You may say, I respect my predecessors. But if their perception is you don’t- their perception is their reality. So how does someone decides whether or not others respect him? It’s in the way you speak to them, what you say about them to others, the way you listen to them, how you thank them for their efforts and how you credit them for their
accomplishments. It is also about how you’re sensitive to their policies. A good leader knows that his power and success lie in the cumulative efforts and talents of his followers and his predecessors.
I heard the President Nana Akufo-Addo describe Mr Kufour as “the great Ghanaian leader” when he addressed the Chiefs and people of Wa during the commissioning of the Jambusi water project. The President, on different platforms poured same sweet accolades on his uncle J.B Danquah, Dr Busia, his father Edward Akuffo-Addo and other leaders (past and present) of his political tradition. But looking at the policies the President and his team are implementing vis-à-vis policies his predecessors rolled out, I will describe the respect he accord his predecessors as mere superficial politeness. The President is an expert when it comes to saying a lot of nice things without really meaning them. He has trained himself to talk for hours without saying anything at all. Naturally, he is intolerant of diversity and what we heard about his stance on certain policies proposed by Kufour and his team confirms this assertion. We cannot force others to genuinely respect us and our policies, for their regard is deep in their hearts and souls, and not in the sweet words and accolades they confer on us or words they utter or gestures they display on political platforms. Why am I making this analogy? Why should President Akufo-Addo rubbish all the important policies and decisions of his predecessors including his own father yet claim he respect and cherishes their legacies.
His father and Busia acting as special advisors to the Afrifa Government, proposed the cancellation of the trainees allowance scheme and the free university system and proposed the students loan scheme as the alternative. Afrifa implemented the proposal. The reason Afrifa attached to his decision was that the policy had served the purpose
for which it was introduced which was, to get enough teachers and other professionals handle our institutions. He also cited serious economic challenges at the time as the other reason. The Busia/Akufo-Addo government maintained the no allowance policy.
Busia proposed the introduction of the continuation school system to support his technical and vocational schools initiative and suggested that instead of paying allowances to trainee students, his government will focus on the continuation school system and his rural development agenda.
According to a document dated 9th June 2008, concerning guidelines and preparation for the 2009 budget, the Kufour administration planned to cancel the trainees allowance system. The document stated that “the management of the wage component has been a major challenge and to face the challenge- trainee allowance to new entrants for the Diploma programme in the various training institutions will be abolished. The allowance to the continuing students will also be phased out. All students will be encouraged to seek funding under the students loan scheme”.
The Mills/Mahama administration implemented the single spine salary scheme which was proposed by the Kufour administration, expanded the NHIS and other proposals the Kufour administration left on the table. The NDC administration under President Mahama implemented a policy which was proposed and was about to be
implemented by the Kufour administration
Before Busia proposed his elaborate education policy, Nkrumah had laid down the foundation for true technical and vocational education to take off. He established the paragliding school in Afienya and constructed woodwork centres and other workshops in our schools to train students in kente weaving, artifacts etc. Acheampong implemented
the continuation school idea and started senior and junior schools pilot system. Most of the engineers in state publishing companies and factories are products of these institutions. The Nkrumah, Busia and Acheapong governments supported the establishment of more private technical/Vocational schools to augment government efforts. These were the policies and progressive pace the Mahama administration adopted to revive technical/Vocational education and establish new ones to have well organised institutions like the normal technical, Odumase vocational schools of yesteryears.
Another reason why I deem Nana Akufo-Addo’s respect for his predecessors as fake is his decision to rush into the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief executives. Before leaving office, President Kufour counselled the nation not to rush into the election of MMDCEs. He advised that any hasty move towards electing the local government chiefs could prove counter productive. He said “My honest opinion is that we allow the system as it is to mature to the days when the nation can confidently adopt it”. Nana Addo per his current position on the issue has made nonsense another proposal by the man he described as “a great leader”. Dr Addo Kufour advised the
Akufo-Addo government not to rush the introduction of the free SHS policy because of the obvious challenges.
I hope that Ghanaians including the President will learn to distinguish superficial politeness from genuine respect, and will all aim to give and receive the latter. I also hope that Ghanaians will see genuine respect even without politeness displayed and would know if the President’s praises and politeness are just a fake.
Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow