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Opinions of Saturday, 10 November 2007

Columnist: Ossei, Nana Yaw

Aliu Mahama: Moving Our Country Forward

?The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama is one who is prepared to serve the people, to care about the people and to earn their respect and loyalty and he is seeking the NPP presidential mantle not to lead but to serve all the people of Ghana.?

?Our ability to achieve success depends on the strength of our wings gained through knowledge and experience. The greater our knowledge and experience, the higher we can fly.?

?As a leader, the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama is a problem solver by talent and temperament, and by choice.?

?Experience is a key ingredient to success on the job and the Presidency is no exception.?

"You cannot acquire experience by making experiments. You cannot create experience. You must undergo it.?

Let me confess to being an unapologetic fan of Alhaji Aliu Mahama, the Vice President of the Republic of Ghana. Today, the perfect gentleman, looking every inch like an Oxford Professor, has surprised the bookmakers, by carrying himself with dignity and grace, and style, and charisma. He remains one of the most visible Vice Presidents around, well respected, and influential. This amazing statesman has successfully demonstrated how a good leader should moderately use power, as a tool for development, and not for destruction and egomania.

I am supporting Alhaji Aliu Mahama in the NPP presidential flagbearership race because, he offers us the opportunity to build on our past achievements while refreshing and renewing our party and government. His commitment to both social justice and economic competence can and will promote us with a vision for our next three terms. The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama is a leader who is deeply committed to NPP values of justice and equality. His record over six years as Vice President and over thirty years experience of leadership spanning the private and public sectors shows his competence in delivering change. Having presided over peace, security and economic stability of our great nation Ghana, I am throwing my weight behind the man (Alhaji Aliu Mahama) who is head and shoulders above any other possible candidate in the NPP presidential flagbearership race. The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama has experience and a good temperament and this is what will make him a great and strong President.

I believe that, his experience and leadership locally, nationally, regionally and internationally in fighting poverty, indiscipline, promoting good governance and rule of law, qualifies him to lead the NPP party and Ghana and take on the NDC, CPP, DFP in the 2008 general elections in a way that no other candidate can match. The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama is a founding member of the NPP party and is somebody who is supremely qualified to carry the banner for continuation of the great NPP party after President Kuffour has exited the scene. The Vice President, has been tried and tested over the past thirty years and found approved to lead the NPP party and Ghana. He is polite but he is not a yes-man. He always stands his ground. People like to identify Alhaji Aliu Mahama as an independent and original thinker but one who remains close to the more visible leadership.

He is a good leader who is well respected and is generally liked by the citizens of Ghana. He is a hands-on leader who shuns ersatz solutions and attends to details, he has a reputation of being meticulous and a voracious reader- a habit he cultivated in his early years of childhood. I will describe the Vice President, as an ?eco leader.? Being a leader today is not just about charismatic vision. It is about taking all stakeholders with you on the big issues. You have to think globally and build a network of leadership. The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama has shown, more than anyone else, that he is an eco leader- a big picture thinker on big issues such as rural development, poverty alleviation, job creation, women economic empowerment, human capital development, domestic capital mobilisation, a demand led private sector, genuine democratic political structures, the environment and getting collaboration.

He is and will be a leader who will seek to lead by his own example rather than through rhetoric. A quick search into his background reveals that, these characteristics have been evident throughout his life. ?Do as I do, not what I say? will be his mantra. He is a charming and imaginative politician capable of swaying audiences and has a towering intellect. The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama also has many qualities that are highly desirable in a leader. He is self-confident, intelligent, tenacious, and has integrity. He possesses a tremendous ability to focus, concentrate and get things done. These are important strengths. If the NPP party and Ghanaians want a leader who can get things done then he fits the bill. His profile as a policy shaper and mediator in the NPP party and government has been built up over a lifetime of involvement and achievement.

Many political watchers within Ghana and in the Diaspora see Alhaji Aliu Mahama as hard working, pragmatic and essentially decent. A senior cabinet minister recently stated that, the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama ?loves conversation, loves to talk about ideas and he is a really deeply cultured person.? These epithets offer an intriguing insight into Alhaji Aliu Mahama?s leadership style. He is a leader who has values of equity and fairness. The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama has respect and will ?walk the talk? and live by the values he articulates. His strengths include his formidable intellect, command of detail and grasp of what is going on. He is recognised for his work ethic and decision making, resolutely confident in his knowledge and analysis. As a leader, Alhaji Aliu Mahama has hardiness which makes him tough and resilient and is able to hang in there when the going gets tough. The Vice President has passion, energy and enthusiasm in serving the good people of Ghana.

