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Opinions of Monday, 17 September 2012

Columnist: Antwi-Agyei, Michael

Presby Apology By Prez Mahama Misplaced

Many people have questioned why President John Dramani Mahama admitted that the General Secretary of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) verbally offended the Presbyterian Church but failed to publicly ask Asiedu Nketia to apologise to the church and instead decided to do the “dirty work” for his General Secretary.

Even in our own small households, communities or workplaces whenever a subordinate offends someone, that person is first made to apologise before if the need arises the one in-charge follows up with another apology.

This misplaced apology rendered by President John Mahama to the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church following days of heated exchanges between some executives of the ruling party on one hand and the church on the other only goes to confirm the weak leadership Ghanaians are being offered today.

Any way, how many days did it take the President to realize that the Presbyterian Church was being attacked by his party? One would have thought that once President Mahama had admitted that his General Secretary went overboard in his comments about the leadership of the Presbyterian Church, he would have asked Asiedu Nketia to publicly apologise in order for him to show remorse for his action.

Instead, the President has taken the initiative to offer the apology and nobody knows whether the General Secretary of the NDC has regretted about his assault on the church.

We acknowledge the fact that we all want peace to prevail in the country before, during and after the 2012 general elections, but that doesn’t mean our President should be cleaning the mess of those miscreants in his party all in the name of canvassing for votes from the electorate.

The credibility of the presidency under this administration has been defiled for far too long because of the unguarded comments by some government officials or if you like the babies with hard teeth as the founder of the NDC and former President Jerry John Rawlings described them.

The current President must be seen as someone who is willing to bring that credibility back just like Rawlings said during the party’s recent Special Delegates Congress in Kumasi and not to traverse the same old route.

One of the first things President Mahama did when he assumed his current position following the demise of Professor Mills was to send a word of caution to all government communicators that they must be civil in their dialogue.

What he failed to add was the fact that each one would be responsible for his or her loose talk. If the President thought his terse apology to the Presbyterian Church would portray him as the only peaceful and responsible person in the NDC then he had it all wrong. We believe that the art of leadership is to make sure people take full responsibility for their actions whether wrong or right.