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AKUFO-ADDO’s ROLE IN DAGBON: WHAT DECISIVE LEADERSHIP LOOKS LIKE

General News

As a mortal human being, President Nana Akufo-Addo will be the last person anywhere in the world to claim he is perfect. By the same token, every open-minded Ghanaian will not hesitate to affirm that based on his track record since taking the seat of the presidency, he can rightfully claim not only as strategic but also as decisive leader Ghana has had in a long time.

As a mortal human being, President Nana Akufo-Addo will be the last person anywhere in the world to claim he is perfect. By the same token, every open-minded Ghanaian will not hesitate to affirm that based on his track record since taking the seat of the presidency, he can rightfully claim not only as strategic but also as decisive leader Ghana has had in a long time.

Let the naysayers proclaim whatever they want to, but the records are posted conspicuously on the walls of public domain about his decisive exploits.

From the landmark Free SHS; committed fight against illegal mining to protect the nation’s pristine environment; Planting For Food And Jobs; construction of interregional railway networks; elimination of dumsor-dumsor; reduction of electricity tariffs; abandoned factories, including Obuasi Gold Mines, coming back to production life; and, last but not the least, to the behind-the-scenes role played in brokering peace regarding the decades of fratricidal conflict among the people of Dagbon, the president continues to demonstrate to Ghanaians exactly what decisive leadership looks like.

Clarity and speed

We know there are countless traits or there are different worldviews with regard to the qualities a leader must have to be seen as decisive. However, it is strongly suggested elsewhere that people or leaders considered decisive move fast and display clarity of purpose in their decision-making processes. In every practical sense, President Akufo-Addo’s leadership style has proven to be consistent with clarity and speed. In other words, leaders who are decisive “say exactly what they mean, and mean exactly what they say.”

All hyper-partisanship aside, thoroughly looking at the campaign promises then presidential candidate Nana Addo Akufo-Addo made prior to the 2016 general elections, it is obvious a great deal of the NPP leader’s pre-election pledges have been decisively delivered as listed earlier.

Dagbon promise

More specifically, when campaigning for the highest office of the land in 2016, the “Kyebi tough guy” promised, if elected, he would push for peaceful coexistence between Abudus and Andanis; and, lo and behold, as president he has done it in the most decisive way possible.

Certainly, the Dagbon land has a rich culture and history in Ghana. But it is also true, like many other cultures around the world, that Dagbon has shown over the years it has unenviable propensity to use deadly conflicts to settle problems arising from its land and leadership matters. Ironically, the deadly feuds that often happen in Dagbon are pretty much family-related. Keep in mind the Abudus and the Andanis are two sides of one pesewa.

It is well documented that civil wars or inter-sibling conflicts can be more destructive, long-lasting, and tend to minimise the level of harmony within the clans than those between two different opposing nations. Thus, siblings are more familiar with each other and likely to know more about the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the other feuding siblings. Stated differently, the bitterness normally associated with intra-tribal conflicts has been known to be deep-rooted and often uncompromising.

Probably, this explains why the previous disputes between the Abudus and the Andanis had been lethal with their attendant entrenched sectarian and competing interests that contributed to cripple the socioeconomic development of the Dagbon traditional area.

Unbiased commitment

The foregoing suggests that notwithstanding the jubilations and the façade of unity exhibited during the coronation of Yaa Naa Mahama Abukari II in Yendi few days ago, one can bet Nana Akufo-Addo and all peace-loving Ghanaians will not naively get caught up in the pageantries which engulfed the enskinment ceremony and pretend lasting peace has finally dawn on Dagbon kingdom.

All the same, no selfless Ghanaian will contest against President Akufo-Addo’s unbiased commitment and decisive push for Dagbon people to witness this historic milestone in an area notorious for its disunity and belligerence.

Admittedly, the road ahead regarding the Dagbon peace process is winding and full of unexploded socio-cultural landmines that can potentially set off at any time. Yet, if all the interested parties navigate carefully and sensibly (which they seem to be doing now) in the rough and stubborn terrains of Dagbon, enduring peace may not be elusive this time around.

Tiresome Cynics

Interestingly, the cynics and some of the so-called leading scholars of Dagbon chieftaincy impasse are casting doubts about the peaceful outcome so far. They argue that it is too premature for President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo alone to embark on a victory lap because Ghanaians have seen this “show of unity” before in Dagbon.

More so, many others in the opposition NDC, as expected, are lamely saying former president J.A. Kufuor rather than this current president should be given most of the credit. For these NDC negativists, the relative peace in Dagbon today is the culmination of the work of the Committee of Eminent Chiefs set up by Mr. Kufuor. They therefore say the ex-president deserves almost all the praises than anyone else.

The problem of this line of argument (if it qualifies for argument at all) is that it woefully fails to understand that he who actually cooks the food from its raw state to where everyone can eat is regarded as the main cook and not those who assemble or bring in the ingredients. In this case, Nana Akufo-Addo is the chief chef. Period!

Collective efforts

This is not to trivialise the concerted efforts of all the major players, especially the Eminent Chiefs whose role led to what seems to be the “mother of all peace” in Dagbon.

Just imagine what Ghanaians led by the propaganda machine of the Mahama-hijacked NDC would say about the Addo-Akufo-led administration if all the collective determination of the Eminent Chiefs to secure peace in Dagbon had failed.

For some reasons, all the past presidents, at least from 2000 to 2016, did not marshal enough courage and decisiveness to end the protracted conflict in Dagbon. Clearly, the Dagbon kingdom for years was clamouring for a decisive political leader and they found one in the current president. This is why Dagbon has a substantive Ya Naa today. The NDC government under ex-president Mahama did not have the political willpower to do it but President Akufo-Addo has followed through his promise by securing peace for Dagbon. And this is a cold fact!