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Opinions of Thursday, 24 November 2016

Columnist: Badu, K

Re: I’ll change Ghana in 18 months if you vote for me-Akufo Addo

This periodical discusses presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s promise to improve the fortunes of Ghana within 18 months if voted into office to govern the country (See: I will change Ghana in 18 months if you vote for me-Akufo Addo; kasapafmonline.com/ghanaweb.com, 23/11/2016).

Apparently, visionary leaders are noted for their positivism, idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individual consideration (Nemanich and Keller, 2007).

After observing Nana Addo over a long period of time, I have come to a firm conclusion that he possesses the aforementioned attributes of a transformational leader. Thus, I would like to believe that he can change Ghana’s fortunes if voted to lead the country in the forthcoming general election.

It is worth emphasising that idealised influence depicts visionary leaders as most respectful, reliable and meritorious. More so idealised influence explains leaders unparalleled prowess in setting vision and implementing it to impact on their subordinates, and describes visionary leaders’ risk sharing with their followers in line with ethical principles (Bass et al., 2003).

Conversely, inspirational motivation explains how visionary leaders routinely raise team spirit and encourage their subordinates to be creative (Bass et al., 2003).

Nana Addo insists: “I am promising you that within 18 months of a new government of the NPP, under my leadership, the face of our country, Ghana, is going to change”.

Yes, the preceding exposition underscores Nana Addo’s positivism, commitment and enthusiasm. Truly, a true leader wants nothing more than to make people independent, as leaders in their own rights. A visionary leader reflects our own light back to us. And more so a true leader always comes up with pragmatic ideas with a view to transforming the lives of his/her subordinates.

Besides, leadership and management scholars observe that visionary leaders act as role models, motivate, provide meaning, optimism, enthusiasm , strategic thinking and stimulate the intelligence of their subordinates(Bass, 1985).

Akufo Addo posits: “We are going to get out of stagnation and backwardness, and move our country onto the path of progress and prosperity. We can do it. We, the Ghanaian people, have the capacity to change the circumstances of our lives”.

This really emphasises Nana Addo’s intellectual stimulation and positivism. Apparently, intellectual stimulation explains how true leaders promote their subordinates innovative and creative skills by encouraging them to solve problems entirely in new ways (Bass et al., 2003).

Indeed, if the good people of Ghana were to give Nana Addo the mandate in the forthcoming general election, he can assemble an effective team that can coordinate individual activities for pragmatic results.

It must also be noted that Nana Addo had gained some level of leadership experience from former President Kufuor’s administration that worked synergistically and helped moved Ghana from Highly Indebted Poor Country status (HIPC) to a Lower Middle Income Economy.

Moreover, former President Kufuor’s team, which included Nana Addo, exhibited paradigmatic leadership by quadrupling Ghana's economy to US$ 28billion in 2008, a period of eight years.

In addition, Nana Addo was part of former President Kufuor’s government that moved the economic growth from around 3.5 in 2001 to around 7.4 in 2008, and left an agricultural growth of 7.5 in 2008, but has since dropped to around 2.5 as of October 2016.

Nana Addo stresses: “This ‘new Ghana will be a Ghana with opportunities for all, and where everybody is taken care off. We will have a society that is caring and compassionate and expresses solidarity. Nobody is going to be left behind. We are all going to march together, hands linked together, to that great future that beckons us, here in Ghana.”

I, for one, cannot confute Nana Addo on his claim of bringing everyone on board to build the nation. For after all, hasn’t he brought all the people who contested him in the NPP’s flag-bearer race together? Yes, he has resolved all pre-election issues and they are working collaboratively towards the 2016 election victory. This is indeed a leadership by example. In fact, Nana Addo is ‘the Moses’ of our time.

Biblically, Moses was a visionary leader. We read in Exodus that he was a shepherd – he had a modest, humble and patient upbringing. Moses employed his humility, patience and tolerance when he had the opportunity to speak to God. He kept watch as thousands of sheep grazed the fields. Moses noticed that one sheep was missing and went off to look for it, finding it at a distant apart.

When the sheep had finished drinking, Moses lifted it onto his shoulders and carried it back to the flock. When Jehovah God saw this, he became aware that Moses was a man of reason, empathy and selfless devotion, a man truly worthy to lead His people; a man who would put his empathetic qualities at the disposal of the needs of his subordinates. After all, no one was keeping an eye on Moses; Moses could easily have thought to himself, “why be concerned with one sheep when there are thousands”?

Yes, we, (the suffering Ghanaians) need ‘the Moses’ of our time (Nana Akufo Addo) to rescue us from the economic bondage of the ‘Pharaoh’ of our time (President John Dramani Mahama).

K. Badu, UK.