There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians in the New Patriotic Party (NPP). Don’t be confused, this means, everyone in the party wants to be a leader, and no one among them wants to do the actual work of leading in the transformation of the party, and by extension Ghana, except to protect interest and legacies.
A reason, the next flag bearership contest of the NPP, would clandestinely hinge on the legacy challenge in the party, where the umbilical cord, soul and spirit of the party, would eventually be handed over by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to another member of the party.
However, it appears it would revolve around the circles of two personalities. They are, Minister for Trade and Industry, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten, and Vice President, His Excellency Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
The two Presidential hopefuls offer a stark ideological choice for delegates of NPP on the libertarian line of Kofi Abrefa Busia and John Agyekum Kufuor or the conservative line of JB. Danquah and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Enter the Economics Messiah
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, former Deputy Governor of Bank of Ghana, came into mainstream politics in 2007 following his nomination as the running mate to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who had just been elected at Legon in Accra by delegates of the NPP at the party’s Presidential primary.
He would subsequently be groomed and properly packaged in the manner that would suit the ideological underpinnings of the NPP considering his center left family leaning in the country’s political divide at the time.
The father, Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia was a Ghanaian politician, lawyer and the Paramount Chief of Kperiga in the then Northern region of Ghana.
He was chairman of the council of state in the 4th republic from 1993 to 2000 under former President Jerry John Rawlings regime.
Before that, he was a staunch member of Convention People’s Party (CPP) and later became an NDC stalwart.
Interestingly, his son, came into NPP by dint of hardwork at Bank of Ghana, impeccable academic credentials. He came, saw and conquered, and therefore, succeeded in becoming Ghana’s most celebrated Vice President in media coverage.
Remember, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia’s campaign in opposition, strikingly shuttered steel manufactured doors when he seized every available opportunity to drum home suitable messages primarily on the economic performance of government then, using the meltdown that had resulted in catastrophic failure of Ghanaian banks, financial sector institutions, companies in manufacturing, and industry in general.
He called the aforementioned, the subtle results of President Mahama’s flawed economic policies. He claimed these failed policies had negated the eight-year administration of the Mills-Mahama government since Mahama was Chairman of Economic Management Team (EMT)
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in opposition, constantly went on the offensive, berserk in front of cameras, skillfully moderating nationally telecast programs of NPP, at which the pros and cons of economic proposals were carefully churned out. He also took his populist case outside of the runway of academia, to the markets to gage inflation and its impact on the national economy as catapulted in speech after speech, emphasizing the carotid message that the country’s economic management was a right and not a privilege and increasingly sharpening his criticism of the collapse of industry and the country’s financial sector.
After enjoying soaring popularity in the earliest part of the first term in government, as Chairman of the Economic Management Team of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the economic messiah, became the target of increasing criticism from well informed Ghanaian electorates, largely due to the slow pace of the country’s economic recovery and continued high unemployment rates, inflation, amid corruption scandals, but also because of widespread opposition to concrete suggestions and efforts made by civil society organizations for the government to administer reforms of major sectors of the economy including Health care, through National Health Insurance, infrastructure through proper public procurement, monitoring and evaluation, and education policies necessary to back the free Senior High School introduced by the government.
Many educationists say, the structure of the country’s education system even before introduction of free SHS, had negatively contributed in churning out the signature of growing phenomenon of unemployment.
Unfortunately, all challenges associated with the administration of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, have had to be attributed to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, because, he entered office on high horses, promising silver and gold, promising to bring an end to poverty, and government immediately began rolling out policies to revive the bartered economy caused by economic downturn.
At the end, the Economic Management Team led by the Vice President realized that partisan squabbling, and legislative gridlock, would deny them this opportunity to change the narrative.
In the wake of all these attempts to fix the economy, they failed to obtain any real bipartisan cooperation, especially in the second term.
This was because of the current hang legislature. The outcome of the 2020 controversial polls, favored both opposition and government in Parliament, and therefore the government of the day lacked the numbers to secure approval for a number of well intended indexed policies and programs .
In dealing with the mirage of clock backs issues, overwhelming the administration, the Vice President suddenly appeared nabbed and numb.
In response to these age old medieval challenges confronting our governance structure, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, took a number of cogent steps, including the famous financial breakthrough in China for collateralization of Ghana’s bauxite for billions of dollars needed to roll out infrastructure projects.
When the heat in the Kitchen however appeared uncomfortable, and uncontrollable, he surreptitiously switched to digitalization and digitization campaign.
An indication of a significant shift in smuggled tone, as experienced in government which snugly defeated all the opposition hype.
Late Amisah Arthur, former Vice President of Ghana of blessed memory, could not face the barrels of delusion, deception, and decomposed waxing lyrics, even when he could see clearly the parallels between the potential pitfalls of such theoretical diatribe of economic proposals, and the prolonged involvement of drama to spice up interest of Ghanaians, against realities and true practical economic management any leader worth the salt of Vice President, would handle in government.
Here is Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten
Under President John Agyekum Kufuor, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten served as Ghana’s Ambassador to the United States of America and appeared impressive in that role considering how Ghana secured several opportunities under his tenure.
He would later take charge of Ministry of Trade, Industry and Presidential Special Initiative (PSI).
