Wed, 06 Dec 2023 Feature Article

Dr. Bawumia And His Guys On The Bus Glow

Dr Mahamudu Bawumia             Dr Mahamudu Bawumia             

Where I live in my Holy village somewhere in the Northern Region, my thatch-roofed two-bedroom house is located by the roadside. Anytime I go out to sit under the tree where I use to rest after the hard day's work on my farm, I observe vehicles that go and come on the road.

Those who know me will call my name and greet me while those who do not know me can only wave. That is the only thing that gives me joy in my self-imposed 'solitary confinement'. I go home once a while to avoid the ugly noises and hustle-bustle of city life and work on my cashew farm.

Last week I was resting under my tree as usual when I heard some young men passing by, talking loudly about the visit of Dr. Bawumia. I overheard them saying Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia was on his way for 'thank you' tour in the region, and that very soon he would pass by. Before I could blink an eye, I saw a Land Cruiser leading a long bus loaded with many people on board.

There was also a pick-up car with a few men in plain cloth on board.

I focused my attention on the leading Land Cruiser, thinking the Vice President was in that car. It was a mistake. I saw Dr. Bawumia sitting by the window of the bus waving at the crowd. The man was travelling on the bus with his entourage made up of MMDCEs, NPP Regional and Constituency Executive members and other ladies and gentlemen.

I said to myself, “Bawumia has done it again”. Ever seen or heard of a Vice President, and a flagbearer for that matter, traveling around the country in a bus to thank people who voted for him before? That is what Bob Marley used to call 'Babylon By Bus'

If you should ask me why I am interested in the Vice President and flagbearer of the NPP travelling in a bus with his team, you should as well ask me why in other jurisdictions, austerity measures are introduced in times of economic challenges. In fact, when Dr. Bawumia was travelling across the length and breadth of the country to campaign for votes with the NPP delegates, he adopted the same strategy.

No motorcade, no long V8 convoy, no military security, no police security details and infact, no national security officials followed the guy. The man knew he was on a private mission so he should not rely on incumbency. He did put his life on the line as the Vice President of Ghana who could be a target by assassins. There is the mark of a brave man.

Meanwhile during the 2016 electioneering campaign, then President Mahama, travelled in a military helicopter to places where roads were just too bad. Candidate Nana Akufo-Addo who had no access to state facilities like a military helicopter travelled by road across the length and breadth of the country.

When Candidate Akufo-Addo experienced the bad nature of our roads and complained, then President Mahama insolently and snobbishly said Akufo-Addo was sleeping as he travelled on the roads, because the NDC government had constructed more roads than any other government since independence. That is why I get ants in my pants whenever people complain of bad roads in their towns and villages.

During one of such travels, candidate Akufo-Addo visited Sankore in the Ahafo Region, the hometown of the then Regional Minister who was and still is the Member of Parliament of the area, Eric Opoku. As custom demands, Nana paid a courtesy call at the palace of the Omanhene of Sankore.

Listen to what Nana Sankore Omanhene said: “I must first thank you for not flying in a helicopter to Sankore like others do. You came by road and so I am sure you saw the state of the Sankore road. Please do something about it when you become president.”

Dr. Bawumia has started with a lofty idea which should not be abandoned even when he starts his campaign. The years when MMDCEs, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Co-ordinating Directors etc followed a candidate on his campaign trail with their official cars should seize. Ghanaians are not interested in the long convoy but the message.

Yes I agree, as a sitting Vice President, we cannot do away with his security details and his medical team. I am yet to hear those noisemakers on radio and TV talking about what Dr. Bawumia and his team did. If the man had travelled with a long convoy, you would have heard the loud noise about the Vice President living ostentatious life style and insensitive to the plight of the poor man at hard times like this.

If Mr. Mahama had been the one who travelled on a bus for a 'thank you' tour, NDC communicators would have climbed on top of the roof to shout to the hearing of the whole world that a miracle has been performed. They don't play with their propaganda and it goes to their advantage. They make the best out of every opportunity, no matter how small.

Not so with the NPP communicators. Like President Akufo-Addo, yours sincerely has also criticised the communication outfit of the NPP so many times in this column. Lawyer Boabeng Asamoah was a total failure as far as communication was concerned but it seems to me the current National Communication Director of the party is towing the same line.

He is indifferent, silent and takes things for granted. When you are dealing with a political party that has communist background, you don't take things for granted as far as setting records straight is concerned. In this modern era, almost every household can boast of one set of television or more, even in the remotest corner of Ghana. People want to see things for themselves because as the saying goes, seeing is believing.

Take the issue of roads for example, the Minister of Roads and Highways has consistently been telling Ghanaians that the government has excelled in the construction of roads. Here in my holy village, we have not seen roads constructed in other regions except our own region because hardly do we travel, since we are poor farmers minding our own businesses. Until I saw the state of the art railway line being constructed somewhere in the Western Region on my old TV set, I never knew the government was performing so well in the railway sector.

NPP communicators sit in Accra, talking about Pokuase Interchange and others constructed by the current government but the truth is that here in my holy village, we have some people who are more than 70 years old but they have never been to Accra before. What are they going there to do? But if the people see things on the television they will realise that the government is doing something good for the country.

In fact, for all these years, they have never visited Tamale before not to talk about seeing Tamale Interchange, the first of an interchange in Tamale and the Northern Region for that matter, since independence even though they live in the Northern Region. What is keeping the Communication Director and his team from buying airtime on TV stations to showcase the achievements of the government like the ongoing Agenda 111 district hospitals, school blocks, One District One Factory among others?

I really pity President Akufo-Addo because it seems he has no one to tell his story even though there are people who should do the job. Or is it a matter of square pegs in round holes? I don't need any answer. I only need a bottle of India Ink to fill my Fountain Pen to continue my crusade.

By Eric Bawah

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