President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has explained that he maintains calm composure and stability during crisis as President.
That is to motivate the citizenry not to wobble but be assured that whatever the situation, it is surmountable.
“I am compelled by where I am to be stable and composed and make sure that I reflect that for the people of Ghana to understand that the problems the country is going through are surmountable and not one in which we have to hang our heads and be defeated,” he assured.
President Akufo-Addo stated this when he addressed students of the Wesley Girls High School of Cape Coast who were at the Jubilee House in Accra on an educational tour last Wednesday.
This was an answer to a question posed by one of the students about how the President is able to maintain his composure in the midst of challenges and crisis.
The students from senior high school year two and three (SHS2 and SHS3) asked questions ranging from how government operates, foreign aid and its influence on the economy, President’s composure during crisis and how resources are shared for schools to benefit.
In what could pass as one of the longest open interactions the President has had with any group that visited the Jubilee House, especially students, President Akufo-Addo took the students, numbering over 150, through the principles of separation of powers, checks and balances and how those democratic building blocks have operated in Ghana since independence.
He also took them through the work of all the three arms of government and centred on the Executive branch which he heads, and how each of the ministries, departments and agencies operated under the Executive.
Answering questions, President Akufo-Addo noted that if there were challenges and crisis and he, the President of the country, was seen by Ghanaians as wobbly, it meant that the country was also trembling and that would not bode well for the citizenry.
“It is important in leadership that you show that composure so that when events occur they can be surmounted and controlled for the people to know that it was not an issue we have to hang our heads and be defeated,” the President added.
“It is important that in leadership you do show that composure so that events when they occur are events that can be surmounted and controlled,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo said the most dramatic situation he had experienced was the outbreak of the COVID-19 when he was in Switzerland and saw on the news about the outbreak in China, which got him alarmed because of the interaction between Ghanaians and the Chinese, especially at the level of trade.
“Immediately I recognised that there was the need for us to approach this problem systematically so that we don’t get overwhelmed by the epidemic,” the President said, and added that he focused on what exactly needed to be done.
Touching on educational choices he made that propelled him to be a President, he said he studied Economics for his First Degree and even thought Law was something that was common in his house because his late father was an astute lawyer, for which reason he was initially not interested in.
President Akufo-Addo said later he studied Law and started practising, saying “these and other things I read helped me in the work and decision I made as a leader”.
Explaining how policies were formulated and implemented, the President cited the example of the Free SHS, a decision he said was taken when the party was in opposition, and it was based on empirical data that each year about 100,000 students from the JHS level could not make it to the SHS due to lack of resources on the part of their parents and guardians.
President Akufo-Addo said he had also read about how the United States took the decision to enact a law to ensure that secondary education was free and said if a typical market economy nation such as the USA could do that, why was it that Ghana could not do it.
The President said the New Patriotic Party looked at the benefits that the country would derive, the cost and the policy implications and decided that they would implement it irrespective of the teething challenges.
President Akufo-Addo paid glowing tribute to Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh and Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, the then Minister and his deputy respectively for the excellent manner in which they executed the policy with passion and dedication.