The Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has marked 10 years in politics today.
As we celebrate the achievement of the Vice-President, let’s take a look at a piece by Akbar Yussif Rohullah Khomeini into the journey so far.
TEN YEARS OF POLITICS OF INTELLECTUALISM; THE BAWUMIA JOURNEY SO FAR.
By Akbar Yussif Rohullah Khomeini,
Today marks exactly 10 years of Vice President Dr. Bawumia’s journey in the politics of Ghana. This piece is therefore an overview of his politics so far.
The contention on who would partner the then NPP Presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo for the 2008 General Elections had reached the rooftop. Prominent NPP politicians from the North were tipped for the second most coveted office in the party. It is the norm in the NPP to keep a North/South ticket.
Bawumia Surprisingly Emerged as Running Mate:
Admittedly, very little was heard in the media space of the distinguished academic, reputed economist cum banker and an accomplished technocrat, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. However, few days to the public announcement of the would-be running mate, Dr. Bawumia, then 44 years old, emerged strongly, displacing the notable political heavyweights from the North and eventually winning the nomination to partner the celebrated Ghanaian lawyer, Nana Akufo-Addo for the crucial election of 2008.
For many political pundits, it was a shock that Nana Akufo-Addo favored a politically unknown Deputy Governor of the Central Bank at that time, over political heavyweights in the North. Dr. Bawumia’s selection conformed to the unwritten maxim of the (NPP) Constitution and by extension the Daquah-Busia- Dombo tradition. That is, whenever the (NPP) elects a Southern Christian as Presidential candidate, that candidate is obliged by traditions of the party to choose a Northern Muslim as running-mate and vice versa! More importantly, he had the combined traits of all the names which were speculated as potential partners to Nana Akufo-Addo. Charismatic, eloquent, intelligent and very gentle!
At the then running mate’s outdooring in Takoradi in August of 2008, the highly respected economist admitted, in his acceptance speech, to his newness to the politics of Ghana. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia confessed thus “Mr. Chairman, my professional and career circumstances over the years have confined me to matters of economic and financial governance of our country. Naturally, in these circumstances, my open participation in partisan politics had been virtually foreclosed.
However, even though I may not be known on the political platform, I have been very active at the apex of the economic platform. I am proud to say that I have contributed to the economic achievements of the NPP under the leadership of His Excellency President J.A. Kufuor.”
In fact, many political analysts wondered if the young Central Bank Deputy Governor, considering his humble nature, would survive the adversarial nature of our politics and be able to contribute to making Nana Akufo-Addo the President of Ghana. But Dr. Bawumia had signaled the country that even though he was new to partisan politics, he had an unblemished professional credentials to rely on to help the NPP ticket.
The (NPP) lost Election 2008 to the (NDC) with slimmest of margins in the history of modern democratic elections in Africa. After the election loss Dr. Bawumia returned to academia as a visiting professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada and then as a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of African Economies, Oxford University where he authored a book on Monetary Policy in Africa. He was subsequently appointed by the African Development Bank as its Resident Representative in Zimbabwe.
In the meantime, the (NPP) selected Nana Akufo-Addo again to contest the 2012 presidential elections. Many stalwarts publicly counseled Nana Akufo-Addo to change a running mate for the 2012 election. However, President Akufo-Addo had undoubted belief in the ability of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and in a demonstration of loyalty settled on him again for 2012 elections. By 2012, Dr. Bawumia had undoubtedly attained a greater mastery of the political terrain and was increasingly becoming a torn in the flesh of the (NDC). He had hijacked the debate on the economy and was critical of the NDC’s mismanagement of the economy. He was rapidly gaining fame among voters. To curtail his rapid rise to political stardom, the (NDC) strategists advised the (NDC) presidential candidate, John Mahama to pick the late Mr. Amissah Arthur, an economist and the Bank of Ghana Governor at that time, as the (NDC) running mate. John Mahama heeded the advice and chose the gentle Amissah Arthur. The choice of Amissah Arthur excited the (NDC) support base. For they hoped, the late Amissah Arthur would rival the NPP’s Dr. Bawumia and possibly defeat him in any economic debate. For the former was the Governor and the latter was the Deputy Governor, the (NDC) bragged!
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Story by: Adnan Osman