General News of 2014-05-12

Comment: Hannah Tetteh's ambitions and the Veep's headache

Many would have thought, as a Vice-President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur would have been so instrumental and more engaged in the governing system just as the late Aliu Mahama did, and before then the leverage given Prof. Atta-Mills by the then Jerry Rawlings to market him for the Presidency.

In contrast to this perception, the current NDC government seems to have shifted the goal post and to have effectively made the Vice-President a frustrated figure.

We are told that there will be a National Economic Dialogue on Tuesday May 13, so observers will examine closely the role the Vice Pee plays in that forum.

It has now become an open secret within corridors of power and the NDC apparatchiks that central to the ineffectiveness of the Vice- President is the calculated undercover strategy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hannah Tetteh -Kpoda to make the Vice- President unproductive and to make him look an incompetent person in the eyes of Ghanaians and the NDC leadership.

Many would recall that, hardly does a week pass-by without speculation in the media proposing a Hannah Tetteh for NDC running mate for 2016.

In the midst of all these counter-productive speculations, Hannah Tetteh who had formerly served as a communication director of the NDC and therefore knows better how to respond to those type of speculations which have the propensity to develop unstable cohesion in government, has been very quiet.

The once outspoken Hannah Tetteh has so far remained silent on growing speculations of her intense ambition and underground lobbying to kick out Amissah-Arthur which has dominated the media recently.

So, why has Hannah Tetteh refused to come out to deny these stories gaining grounds?

We wish to inform Hannah Tetteh and her agents that the effect of her continued silence "do or die" ambition to replace the Vice- President is adversely affecting the image and performance of Amissah-Arthur as Veep and therefore the whole Mahama administration.

It has become an open secret also as confirmed by families and close pals of the Vice-President that it is because of these persistent rumours and publications that has made Amissah-Arthur lose interest in his job, to the point that when Dr. Bawumia came out recently at Central University with a lengthy negative commentary on the economic performance of the NDC, Amissah-Arthur too was very silent.

Supporters and advisers of Amissah Arthur have concluded that since Hannah Tetteh, who until the Mahama era had made no known significant contribution to the NDC, knows so much as to become Vice-President in 2016, then she might as well start debating Bawumia now, rather than leave Amissah-Arthur to do the work for her, only for him (Amissah-Arthur) to be dumped in 2016 -- and for Hannah to have it easy as Vice-Presidential candidate without going through any Party primaries or prior elections which she so much fears.

Even more worrying are other articles that rumoured that should Mahama not stand for 2016, Hannah Tetteh and Kwesi Ahwoi, both ministers in the current government, are poised to replace him.

However, neither of these sitting MPs have come out to deny that open speculation in the media.

Many Ghanaians will want to know what has been Hannah Tetteh's singular achievement with the industrial community when she was Minister of Trade and Industry, and now Foreign Affairs Minister?

How did she improve Ghana’s export weaknesses, or curtail the importation of rice, poultry, flour, fruit juices, or other very basic communities Ghana should be manufacturing?

Many also wonder why the President himself, a former Minister of Communications and NDC Party Communications Chief, is allowing such media speculations to gain root without any response.

Could rumors be true?

It is therefore a perfect conclusion to draw from the foregoing that, the enemy of the NDC is right within.

Many will attest that it is only Fiifi Kwetey who is trying to counter Dr. Bawumia, Akoto Osei and others on the economic front but Fiifi's abrasive style and inadequate economic knowledge, experience and analysis does not help NDC carry the day.

Ideally, NDC could have a stronger team if Amissah-Arthur, Terkper and Fiifi Kwetey could collaborate and strategize, with the help of Deputy Finance Ministers, Cassiel Ato Forson and George Griffiths-Hagan.

But Hannah Tetteh's ambition for the Vice-President slot and eventually Presidential slot is making it difficult for this collaboration to take place -- as the current Vice-President is marginalized and feels unappreciated.

In conclusion, President Mahama and the NDC as a party would have a lot of questions to ask Hannah Tetteh, if government fails in its promise to meet with the Better Ghana Agenda.