On Sunday, a colleague posted a message on a whatsapp group that I belong to, a friend later resent the same message to my personal number; it was simple and straight to the point.
The message read “In the midst of our increasing economic woes, I humbly suggest that Mr President should do the following”, the message went on to list some of the things the President must do to win the 2016 presidential election.
A lot of suggestions were made, but one suggestion that struck me was that President John Dramani Mahama, should appoint the Vice-President, Mr Amissah Arthur to go back and head the Bank of Ghana (BoG). I do not know the Constitutional provisions on the office of the Vice-President, but I think such an appointment will be an upfront to the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
I want us to look at the merit of that suggestion, but before that we need to answer three very critical questions.
Firstly, what did the Vice-President bring to the table in 2012?
Secondly, what has he brought to the government?
Thirdly, what will be his contributions in 2016?
I said three, but I think I can squeeze this in and that is, has he learnt the ropes of politics?
Until he was announced as the Vice-President, when President John Dramani Mahama, took over after the demise of President John Evans Atta Mills, which brought him to the limelight, not much was known about him in the domestic political scene, but by the standards of the day, he came, he saw and he conquered, why because he and his boss took only three months to beat a well known and already marketed candidate in the person of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
It is now becoming clearer and more so by the confession of Ex-President, Jerry John Rawlings, that President Mahama, won the 2012 election on his own merit and strength, but will his strength come to his benefit in 2016, the answer is a big No.
The election 2016, is going to be as someone termed it, mother of all elections. The President, John Mahama, will not want to go down in history, as the first President since we ushered in the 1992 democratic dispensation to serve one term in office, Nana Addo Dankwa of the NPP, is making his last attempt at fulfilling his lifelong dream of governing this country.
So you see, every hand should be on deck from both side of the political divide, if either wishes to win.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the running mate of Nana Addo, has already given indications what of what to come next year, unlike his offshore boss, Dr. Bawumia, is everywhere given lectures and all ending at rubbishing what the government is doing, has done or hope to do.
He has questioned the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures, questioned the rate of inflation and cursed the cedi, never to rise against its major trading currencies; he even predicted that Ghana would be going back to the Breton Wood Institutions for a bailout and true to his prediction, we did.
When he was going round propounding theories and wishing the country doom, with his concocted figures, our able Vice-President, who is also an accomplished economist and banker, is nowhere to be found or heard from.
Dr. Bawumia, has earned a nickname from Ghanaians, he has endeared himself to the heart of many people, especially those we call floating voters, who see in him a new breed of politician.
I personally see in Bawumia, the first Muslim President of Ghana in the making.
The Veep, was a deputy Minister in the Rawlings’s regime and so if for nothing at all, he is more experienced politically than Dr. Bawumia, he cut his political teeth before Dr Bawumia, could ever dream of entering politics, which was by accident.
Juxtapose Dr. Bawumia’s performance to that of the Vice-President and you will come to the conclusion that the Veep is still lurking in the shadows.
Anytime, Dr Bawumia, delivers a lecture, my expectation has been done that, it will be countered by Amissah Arthur, instead of living it to the government communicators to dissect and punch holes into what he said about the economy. Often, discerning Ghanaians, will take with a pinch of salt anything coming from a government communicator, who knows next to nothing about economics.
Imagine, how rich the debate will be, if Amissah Arthur is the one out there speaking to the issues raised by Dr. Bawumia in his lectures, but no, he will not speak as he is tight lipped about anything that affect the survival of the government he is privileged to serve in.
On page 75 of Monday, May 18, edition of the Daily Graphic was a story captioned “We Will Protect Children Against Exploitation-Veep”, the Veep was in London last Friday, where he addressed the Federation of Cocoa Commerce.
This was a nice and developmental story by all standard and justification, but it was buried on page 75 of a national daily. The Dumsor vigil organized by some celebrities rather made the front page and a lead story for that edition.
The Vice-President is always competing with Obituaries and Classifieds in the Daily Graphic, whilst Ministers of State and other government appointees make the front pages of the Daily Graphic and other newspapers.
The First Lady, Madam Lordina Mahama, is more visible than the Vice-President; she is making the headlines in her philanthropic works.
Mr Veep, politics is serious business, you are not cut for it, but you are in it, so please lace your boots and get into the game.
If the problem is the inability of your handlers to market you well and bring to the public what you are doing, then please fire them and appoint competent people to handle you.