Rev. Dr. Atiemo writes: John Mahama; Paragon of HumilityFormer President John Mahama

Rev. Dr. Atiemo writes: John Mahama; Paragon of Humility

His commitment to the nation and exemplary leadership style is not only worthy of emulation but equally inspiring for the next generation.

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The Mahama family should be proud of their son, father, uncle, husband, uncle, brother, in law because he built a solid and impeccable record of integrity, which is the greatest asset any individual should leave behind.

John Mahama in office succeeded in protecting his reputation because greed was far removed from his mind.

While some Ghanaian politicians perceive public office as an opportunity to line their pockets, Mahama puts a higher premium on honest labour than on greedy accumulation of questionable wealth overnight. When you look at John Mahama’s modest lifestyle and his incredible humble possessions, you would be disarmed at once by his honesty and genuine patriotism. Because of his humility, he attracts better people and earns more respect, confidence and loyalty than his colleagues who rely upon ego and political power. He always shifts attention from himself and focuses on the contributions and needs of Ghanaians. He is humble on the outside and confident on the inside. His critics including myself mistook his humility as a sign of meekness or powerlessness but that is his inner strength. He admits his mistakes and always willing to share his own missteps and mistakes uncommon with African leaders.

He seeks input from others. The first step of turning to others for input is being vulnerable enough to admit that you need help and insight of others, which is a sign of great character on its own. His decision to go to the IMF for credibility support stabilised the Ghanaian economy, restored investor confidence, stabilized the cedi and made Ghana the safest environment for doing business in West Africa. He is not the “Mr I know all type”. Rather than viewing his limits as a threat or a sign of frailty, he surrounds himself with others who have complementary skills.

His commitment to the nation and exemplary leadership style is not only worthy of emulation but equally inspiring for the next generation.

He rose to become our moral compass and guiding spirit, provided vision, cohesion and direction to Ghanaians. For those of us who knew him, he was, first, the rarest of human beings, who touched and inspired everyone he met. He was compassionate to the core, generous in spirit, warm beyond measure and kind to a fault. He was/deeply respectful of others and gifted with a rare sense of humour. Orator without parallel, he could switch from disarming humour to a lofty vision with ease, with a rare ability to connect with people naturally, to stir them to self-belief and to a higher cause. I was one of his critics but made sure my criticisms were based on facts and authentic figures. I criticized him constructively and exerted pressure on his administration, but was always accommodating and respectful of our points and view. I was thrown into a state of confusion when I received a call from Mr Mahama respectfully requesting me to furnish him with details of some points I had raised in a discussion we had with him in New York. In his simplicity and integrity, in his dignity and empathy, and a sense of personal non-attachment to the highest office, he became an inspiration for a nation of youth.

He sowed the seeds of much of the economic success that we have experienced in recent times. It was the Mahama who prepared the foundation of a Ghana that is ready to take on the mantle of continental leadership in the 21st century. He irreversibly changed Ghana’s place in the world. Equally important, John Mahama brought to bear his extraordinary understanding of world affairs and formidable diplomatic skills to gain global acceptance of new realities. His submission on US-Cuba relationship and the Palestinian question shocked the whole world.

Indeed, it is the combination of his legacies of creating strategic capabilities, promoting stronger economic growth, undertaking multi-directional diplomacy and harnessing of diaspora energies that is today the basis for the respect we command across the world

I think like Nkrumah, John Mahama was ahead of the times because he had a sense of history and could peer into the soul of Ghana from his grasp of our civilisational ethos. There is always room to be a better person and leader. If you can cultivate humility as a skill.

I personally congratulate him for his victory (election to lead the NDC) and his wonderful achievements in his life particularly for his humility, deep sense of honesty and faith he showed in the various aspects of governance, politics and democracy as President. He lost 2016 partly because of his humility and honesty. He was too sincere and open. He could have made all the promises under the sun including restoration of allowances, fuel price reduction, cut taxes etc to win votes..but considered the interest of our growth and sustainability of gains made above his personal comfort and interest. Ghana needs leaders who are committed to the nation.

By: Rev. Dr. Theophilous Atiemo