H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia's speech at the Kofi Ohene Konadu Auditorium of the University of Professional Studies Accra (UPSA) was both a Stump Speech and an Issue Speech.
A STUMP SPEECH because it enhanced both his credibility and stewardship when he said, "...submitting myself to your service, the electorate, to vote for me as President, is no different from interviewing for a job.
One needs to tell a prospective employer what he has accomplished in his previous job and how he can successfully deliver in the new position he is seeking. Which is what I seek to do in this speech."
Then he went on to give a laundry list of the assignments that were given to him by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and how he was able to judiciously accomplish them as a hard working servant of Ghana and also as a faithful "driver's mate".
Yes, he was a faithful "driver's mate" who diligently worked on what he was assigned to do.
But he wasn't anybody's poodle!!!
A faithful servant understands the principle of "yes Sir, Massa".
He said he was grateful to the President for appointing him as the Chairman of the Economic Management Team (EMT) but quickly added that "as a sub-committee to Cabinet, we do not have decision-making powers", thus absolving his team of any charges of incompetence.
The speech was also an ISSUE SPEECH because it defined his position on issues such as "stabilizing the economy, fixing dumsor, fixing NHIS, fixing the roads, clearing the arrears, making education free and accessible, industrializing our economy, tackling youth unemployment", among others.
Now let's analyze how our Veep was able to sail through with this memorable speech.
a. Attention Getter: The Economy
Dr. Bawumia talked about measures or steps that the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had put in place to stabilize the economy but which steps were derailed by the COVID-19 Pandemic and the repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine War which "brought the world and our country to a thundering halt" resulting in the "greatest economic depression in the world since the 1930's with most countries recording negative GDP growth".
This fact, he said, has been corroborated by the Managing Director of the IMF who once said, "this is a crisis like no other...Pandemics don't respect borders, neither do the economic shocks they cause. The outlook is dire.
We expect global economic activity to decline on a scale we have not seen since the Great Depression."
Dr. Bawumia also talked about other factors that have brought the whole world to its economic knees.
b. His Target Audience:
The event was organized by the New Patriotic Party and Government but the issues at stake were a collective bother of all Ghanaians. Economic instability in Ghana could easily trigger politically-motivated upheavals leading to the destruction of our peace and stability.
c. The Problem at Stake:
While acknowledging that the current economic downturn is a global thing, he also encouraged Ghanaians to embrace his
"IT IS POSSIBLE" Slogan so we can together break the yoke that is hanging over our necks.
The government is playing its part. The list is inexhaustible, but below are a few of them:
- The lights have been on after four years of dumsor by paying $1 billion a year in excess capacity charges;
- Digitization Initiatives;
- No Guarantor Student Loans with Ghanacard;
- One Constituency One Ambulance;
- Zipline Drones;
- Agenda 111;
- Sinohydro Barter Agreement;
- Zongo Development Fund
- Bank of Ghana Gold Purchase Program
- Gold for Oil Policy;
- 2.1 million jobs created between 2017 and 2022;
- Massive investments in Education; and
- Industrialization for Jobs.
In addition, he outlined his vision on agriculture, industry, and the downsizing of government.
d. His Big Idea:
This is what he said, "For me, to lead is to solve. Indeed, all my adult life, my biggest motivation is about finding solutions; solutions that improve lives; solutions that make public services efficient...I derive my greatest satisfaction from solving problems and I have done so whenever I am given the opportunity and will do more if I am given the mandate to do so.
e. How is Dr. Bawumia going to accomplish his great vision?
He said, "I am eager to serve; ready to work. I am determined to make a difference; a positive difference.
I will work for you and with you; with honesty and integrity; with wisdom and decisiveness."
One of the definitions of communication is, "the transmission of meaning from one person to another or to many people whether verbally or nonverbally." (Barrett, Deborah J. Leadership Communication. McGraw Hill. 2011. Page 5).
Alhaji Dr. Mahmud Bawumia communicated his vision for Ghana with such ease and enthusiasm that the thunderous applause will most certainly translate into votes on December 7, 2024.
*Kwadwo Adom Tufuor is a Communications Consultant and a Member of the US National Communication Honor Society.
He is the Author of "Campaign and Win...One Touch" a Campaigns and Elections Handbook, and also the Executive Director of
Success Through Communication (STComm), an NGO.