By Abukari Majeed
Mr. Alan Kyeremanten for sometime now has been very dormant on the political terrain whilst Dr Bawumia has been very dominant. This, in my view has no political impact on the dominance over the dormancy, since the party has not even had its party officers in place let alone having opened nominations for the flag-bearership race.
That notwithstanding, Mr. Alan dormancy ever since the npp took leadership of governance of this country- even in his first term of office as Trade minister, should’nt be likened to a sheer weakness. It’s what political watchers or pundits will describe as slow but sure because, it is delegates who will decide who leads the npp into 2024 presidential election. This indeed does not transcends any logical reason that; both candidates are not sitting aloof waiting for the bell to ring by the top echelon decision-making body of the party for interested candidates to start campaigning. Probably, there are people behind the scenes working for them.
To set the records straight, HE Dr Bawumia did very well over the fortunes of NPP in 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections. In the now North-East region, Dr Bawumia’s backyard, NPP won but only one parliamentary seat, i.e. Nalerigu constituency. The same way NPP swept the parliamentary seats in his backyard, so were the greater numbers for the presidential as well.
This was same in the Northern and Savanna regions. That is, Dr Bawumia’s significant contributions to the npp electoral fortunes in the past elections as running mate to HE Nana Addo.
Did Dr Bawumia’s influence in these regions gave his party an advantage to really do well in the 2020 elections? That couldn’t have been skeptical anyway. The improvement or the strives the npp made in these hitherto strongholds of the ndc was overwhelming, to say the least.
What is of importance worthy of notice points to the fact that; HE Dr Bawumia’s overall contributions to the fortunes of NPP as a running mate cum a mouth-piece economic messiah was plausible and immensely worked positively in their past two elections.
Dr Bawumia had demonstrated his economic prowess by constantly speaking to economic matters before the 2016 elections, which apparently gave their party a sweet victory: taken power from the then ruling ndc government. His loudest speeches were put to bear on the minds of Ghanaians, especially, undecided voters when he organized public fora to accentuate on some so-called lapses of the then NDC government.
That notwithstanding won him an admiration to lure many minds of Ghanaians and more especially the floating voters to have voted for the NPP without giving a second thought of putting themselves in a state of contemplation to doubt him. Indeed, his vociferous and aggressive natures in addressing economic issues actually helped the npp going into the 2016 elections. Which you and I cannot dispute.
The outspoken Dr Bawumia and his aggressive style in economic policy analysis toward the management of the economy run-up to 2016 general elections without qualms put NPP ahead regarding which of the two economic giants as running mates to HE John Mahama(Mr Amissah Authur) and HE Akufo Addo(Dr Bawumia) respectively. While the former economic guru maintained his dispositional calmness but apt on economic matters, the latter economic guru translated his dexterity in the field of fiscal and monetary policy disciplines to punching many holes in the Economic management team of the erstwhile NDC government headed by HE late vice president Amissah Authur(RIP).
Undisputedly, Dr Bawumia went away with those punchlines in the eyes of majority of Ghanaians because he was so convincing to many, due to his forceful and fearless demeanors of anchoring economic policies, which they thought were the best alternative for this country.
Strategically, if you know the weaknesses of a competitor, it becomes your strength in that competition. But once again mindful of the repercussions and ramifications of complacency, because if you allow it to run down your spine, it becomes your threats and could turn as an opportunity to your competitor wrestling you so easily. Therefore, Dr Bawumia knowing this, leveraged upon the calm demeanor of his colleague running mate and mounted a guerrilla-like economic approaches to position himself and NPP as the only economics guru who could strengthen the macroeconomic fundamentals, and also stabilize the depreciating cedi through prudent fiscal and monetary policies management.
Fortunately, most Ghanaians actually bought into such exuberance and intellect by Dr Bawumia and voted for NPP to transform the economy.
Even though, I’m NDC sympathizer, I was convinced by and large that, Dr Bawumia was doing so well for his party as a running mate as he mounted podiums in our universities spewing aggressive policy alternatives over the economic solutions to some of the teething problems faced by the ndc government should the main npp opposition party voted into power.
Unreservedly yet elusive, I believed without any shred of doubt that; many people had actually fallen in love with Dr Bawumia’s economic lectures and were convinced with his incessant criticism on the then government over their “incompetence” toward the management of the economy, i.e. cognizant with the depreciating cedi, high rate of unemployment and the energy challenges the opposition npp mischievously christened as “dumsor” and even went ahead to create an app for it on the google play-store just to hoodwink the unsuspected Ghanaians believed that HE John Mahama was the worst president of this country. To their disappointment, they changed color Tv to black and white with poor signal.
