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Opinions of Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Columnist: Bediako & Dzimega

Is Dr Sekou Nkrumah Gradually Hanging Himself ...

.... With Invisible Political Rope That He Can’t See?

By Alexander S K Bediako & T K Dzimega

Leadership is too often shrouded in mystery. Some people have made us to believe that, you have to become a combination of Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Genghis Khan, Mahatma Gandhi and Machiavelli. Others have designed their perfect leader to be motivational and commanding, creative and discipline, visionary and detailed, ambitious and humble, directing and empowering, coaching and controlling, intellectual and emotional, intuitive and logical, reliable and risk taking so on so forth.

Why do people believe that leaders or a leader should be coloured in all these qualities of leadership? Is it for the purpose of realising group objectives or for the sake of it? Does one need to conform to all these theoretical leadership styles to be described as a good leader?

Over the past weeks, Dr Sekou Nkrumah, one of the children of the first president of the Republic of Ghana, has waged a relentless attack on the current president of Ghana, President John Evans Attah Mills. Sekou Nkrumah also sought to construct his own leader as have been done by others who ceased to opportunity to do so. In Sekou’s, opinion President is not a good leader. He is on record to have said that he would prefer a leadership that can best represent the NDC and the interest of Ghana. All of a sudden a learned Sekou has fallen victim to internal and external propaganda and political machination that are fighting and manipulating all areas of our lives and environment to undermine the President and the NDC party. Children in a family are like flowers in a bouquet: there's always one determined to face in an opposite direction from the way the arranger desires, and this is exactly how Sekou is behaving, in sharp contrast to how his other siblings behave and how his great father would have wished his children behave.

Sekou should understand that if the NDC is to identify and evaluate political threat and risk that are likely to undermine its success in election 2012 he will not be excluded. This is an honest observation and comment. Sekou, in a recent interview on Joy fm, likened his criticism to the one he receives from his wife. Sir, this is too simplistic an analysis befitting your academic status; much more, your wife does not use the radio station or the gong-gong to criticise you. She does it in the inner part of your bedroom, an item you need to learn very fast. Please, get it clear that a husband-wife relationship is not the same as the people and political leadership and in trying to compare President Mills’ leadership with the relationship that exists between him Sekou and the wife. The current political environment in Ghana, with the opposition desperately seeking to do everything possible with its means to undo every effort of the government to deliver on its promise to the people, is too complex for Sekou’s type of politics. The revolutionary leadership that you want President to lead as you seem to be prescribing have had its time.
Leadership, Sekou, is the ability to see what no one else sees, to listen when others talk and the ability to be optimistic when others are pessimistic, and that is what the current president is doing.

Lest we forget the era of Mahatma Gandhi. While Gandhi’s accusers were in the legislative chambers criticizing him because he wouldn’t join in their Circle of Concern Rhetoric condemning the British Empire for their subjugation of the people of India, Gandhi was out in the rice paddies, quietly, slowly, imperceptibly expanding his circle of influence with the field labourers. Through this effort Gandhi was able to build the necessary support and moral persuasion which eventually brought England to its knees, breaking political domination of three hundred million India people with the power of his greatly expanded circle of influence. President Mills appear to be doing similar thing and giving a new face to how politics is conducted in this country. Like every change, it will take time for the likes of Sekou to appreciate it. Facilitating change is more effective than attempting to prevent it, please embrace it now.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) believes that the evolution of contemporary viable democracy in Ghana was based on the struggles by ordinary people for political space and voice, initially on non-partisan basis under the PNDC, subsequently, in a constitutional framework of multiparty democracy under a government of the NDC. Constitutional democracy, thus emerged on the bedrock of commitment by ordinary people to work hard to produce the nation’s wealth, to uphold truth, abhor corruption, and to distribute the benefit of hard work equitably for the greater, social and economic wellbeing of all Ghanaians.

If Dr Sekou Nkrumah shares these views and values, and believes in the philosophies of the NDC, then he must rethink his actions and inactions very carefully before venturing into the political market place. His current political advertisement and marketing cannot be said to be in anybody’s interest in the party and for that matter the wellbeing of fellow Ghanaians. He had the opportunity to demonstrate his ability and contribute his quota to the wellbeing of the people of Ghana but failed to justify that trust and confidence the President had in him. Sadly, it is the man who has done nothing who is sure nothing can be done. There are two options available for Sekou now: cease fire and rally support for the President and the NDC or continue with your current actions and hung yourself with the invisible political rope dangling around your neck. But a word to you, brother, it’s not the strongest who survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most adaptable to change.

Long live Ghana, long live NDC and long live our discerning citizens.

By Alexander S K Bediako & T K Dzimega