Finally, on March 29th, 2012, which also happens to be his 68th birthday, the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, selected international economist Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, his running mate in the 2008 elections, to partner him in the December 7, 2012 elections
Indeed, to have a matured, experienced, proven political leader like Nana Akufo-Addo as presidential candidate, and a young energetic, handsome and affable international technocrat like Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia as running mate, to lead the NPP to the 2012 presidential election, is one “Dream Team” any political party desirous of enhancing the well being of our country, will be envious of.
The marketability of Dr. Bawumia should have been an important factor when Nana Addo decided to select his 2012 partner. Dr. Bawumia has been marketed in all the constituencies of the country. In the run-up to the 2008 elections, everywhere one went and saw the picture of Nana Addo, one was likely to see the picture of Dr. Bawumia; and everywhere Nana Addo went to spread his campaign message, one was likely to see Dr. Bawumia by his side.
Surely, you have not forgotten that day in the life of the former Ashanti Regional Minister, that day he will never forget. That was the day the octogenarian, Hon. Kofi Opoku-Manu, on his rounds to some selected schools to fraternize with the pupils on their first day at school, asked a class to tell him who the president of Ghana is. And hurriedly, an enthusiastic pupil put up his hand just as we all did in class during our primary school days, when we were very sure of the correct answer to a teacher's question. So, when that pupil raised his hand to answer a question from not less a person, but the Minister of the whole Ashanti region, he (pupil) must have definitely been very much convinced about the correctness of his answer. Now, when that bold pupil finally provided his answer for the name of the president, the jaws of the minister and his entire team dropped to their chests in complete amazement when Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was mentioned as the current president of the Republic of Ghana. Logically one can say that if the minister had asked for the name of the vice-president, the said pupil would most likely have mentioned the name “Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia” over Mr. John Dramani Mahama.
Dr. Bawumia brings on board what I like to term “the Balancing factor”. Nana Addo is an elderly internationally respected political leader. He is versed in the laws of the country, and his immense desire to champion democratic governance and respect for fundamental human rights can not be contended. Dr. Bawumia is an economist of international repute. He has worked not only in Ghana, but in various parts of the world, and I can bet you, John Dramani Mahama will grow green with envy when he reads his successor's professional profile.
As head of the Monetary Policy and Financial Stability Department, Dr. Bawumia implemented the analytical framework that guides monetary policy and the workings of the Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of Ghana. The inflation targeting framework established was successful in reducing inflation from over 40% in 2000 to 10.2 % by 2007.
He was a member of the Government Team to negotiate the Millennium Challenge Account Compact with the US Government. He was responsible for drafting the financial sector component of the MCA Compact. The MCA Compact yielded financing for $547 million of projects. The N1 Highway (George walker Bush Highway), extension of portable water, electricity, irrigation activities, construction of 207 blocks of schools as part of efforts to eradicate schools-under-trees, construction of feeder roads, improvement in ferry activities , and the extension of rural electrification are all some of the benefits of the MCA compact which Dr. Bawumia was instrumental in securing.
As Chairman of the Capital Markets Committee, he was responsible for the strategy for accessing the international capital markets with a debut $750 million dollars, which was four times oversubscribed. He was part of the team that designed and implemented the successful redenomination of the cedi which was hailed globally.
Dr. Bawumia played a key role in the design and implementation of the e-zwich common platform for all banks, savings and loans companies and rural banks. This common platform has resulted in inter-operability across different financial institutions. The first nationwide technologically-driven platform for monetary transactions across the country, the e-zwich put Ghana on the map as a world leader in the application of biometric smartcard technology for banking the unbanked.
Fellow Ghanaians, our economy is in shambles and all the social intervention policies the Kufuor administration introduced have either remained the way they are, or are failing. The free school uniform for our kids has been turned into a one-size fits all attire where the 'Oye adie yie” has to stand by for emergency alteration, hen-coop-like structures are being built at astronomical cost, under the guise of eradicating schools under trees. You see, when you have a vice-president versed in publicity gymnastics, that is what he will bring to the presidency: publicity gimmicks.
Vice-President John Dramani Mahama was very instrumental in bringing the all-famous STX deal to Ghana. The deal, if it had gone through would have provided housing, not only to members of the security outfit, but the ordinary Ghanaian as well. The deal was made under the umbrella, with a lot of fanfare and all sorts of Publicity tricks, to of course shore up the image of the NDC. I vividly remember the hurriedly put-together launching of the STX deal where some Chinese artisans were quickly dressed in some three-piece suit to sign a contract which was obviously not going to bear any fruits.
