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Opinions of Thursday, 27 April 2017

Columnist: Andrews Krow

Leaders influence on citizens behavioral tendencies

Conscientious objection based on one's unreadiness to follow legal command because of a fundamental moral or religious objection could create a banana state.

Conscientious objection is different from civil disobedience because allowing others to follow the course traced by the objector's conscience could cause serious confusion and no citizen of the republic must be allowed to compel others to do so.

The kind of leadership a nation or a community elects to supervise its activities has direct correlation to the behaviour of the citizens. At a point in time, Germans who were often seen by the rest of the world as rather likeable as individuals, became so united behind their rulers in support of their barbarous and antiquated policies. And there is no doubt that the Germans at point became particularly susceptible to mass appeal of a highly emotional type and Hitler in his book "Mein Kempf" explained how that was achieved.

Ghana has seen different leaders dating back the precolonial era and all these past leaders came with their own concepts which affected the behavioural tendencies of the masses. Our own traditional leadership style cannot be ignored when discussing this issue.

We had our own leadership policies and style and we humbly allowed stories, tales, adages and even songs to guide and shape our actions and thoughts. The personality traits of a leader impacted hugely on activities and behaviour of his subjects and it touched on sanitation, morals, marriage etc.

People who lived during the colonial days have certain peculiar traits, deal with those who received formal education under our colonial masters and will notice certain common traits such as, insistence on coma, dots, apostrophes etc use as well as perfect pronunciation of the words and perfect grammar construction. Lies, aggressive posturing, lack of emotional control and procrastination have no place in their zones. Nkrumah instilled in his people the Pan African spirit and aroused the consciousness spirit in the masses through his powerful speeches and adherence to the principles he articulated.

The Ghanaian believing in himself began when Nkrumah took over the leadership key. Afrifa and his guys introduced disobedience and why citizens must feel superior obligation to disobey our laws and even to overthrow democratic majority. Busia and Edward Akufo-Addo introduced the very concept we witnessing today. Party apparatchiks playing major role in governance, began under Busia and it gained roots with the introduction of the Aliens compliance order which was seriously abused by party footsoldiers.

Acheampong's style of leadership impacted seriously on the behavioural tendencies of the citizenry and he is one leader Ghanaians cannot write off when it comes to leadership and its influence on citizens attitude. His operation feed yourself (OFY) programme remains the most comprehensive agricultural policy ever introduced by our governments. He adopted the State Farms programme of Nkrumah and added few prudent policies to it which made it the most solid agric policy in his time.

Ghanaians supported his policy and the policy changed the attitude of the Ghanaian towards agriculture. That consciousness touched every corner of the country and agric became the most attractive job during the period. Eat what you grow and produce what you consume was added to the policy culminating into the manufacture of of the first Ghana made Vehicle (Boafo) by UST now ( KNUST) the akasanoma television and radio preset radio etc.Gen Akuffo took us back when he tilted closely to the business class a trend which began during the latter days of Acheampong.

Limann was the calm type whose demeanor created space for free speech culminating into massive civil unrest and internal party feuds. Rawlings landed with a new concept, his militant disposition and display of youthful exuberance coupled with his natural charisma, attracted most Ghanaians to his side. The attitude of the Ghanaian began to change,Ghanaians fell for his anti corruption crusade and most citizens buried their old habits, corruption became unattractive and readiness and desire to report corrupt officials became an adopted habit by many a Ghanaian. He received simultaneous cheerful reception wherever he went and Ghanaians suddenly became politically conscious. Youth participation in politics became the order of the day and readiness to take on the establishment anytime it exhibits arbitrariness and corruption was the new spirit across.

President Kufour reduced the tempo with his conservative approach to issues.He returned the country to the old system with certain strategic ( conservative) decisions.


I disagreed with some of his policies and decisions but he is one of the political leaders I have come to admire looking back ( hindsight). He was assertive and exhibited extreme political maturity and understood the rudiments of the political game. He was able to control his immediate environment and held his party together through his tough stance on issues.

He nearly experienced what Busia went through and which led to his overthrow and I remember an article I wrote in connection with his son's hotel and how he acted on certain recommendations I captured in that article which was published by the spectator. He quickly began showing assertiveness leading to his clashes with some of his party executives and appointees but which instilled discipline in his administration. We experienced few human right abuses under his watch as well as stenching corruption but the space was there for criticism and expression of dissent.


Prof appeared calm and soft but administratively was always astute.He changed the general outlook of the NDC and perception people held about the party. If we talk about a leader's attitude effecting the general psyche or mental chemistry of the ruled or his party,it is what we saw of the NDC under Prof Mills and how he was able to do that still remains a mind boggling question.

The NDC suddenly became a trans formed party and moved away from its known traits attracting many people including some from the academia, the clergy, civil organisations to the NDC and he sealed this trend with his appointments when he won the 2008 elections and no wonder for the first time in the annals of our politics, Kufour (NPP), before the 2008 elections nominated him for one of Ghana's most distinguished awards. Freedom of speech and press became an inherent feature of our body politic and the opposition enjoyed absolute freedom unprecedented in our political history.


Pundits refer to him as the gentle democrat,Obama said he felt the African in him whenever Mahama spoke on international platforms like the United Nations,his peers on the continent revered him,Madam Johnson the Liberian leader said, African leaders have a lot to learn from him and his successor Nana Addo described him as a great leader who exhibited maturity and real democratic traits.

Mahama just like his predecessor, was able to hold his party together, ensured that peoples liberties are truly guided and protected, allowed dissent and controlled his party folks from acting in ways which breached the spirit and letter of our constitution and laws. Few internal challenges confronted his administration but he was able to curb their escalation through dialogue. Ghanaians enjoyed absolute peace and freedom under his reign and his successor courageously confirmed that and commended him for that wonderful achievement.


He is one of the finest politicians Ghana has produced. He has proven his political astuteness despite the few hitches.His command over the political game cannot be written off but there is no political theory which states that a fine politicians, a good political orator, a freedom fighter, militant politician, is automatically a potential good leader.

Leadership as in governing a corporate organisation or a nation where rules, laws and stipulated ethics are integral elements you cannot suppress, is different from leading a revolution,civil disobedience struggles or insurrections where both conventional and unconventional methods could be applied and applied in absolute terms.

One may be a good political figure but may lack what it takes to control his immediate environment and such people face this challenge mostly because of their openness and closeness to whoever comes close to environment. Such politicians attempt to please all his compatriots but end up creating hawks and bad friends around them the ultimate reward being failure all the time.

Few months into government,this is the problem the new administration is going through.No need playing the equalization principle, the magnitude is what must concern all. The Delta Force activities, the Invisible forces attacks, seizure of vehicles and aftermath reactions, vandalising of state properties by aggrieved party apparatchiks protesting against nomination of MMDCES, reckless outbursts by Party officials on Radio some challenging orders issued by the President, etc.Yes we saw pockets of these actions in the past but comparing what we saw to what is happening now,is not proportional and logical.

Suddenly, intolerance and use of brutish force have become inherent with NPP politics, rebelling against leadership decisions and use of invectives have become ingrained features giving leadership serious challenges. These negatives are not going to end soon if leadership continue to treat these phenomenon as ordinary political issue. The age of the leader is another challenge. People around him who truly love him must consider all these realities and offer him the genuine support he needs and here let me commend Sheikh Mustapha Hamid the young man will definitely step on toes with his prudently rough stance on the negativities being recorded under this administration but that is the kind of support the man need to curb escalation of the wrongs going on.

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