WE swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter. For those who have made their intentions known, people continue to assure them of their chances of winning the presidential nomination of the New Patriotic Party. And, the conveyors are rewarded for the mellifluous flattery with money. As the assurances grow so does confidence and so does time and money voted for the ego excursion.
Yet, the bitter truth is that nearly the same bunch of flatterers make the rounds to all the Cabinet Ministers who aspire to President Kufuor's throne with the same good tidings about how great their chances are. The ego trippers, we dare say, are being influenced by what they hear around them, and misled by what they want to hear around them. Our advice to them is to recognise that they are living in a political world which is a playground of illusion, full of false paths, false hopes, and false assurances. May we remind them that the greatest obstacle to discovering the shape of the earth, the continents, and the oceans was not ignorance but the illusion of knowledge.
Unfortunately for them, for the President, for the Government, and for the country, they are casting away priceless time in dreams, borne of imagination, fed upon illusion, which, chances are, will be put to death by reality. President Kufuor deserves better than that. In fact, no chief likes to see heirs to his stool plotting a succession battle when he is alive, well and kicking. Even beyond that, there is a greater good. There is work to be done; and a lot of it, too. Ghana needs deliverance from decades of bad leadership. President Kufuor has the plan. He has ably put into full swing the implementation of that plan. He needs to succeed, and he needs all the help from those whom he has entrusted and empowered to lead Ghana through that positive transition from a state of poverty to a state of hope and opportunity. Those who aspire to serve have to serve, and serve well, if they want, in turn, to be served. Need we remind them that every single one of them is a leading member of the current government that goes before the people in December 2008. Until any one of them resigns in anger, they have only one legitimate platform to fight from – the record of governance, 2001-2008. If this government fails to deliver, they have to account for that. If this government succeeds, they stand a better chance to succeed; their work would be two-thirds done because the main opposition party's Achilles heel is its poor record of governance. As it is, the off-the-mark aspirants may buy the votes of NPP delegates but end up being rejected by the general electorate.
Our feeling is that some of the aspiring leaders take Kufuor, the man, for granted. They take the man's kindness for meekness, and his meekness for weakness. They trample on his style of weighing matters before taking radical decisions.
They look around them and think: “Ah, I can also be President.” But, lest we remind them, many of them were of relative obscurity before the discernment of Kufuor dropped them into the limelight of leadership opportunity. Also, they should not forget that Kufuor did not get to the country's highest office by chance. He just wasn't put there because he was the tallest candidate. He worked at it. Most of all, he has what it takes: Leadership Intelligence.
It is not eloquence, financial wizardry, charisma, or bravery that makes one the overall leader. As one man observed of a royal court, if you are eloquent, you are made the Okyeame (linguist); if you are good with money, you become Sanaahene (Treasurer); if you are brave, you are honoured with Osahene (Chief of Defence); and if you have charisma, perhaps, the court jester.
President Kufuor is a leader today because he was adjudged by his peers and all to have leadership qualities and the voters endorsed that confidence – twice! He is there because he deserves to be. And for all those who think they can do a better job, let them check themselves again.
We believe selfishness is a virtue and, hence, pity those who mistake the pursuit of self-defeatism for selfishness. To be selfish is to want to advance your self desire – the ego. And, in the race for 2008, that selfish wish can only be well-placed for realisation when the ruling party delivers and is seen to have delivered convincingly enough to be trusted for another term. This, need we say, will depend on the individual and collective contribution of all those gunning for the top job. Everyone must make that the one and only focus of main priority, until such time that they are ready to quit and pursue other interests.
Kufuor deserves a better display of gratitude. Not this attitude of myopic considerations.
To be continued