Chief Executive Officer of the Atta Mills Foundation, Koku Anyidoho has commended President Akufo-Addo for what he describes as a ‘pleasant’ presentation during his address to the Nation.
According to Mr. Anyidoho, the President in his latest address employed the three critical principles of crisis communication which include pity, praise, and promise and delivered effectively on them.
In his fifth address to the Nation on Sunday, April 5, 2020, President Akufo-Addo highlighted his government’s enhanced measures in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and sympathized with Ghanaians for the restriction imposed on them. He also commended health workers and security personnel for their immense contribution to the fight.
Reacting to the President’s delivery on Accra-based Okay FM, Monday, April 6, 2020, Mr. Anyidoho indicated that the 3Ps in addition to the broad consultations with all relevant stakeholders have yielded good results.
“For me as a crisis communication manager, so far, my take is that in terms of communication, His Excellency President Akufo-Addo has communicated pleasantly well on this crisis. In fact, when it comes to crisis communication there are three principle ingredients you need and that is the principle of the 3Ps, you pity, you praise and you promise.”
“You must pity first, you must praise and then you promise, and I think that yesterday, from beginning to end if I was the one writing the speech for the President as I did for President Mills in so many instances, I would have done same. Even before the 3Ps, a very critical ingredient in crisis communication is stakeholder consultation. So that you won’t rush and comment on issues and apologize for not doing enough consultation and so you need enough stakeholder consultation.”
“He took his time to engage the health workers, frontline, middle line, and backline, he engaged the security agencies, he engaged religious leaders, the media, at a point even when he forgot them he quickly remembered you and brought you back on board. At all times, it is obvious that His Excellency the President Akufo-Addo has been doing serious consultation. The president is not asking like he knows it all so he is consulting and it means that the stakeholder consultation has worked well for him,” he noted.
He further applauded President Akufo-Addo for his resolve to fall on science and data to make all decisions during this outbreak.
He likened the situation Ghana is in currently regarding calls for a total lockdown of the country to when the late President Mills was under pressure to decide between committing the Ghanaian troops to war during the 2010–11 Ivorian crisis, indicating that any decision Ghana will make in these times may influence decisions by other African countries.
“What I am very happy about is that he said going forward, everything he will say will be based on all science, data, research-driven, not empty propaganda and noise. People are calling for lockdown, lockdown, but total lockdown based on what data? Because the people in the US are doing it so we do it also? Do we have the same circumstances? no, so the President is telling us he will make decisions based on science.”
“For me data-driven, research-driven, not panicking, if you are a medical doctor in an emergency and you panic, you will kill the patient so this is not the time for the President to panic and has so far proven to us he is not going to panic, he based on science, this is not the time for panic. Partial lockdown for 2 weeks, he spoke with us yesterday and gave us the way forward, he consulted the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, he’s not talking out of a vacuum.”
“It’s a similar thing Prof Mills did when the ivory coast crisis came. That time NPP members wanted him to commit Ghanaian troops to war, President Mills did not panic, ECOWAS had made a resolution that we should go to war but President Mills came back home and did broad stakeholder consultation, consulted President Rawlings, consulted retired military generals and once Ghana refused to commit to war, Nigeria didn’t and nobody in Ecowas did and that was the end of the Ecowas resolution.”
“So those who are saying it has happened elsewhere so we should do it here, there is a possibility that the decision we will make in Ghana will be replicated by other countries…I support the President 100% for not panicking and going for a total lockdown” he added.