Lets not also forget how then Minister for Works and Housing Alban Bagbin, when pushed to provide evidence that the STX deal had not collapsed, led media personnel to a snake, rabbit and grasscutter farm around Dodowa, ostensibly to show them work progressing on the STX deal. We later heard that he was involved in some serious blows with vice-president Mahama over this STX matter. Who the winner was, I cannot tell. The vice president is very unhappy with the way the STX deal went down. He knows it will haunt his presidential ambition. He knew at a point in time that things were not going well with the deal. However, because he is not versed in the economics and economic legalities of the whole deal, he did not know how to address the matter. Around that time, his boss President Mills had run away to chill somewhere after failing to achieve less than one-tenth of his action year promises.
If our vice-president were an astute international economist like Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, we would definitely have been spared all the financial loss to the state, by chasing that phantom STX deal. I dare say that we would have gotten a better deal under Dr. Bawumia's oversight and members of our security agencies would be well housed by now.
As far as I can tell, the vice-president has always been the chairman of the Economic Management Team. If what Egya Atta brought to Ghanaians when he held that position, and what John Mahama is doing to us now, is anything to go by, then we can forecast how things are going to be like without Dr. Bawumia as vice-president. As chairman of the country's economic management team, there is no way Dr. Bawumia would sign off over 700millionGH as judgment debts to party cronies. The implications of such a careless economic decision would surely not have been lost to him. But with an economic tabula rasa in the person of Vice-president John Mahama presiding over the “nitigrities” of Ghana's economy, these are some of the pits we will continue to fall in. Dr. Bawumia knows the economic terrain like the back of his hands and if we are desirous of an economic brain to complement the astute leadership of Nana Addo, then he is our man.
Let us not take lightly, the family and religious background of Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia. His father, the distinguished Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia, was a teacher, lawyer and veteran politician who devoted virtually all his life to public service. He was also the chairman of the Council of State. The late Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia was a Mamprugu Royal and Paramount Chief of the Kperiga Traditional Area at the time of his passing in September 2002. He was a founding member of the Northern Peoples' Party alongside such political stalwarts as Chief S. D. Dombo, Yakubu Tali, the Tolon Naa, and J. A. Braimah, Kabachewura. The Northern People's Party, together with the National Liberation Movement and other opposition political parties later metamorphosed into the United Party.
Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia is a devout Muslim, an important factor that cannot be wished away. The NPP unlike its opponent the NDC has always fielded a northern Muslim as its running mate. Religion is a way of life in Ghana. We have Muslim holidays on our national calendar. Islam is the second largest religion in Ghana. There is no way the New Patriotic Party which believes in true representation as a pinnacle of democracy, will not go in for somebody who does not represent a very important and significant sect of the Ghanaian populace. With the fatwa declared by Fiifi Kwetey that a Muslim can never be President of Ghana, the declaration by Sam Pee Yalley that the President should not reside near the people of Nima, and the SADA con that the NDC led by vice-president Mahama applied on our brothers and sisters up north, presenting a person like Dr. Bawumia to our kith and kin up north can only be described briefly, as most appropriate.
I'm indeed glad that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has decided to maintain Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia as his running mate because, as pollster Ben Ephson put it, “he lost not because of Bawumia but out of the party's own complacency that they will win by all means”. Nana's maintenance of Dr. Bawumia is apt because he has been marketed enough and there is no mud to throw at him. Compared to their own, they dare not.
A few names had been put forward as potentials to partner Nana Addo in the 2012 elections. They included Deputy General Manager of Metro TV Alhaji Alhassan Haruna, Deputy Minority Leader and NPP MP for Lawra/Nandom Ambrose Derry, and Leopowura, Alhaji M. N. D. Jawula. Since the announcement of Dr. Bawumia as the running mate of Nana Addo, I have heard these fine gentlemen on various media platform, extending their congratulations and well wishes to him, and promising to assist in every way they can, to ensure victory for Nana Addo and the NPP in December.
So, at last, with selection of a running-mate for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the person of Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, the stage is set for the NPP to release its political arsenals to topple the incompetent Saint Atta Mills-led NDC come December 7, 2012. All are invited on board!
BY YAW P. K. MANU