Says Haruna Attah
The Accra Daily Mail Managing Editor, Alhaji Haruna Attah, has strongly condemned former Deputy Central Bank Governor, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, for using the maiden Aliu Mahama memorial lecture to attack the current Government’s handling of the economy.
Haruna Attah, who said, Dr. Bawumia was supposed to speak on “The need for a disciplined youth to advance development”, fumed that Dr. Bawumia displayed “crass partisanship” by his “unwarranted attack” against the Government which, according to Haruna Attah, “took everyone by surprise”.
He is the head of Publicity Committee of the Aliu Mahama memorial lecture.
Haruna Attah, has since released a letter dissociating himself from Dr. Bawumia’s claims at the Aliu Mahama memorial lecture on Wednesday.
In a one-page statement available to The Herald, Haruna Attah wrote “this is to dissociate myself from the lecture delivered by Dr. Mahmudu Bawumiya at the Aliu Mahama Memorial Lecture yesterday, November 13 2011”.
According to him, Dr. Bawumia “not only deviated from the topic he was given, but exploited the platform to indulge in an unwarranted partisan political point scoring exercise and by so doing, totally desecrated the memory of the man the lecture was supposed to ennoble. It was not in good taste”.
“I also wish to apologise to the President of Ghana, H.E. John Dramani Mahama and his government for this unfair and uncalled-for attack on them”, he wrote.
“…I walked out of the lecture because I didn’t want to be part of that kind of crass partisanship which the young man showed yesterday”, Haruna Attah, who confessed to voting for President John Mahama in the 2012 general elections, told XYZ Breakfast Show host Moro Awudu.
“Yesterday Dr. Bawumia exhibited the lowest of the lowest”, Haruna Attah thundered, adding that: “…You don’t use a memorial lecture that is meant to ennoble the memory of someone who stood for certain values, as a political platform to attack others”.
“…And the disrespect he showed to the President was what gored me because Dr. [Clement] Apaak was sitting there as the representative of the President of the Republic. He was there on the high table. Dr. Apaak read a message from the President of Ghana and if Dr. Bawumia does not respect the President of Ghana, does he expect us to respect him? So I walked out. I want the public to know I walked out on Dr. Bawumia, because Politicians should not be encouraged to do the wrong things”, the Chairman of the Publicity Committee of Aliu Mahama memorial Lecture said.
He said: “Look I’m not happy at all so I don’t want my name to be associated with what that young man did and like my statement said, I also want to make it public on your programme, my apology to the President and his Government because he did nothing to deserve what that young man did”.
At the Wednesday night lecture on the theme: “Discipline in economic management: the key to sustainable growth and prosperity”, the twice-defeated Vice Presidential Candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), said even though the NDC Government is the first to have oil revenue at its disposal in Ghana’s history, it has failed to properly manage the economy.
Dr. Bawumia said the NDC Government, since 2009 till date, has borrowed over US$20 billion but has not used that money for anything transformational.
He said, the NDC’s “Akomfem Socialism” – taking from the majority poor and giving to the minority rich through corrupt means – has made the ordinary Ghanaian worse off.
According to him, “at the end of 2012, Ghana’s budget deficit was a gargantuan GH¢8.7 billion, amounting to 12.0 per cent of GDP using the rebased GDP numbers. This is the highest recorded budget deficit in Ghana’s history. The GH¢8.7 billion deficit would have been able to finance seven years of free secondary school education”.
An Aide to Dr. Bawumia, Yaw Buaben Asamoah, however, disagreed with Haruna Attah’s concerns.
“Really I don’t know what prompts my big brother to go the extent of singularly dissociating himself from remarks made by Dr Bawumia; remarks which I believe the person in whose memory they were made would be more than happy to associate [with] because Aliu Mahama in his lifetime had Dr. Bawumia virtually as a son; he believed in Dr Bawumia and he had high hopes for Dr. Bawumia…I believe Aliu Mahama, if he were alive, would more than associate with the remarks Dr. Bawumia made”, Buaben Asamoah said.
Meanwhile, Head of Policy Monitoring and Evaluation at the Flagstaff House, Dr. Tony Aidoo, has described Dr. Bawumia as a competent Accountant, rather than an Economist.
“The problem with Dr Bawumia is that he presents himself as an Economist and yet his whole capability is that of an Accountant,” Dr. Aidoo said yesterday.
Dr. Aidoo, insists Dr. Bawumia lacks the competence to make a correct analysis of the economy.
O. B. Amoah and Kwasi Abeasi, two Co-Chairmen of the Committee has also reacted to Mr Haruna Attah’s statement.
A statement also issued by them said “The attention of the committee to mark the first anniversary of the passing away of Alhaji Aliu Mahama, has been drawn to a statement purporting to come from Haruna Atta, a member of the committee”.
“Haruna Atta claims to act on behalf of the Publicity Committee in disassociating itself from the lecture ably delivered by Dr. Bawumia and chaired by former President Kufuor. We wish to place on record that Haruna Atta has no mandate to issue any statement on behalf of the committee”.
He is entitled to his own appreciation of the professional and academic presentation by Dr. Bawumia on the need to ensure discipline in the country, especially fiscal discipline in our economy.
We express our profound gratitude to all those who honoured the memory of the late former Vice-President with their presence and resources.
We are particularly grateful to former President Kufuor, the Chairman for the occasion and Dr. Mahamud Bawumia whose brilliance and delivery on the night regarding the role of fiscal discipline in our economic growth since independence, did justice to the late Aliu Mahama’s passionate appeal for us all to DO THE RIGHT THING.