By and large, the classical reasons which made the cedi to have plummeted against the major trading currencies between 2014-2015, the freezing of employment by the IMF, and many fabricated lies eventually gave birth to the NPP government through many salient alternatives suggested by Dr Bawumia. I stand corrected on these reasons underscored though.
To me, Dr Bawumia largely won election 2016 for the npp because he was practically talking economics which undoubtedly made sense to many Ghanaians who couldn’t turn their backs on him.
However, being in power unlike being in opposition are two different instances. It is like a person who is creating a path in a virgin forest without pegs. How cricket the path will be, he wouldn’t be able to tell unless someone behind him. You can also liken it to a spectator who only watch a game by the sideline but has the effrontery to critics players who are on the field playing.
The fact is, former president Mahama once said that, being a vice-president is not the same as being a president. He said that from experience because he has been both a vice- President and a president before, and really understand and appreciate the dichotomy between the two regarding decision-making.
What I want to emphasize here is that; HE Dr Bawumia can have his knowledge on economic issues, and probably the knowledge to stabilize the cedi. Question is, is it everything that he says which is accepted and implemented as head of the Economic Management Planning team by this government? Or is it everything he gets right on economic matters as head. Also, has he being allowed to freely handle economic issues now, as was the case as being a running mate who virtually had been seen freely espousing his economic prowess anywhere economics was mentioned in opposition?
The reality check is, Dr Bawumia would’ve by now understood JM if he happened to have said that being a vice-president is not the same as being a president.
Verily, the fact that I’m a young upcoming politician who wouldn’t tag people within or without with derogatory remarks, I have no doubt that HE Dr Bawumia is competent. Nonetheless, our cedi matter is beyond just fiscal and monetary discipline.
I say this premised on the fact that, despite that the fundamentals are strong due to prudent fiscal and monetary discipline, the cedi is showing its intransigence and recalcitrance of being controlled for the past years. Which is not gain-saying.
For a palpable and more lucid reasons, certainly I would on no basis be naive to think that the vice-president is not faced with impediments in the discharge of his work as head of the Economic Management Planning Team of the country.
Indeed, he had performed well in his own region, Northern and Savanna regions in both the 2016 and 2020 elections. However, will that measure the yardstick upon which he will be made to lead the npp into the 2024 elections?
I trust that this cannot be taken away from him if he’s not sidelined like HE late Alhaji Aliu Mahama of a blessed memory, by having too many people on the ballot paper to stall his chance of leading their party as a touch bearer.
Danquah/Busia/ Dombo tradition:
So what then prevents Dr Bawumia from becoming a touch-bearer of npp? Precedence have however shown that the npp has a way of selecting their presidential candidates: those who are foundation members to be precise are favored more. In a more clearer form; those who have direct relationships with the foundation of Danquah/Busia/ Dombo tradition are seen to enjoying the touch-bearer-ship in their past choices.
Therefore, an interesting question to ask is, is Dr Bawumia has a direct/fundamental relationship with any of this traditions? Those who know can answer.
The mind-boggling question again to ask is, was it a deliberate attempt borne out of malevolence to shame the second family by way of rather recognizing Dr Bawumia’s first wife in the investiture of President Nana and Vice-President Bawumia at the fore court of the parliament house instead of madam Samira which has always been the protocol? Have they(saboteurs) realized that Dr Bawumia is very likely to break the chain of becoming the next touch-bearer of the npp such that the only way to shut his door is to start sabotaging him through pettiness?
Again, another interesting question to ask is, will these traditions have political effects on him? Or what are their fears about Dr Bawumia leading their party at this material moment to represent the Dombo tradition, if only he has certain lineage with it?
President Nana likely to support Dr Bawumia’s candidature or not? And how will it sound if he should throw his support behind him?
if what has been rumoring about has anything to do with President Nana Addo working to get the former finance minister, Mr Ken Ofori Atta or Mr. Martin Opoku Prempah on board to pairing Dr Bawumia, there is a higher possibility of their bloc supporting him to become a presidential candidate so that he can make anyone of the former his running-mate. I say this not because their bloc is so much in love with Dr Bawumia, but because it is the only possible means or any wise decision to get the former finance minister or Mr. Martin Opoku Prempeh on a ladder of their future presidential ambitions.
