We should also be steadfast about getting drug money out of politics. Drugs are the next killing fields for Ghana. If we don’t stand up as one and fight drugs, we are in for a rude awakening. Lastly, we need to make sure that elections laws are followed. Sue if you have to! What use are the laws if we can’t use them? Think about it!

A leader has to be accountable. Accountability must govern all levels of leadership in Ghana. We need accountability from the traditional right on to the political. Until we hold our leaders responsible and accountable, we will never get anything done. Use the laws, constitution and any tool you can find to hold our leaders responsible. Find partners in this effort. You can’t do it alone! Push your parliamentarians to enact sunshine laws like the freedom of information Act. Without easy access to information, we can’t hold these crooks accountable. How else would you have heard about Woyome and CP debt judgments if somebody was not vigilant? Open your eyes and read in between the lines. We need to challenge authority and prosecute the criminals relentlessly. Locking up one political criminal should be a life time achievement and aspiration. Just one for starters!

We need strong resourced groups in Ghana, focused singularly on the issue of leadership. We need well resourced groups willing to do the leg work, and bring to light, the lapses in leadership. We have to expose and shame bad leaders. In addition, we have to make sure that bad leaders don’t ever get near to power. Someone like Jake Obetsebi Lamptey or Anane should never hold public office. Jake as you may recall, refused to vacate a state house and tried to keep it unlawfully. He was also involved in questionable land deals and has not explained how he was able to fund the education of his kids overseas. Yet, watch Akufo Addo give him a cushy appointment if voted into power. It is such sickening payback that perpetually keeps recycling bad leaders. This is where a coalition for the prevention of bad leadership should step in. Folks lets come together to begin work on keeping bad leaders out of office permanently. I am all for setting up this coalition.

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman (Also known as Da Double edge sword)
I don’t give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think it is hell—Harry Truman