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Opinions of Monday, 16 January 2006

Columnist: Aborampah, Emmanuel

Do We Deserve The Leaders We Get?

Opening Statement

I am an African, and I owe my being to the ever-changing climate and seasons of this great continent. A continent rich in all sorts of resources, culture and history. But most important of all, I love this continent because it nurtured me on its great and rich values. Of all the traits of men, being humane is a hallmark of a true African.

I entered my world full of confidence and hope. My sense of belonging was complete, for my joy was a joy for many and my pain the pain of many more. That was it then, the true African is his brother?s keeper.

Today, I am mature and ready to take my place in my community. Yet today, I am not sure of myself ? for my confidence has waned and my hope is wavering. What happened to me, and really what happened to my generation? Today, I don?t feel so good to be an African.

Why I Don?t Feel So Good

I don?t feel so good, because my leaders have failed me. After almost 50 years of independence, we are dependent more than ever. Our freedom fighters exhibited great leadership qualities. Their passion drove them tirelessly, sometimes ruthlessly to establish a point - That the African is capable of managing his own affairs. Alas, today it appears their toils have been in vain. Today?s leaders are not leading, I see individuals consumed by pride and greed and being led by circumstances. Individuals for who power is an end in itself, rather than a means to an end. They enjoy the trappings of power but avoid the responsibility that goes with it. They lack passion and have no vision.

The Blame Game

I have pondered many times over the saying that every society deserves the kind of leaders they get. I needed to convince myself of the validity of this saying because I wanted an explanation to why great leaders are eluding us as a nation. Finally, I have the answer. I have spent an awful lot of time listening to Ghanaians contribute to phone-in programs and reading postings on Ghanaweb?s SIL. One cannot help but conclude that the saying is true!

It occurred to me that our leaders are no different from the majority of contributors to these programs. Just listen to them talk! They just cannot take responsibility for anything. Like school kids doing the blame game, our leaders and their subjects trade in insults and blame each other for their own failures. Our current leaders should have known what they were coming in for, yet they keep telling us the sins of the previous leaders are preventing them from achieving their goals. The current leaders constantly see and are haunted by the shadow of the past. When they sin today, it is because the previous ones sinned yesterday. The past leaders are equally haunted by the present.

Wake-up, Fellow Ghanaians

For you and I who have given our mandate to these leaders, we have a common interest in seeing to it that they deliver good governance. Given our circumstances, we should be humbled by the enormity of our problems. Good governance ought to realize by now that every hand is needed. Ghana cannot afford to alienate 45% of its citizens and expect to develop. Unity of Purpose is Essential for our development. The foreigner perpetrated divide and rule to his advantage, why do we do it against ourselves?

All those who knowingly or unknowingly drive wedges and divisive fronts along tribal and political lines should realize they are sowing seeds of discord, which if not stopped in time will reap a harvest of ruin. Let us all help our current leaders to perform.

You and I gain nothing by defending their indefensible acts of commission and omission. Let us not create ?tin-gods? who are untouchable. We have done this for 50years and have gained nothing. The nations resources are for us all, not for them. They hold and utilize it in trust for us. If they misapply, we should voice it out! Why should our nursing mothers sleep on floors with infants whilst the state spends $60,000 on a car for one person? Why should you and I justify and defend borrowing $30,000 to build a presidential edifice when the nation has just 1700 doctors to look after 20 million people.
  • Until we begin to see things for what they are, and not through NDC-NPP eyes nor through tribal perspectives
  • Until we realize governments have a social contract to execute to our satisfaction
  • Until we refuse to be influenced with cash or otherwise for our votes
  • Until you and I take pains to scrutinize, grill and assess aspiring leaders and their visions or concrete programs for us and choose not on tribal or party lines but on individual merit and programs
  • Until we refuse to be satisfied with crumbs from the leadership table
The following posting on ghanaweb sums it all

?It is no surprise we have the kind of leaders we have, because we create and nurture them. Otherwise, why would an ordinary Ghanaian like you and I invoke errors of the past to justify the errors of the present?

Why should one "logically" assume I am an NDC or of Ewe tribe because I dare to criticise the President or a Minister? Why should a fellow Ghanaian surferer see me as Ashanti for expresing my opinion about JJ Rawlings?

Why should AA insult BB for saying President Kuffour has managed the economy well? Why should BB insult AA for writing that Rawlings left Ghana a better place than he met it?

One could go on and on and on... But the point is WE - the ruled - have a common interest to take our CURRENT RULERS on, and compel them to do what benefits us all, not just a few! The Power is ours. They literally begged us for votes. They have a SOCIAL CONTRACT with us. They should deliver or be booted out - and we should do this without FEAR or Favour. Be it NIP-MIIT-NDDC-NPPP-CCPP we don't care. All we want is an improvement in the QUALITY of LIFE for EVERY GHANAIAN.

In doing this, let us not lock ourselves up in the PAST, for it is past and gone. The present is here with us, and we can help change things?

Democracy, they say, is the rule of the majority. Well, until the majority of us understand what is at stake and act responsibly, we shall continue to be saddled with the kind of leaders we have. So, my dear brothers and sisters, we cannot complain much, for we ?collectively through our majority choices, have always deserved the leaders we?ve had so far!

Wanted: A NEW AFRICAN LEADER!



Views expressed by the author(s) do not necessarily reflect those of GhanaHomePage.