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Is Bawumia’s Vice Presidential Role Relevant In 2024 Election?

The Vice President, Dr. Mahama Bawumia is trending. This is not the first time his name is appearing in the trends and may not be the last. Maybe he was born for the limelight, but his modest upbringing and humility being his driving force are leading his stars. When he entered into mainstream politics in 2008 as the running mate of then candidate Akufo-Addo, he came as a novice, but after almost sixteen years in the political space, he is the leader and flagbearer of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), the largest political party in Ghana.

His rise to the leadership position of the largest political party in Ghana has been quick, however not surprising. He is credited for his role in the largest victory ever chalked by a political party in the history of Ghana since 1992. As opposition party in 2016 general elections, he helped his party to defeat then ruling government by over 900,000 votes. The largest ever margin for an opposition party to win a first round victory in the country.

However, the victory margins dwindled to 500,000 when the party was seeking reelection in 2020 for their second term bid, a phenomenon many predicted as is common with ruling governments. That notwithstanding, was a huge margin especially for a ruling party considering unmet expectations and voter apathy going into the 2020 general election.

The Vice President has also been famed by many for his influential contribution to his party since accepting to be the running mate and now vice president. For the first time in the history of the NPP, they won more parliamentary seats in the northern regions, a phenomenon many attributes to the presence of the vice president. While others discount any such accolade accorded the vice president, they fail to explain why the party could move to 16 seats within 8 years.

At the heart of the New Patriotic Party’s consecutive victories in 2016 and 2020 was the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. For his role as a running mate, he played to the best of his ability. He was a torn in the flesh of his opponents. Many believe the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had no answers to his many revealing and refreshing lectures. On economic management, his almost monthly lectures became hope for many. Doing so as economists, he knew his figures. He was right all along and was vindicated many times.

It is this crucial role he played toward the electoral fortunes of the NPP that he is slain almost every day on most political altars. The downturn of the economy has worsened his plight. He has become the punching bag for almost everyone, even the opposition party who as a result of economic mismanagement lost the largest margin ever in the political history of Ghana.

With Dr. Bawumia leading the NPP into the 2024 general election, the largest opposition party for political mischievousness, is projecting the Vice President as if he is the substantive president of the country and as such should be hanged for the woes and economic difficulties.

So, is the vice-presidential role relevant going into the 2024 general election? Why should Bawumia suffer for his role as a vice president if he wants to be a president? If the bar for the Vice President is that high, what should Ghanaians make of the Former President, Former Vice President and flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama?.

The role of the vice president is defined in the constitution of Ghana. Article 60 of the 1992 constitution clearly spells out the roles and functions of the vice president. In the 14 clauses of article 60, the vice president is almost rendered redundant. It is as if the constitution only thought of the vice president office as one that is viable and vital when the president is indisposed or unavailable.

Perhaps it is for a good reason why the constitution is modest on the demands on the Vice President. After all, he was not voted for. It is the president who canvas for votes to lead the country. The choice to run on the ticket as running mate is purely at the mercy of the president and it is to satisfy a constitutional requirement. The president therefore is the sole person trusted to make appointments, and he deems fit where, when and who he wants to delegate power and authority.

While the vice president cannot extricate himself from the government, blaming him solely for the woes of the administration will be vile.  Although he is part of the government, decision making and authority is in the hands of the commander-in-chief. The usual parlance is that, the back stops with the president or the leader. The vice president’s inputs at best becomes advisory to his boss.

At nowhere in the functions and roles of the vice president in the constitution was he made to take charge of any sector of the economy or the country.  The vice president office could at best classified as ceremonial. It is therefore not surprising that past vice presidents were ineffective. Perhaps they just chose to be lazy, or they were not trusted enough to handle any part of the economy. At best, they were deemed as incapable hands to influence change in any sector of the country’s management.

The Vice President Office under the Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has been different. He has had an effectual and competent office, leading initiatives that have positively impacted the lives of many Ghanaians. His digitalization initiatives are baring fruits and it impacting every aspect of the economy.

His thoughtful idea of Gold for oil is reducing prices of oil and stabilizing the currency. The drone delivery system is saving lives- brainchild of the vice president who did not sit aloof but have had real impact on the economy.

Maybe the once prophesized ‘Ghanaians have short memory’ is at play. The litany of changes and innovation introduced by the current government are a lot. Aside the soft but crucial parts which has been handled by the vice president, the hard projects which hither-to use to be the go-to shelf for political campaign- infrastructure development in every aspect of the economy is unmatched. In the area of roads, Education, Health infrastructure and local governance, the opposition cannot relate. It is therefore not surprising that little is heard in that area when it comes to the campaign arguments.

With the cacophony of noises from the NDC and it assigns, what should Ghanaians make of the former president John Dramani Mahama? Having had the opportunity to lead the country as president, what has been his real achievement and impact on the lives of Ghanaians? What is the most pressing reason why he should be given the chance to lead the country again?

In the area of economic management as a president and commander-in-chief, he was abysmal. He supervised the country’s worst dark days, plunged the country into debt, took the economy to IMF. He never resolved any economic or social issue during his time as vice president and president. He was not visionary in any area of the economy.

John Mahama as a Commander-in-chief superintended over corruption in his government. As a vice president, he was recommended for investigation for corruption. Hanging by his tail is the Airbus Scandal which is under investigations.

Are Ghanaians really better of with the former president? What would be the genuine justification for his return apart from a constitutional provision that stipulates a two-term presidency that he is determined to fulfill. Apart from riding on the emotional vulnerabilities of some Ghanaians, what has been the clearest message of his come back?

Shouldn’t a person who have had the chance to lead the country as a president and seeking to return receive the highest scrutiny? In this regard, the Ghanaian media is sleeping. Seems they are more interested in the likes and clicks, or going with the flow of the current emotional sways of the nation. The media are not asking tangible questions. For their role as fourth estate, they are reneging on their responsibilities.

The 2024 general election promises goods of unequal values. While a vote and victory for Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia is a forward thinking, growth, tangible and measurable policies with vision, same cannot be said about the former president who at best have only four-year mandate. His brief mandate if given the nod afford him no time to think forward, be visionary and transformative. A vote for him is therefore a backward approach to the much sought after development the country deserve.

Gh News Today
Gh News Todayhttps://ghnewstoday.com
Kwaku Opoku-Dame is the Chief Editor of Ghnewstoday.com, and he is based in Tema, Ghana. Kwaku holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies (Journalism major) from the Ghana Institute of Journalism.
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