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Opinions of Thursday, 7 November 2013

Columnist: Andoh, Isaac Kyei

Mahama’s leadership frailties bares it teeth

The National Democratic Congress in the run up to the 2012 elections exploited every possible opportunity to present President Mahama as a down to earth and humble person, decisive, accessible and in touch with the youth.

Not much was said of his leadership qualities and it took less than three months into his government to expose his leadership weaknesses.

Sidelining the kingpins of the party to go with young, inexperienced and virtually unknown persons, President Mahama, exhibited poor leadership because he opted for a weak team to work with. How to enhance the raw talents and skills of the youthful team and to manage their egos is a daunting challenge. I always say that, “ a true leader is one who is able to work and manage people who are even better and more knowledgeable than him to achieve a collective goal.” If Mahama can’t work with Alban Bagbin, E. T Mensah, Tony Aidoo, Joe Gidisu, and Cletus Avoka in his cabinet, it simply means one thing- he has a complex.

Even with the ‘second rate-team’ he appointed, he is having hard times managing and disciplining them. Ministers such as Nana Oye Lithur, Stan Dogbe and Victoria Hammah readily come to mind for the vulture meritorious award. Hon. Bagbin only voiced his frustration on his fruitless effort to have a tete-a-tete with the President to find a way of addressing key issues of national importance that are currently hurting the reputation of the NDC and the government.

Stan Dogbe, Hannah Tetteh, , Felix Owusu Kwakye and Joseph Yamin rallied to the defence of thePresident. The General Secretary, Mr Aseidu Nketiah, virtually affirmed, in a number of interviews, that access to the President and the other issues raised by Hon Bagbin have come to the attention of the Party. Measures were being put in place to address them. The General Secretary called for a cease fire.

Unfortunately, President Mahama paid no heed to the call of the scribe and had the last and possibly the worse say of all. Addressing an orientation workshop for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives at the Local Government Training Institute in Accra on Tuesday, President Mahama remarked: “For those who disagree with me and are anxious to see my back, not to worry, 2016 is not too far away. I will urge them to be patient. In this difficult job, the least one expects is loyalty and comradeship”.

Here, President Mahama goofed big-time and showed he lacked the smartness to lead and to a large extent turn things around for the many jobless and deprived Ghanaians the former minority/majority leader was crying for. His reply was a grievous slip and did incalculable damage to his reputation hundred times than the allegations made by Bagbin. It is about time our dear President learn to tackle issues than resort to PR gimmicks just to win public sympathy.

If Kuffour could work with the egoistic Akuffo Addo who started chasing his dream of becoming a President of this country since 1992 and even contested Kuffour twice before he became President, then I see no reason why President Mahama could not work with ET Mensah, Cletus Avoka or Alban Bagbin.

Many will argue that the President duly recognized their worth by placing them on his three priority projects but that is far from the fact on the ground. What Mahama has done is to push the three-wise-men into political oblivion. The three wise men have not in reality given any mandate to see to the realization of that dream.

President Mahama, his personal aides and appointees made it dramatic and must brace themselves to pay the price for it. Leadership, it is said is cause, and everything else is effect.