There is absolutely nothing that can be left to the imagination, when it comes to the selection of a running-mate for the nauseatingly jaded former President John Dramani Mahama in the runup to the 2020 general election. According to Mr. Alexander Mould, the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), “Anybody who is going to assist John Mahama and the NDC needs to have strong leadership qualities, needs to have a strong grasp of the economy” (See “2020: Haruna Iddrisu Drops Hint of Mahama’s Running Mate” MyNewsGh.com / Ghanaweb.com 9/6/19).
You see, the problem that the Mahama Gang has going into the 2020 general election is that they have absolutely no remarkable Vice-Presidential Candidate material with a strong grasp of the country’s economy. And the potential or possible candidates whose names are being presently bounced around the public domain do not seem to credibly have what it really takes to handle the nation’s economy, least of all Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, Ghana’s Finance and Economic Planning Minister for some 13 years, who offered the country absolutely nothing but the IMF-World Bank Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) straitjacket that actually damaged the country’s economy than could have been done by the Limann-led government of the People’s National Party (PNP). What with the catastrophic quartering up of the Nkrumah-fangled Ghana Industrial Holdings Corporation (GIHOC), and the effective destruction of the country’s seminal public industrial base.
It would take the genius of the John Agyekum-Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government and the fiscally responsible and managerially disciplined prescription of HIPC to expand the nation’s economy four-fold in just under 8 years. Mr. Mould’s name has also been floated out there as a possible running-mate for the 2020 Mahama Presidential Election Campaign, but I don’t see the former GNPC’s CEO bringing to bear the needed flair and foresight for the job, in the way, for instance, that Mr. Yaw Osafo-Maafo, the first and seminal Kufuor Finance Minister, brought to bear on a heavily and perennially damaged national economy.
Indeed, even as I write, the Special Prosecutor is reported to be studiously looking for some paper trails that may very well apprise Ghanaians of how some $ 15 Million (USD) petroleum revenue went missing under the watch of the previous Mahama regime. But even more risible is the mention of the name of Dr. Johnson Asiamah, the former Deputy-Governor of the Bank of Ghana, as a possible running-mate of Mr. Mahama. If the possibility of the latter’s being fielded for the Vice-Presidential slot is meant to checkmate Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, then it is almost certain to become a massive flop. After all, haven’t Ghanaians already experienced the lackluster Vice-Presidency of the late Mr. Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, at the time of his tokenistic selection, the substantive Governor of the Bank of Ghana?
We must also bear in mind that the current banking crisis being cleaned up by Dr. Ernest KY Addison and his colleagues at the nation’s Central Bank was at least partly created by Dr. Asiamah and his former Mills-Mahama-appointed boss or bosses. The fact of the matter is that Dr. Asiamah is neither a Dr. Bawumia nor a Dr. Paul Acquah. But even more significant to note is the firsthand testimony of Mrs. Matilda Amissah-Arthur that was so heart-wrenchingly delivered at her late husband’s funeral, to wit, that the veritable Fante Presidential Token was never a key player or an integral factor in the Presidency of the self-proclaimed “North Star.”
So it is a sheer wonder why an epically failed Mr. Mahama would want a repeat of the same political chess move that got him ruthlessly drubbed by then Candidate Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo with the unprecedented electoral margin of more than one-million votes for any presidential incumbent in Ghana’s postcolonial history. Even the recently deceased democratically elected former President of Zimbabwe, Mr. Robert Mugabe, 95 years old, was widely reported to have wondered why a leader who had been so roundly rejected by some one-million Ghanaian voters would cavalierly presume to reimpose himself on the very people who have so convincingly rejected him.
In other words, in the authoritative opinion of Mr. Mugabe, short of a bitter armed struggle, there is absolutely no chance for Mr. Mahama and his double-salary-drawing cabinet appointees to find themselves back into the luxurious suites of Jubilee House anytime soon. Fielding Dr. Asiamah, the former Deputy-Governor of the Bank of Ghana, would also not wash, in view of the latter’s gross administrative incompetence that partly resulted in the apocalyptic banking mess that is still being presently cleared up by Vice-President Bawumia and his crackerjack team of economic mavens. And neither would the fielding of former Attorney-General Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong wash, in view of what we know about the latter’s sordid role in the Woyome Saga and some shady judgment-debt payments that came to light shortly after Mrs. Appiah-Oppong had left office without any remarkable performance record to show for the same.
For his part, Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, the youngest of the Ahwoi Brothers Gang, never performed creditably as both the Agriculture Minister and as Ghana’s High Commissioner to South Africa. So, I sincerely don’t see how his name found its way onto the shortlist of the 2020 Mahama-for-President running-mate candidates. I also don’t see Mr. Julius Debrah, the election-time Mahama make-believe Chief-of-Staff, and Ms. Hanna Tetteh, the much-rumored Mahama romantic interest and former Foreign Minister, making the cut either.
It cannot, however, be gainsaid that Dr. Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings definitely has name recognition, but she is not known to have any remarkably distinguished herself even in her own professional field of medical practice, let alone the epic task of managing the country’s economy. At best, she would be as good as the irreparably superannuated Dr. Kwesi Botchwey, the latter-day Komla Gbedemah incarnate.
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
September 6, 2019
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