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Is there any hope for Dr. Bawumia

Tue, 3 Sep 2013 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

.... in the NPP’s political cabal?

The thunderbolt has hit the NPP camp and paralyzed every one of them. The pre-verdict optimism has metamorphosed into a huge ball of fire, burning them from within and visibly tearing them apart on the outside. Akufo-Addo says he is angry at the Supreme Court’s verdict but has accepted it without any thought for asking for a review. The Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NPP (Fred Anto) and the National Executive Committee of the party think otherwise. A committee has been formed to look into the judges’ opinions to help them advise themselves. Some NPP followers are wondering whether Dr. Bawumia and Obetsebi-Lamptey can dissociate themselves from Akufo-Addo and ask for a review. Too many tastes will surely confuse the palate!!

At this point, the vibes from the NPP camp suggest that the defeat of the NPP at the Supreme Court can be traced to one major factor—a last-minute change of position and opinions by Justice Baffoe-Bonnie to doom them. We have heard comments from the NPP camp to suggest that had he not been “influenced” to shift grounds at the eleventh hour, the verdict would have gone against the respondents to put Akufo-Addo in power. Dangerous and wild speculation!!

Others have also wondered why the strong opinions of Justice Anin-Yeboah did not become the basis for the Court’s ruling. Justice Anin-Yeboah is on record as one of the three judges (Justice Rose Owusu and Justice V.M. Dotse) to have backed the petitioners’ allegations of over-voting and voting without biometric verification. Another instance of painful wishful thinking!

When the dust settles, though, the real picture will emerge for them to see. There is every indication that their defeat can be traced to the role played by Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, their star witness. His damage control efforts (namely, his ceaseless but inadmissible assertions that he only used once the duplicated data for his analysis of the election results; his futile attempt to base his presentation of the case on CD-ROMs and PowerPoint; or his flight into sarcasm in response to Tsikata’s probing questions during cross-examination: “You and I were not there1”) yielded nothing significant to boost the fortunes of the petitioners.

Thus, even though he has repaired to the background and not been heard from ever since, the ugly footprints that he left behind are still visible. And they will be the reminder that the NPP followers will point to when they weigh their issues in this so-called landmark case. Finding fault to crucify him!

As soon as the gossipping and accusing fingers are pointed at him as the architect of the party’s loss of the case, everything positive about him will be wiped away. He will definitely become the black sheep to be despised and consigned to the doldrums in the political family of the human-elephants. Once consigned to that wilderness, he will have no chance of resurfacing to play any frontline role. Wherein, then, lies any hope that he can become the next flagbearer of the party?

While all this flim-flammery is going on, the real power brokers in the party are busy putting heads together on the future direction of the party. Certainly, Akufo-Addo will be considered as a spent horse not to bet on. His fate will be tied to that of Dr. Bawumia and both shown the exit.

For Dr. Bawumia, particularly, it will be an easy task to get rid of him. He is an “outsider” with no traditional pocket of power to rely on for support to fight off opposition.

If he turns himself into a dying donkey to kick the hardest, he will be booted out in less than no time and told that he has no tap root in the party, no lineage to boast of. He is just a branch grafted onto the stem for political convenience; and now that his role has dampened the spirits of the party, what next but to extricate him? What is grafted has no life of its own to live; not so? It depends on the parent limb for survival. Unfortunately, Dr. Bawumia has no parent limb in the camp of the NPP. His father can’t be said to be a full-blooded UP politician, having flirted with all kinds of political families (including the Rawlings one). And once he is dead and gone, his offspring is a vagrant therein.

So, the picture is clear that Dr. Bawumia will have no future in the NPP; and he can’t turn to any other political family to be accepted outright and given the chance to play any frontline role that will position him to capture the most prominent position as a flagbearer. Stalemated? Where does he go from here? What a sad end for him all too soon?

The only option left for him now is to say good-bye to Ghanaian politics and retrace his steps to what he spent many years preparing himself for—professional work in banking. He doesn’t lack anything there, having established good credentials wherever he’s been—whether in Ghana (where he rose to become the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana before being self-deluded by ill-considered political ambitions and hoodwinked by treacherous political toads bent on exploiting his potential to achieve their own selfish goals) or Zimbabwe (where he was comfortably ensconced in office before being uprooted by political forces bent on turning him into a cannon fodder for their own survival).

