Ammisah Arthur as Veep, a step to opposition?
8/6/2012 2:00:36 AM -
Central Bank Governor, Mr Kwesi Amissah Arthur has been nominated as the Vice to President Mahama. He beat competition from renowned economist, Dr Kwesi Botchwey to annex the prestigious position.
Two things came to mind when I heard the nomination of Mr. Kwesi Amissah Arthur as Veep. One was securing the Fante votes and two was appealing to the middle and upper class.
What informed the choice of Amissah Arthur remains scanty. However, could we blame President Mahama? He is simply learning from his predecessors and perhaps his colleague heads of state in the Africa continent. He now joins the league of heartless, brute, dictators who parade themselves as heads of state stealing openly from the poor.
I am simply making a case that we'd never be informed of what went into the choosing of Amissah Arthur as Veep. Transparency is still trailing though we have a flourishing democracy to the envy of our Nigerian brothers.
A continent virtue has given way to immorality. Corruption is the order of the day. Press freedom is in doubt and the masses are left to welter in abject poverty. Sad continent we live in.
When dictatorship finally gave way to constitutionalism in 1992, not many gave it even a twenty percent chance of retaining a successful democracy for long. Even fewer believed that the nation could hold up and not break down into fragments drawn by the lines of regionalism, partisanship, and chieftaincy and language barriers. The reasons of defragmentation were more than the chances of sticking together. The leader of the time Jerry Rawlings took these chances and through painstaking work stitched this nation together.
Fast forward to 2012, the sudden demise of our president, John Atta Mills, was yet another test of our democracy. However, the smooth transition of power to his vice president, John Dramani Mahama is a demonstration of our commitment the rule of law.
Article 60 (10) of the 1992 constitution reads, 'The Vice-President shall, upon assuming office as President under clause (6) of this article, nominate a person to the office of Vice-President subject to approval by Parliament.'
In line with this provision, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Amissah Arthur has been nominated as Veep subject to approval by parliament. In the introductory part of this piece, I opined two reasons for his choice.
Arthur, in all sincerity, was a surprised nominee. My checks revealed Sylvester Mensah, the NHIS boss. I preferred Sylvester because he's a hybrid ethnically, half Ga, half Voltarian. President Mahama has missed an opportunity to bring-in Ga votes and the disgruntled voltarian votes from the Rawlings stock. Rather, the President was so bent on a candidate from the Central Region.
The NDC cannot 'trust' the Central region. At least history has shown that the region voted against the NDC even when they presented a candidate from their region as the flag bearer on two occasions. Though they voted for their son in 2008, it still a dangerous surrender the President has made.
However, what I suspect is that Arthur is to make for the loss of former President Atta Mills. Again, hitherto the NDC had a frosty relationship with the middle class and the upper class. I suspect Arthur's candidature is to build their trust in the NDC.
I trust he's a fine gentleman for the job. However, he comes into the job with a huge deficit. He superintended the dollarization of the economy and the crude devaluation of the cedis. This caused the nosedive of purchasing powers of businessmen in the country.
'I have goods at the Port but I can't clear them because the dollar is always rising, 'a young businessman once lamented.
'The managers of the economy have no clue what we are going through', he added.
The big question is, isn't the choice of Arthur settling doubts in the minds of businesspersons of a possible hope? If Mahama must succeed, he must be seen to be restoring hope.
One of the political punch lines of the President is that he was born in Ghana alluding to the fact that the others, including his Veep are Goldcoasters. I thought he'd have shepherded us into the new generation thing he spoke about at the children's park. Yet he went ahead to bring us another stock from the Rawlings regime. A regime whose inflation was reported to be around 40% when they were leaving office in 2001. What new things is Arthur really bringing?
We cannot tell of any relationship between Mahama and Arthur. Not even a working relationship. So it is quite strange that President Mahama who is yet to be marketed will go ahead to pick a candidate relatively unknown to Ghanaians. This is indeed a step to opposition. Other than that, who is going to market whom? They're both unknown.