By Abdul Razak Bawa
The last time, Ghana, had a vice-president with the potency to make any meaningful decision, was under Rawlings administration.
The first term of President Jerry John Rawlings, when we begun the fourth republican dispensation in 1992, did not start well.
The country began the democratic journey on a faulty step, when the first vice-president, Kow Nkensen Arkaah, was allegedly assaulted by President Rawlings during a cabinet meeting on Thursday, December 28, 1995.
Then came in the late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills in 1997, Prof. Mills, was the luckiest vice-president in the history of the fourth republic.
The extensive economic programmes initiated by the administration were machined by the late vice-president, who became the president in 2009, until his untimely demise in 2012.
Prof. Mills truly wielded power as the second man in the hierarchy of authority; he chaired the Economic Management Team (EMT) and supervised most of the programmes and policies of the government. It was Prof. Mills’s contribution and depth of knowledge that eventually led to the famous ‘Swedru declaration’.
After Mill’s exit in 2000, came in Alhaji Aliu Mahama, who was vice to President John Agyekum Kufuor. Alhaji Aliu Mahama, was a lame duck Veep, his presence in state affairs, were non-existent. If my memory serves me right, his travels outside the country was not more than ten, in his eight years service as a vice-president.
To cap it all, president Kufuor, did not believe in his ability and capacity to succeed him, even after claiming he has been a good apprentice.
In 2009, a new tale began, with President John Dramani Mahama, being the vice to Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, I cannot dwell so much on this except to state what President Mahama himself said in reference to Prof. Mills, “He trained me very well and gave me all the opportunities, such as head of economic team and chairman of police council among others, which made me the luckiest Vice President in the world”.
The late Amissah Arthur, was amongst the luckiest, not that he was given the room to operate, but was plugged from obscurity and given an opportunity of a life-time.
What does the 1992 Constitution of Ghana says about the office of the vice-president?
The provisions of article 62 of the 1992 Constitution apply to a candidate for election as Vice-President:
- (a) he/she is a citizen of Ghana by birth
- (b) he/she has attained the age of thirty-five years; and
- (c) he/she is a person who is otherwise qualified to be elected a Member of Parliament, except that the disqualifications set out in paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of clause (2) of article 94 of this Constitution shall not be removed, in respect of any such person, by a presidential pardon or by the lapse of time as provided for in clause (5) of that article.
The duties of the vice-president of Ghana are:
- presiding of various meetings in absence of the President
- acting President when the president is out of the country
The Vice-President is also a member of
- The National Security Council
- The Armed Forces Council
- The Police Service Council
- The Prisons Service Council
Really, the power of the Vice President is derived from the President, who selects him as a running mate in an election, his office is a creation of the constitution with responsibilities.
Since 2017, the maelstrom of anger against Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, has widened. The reason for this perhaps, is the perception by some Ghanaians that he lies as much as the devil.
Dr. Bawumia’s faith as a Muslim – is sometimes juxtaposed with allegations of intellectual dishonesty, pretence and of enshrouding the wrongs in the President Akufo-Addo’s administration.
As matter of fact, the Vice President often appears to be singled out for remonstrance for the lapses and controversial policies of the administration.
Unfortunately, Dr. Bawumia, who was once loved and believed to be the person needed to change the fortunes of Ghanaians and is expected to assume a commanding role in the Akufo-Addo administration, has been reduced to an attack dog.
He lives, eats, and breathes John Dramani Mahama, whiles his boss Akufo-Addo, sleeps and wakes up with free Senior High School on his lips.
Dr. Bawumia, has become worse than a footsoldier, a serial caller, who’s only job is to counter John Dramani Mahama.
Some journalists, including Kweku Baako Jnr, rode on the back of Jerry John Rawlings, if Kweku Baako, had done PHD, I can bet my last pesewa, his topic will be about former president Rawlings. I have never seen a humanbeing, hate his fellow man with such unbridled passion.
It looks like Dr. Bawumia, has learnt from the best, he has borrowed a page from Kweku Baako’s book, if you want to make it in politics, pick on someone, who has already made it. Why go through the mill, when there is a short route to the top.
Dr. Bawumia now leads the propaganda wing of the government, lying like his boss comes to them naturally.