The Presidency comes with decision making, character and integrity. As a dynamic leader, the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama has the innovative and creative skills and tools in making rational decisions at the Presidency. With such rich experience and knowledge, he has over the years learnt to take emotions out of decision making, to assess, research, consult, judge and then make decisions. The supreme quality of leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is at the Presidency, army, a football field or in an office. One unique quality that Alhaji Aliu Mahama has is integrity and a good leader needs integrity. In leadership, integrity is very important because, only high integrity leaders will remain successful over the long-term. For example, a good leader such as Alhaji Aliu Mahama prefers service to power and principle over convenience. If the NPP delegates are to anoint a leader to lead the NPP party into battle in the 2008 general elections, they want assurance that their leader can be trusted. They want to know that he will keep promises and follow through with commitments. Respected delegates, the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama is a respected and well marketed household name and brand that you have trusted over the years and continue to trust because, he is a personality full of competence, knowledge, has experience, courage, visionary and strong enough to address the developmental challenges facing our nation Ghana.

The inner qualities of Alhaji Aliu Mahama is character and hard work which are very essential for anyone who wants to lead the NPP party and ascend to the throne of the Presidency. When God looks for leaders, he doesn?t necessarily look for the tallest, best looking, most articulate or most charismatic among us. Paul told his two associates to closely examine those who aspired to leadership because; the required criterion or test that candidates had to pass was the test of character. As per Dwight Eisenhower ?the qualities of a great man are vision, courage, understanding, the power of articulation, and profundity of character.? The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, pushes himself hard and appears to expect the same from others. His empowering style is consultative, giving people more freedom to succeed and it is more inspiring and motivational.

The Vice President has shown over the years that, he is a person who is humble and has served the good people of Ghana with humility and in humility. Humility is an important and integral ingredient of leadership and teamwork. Let it be established herewith that, good leaders need humility because; ego tends to destroy many leaders and ego is the biggest single obstacle to successful leadership. A self-serving leader is only interested in ?Me Inc? and does not care about his people. The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama being a humble leader, has instilled a feeling of equality at the Presidency. Humility should guide the way in which you speak and act. Humility has led Alhaji Aliu Mahama to understand that, there is much to be learnt from everyone around him and this has made him strive continually for a better way to lead and manage the demanding and challenging affairs of our great nation Ghana. Respect is related to humility. If you are humble, it is easy to give respect and Alhaji Aliu Mahama recognizes the goodness in everything and it is no surprise that, from humble beginnings he has been elevated to the position of Ghana?s No. 2 man where he continually learns and grows on a daily basis and with God on his side, I am confident that, the NPP party delegates will resoundingly endorse his candidature and repose confidence in his vision, competence, experience, knowledge, intellect, courage, sense of patriotism and social justice to lead the NPP party and for that matter Ghana.

Let the story be told and established that, humility is definitely not a sign of weakness. The caricature of the humble person is the wet-blanket whom everyone steps on. That person is not humble, just weak. Humility is a character trait that is essential if you want relationships to work. One declared feature of the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama is his commitment to listen to the people and any good leader who listens espouses as an example of humility. Leaders who are humble and have good listening skills prefer to think before they speak and Alhaji Aliu Mahama is no exception. Remember, ?Humility makes great men twice honourable, pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real, the proud man can learn humility, but he will be proud of it and when pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.?

The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama offers Ghanaians a positive vision of the future; based on realism and hope with substance. He has a powerful belief in what he does: a burning passion to change the fortunes of Ghanaians. He is never satisfied with the status quo because, he is always pushing to add something and find a better way. He is always driving for results and always aims high. He is persistent, and never accepts mediocrity. The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama engages with the people at their own pace, gives them confidence to do things which they couldn?t do for themselves. The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.

Finally, my advice to the noble delegates of the great NPP party is that, leadership is about service to the people and your truly humble, popular and marketable Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama has a rich experience of service to the people hence; please do the right thing by resoundingly endorsing the candidature of Alhaji Aliu Mahama. A vote for Alhaji Aliu Mahama signifies that, you are endorsing a candidate who has what it takes to move our beloved country forward.

As per the Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama ?what is needed is a leadership that inspires hope and optimism; one that is short on rhetoric and grandstanding and long on positive actions and implementable policies.?

The Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama is a true reflection of ?Ahwenee Pa Nkasa.?


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