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Opinions of Monday, 16 August 2010

Columnist: Aidoo, Ato

Akufo-Addo and Ghana’s Leadership Deficiency

By Ato Aidoo

Political victory is delightful, but it is even more appealing to the citizenry when the margin of success is convincing enough to lay emphasis on a message of change, hope, freedom in development, and better economy.

Undeniably, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo’s victory, as presidential candidate for the main opposition political party in Ghana comes on the wings of an electoral breakthrough, though historic, it also captures divergent trajectories for victory in Elections 2012. Those who want to underestimate this feat are free to do so.

Politically, it also confirms strategic response to internal democracy, decentralization of party ownership, and grassroots reorganization while highlighting quality leadership through a great political icon.

There is a final lap that is why the course to victory in 2012 cannot be laced with sheer propaganda, and partisan interpretations. Instead, fair analysis on how Ghanaians have fared under the Mills administration would take center stage.

Pundits posit that the problem in Ghana mimics a larger African deficiency, that the continent’s major governance predicament is leadership. In just under two years, the government has not been able to translate electoral success into a favorable economic measure and stable social progress. Nana Akufo Addo, through this victory, can fill the void in the future.

As its sympathizers engage in scathing diatribe and arbitrary disregard the rule of law, the government of Ghana also appears unprepared to assuage the pain of our people, just in time to justify its mandate. Indeed, achievements being touted are not reflective of the reality, judging from what Ghanaians encounter on a daily basis - standard of living is falling, tariffs are high, basic services are unreliable, and the poverty gap continues to widen.

On its other side, interventions for industrial expansion and technological improvement are on hold. This is against the backdrop of unfulfilled promises. Ghana has also lost the reputation as one of the best destinations for foreign direct investments in Africa. South Africa, Egypt, Botswana, and Morocco, have now become more attractive to global investors.

Not everything in Ghana is doomed, but the government needs to be proactive, and do more in the interest of our people .As we continue to wait, and glorify inaction, we also set the tone for bigger problems.

Political and leadership deficit increase the risk of business, and ultimately decreases foreign direct investment. Ghana needs a paradigm shift, because of its dwindling economy. The people are calling for an infusion of hope, a new economic order, and new leadership, even if others wished it failed. However, they should be magnanimous enough to ask questions pertaining to their welfare. Inevitably, this is the only way through which they can join other progressive forces in African to demand quality leadership and functional policies.

“Until that day,” when change also becomes a permanent response to non-performing governments in Ghana, we have to congratulate the opposition New Patriotic Party for a successful election. But the party needs to connect with the people through this collective desperation, calling for a leader who can intercede on their behalf.

In their humble plea, they say - “Nana, Y’ani Da Wo So.”

Author, formerly of the Features Desk, Daily Graphic, Accra, Ghana.

Source: Aidoo, Ato