The PSI under the Ministry of Trade was introduced by the administration of President John Agyekum Kufuor to industrialize the country, with manufacturing, production, targeted as the backbone of the Ghanaian economy. Unfortunately, though laudable, the initiative failed brutally and all resources directed at the sector, abused and occasionally used to promote the 2007 Presidential bid of Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten.
Remember that during his first term flag bearership bid, the slow, but sure, soft spoken politician, showed class, and used incumbency to his advantage, as he was the pampered candidate supposedly backed by President John Agyekum Kufuor.
Consequently, he had more than enough resources to actualize his dream of leading the NPP, but, delegates of the party thought otherwise though misinformed by the last minute misguided announcement carried out at the election grounds by the then party’s National Organizer, Lord Commey, that money, specifically dollars was being shared by Paul Afoko and his team of Alan supporters.
An announcement that historically changed the mood of delegates and speculatively dictated the outcome of the polls.
Subsequently after the contest, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten resigned from the NPP when he realized immediately that his followers were constantly under attack from hoodlums after the defeat he suffered in the Presidential race of the NPP in 2007. His resignation was however rejected by the party and he stayed in with his supporters.
Although he lost narrowly to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, he rejected the idea of a second round contest between the first two leading contenders during the contest as proposed by the Electoral Commission based on NPP’s constitutional requirements. Alan Kyeremanten had rejected the offer to challenge Nana Addo in the one on one contest just to consolidate unity in the party.
Unfortunately, that did not convince conservatives in the party and their followers who were burnt on rewriting the narrative of the NPP in the manner that would reduce the sudden influence of the man dearly admired by President John Agyekum Kufuor, who was in charge of the country, and had will so much influence over party activities.
As soon as Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo emerged victorious, everything about the NPP changed, and power shifted right there on Congress grounds to Eastern Region, specifically to Kyebi which ran through activities of the party for over a decade.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo eventually became President and therefore received true powers, and state authority from Ghanaians. This, again consolidated his influence over the NPP nationally and guaranteed his absolute control of government.
Change, therefore meant a lot to both NPP supporters and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek” President Barack Obama once said.
Regrettably, many in NPP would later realized why President John Agyekum Kufuor had keenly but surreptitiously indicated his preference of an Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten Presidency, than anyone, but it would be too late for those who vehemently kicked against it.
Appearing charismatic, attractive, charming and loving, the Minister for Trade, would continue to run for the flag bearership race in NPP in 2012 and 2016, but lost all to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who eventually succeeded in winning 2016 general elections on the ticket of NPP to assume leadership of the country.
For Alan Kyeremanten, notwithstanding his occasional tough talking to inspire party followers, there are many NPP stalwarts especially the conservatives who still criticize him (Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten) for reluctantly issuing only a mild condemnation of failures, defaults, faults, and fouls, of NDC and John Mahama’s government.
The speeches of Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten, whether during rallies, meetings with party folk, or in government office, is constantly woven around the narrative of decency.
His speeches, very often, are connected in ways that transcend personal hatred of opponents, economic analysis, political blaspheming, cultural and geographical differences between him and his opponents, and appear more national in character.
He neither attacks, nor receives attacks from any quarters, since his demeanor, personality, superbly does not support political comedy.
“If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them, and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost” Barack Obama, former President of America.
In the eight years in opposition, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten played a crucial role to ensure that the party returned to government. In government, he had the opportunity of once again, being nominated as Minister for Trade and Industry.
As for positive impact of his role in the current government, one can not clearly and honestly measure his performance due to reports of sabotage, subterfuge, and the open substandard governance being witnessed though decorated with lies, and promises, rather than concrete achievements.
Parallel Lines Drawn
Today, followers of Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten describe him as the true economist, honest economist, and factual economist, among others, just to spike others, and create an impression that his opponent (Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia) who had used his academic laurels, in banking sector credibility, credentials and integrity to shoulder research and public lectures to woo voters for the NPP, was rather inconveniently the insincere and dishonest economist.
Maybe, this is one of the reasons why even Google and other popular global websites, are keeping the name of the Vice President online as the most lier in Ghana.
Undoubtedly painful, and regrettably demeaning, one however wonders how the dishonesty tag would work against the Vice President who is dearly admired by party followers for being the most celebrated critic of the NPP opponents (NDC) in recent history.
Externally, especially during the national elections, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanten could have the upper hand over all other candidates in the current flag bearership race in NPP, because he would have been the most marketed candidate, and conservatively readying in line to succeed Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Interestingly, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who is currently the Vice President of the country, and has acted as President of Ghana severally in the absence of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, would be running for the flag bearership for the first time and many discerning Ghanaians believe, he could pull the trigger, because, he is loved by the grass root members of the party for being the most daring critic of their opponents (NDC).
Intriguingly, the internal hurdle (flag bearership race) ought to be embraced, crossed over, and carried out properly before the external hurdle, thus the national elections can be tackled by any of the candidates.
A simple, and yet, logical conclusion, that the NPP flag bearership race clearly favors Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, but as to how he would jump over the walls of national elections, that can only be measured and determined by the Ghanaian electorates based on circumstances in government, mood in the country, and generally the perfomance of the administration of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
Feature by Zambaga Rufai Saminu