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Rejoinder: Bawumia's Exit is Ghana's Loss, Really!

Fri, 30 Jan 2009 Source: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka

Dr Okoampa-Ahoofe’s hastily patched up article on Bawumia’s exit left me scratching my head. I suspect because of Ahoofe’s ever present credentials and the Ghanaian’s enthralling attitude towards PhD holders, people expect much better logic from him than they do anyone without such gleaming or gaudy epaulets. Often, it seem as though, Dr Ahoofe’s partisan blinders gets in the way. Yes, even when he is raising critical issues that ought to be done in a non-partisan way.

Today I want to comment on Ahoofe’s yelp about Bawumia’s alleged forced resignation. Dr Bawumia has served Ghana well and he deserves commendation. For perhaps merit, but certainly tribal calculations, he was chosen, like Aliu Mahama, to court the northern vote. Was he the man who wept when he saw the deplorable conditions of our brothers and sisters in the north? Oh it was Aliu right? Certainly somebody wept and it was not Jesus Christ! Darn! Why do we continue neglecting the North? Did the NPP nurse a mess in the North? For some reason, most parties in Ghana have come to accept this rancid institutionalization that vice presidents are best chosen from the north. I am sick of it and will surely like to see this practice take a nose dive.

For some reason, I particularly feel sorry for Aliu Mahama and the way Kufour in particular, but the NPP in general, treated him. Here is man who served honorably as vice president, but when time came to reward him, tribal politics within the NPP failed him big time. The NPP flag bearer could surely not come from the North. Or could he? Perhaps he did not have enough longevity. But what did he get for his loyalty and experience? Did he not run the country all the time that Kufour was out for his jolly trips? I bet Aliu knows more about Ghana than Kufour. He sure reminded them about that during the primaries. And let me say this to the thin skinned NPP folks, you better confront the tribal fault lines within your party now or pay a stiff price when the next election unfolds. In fact, all parties in Ghana better take heed because we will do all we can to bring awareness aimed at defeating tribal politics. It is time that we get our people talking about pocket book issues just like the fishermen of Elmina did in the past election by voting against the NPP due to lack of sensitivity around their premix fuel needs. Even Churcher, a Fante, saw her plea for mercy and forgiveness fall on deaf ears. And she was talking to her tribesmen. For far too long, some have perfected tribal politics and deploy it with reckless abandon to our detriment. Change is coming!

In his rant, Ahoofe gives the impression that Dr Bawumia is indispensible. I strongly beg to differ. I think he, Bawumia, laid his bed nicely and surely he ought to sleep in it. In my opinion, the deputy governorship of Bank of Ghana should never be a partisan position. I don’t know if Mr. Bawumia was partisan in his position or not at BoG. However, campaigning as the VP for NPP means that Bawumia must sound abrasive and partisan at least. If you add to the fact that the opposition was the now ruling NDC, you unveil a situation where bad blood may have been spilled. I think it just does not make sense to keep a politically compromised partisan in such a position. Unfortunately, the NDC may replace him with another partisan and Ghana stands to lose if that happens. However, Mr. Bawumia is not indispensable and can be replaced. After all, if the NPP had won, his post at BoG would have been filled by another person. So, I don’t see why the NPP should quip or chirp about his either alleged forced or voluntary departure. I am glad he resigned as a gentleman and I wish him the best of luck. I want Ahoofe to note that this has nothing to do with his democratic rights. But even if it did, there is a price to pay for exercising your democratic rights. This notion that everything must be free is a disabling fable that ought to be retired. Others paid with their lives just so that Ahoofe can spew his venom. Politics, Ahoofe, is very risky business. It is not for the faint hearted. Some Ghanaians quit their jobs overseas to run for office in Ghana. If they lose, and some have, who sheds tears for them?

What makes folks like Ahoofe not believable on such topics is their eerie silence when the shoe is on the other leg. It was not long ago that Kufour and his marauding gang asked a slew of NDC folks to proceed on leave. I happen to know of a case involving one Dr Donkor (Village Boy we call him) at BOST. He was removed from post with spurious charges drummed up by then red-eyed NPP. A long drawn investigation was conducted into the charges so leveled. At the end, he was vindicated. I suspect one of his main crimes was his NDC affiliation. Even though he was asked to be reinstated, the NPP has not done so as we speak. I am certain that his case is just the tip of the iceberg. So my question to Ahoofe is this, where were you when these witch hunts were going on under the NPP? Did you know then, what you know now, that Ghana is worse off when result- oriented Ghanaians are sacked purely for political reasons? I don’t believe in the two wrongs doctrine but I sure as hell find it revolting that people who could have made a difference by speaking up did not do so. Folks like Ahoofe must speak truth to power regardless of who is in power. Until then, speaking up just for one side will be seen as pure grandiose rubbish (credit to JJ).

Again and pathetically, Ahoofe is here shedding crocodile tears for winner take all politics in Africa. Would he be singing the same ditty if the NPP had won? Was he not the one lacing into the NDC and with juvenile glee cheering on the NPP during the elections? Was he not the one telling us that Nana Addo will win? What if Nana Addo had won? Will the winner take all syndrome kick into effect? Where really is Ahoofe’s sincerity? Now that he feels the pranks of power grating from the other side, he wants the rules changed. I believe Ahoofe’s advocacy for dulling the impact of winner take all politics in Africa has some merit and I am very sympathetic to the representative system of the French. However, we must raise issues like this in a context of non-partisanship to give it the weight it deserves. Conjuring up such legitimate issues during a partisan gripe or pity party session takes the patina or burnish off it. It forces some of us to question the credibility of Dr Ahoofe on the issue at stake. Next time, please speak up often and early about national issues of such nature.

As for Dr Bawumia being young and handsome, I don’t see how it belongs in this rant. I am sure that his qualifications (merit) will see him through. All these other issues that Ahoofe raises are merely the moaning of a partisan, gyrating to be the cynosure of opposition to our new overlords, the NDC. I think we should all snap into the mindset that the NDC is in power and they will call the shots as they fit. To the winner, goes the spoils and the NPP should wait their turn. I am sure it will not be any different if they don’t eat some humble pie and learn their bitter lessons. If the NPP seeks humility and sensitivity, they may beckon change and govern differently when given the nod. I hope that whenever the NPP gets back in power, they will govern based on what is good for Ghana and not what is good for a select few. BoG will surely survive without Bawumia. And surely, Ghana loses nothing because I suspect Bawumia will stay and work in a different capacity. I trust he will. Dr Atta Mills should consider him for another assignment on his own terms and so long as the opportunity fits. Certainly, the NDC should not feel compelled to keep Bawumia. Viva Ghana!

Nii Lantey Okunka Bannerman

(Also known as the double edge sword)

I don’t give them hell, I just tell the truth and they think it is hell--Harry Truman

The author can be reached at Africanbee1@aol.com.

Columnist: Bannerman, Nii Lantey Okunka