The trade minister Mr Alan Cash has been on the terrain for a long time. And so, many political pundits believe that; the best form to create unity in the party is to get him elected as touch-bearer of the npp, since the former President Kufour’s bloc has been unduly sidelined by the Akufo Addo government for a very long time. Once again, could it mean that based on this, President Akufo Addo will create a level playing field for all the presidential candidates to avoid an imminent voter apathy in Ashanti region or throw his support behind Dr Bawumia should the former President Kufuor’s bloc openly support Alan? Should Nana still decides not to support Dr Bawumia in the name of the Ashanti votes, don’t you think it will affect the party in the north as well? Let’s see how the pendulum swings.
All in all, the npp must begin to behave like the NDC when it comes to electing a touch-bearer of the party. Reference shouldn’t be made to only people who have direct relationships with the Danquah/Busia/ Dombo tradition in the selection.
When it has manifested, everyone will see. Whilst Dr Martin Opoku Prempeh will soon be campaigning for Dr Bawumia to secure many votes in the Ashanti region, Alhaji Boniface Abubakari Sadik will be doing it for Alan Cash to secure substantial number of votes in the Northern and Savanna regions. Clearly, Dr Bawumia is likely to pick Dr Martin Opoku Prempeh as his running-mate whiles Alan Cash going for Alhaji Boniface Abubakari respectively should any of these closed contenders wins the presidential slot of the NPP into the 2024 presidential election.
Why Dr Martin Opoku Prempeh as a running-mate to Dr Bawumia?
Politics is about consolidating your strength in your strongholds and working to penetrate the strong holds of your competitors and swing regions. To be elaborate, strengthening the entryway into your strong hold/s is to get an individual/s who has/have the strength to establish some barriers to prevent your competitors from penetrating your base.
Therefore, Dr Bawumia as a flag-bearer of the NPP has to pick a running-mate who’ll obviously protect their stronghold from penetration to consolidate its party’s gains. And in doing this, needs someone who the people in their stronghold(Ashanti region) love. Who equally has the agility, dexterity and telepathy to unite the rank and file of the NPP in the region. Someone who has good relationships with the traditional rulers. This person must also strike a balance between the South and the North on the ticket.
Dr Martin Opoku Prempeh certainly stands tall and comprises all the essential qualities aforementioned. He has certain lineage with the traditional rulers. He’s a summary of the variables in quality who can unite the rank and file, mobilize the youth and prevent any penetration. Though, susceptible to a debate, I still maintain his strength to strengthen the base of the party in Ashanti Region.
Once again, will Ashantes welcome a running-mate over a flag-bearer from the region? And should that happens, will Napo find it easy to unite the rank and file of the party in the region if what they wanted was Alan as a flag-bearer?
Perhaps, let us wait to see how it will go: whether the Ashantes will prefer a running-mate to a torchbearer, posterity will judge.
Fortunately, the NDC is penetrating the Ashanti region in recent elections. In the 2020 elections, the party has secured more votes in the region than even in the Volta region including the Oto region and many of its strongholds. This clearly shows that, the NDC is penetrating the stronghold of the NPP.
Henceforth, the Ashanti region is likely to have a flag-bearer or a running-mate into 2024 elections to consolidate the strength of the party in the region, and for that matter an impact on the results of the presidential. Because the region always decides the fate of the presidential for the NPP. And so, anything contrary to the presidential slot this time, is a disaster to the NPP.
Therefore, members of the NPP in the region wouldn’t trade a flag-bearer ship position with a running-mate position. They are fixated with the former rather the latter. That means, a lot of work is needed by the Dr Bawumia campaign team in the region to get as many votes as possible to brighten his chance for the presidential candidacy. Otherwise, he’s likely not to cross the bridge of breaking the so-called “8” if he failed to secure many votes there.
Interestingly, if at all cost Napo wishes to become a running-mate to Dr Bawumia, then the best option is to resign his position as energy minister to contest the presidential election when the party opens nominations to become a “food mixer” in the primaries.
Napo’s agenda is to be a “sand” in the food of Alan Cash in the Ashanti region. His intention is to deliberately secure more votes in the Ashanti region to darken the chance of Alan Cash. Because, Napo is a force to reckon with in the region. While he secures many more votes, Alan Cash’s votes will be affected. Therefore, Dr Bawumia’s edge is guaranteed.