Now, he has another appointment in his career field waiting for him. Will he go for it to re-engineer himself or remain a marionette to be wrongly manipulated by the political vampires that are more eager to hold him hostage for their own good than letting him go where his Fate will determine? If I were him, I would call it quits and heed the call of reason to rebuild my career as a banker. He is really not endangered because he still has his professional life intact and needs to rediscover himself and return to the trajectory that he had been on before being manipulated to change course—for the wrong reason!

If anything at all, he simply has to re-define his strategies and re-position himself in life. He needn’t fear any fall if he settles back in the groove. He needs to know that the rough and tumble of politics is not good for everybody. For him particularly, he seems to be a victim of unfortunate circumstance—being grafted onto a Presidential Candidate who has no appeal to the majority of voters for reasons verging on his personal characteristics that irk the electorate more than lure them into endorsing him for the Presidency.

One thing must be clear to Dr. Bawumia at this stage. Had he been fortunate to be attached to a Presidential Candidate (and credible political party) with more personal appeal to the electorate, he would by now have been walking the corridors of power to be given full compliments instead of being placed in a witness box in the dark chamber of the Supreme Court to be grilled and drilled on issues that he was not to directly benefit from. He would have been a different person altogether, not to be disillusioned and tormented like Pip in Charles Dickens’ classic novel, Great Expectations.

Now that he has sat on tenterhooks at Election 2008 and 2012 and felt much pain, shouldn’t it be time for him to gravitate toward his proper home in the banking profession? Fate beckons, and he had better listen to reason.

Having observed the goings-on since he paired with Akufo-Addo for the 2008 elections and lost, and the intrigues that characterized his re-selection to test the depth of the stream of Ghanaian politics with both legs—and suffering from the spasmodic cold bite—I can tell that he has hit a dead-end; and the best decision to keep him afloat is to move in a different direction.

The forces in the NPP that will oppose his retention as a running mate or a flagbearer for future elections are too strong for him to walk over in attempting to assert his influence. In the first place, he has had no particular enclave of influence within the party. He doesn’t wield any clout and won’t be given any by the real power brokers within the cabal. He is only being used by the potentates in the party to achieve their own aims.

Secondly, he has no chance of turning the table in his own favour to become a potentate like them or to exceed them and, therefore, become their lord to be deferred to. He doesn’t have any power base in the NPP to influence his thoughts of ever becoming the payer of the piper. He has no tune to call either; and the earlier he recognizes his subservient position, the better chances are that he will see things more clearly and not waste his time and energy looking for dung where no cow grazed.

He may not be prepared for this whirligig but he has nothing to do to ward it off because it has been long in putting into motion. He is just an unfortunate victim of political machinations and should by now have seen the big picture; but he seems to be so tied to the apron strings of his manipulators that he is at pains to know the truth and be set free by it.

What will floor him is already here. He is politically worse off now than he had been hitherto. Should he not learn the bitter lesson and part ways with what is gradually reducing everything about him to absurdity? Can he boldly rise by his own bootstraps and go where his talents lie, not where the political wind blows? Truly, a cat may go to a monastery but it still remains a cat. Dr. Bawumia is an outsider in the NPP and will remain so no matter how much he “kills” himself for the cabal. And now that indications are strong that his performance at the ongoing hearing of the NPP’s petition has produced ugly sparks to set ablaze the party’s edifice, he won’t stand any chance against the real power brokers bank-rolling the party and manipulating it to suit their purposes.

I will stick my neck out to say that very soon, he will become the bull’s eye for the archers in that cabal to hit hard out of contention. Then, they will sit back to strategize again for Election 2016, putting a full-blooded Akan forward as the party’s Presidential Candidate while adroitly looking for the opportunity to play the ethnic and religious card again to settle on those they can exploit. Certainly, they won’t go for Dr. Bawumia as either the flagbearer or the running mate. So, where will he be?

I will end with this parting word: Advise and counsel him; if he does not listen, let adversity teach him.

I shall return…

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.