Mr President, learn to become a Leader who accepts constructive criticism and suggestions by practicing Mahama’s Leadership principles

Mr President,

Instead of your autocratic and centralised approach to national issues which is criticism averse, kindly invent a new model which relies on our collective strength and our democracy. Suppressing suggestions and criticism means you don’t hear the feedback, you can’t course correct at the appropriate point of time. Rubbishing suggestions and suppressing criticism is bad for the government itself, and the country as a whole. If someone points out something that’s not working or suggest an alternative idea, hear them out. You need external eyes to help you solve the crisis facing the country.

By using criticism and suggestions constructively, you can position yourself as someone who learns from mistakes. This contributes to a culture where members of your party who do not agree with some of your decisions, members of the opposition, civil society organizations and experts in the various sectors, feel comfortable offering criticism and offering suggestions focused on improvement. The Chief Executive of the country doesn’t necessarily have the best ideas.

Mr President, you can learn to become a leader who encourages criticism and accept failures as well as accepting suggestions with equanimity by practicing your predecessor’s governance principles. In times like this, we expect our President to seek perspectives and opinions from variety of people, organizations etc, not repeatedly the same team members. Your predecessor, John Mahama, in spite of the pressure you and your party exerted on him and his administration, valued the diversity of others’ opinions as a resource, not a threat. He made adjustments to some of his policies and decisions because of suggestions and criticism from the then opposition, civil society organizations, the clergy etc. People are unwilling or have not the appetite to offer constructive suggestions because of the autocratic style of your leadership. But by encouraging helpful, constructive suggestions and criticism, you can cultivate a culture of feedback, where people feel empowered to offer alternative ideas and suggestions and to constructively criticise peers and superiors and your appointees.

Among good things I saw about John Mahama was that, before taking action, strived to understand the mistakes and the factors that caused it. We saw how he handled the IMF bailout and how he presented his decision to go to the IMF for support to Ghanaians.

Mr President, take time to reflect on the suggestions and constructive criticism coming from the opposition, health experts and civil society organizations. If they are valid, adjust your decisions and actions accordingly to give the whole Covid-19 fight a national support.

Ghana has conducted nearly 3000 Covid-19 test so far, according to Noguchi. But so far, Ghana has only reported 134 confirmed Covid-19 cases and two deaths. Health experts believe there must be many more cases, but they have just not been identified. The health experts are deeply worried that there’s a lot community transmission and we are just not aware of it because there is not widespread testing.

Health experts have also predicted there will be a large uptick in cases over the next two to three weeks as testing capabilities improve. They worry that misinformation from government officials and government communicators add to the country’s challenges in containing the outbreak. This and other cogent medical reasons informed the Ghana Medical Association, the Trade Union Congress and some health experts call on government to lockdown the country.

Experts say Ghana’s responses to previous outbreaks were relatively strong. When Ebola hit West Africa in 2014, President Mahama and his colleagues with the support of the UN and health experts in the subregion, designed effective measures to contain the disease. Some of the equipments acquired by the Mahama administration and facilities built to support the Ebola fight are what we using today to fight the Covid-19 outbreak- that is leadership.

Mr President, unbridled partisan politics should not bury creative ideas. Get on board all who have the wherewithal when it comes to fighting crisis such as this. Be interested instead than defensive and ask for examples to help you understand the issue confronting us. Stiff nakedness at this point is unnecessary. By opening up to criticism, taking suggestions and getting all on board , you’ll demonstrate the kind of reasoned leadership that earns respect from others.

Mr President, seeing suggestions from your political opponents as criticism, will only complicate matters for your administration.

Mr President, on the NIA registration, please and please, bury your parochial interest and that strong desire to recapture power and see to the well being of Ghanaians. Our fervent prayer is that our President doesn’t get infected by Covid-19. But Covid-19 will destroy you, your image and your government not through infection, but aggressive public reaction to the abysmal way your government is handling the crisis. You are above 70 (years) so the expectation was that you will handle this crisis efficiently because of WHO’s information that elderly individuals with underlying health conditions are most at risk to the virus. Have you thought of the deadly consequences the registration will bring on innocent mothers and children who will visit the registration centers? Discerning minds know the agenda behind this rigid stance on this registration exercise, the decision to use the National ID card, the compilation of new register, the enactment of the Imposition of restrictions Act etc. You have totally destroyed that huge image you took years to carve for yourself. Power has successfully tricked you and sinking you deeper.

In spite of the huge investment the Mahama administration made in the health sector, we still lack enough hospital beds. Beyond a question of hospital capacity is a question of trust in our health system. The NHIS has almost collapsed under your watch, hospitals are still overcrowded, lack of staff and drugs etc. I can imagine how our rural folks will handle the disease if it hits their communities.

Source: Ohenenana Obonti Krow 

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