Again, it doesn’t make sense to say that Dr Bawumia won’t fetch some votes as well in the region. Whilst he makes some gains, many of Alan votes are split between he and Napo.
Another way possible, is for Napo to clearly throw his support behind Dr Bawumia without necessarily being a candidate himself. So he can secure more votes from the Ashanti region for their camp. Without doubt, it’ll serve as a double-edge knife to his future political ambitions. If he becomes a running-mate, he has won. However, if Alan wins, he becomes a bitter enemy to Alan.
Note: the Ashanti region has number of delegates than any region. Greater Accra is next: will be another place where aspirants shall be dedicating their time, energies and resources to. So the likes of Ayikoi Otto, former Ambassador of Canada and colleagues who are Ga/Damgbes hands are needed on the wheels of any of the aspirants to decide who wins the region to consolidate his gains in the other regions.
What about Alhaji Boniface Abubakari Sadik becoming a running-mate to Alan?
Alhaji Boniface Abubakari Sadik is seen fully participating in the conferences of the NPP lately. Quite reasonably, I don’t think anyone is naive to thinking that he’s doing a bidding for Dr Bawumia. It’s not also newsy that he has been sidelined by this government. It’s palpably lucid that; he has been sidelined because of the intimate relationship he has with Alan and his camp.
As a political watcher, the in-depth experiences, knowledge and expertise overwhelmed by Alhaji Boniface are impacting positively in the campaign of Alan in the Northern and Savanna regions. Which has a propensity of canvassing votes for Alan Cash to surprise Dr Bawumia. Alhaji Boniface has established good relationships with the traditional rulers, the clergy and rank and file of the NPP up north over the years. His strength is not underwhelming. He’s solid, coherent and abrasive.
Surprisingly, many are unaware that; Alhaji Boniface’s movements in these two regions will have a better outcome for Alan. Wait and see how his influence will amaze Dr Bawumia’s camp.
Undoubtedly, Alhaji Boniface is one of those Alan shall consider us a running-mate if things go on their way in the primaries. He has the competence to handle that portfolio.
Another man who’s an MP and a deputy minister in this government is also being eyed for the running-mate position. However, unless he seriously work for it by way of contributing and supporting Alan’s success.
What about a female running-mate?
The electorate are more than the elected. For this reason, political parties are more interested in a leader who will give them the desired results. Which is why political parties most often settle on regional balance in the selection of candidates. Candidates who can lure them the needed votes to win a political power. And so, consideration for a female candidate or running-mate is important due to a rising or an increasing population of women in Ghana.
Moreover, there is a speculation going round that the NPP is likely to settle on a female running-mate going into the 2024 presidential election. However, this can only happen if this ticket will address the issue of regional balance(South-North or North-South balance)
In view of this, the “food mixers” and religious analogies by Mr Ben Ephson, on the choice of a torchbearer for the NPP seemed to lack a substantial reason Dr Bawumia can be selected or otherwise. On the “food mixers” analogy, Mr Ephson has opined, that, when these two individuals(Mr Kennedy and Mr Agyaku) have decided to contest the presidential primary of the npp, can brighten the chance of Dr Bawumia. However, if they’re not contesting will neutralize his chance. On the religion, that, moslems in other political parties will support Dr Bawumia if he happens to lead the NPP.
I honestly wish to beg and differ quite reasonably on Mr Ephson’s opinions on these issues.
Precedence over past Congresses in the NPP clearly showed that, “food mixers” are always more than two candidates. And obviously, also transcends religious impact because, in 2007, as many as 17 candidates contested the presidential slot of the npp. Lucidly, about 13 candidates in my opinion were the supposed “food mixers” who darkened the chance of Alhaji Aliu Mahama of blessed memory. Of which religion(Islam) never played a significant role. Reason was, even many moslems who were delegates didn’t vote for their moslem candidate. Which to me, has defeated Mr Ephson’s analogy on religious significance in the choice of Dr Bawumia and also floored his notion that, just two candidates, if only they contest, will help him to become the next torchbearer. He centered his opinion on blocs within the party.
It is however, nonstarter, irreverent and bogus, least say.
My opinion on his claims is of differing viewpoints on his understanding and application of the “food mixers” and the religion aspects. That to me, transcends just that.
