WHEN I was schooling in my holy village, there was this very old rickety lorry that used to ply our rough, dusty and bumpy road on market days. At the back of the bus was the bold inscription: “Abomination Has No Remedy”. One day I asked Teacher Amankwaa, our pupil teacher, to tell me the meaning of the inscription in Twi and he said it meant: “Otan nni aduro”. When I probed further to know what he meant by “Otan nni aduro”, he explained that no matter what you do, the one who hates you will never admire you since his mind is made up.
The Bawumia phobia started the very moment candidate Nana Akufo Addo chose him as his running mate. Like Ekow Nkensen Arkaah, Prof. Atta Mills, Alhaji Aliu Mahama and Paa Kwasi Amissah Arthur, who brazed the political trail in Ghana as Vice Presidents in the 4th Republic, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia was relatively unknown when his name was mentioned as the running mate to candidate Akufo Addo. One couldn't make him out from a crowd because he was not the noisy type. Few people knew he was the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, the nation's apex bank. In fact, few people ever knew his academic laurels. His shy-looking demeanor with innocent face, charming eyes as sharp as the eye of a tiger and of course, his infectious smiles quickly captivated many Ghanaians but not the NDC, who did not see the reason why Nana Ado chose the economic whiz-kid among many fine brains in the NPP, as his running mate.
In fact, the NDC acted like the Hearts of Oak supporter who did not like the goalkeeper selected by Kotoko team when Hearts and Kotoko had a pending crucial match. His reason for kicking against the Kotoko goalkeeper was that the keeper was not good and could not save balls for Kotoko to win the match. Efa wo ho ben? (Does it concern you?). Then they started to dig the past of the fine gentleman but hard as they tried, they could not get any damning thing against the man. “He has no constituency,” “He spent all his time in Accra and so he has lost touch with his people up there in the north,” “He is too soft to withstand the pressure of Ghana politics,” etc. During the 2016 electioneering campaign, Koku Anyidoho went to Asawase, a Muslim-dominated constituency in Kumasi, and recklessly, referred to Dr. Bawumia as “Mutum banza” (Useless person in Hausa). Recently, an upstart and opportunist called Captain Smart who completed Apam SHS in 1999, the very year my second son had his first degree, called Dr. Bawumia a dunderhead and even threw a challenge to debate the gentleman. Funny braggart! All these they said about the man but he kept his cool, because he knew there was a job to be done. In fact, despite all these insults and negative comments poured on him, he still has the grace to hold himself high while his detractors crawled. My candid advice to Bawumia is that anytime they go low, he should continue to go high. That is the mark of a matured gentleman.
Now come, let us reason together. Former President John Kufuor left behind a very strong economy coupled with many social intervention programmes which soothed the sufferings of many Ghanaians. An economy that was battered by eleven years of stultifying military and quasi military regime, picked up within a short time under the Kufuor administration and Ghana was heading towards the El Dorado. Life was fine, very fine. The Mills/Mahama administration took over power with a promise of Better Ghana agenda. My understanding of the Queen's language is that if you say you will make something better, it stands to reason that the thing is good. So the NDC admitted that the economy was good at the time they said they were going to make it better.
Instead of making things better as promised, things went from good to bad. The Metro Mass Transit, the School Feeding programme, the Free Maternal Care, the National Health Insurance scheme, the Savanna Development Authority, the Capitation Grant and many more social intervention programmes initiated by the Kufuor administration, which the Mills/Mahama administration inherited, collapsed. In their places were Dumsor, Asongtaaba, immigrating guinea fowls and stinking corruption which nearly strangled the economy. Mr. Mahama was honest enough to tell Ghanaians that they had eaten all the meat, leaving only bones. In the face of all these mess, we never heard of anything called Coronavirus and there was no war between Russia and Ukraine which have now sent the whole world reeling under unparalleled economic hardships, not to talk of the threat of famine and nuclear war.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo and Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia are two tested politician and an economic whiz-kid. The two had a mission and vision and so they hit the road running like a brand new unlicensed Ford Expedition car driven at top speed from Ghana's Embassy in Burkina Faso to the Jubilee House in Ghana, to be presented as a gift from Kananzoe to Mr. Mahama. Flagship programmes like Free SHS, One District One Factory, One Village One Dam, One District One Warehouse, and free meals for day students in SHS, among others, started rolling out to the admiration and surprise of Ghanaians. Digital Bawumia rolled out his plans to digitalise the economy and the country was moving forward when from nowhere, COVID-19 came knocking on our doors, followed by the Ukraine war. Through no fault of Dr. Bawumia, the clock of progress started turning back like what is happening in other countries around the world. A global economic meltdown came staring us in the face.
Those who love to hate Dr. Bawumia have laced their boots and are in town. This time, they try to heap whatever has happened as far as COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine are concerned on the head of Bawumia. The NDC, in particular, knows very well that the whole world is sitting on thorns and their economies are suffering as a result of Putin's madness in Ukraine but, they pretend to see nothing. For now, Dr. Bawumia is the target as usual. They are aware that the guy is in the race to be the flagbearer of the NPP. Their fear is that if the delegates vote for the man, they are going to find things difficult. Mr. Mahama will not have the monopoly in the northern regions and Zongos as he used to have as a presidential candidate. The era of “I am a Northerner so vote for me” will not be tenable because Bawumia too is a Northerner. The plan is to destroy the man before the party goes to congress. The sad aspect of this evil plan is that, some members of the NPP, who have vested interest in the party's primaries, are also in the fray. But you know what? What the nation is going through will soon be over. Dr. Bawumia and the NPP will survive. Trust Earth Angel Gabriel, the senior messenger of the God of Israel!
BY Eric Bawah