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25.02.2009 Feature Article

History Predicts that President Mills will likely Fail

History Predicts that President Mills will likely Fail

With all due respect to our academicians, while Ghana has not had too many Presidents and only one Prime Minister, the evidence about our past National Leaders seem to suggest that our "learned/doctor" National Leaders tend to be the weakest and most unimpressive performers. In fact, this fact is true in many places including my other Country of Canada. By the way, by "learned" or "doctor", I mean the Ph.D. holders who typically work as academics or in other civil service type arena as opposed to the private sector. These folks are probably best suited as technocrats or subject experts.

I am well educated myself and I do believe that a good education is critical to good leadership. However, there seems to be something negative to leadership skills that happens to those who spend too much time in academic circles.

For those who are ready to stop reading because they believe that Kwame Nkrumah is still Ghana's finest President ever and he was a "doctor" and therefore my article does not make sense, I have news for you! President Nkrumah actually was not a "doctor". He received honorary doctorates but did not study for or earn a Ph.D. He spent more of his time after school working in the real world and on the political streets.

While I will rate President Kufuor ahead of President Nkrumah mainly because I blame President Nkrumah for being the biggest reason why Ghana's democracy is so far behind where it should have been, I will rate him second to President Kufuor. I know I will catch a lot of flak from Nkrumahists but I am not afraid of being honest with my opinions. President Nkrumah should be harshly judged for being power-drunk and formenting a culture of coup that culminated in the 19 years of J.J. Rawlings' misrule/abuse/dictatorship. So, while President Nkrumah was the most visionary and achieving leader we have had, many like me who consider democracy and human rights as paramount, will always give him very high minuses for his glaring failures in those areas.

Anyhow, our past elected leaders who were real "doctors" were PM Kofi Abrefa Busia and President Limamn. Need I say anymore that they were unimpressive in their rules compared to their less "learned" fellow leaders before or after them? Even, the O Level Failing Mr. J.J. Rawlings was more consequential than these two "doctors", as a leader.

I will scope out too much discussion of why these "doctors" tend to fail as national leaders. But, suffice it to say that these "doctors" likely fail because they are not attuned enough to the regular folks, too fond of their theories and not street-smart enough.

To conclude, I like to remind you of the background of the current President, Professor Mills. He happens to be "learned". Already, we can see a lot of indecisiveness from the Professor such as what to do about the obnoxious retirement package the last government put together for themselves just before they left office. This style if akin to PM Busia. We also see a lot of lack of control over his own party and government, with so many NDC folks/leaders doing whatever they want, reminiscent of President Limamn.

There is no question that this President has a good amount of time between now and 2012 to do well. But, if history, his background and his recent actions/inactions are any guide, this man is likely fall somewhere between President Limamn and PM Busia.

Prince Ofosu Sefah
Prince Ofosu Sefah, © 2009

This author has authored 27 publications on Modern Ghana. Author column: PrinceOfosuSefah

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