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Opinions of Thursday, 18 April 2019

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

Bawumia Stands Well Above the Pack

It is bound to be hogwash, a complete waste of time, if you were to ask me. I am talking about the Ghana Institute of Journalism-scheduled public forum called “The Vice-Presidential Forum: An Analysis of Key Qualities and Contenders” (See “Etse Sikanku to Host Veep Forum April 17” 4/16/19). This forum comes off today, and it is hosted by the well-known local media analyst by the name of Dr. Etse Sikanku, the founder of a think-tank called the Center for Public Discourse Analysis (CPDA). By my own lights, it may be a political think-tank all right, but it definitely is not as bipartisan or politically neutral as it rather suavely and deceptively packages itself. To be certain, it is unabashedly a bona fide part of the National Democratic Congress’ propaganda machinery. Which, of course, does not amount to saying much; for, there is absolutely nothing wrong about that, except for the shameless pretense to political neutrality and downright deception.

In the announcement of its GIJ-hosted forum today, for example, the second of the four tabled agenda, titled “Has Current Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia changed the Role or Notion of the Vice Presidency?” you would think that the forum was a bipartisan affair that is aimed at culturally examining the Vice-Presidency of the country’s two major political parties, namely, the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). But it is absolutely not what it purports to be at all. Rather, it mischievously wedges in the agenda reference to Vice-President Bawumia as a tactical means of drawing in some NPP supporters and sympathizers to the forum; for it is quite obvious that the aforesaid event is being hosted as a sounding board prelude to the likely or possible running-mates for Candidate John Dramani Mahama, the former President, who has decided to gun for the Presidency once more.

Do I need to tell the Dear Reader that the former Atta-Mills’ “Presidential Spare-Tire” is certain to do even worse than he did as an incumbent against the now-President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in the 2016 Presidential Election, for the simple reason that in just a little over two years, Nana Akufo-Addo has commandingly outperformed the 8-year tandem National Democratic Congress-sponsored regimes of Presidents John Evans Atta-Mills and John Dramani Mahama? In other words, there will be absolutely no contest between Nana Akufo-Addo and Mr. Mahama in the 2020 Presidential Election, though supporters of the presidential incumbent are taking absolutely no chances at all. We are going all-out to ensure that the “Dumsor” patent holder is thoroughly defeated in the polls beyond recovery.

You see, the fact of whether Vice-President Bawumia has either significantly or not significantly changed the functional role of the Vice-Presidency is an absolute nonissue, but it is also clearly a massive concession by his political opponents that Dr. Bawumia has absolutely no peer among the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress, including former President John Dramani Mahama. Among these NDC key operatives, the Vice-President is functionally nonexistent. At best, s/he is mere “turkey tail,” if the Dear Reader may excuse my rather uncharitable use of the latter expression. The role of the Vice-President – a predominantly and exclusively a tokenistic Fante privilege – is decidedly that of “a presidential coattails holder” in the National Democratic Congress. Chairman Jerry John Rawlings set this precedent some two decades-plus ago. And so, really, whoever becomes the running-mate to Candidate John Dramani Mahama is an absolute nonissue.

To be certain, one of the significant reasons why the immediate events or circumstances punctuating or surrounding the demise of then-President Atta-Mills remain a mystery to this very day, has nearly everything to do with the traditionally short-shrift treatment afforded all the former NDC Vice-Presidents, from the late Mr. Ekow Nkensen-Arkaah to the late Prof. John Evans Atta-Mills and, most recently, the late Dr. Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur. The plain fact, even as Candidate Mahama himself publicly noted scarcely a week ago, is that Election 2020 is squarely going to hinge on the comparative achievements of the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress-sponsored and Mahama-led double-salary-guzzling hoodlum pack of veritable robber-barons. In other words, it will not matter who gets selected to partner the former Atta-Mills’ Arch-Lieutenant over the electoral abyss into the Dragon’s fiery mouth as prime grist, come December 2020.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York A

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