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Opinions of Monday, 8 June 2015

Columnist: Addo, Emmanuel Bawuah

Rawlings, Amissah-Arthur is his own problem not Hannah Tetteh

--------------as Bawumia chases him out.

The three-day 4th World Summit of Mayors and leaders of African Descent held in Ghana could have ended on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 but its memories will forever remain not only in the minds of Ghanaians but also the over 300 foreign delegates who witnessed the sickening disrespect shown to the Vice-President, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur by the Foreign Minister serving in his own government. Hannah Tetteh just as in recent weeks has again demonstrated why she should be regarded as the most arrogant politician in Ghana’s history when she defied the presence of the Vice-President of Ghana, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, Former President Jerry Rawlings, traditional and religious leaders and foreign delegates in a show of impudence for not being allowed to deliver a speech on behalf of the President while the Vice- President is around. Our only fault as Ghanaians for this humiliation is the preferment of the organizers to allow the Vice- President to execute his constitutional duty to stand in for President Mahama at the opening of the Mayors Conference held in Accra. The massive public condemnation received by my former course mate at Legon, Hannah Tetteh-Kpoda now known as Hannah Tetteh could probably be enough to tame even the most stubborn and conceited brat let alone when led by the former President Jerry Rawlings. Agreed, Hannah has had her own history of arrogance that has become her legendary trademark making her unpopular even among NDC members in her Awutu Senya West constituency but when it comes to the issue of Amissah -Arthur, it is important that Ghanaians including Chairman Rawlings do not begrudge Hannah Tetteh for another show of her legendary disrespect and arrogance. The Vice- President is the cause of his present predicament. Many will agree that, unlike the late Alieu Mahama who was very active Vice-President under John Kuffour and to some extent the late Prof. Mills who at the later part of the Rawlings’ regime, the current Vice-President is the worst of all the Vice-Presidents Ghana ever had since independence. If politics and government is about people, then the court of public opinion will vindicate this judgment. It is clear to note that since the emergence of the economic wizardry of the running mate of the NPP, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia to the political scene, the confidence of the Vice-President has faded leading to him becoming irrelevant even in his own office. At the back of his credentials as a renowned economist, Amissah Arthur was chosen ahead of more politically accepted NDC stalwarts to help John Mahama stabilize the Ghanaian economy as the head of the Economic Management Team but what have we seen over the years? Seth Terkper is running the show all alone and instead of the President reposing confidence in Amissah Arthur; he stood his gun with the Finance Minister even at the annoyance of top NDC party members. While Bawumia was having a field day condemning the economy of the country, the Presidency had to call on Fiffi Kwetey at the Agric Ministry to defend government when Amissah Arthur as senior economist to Bawumia lacks the ability and confidence to debate Bawumia. How on earth will a government having a former Governor of the Bank of Ghana as Vice-President and leading an economic management team allow Sam Dzata George and Okudzeto Ablakwa, “economic-nonentities” to debate the economic predictions of the running mate of the most formidable and popular opposition party on the country’s economy? When Bawumia incessantly chastised the Vice-President on the crippling economy, we are all living witnesses to Amisah Arthur hurriedly organizing the National Economic Forum at Senchi in the Asuogyaman District of the Eastern Region to debate the economy and find solutions. How many Ghanaians have seen any outcome of the taxpayers funded conference? Another financial loss to the state which should be accounted for. Is Bawumia not endlessly chasing Amissah Arthur for the Senchi Report? Has Amissah Arthur not gone silence on the economy since then? Critics of Hannah Tetteh should come again!
What many have expected from the Vice-President is for him to humbly resign and safe his dented professional image as an economist. Maybe going back to Bank of Ghana is a cut out for him as politics is basically not his calling; lacks courage, energy, vibrancy, charisma, and with no following to inspire any confidence. I have listened to even die hard NDC partisans who are attributing the huge pressures on the shoulders of John Mahama being complicated by having an ineffective and uninspiring Vice-President who is basically contributing nothing to government. Not even 100 electoral votes to count on from him on his own. We must therefore be guarded in the criticism of Hannah Tetteh for it is not only the Foreign Minister that looks down on the Vice-President, the President also does, so do Seth Terkper, and almost the entire cabinet. But should anybody be faulted when Amissah Arthur exude no confidence and lacks the mettle to deliver? One can be assured that more humiliations are forthcoming so far as Hannah Tetteh is desperate to replace the VEEP for 2016 elections. As it is becoming a popular demand from NDC party followers that for John Mahama to win the 2016 elections, there is the urgent need to choose a more charismatic and confidence boosting running mate who will vibrate the campaign platform; a growing demand that John Mahama and the NDC cannot deny Ghanaians if they do not want to go back to opposition, John Mahama and the NDC should earnestly look for a new 2016 running mate. However, my good old Legon course mate must know that, it is only humility that can take her to replace Amissah Arthur. For now he is the second in command and could demand the President to fire her from the Foreign Ministry.

Dr. Emmanuel Bawuah Addo
Accra-North