The Busia’s and the Danquah’s(the majority) have been fairly represented on the presidential ticket of the NPP but the Dombo’s(the minority). This time should be the brightest opportunity for the minority Dombo’s to also represent the flag bearer-ship position only if delegates must be fair to their traditions. But trust me, these “food mixers”, which is not limited to only two candidates, are likely to secure more votes from the North than anyone would have thought. This is how these candidates intend to mix the food in the North if Dr Bawumia is not smart. In other words, they’re collectively likely to garner more votes from the north(minority of delegates) than the votes Dr Bawumia will garner from the south(majority of delegates) to opportune one candidate in their backyard. Not necessarily Mr Kennedy’s and Mr Agyaku’s candidature.
Also, Dr Arthur Kennedy’s statement ; “Dr Bawumia was picked as unknown northerner to balance the ticket” is unfair to the person of Dr Bawumia. These types of statements are unwarranted in the first place and shouldn’t have been made by a leading member of the party like Dr Arthur Kennedy.
As a matter-of-factly, Dr Bawumia was not only picked as a northerner for balancing seek, but someone who was the deputy governor of Bank of Ghana, who had distinguished himself to serve under former President Kufuor and who was also more qualified as an astute economist to be paired as a running-mate to Nana Addo. Point made, there were equally the suffered and qualified northerners then, yet he was picked. Therefore, a lame and dishonest conclusion on the part of Dr Arthur Kennedy.
If Dr Bawumia doesn’t deserve some recognition in the party, he deserves a little respect. He has since been very relevant to your party, once his contributions are concerned.
To throw more light once again on why and how the npp won the 2016 presidential election, largely shines on Dr Bawumia’s aggressive and guerrilla-like approaches on the then NDC government over management of the economy. Ghanaians believed him than any other. And so, gave the npp the edge.
Again the energy challenges, the depreciation Cedi, among others, were some of the cardinal reasons which gave the npp chance in 2016 elections. Factored into consideration were the incessant attacks DMB launched on the then government with uncountable numerous pressers and lectures. Though a different story is told now over then. Which indeed not purported this writing. Maybe, some other time.
Truthfully and honestly, before and during the campaign, Dr Arthur Kennedy was busy with his epistles against the Nana/Bawumia ticket because he fell out with the leadership of the party. He wrote not just epistles, but a full book to darken that ticket chances going into the election. This he has done sitting on the fence wall without partaking or picking up a role in the election.
Unfortunately, this same man who was not too happy with the choice of DMB as a running-mate couldn’t say what he has found very comfortable saying today against the very person through whom much of the dirty works were done and got them power in the 2016 presidential election. Only for some of them, haven thought deeply over his chance of becoming the flag-bearer of the party, have started debasing him. Undeserving of DMB, however some of these people have the effrontery to describe him as “unknown Northerner? Unbelievable.
Does this buttress a point many of them are heard insinuating about DMB and his fundamental relationship with the party? Assuming without admitting that DMB has no any foundation relationship with any of the three traditions(Danquah, Busia or Dombo) then he won’t be made to lead your party? Very disgusting and appalling yet meaningful to dissenting minds.
The truth is, Prof Mills of blessed memory had no any foundation relationship with the PNDC yet through the Sweduru Declaration, he was chosen to step into the shoes of late Jerry Rawlings(the founder of the NDC). Those who suffered for the NDC since PNDC era never said because he was handpicked as unknown person to lead the party therefore he was not qualified. Many of those who labored and suffered from the trenches gave their blessings and support to Prof Mill’s candidature.
Fortunately, Prof Mills served as a Vice President in the NDC government because of his competence in taxation and also his kindheartedness. Unfortunately, Dr Bawumia who is in same scenario like Vice President Mill but in wrong political party, is battling with the right to lead with his alien citizenship card with a party which has no respect for strangers.
Moreover, Prof Jane Nana from nowhere became a cabinet minister and a running- mate in the NDC government and party respectively when there were many people who had indeed suffered in the trenches without any portfolio in the NDC, yet these same people gave their unalloyed support to the ticket. They did so bearing in their minds that leadership is about competence, ability, charisma etc, not who suffered in the tranches or has some foundation relationship with any tradition. Or the npp is practicing a monarchy system in a democratic dispensation?
But for a personality like Dr Arthur to start fighting Dr Bawumia even before the contest over becoming the flag-bearer of the npp due to the fact that he’s not a foundation member and unknown Northerner is unacceptable.
Ideally, I expect the leadership of the NPP without hesitation release a statement to condemn and distance the party’s position from this calculated statement authored by Dr Arthur Kennedy just to bring the repute of DMB into disrepute.