Mr President, Stop the Rhetoric and Start being proactive

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The reality of leadership has exploded the illusion of Akufo-Addo’s messianic abilities, fake incorruptible credential and exposed him as a weak leader. A journalist asked if he has lost his firebrand during his encounter with the press but the truth is that, he has lost his image as an ascetic, no- nonsense politician. Having been carried to the flagstaff house on a wave of optimism last January, his time in office has been characterised by a trio of crisis: an economy in limbo confirmed by his finance minister, escalating insecurity, corruption, nepotism, high fuel and utilities prices.

The President took amidst a flurry of flamboyant promises ,some of them so fanatical and unnecessary that many Ghanaians and respected global financial institutions such as the world bank and the IMF, wondered why Akufo-Addo would wrap and trap himself in such unsustainable obligations. Elections are about promises, but the NPP got caught up in its own unrealistic promises and refused, against all economic indicators to alter its pledges. Not even genuine counsel offered the administration by seasoned politicians and intellectuals such as Dr Addo Kufour and the Vice Chancellor of UCC would prompt the administration to allow good reasoning to prevail.

The party came to power preoccupied with managing expectations instead of the country. The unpreparedness of the administration, exemplified by the fact that the administration had to borrow to pay workers, new nurses had to demonstrate before being employed, teachers arrears still unpaid, newly trained doctors still wailing to be employed, parents of second and third years secondary school students disappointed, utilities prices escalating weekly etc, reflect the administration’s inability to bear the weight of promises made. And the sense of disillusionment that has now enveloped swathes of Ghana stems from this unnecessary self burdening as well as the government’s failure to articulate a compelling vision.

In the course of his ten months in office, Mr Akufo-Addo’s self and media- created image as an ascetic and incorruptible figure has disappeared, and he has perfectly demonstrated a disturbing lack of initiative, creativity and new thinking in government, belying his deceptive pre-election rhetoric. Ghanaians voted the incumbent out in the 2016 election and enthusiastically put their faith in Akufo-Addo to bring the heaven he promised, to them.

But sadly, it seems that the optimistic narrative about Nana Akufo-Addo voters were buying into was more than a myth. Section of the media and some think tanks as well as few social commentators are still struggling to sustain the already shattered myth. Others are living under the culture of silence phenomenon. People who openly chastised the last administration have suddenly lost their voices because of the intimidation wave. The President has disappointed millions of Ghanaians including his avowed admirers who held him in high esteem and saw him as a politician with the magic wand. The President is still swimming in the old fashioned and outmoded political sea and has vindicated President Kufour who on 2007, advised NPP delegates not to allow sweet and powerful political speeches attract them to weak and dangerous leaders.


President Akufo-Addo made so many heart touching promises including his anti corruption fight. But when the opportunities have presented themselves for him to underscore his professed opposition to corruption, he has failed to seize them rather, he and his vice have introduced new corruption concepts and theories. To begin with, Akufo-Addo went back on his pledge to make secondary school education free for all students. That reversal may seem trivial, but it proved to be the start of a more brazen disregard for promises made. The President’s reluctance and continued failure to take decisive action on corruption allegations levelled against his appointees feeds a public perception that the President is insincere and corrupt. Few months ago, this feeling deepened as his cronies and the President’s own kitchen cabinet crafted a choked full of scandalous deals at the presidency, the ministries and government agencies, including the $15 million digital addressing system. The President’s deputy chiefs of staff successfully blocked investigations into the alleged fraudulent Korle-bu deal.

During the campaign, the President and his Vice avowed never to raise the price of petrol and utilities and accused the Mahama administration for making life difficult for Ghanaians their famous propaganda sermon “Utilities are expensive than rent”. But the President has since broken both promises, raising the price of fuel and utilities.

Bawumia constantly attacked policies of the Mahama administration and promised Ghanaians Mecca if elected to lead the economic team. He is the head of the government’s economic team. Bawumia and his economic gurus are lurching awkwardly from one idea to another in the hope that one of them works, all at the expense of a Ghanaian people increasingly impoverished in an environment of policy uncertainty and outmoded economic measures.

As a candidate for the presidency, Nana deceptively, posed as calm politician and was renowned for his fake ascetic lifestyle and austere simplicity. But in office, this image is in peril too. He has descended into his original self indulgence and now resembles an ostentatious stereotype of the self- absorbed African aristocrat. When he returns from his foreign trips, he is welcomed back with elaborate and expensive airport complete with military parades and always reminds one of Idi Amin’s outlandish neo- imperial buffoonery.

Source: Ohenenana Onti Krow

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