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Opinions Mon, 3 Nov 2014

Uncles!

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Garden City, New York


Oct. 23, 2014


E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.net


It took some doing, but finally Ghana has a substantive opposition leader and a deputy opposition leader. It almost seems like yesterday - and it actually was yesterday. In the wake of the largely predictable outcome of his battle at the Supreme Court, over who had legitimately been awarded the mandate by the Ghanaian electorate to govern, when even some among those who had served on his 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns began to vehemently and bitterly impugn his ability to lead the country's largest opposition political party into the 2016 battle against the hardnosed operatives of the so-called National Democratic Congress (NDC), he had stayed calm and focused with inimitable poise. He had also admirably put to shame, and in the jitters, those who cavalierly presumed to be able to determine the shape and trajectory of political fortunes, even in what many consider to be his twilight days. 


Well, on Saturday, October 18, 2014, the real movers and shakers of the Danquah-Busia-Dombo-inspired New Patriotic Party (NPP), once again, decided resoundingly that the best man for the job was none other than Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. And once again, true to his principled leadership, Ghana's former Attorney-General and Justice Minister has decided to retain unarguably the country's foremost economist of his generation. And on the latter score, of course, I am referring to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the former Deputy-Governor of the Bank of Ghana and, presently, Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Mensa Otabil-founded Central University. 


It is inescapably significant that Dr. Bawumia's selection for the third time, as running-mate of Nana Akufo-Addo, comes at a time when the bumbling and rudderless Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress has been desperately kicking its feet and helplessly throwing its arms about, like the proverbial drowning man in search of a massive economic bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the latter's Bretton Woods institutional sibling, the World Bank.


It is also indisputably prophetic because long before it happened, Dr. Bawumia had publicly and sternly warned President John Dramani Mahama that the abject lack of fiscal discipline, on the part of his National Democratic Congress government, was highly likely to sandbag the country's otherwise robust economy. In sum, what eligible Ghanaian voters ought to be seriously questioning is why the Mahama-led government of the so-called National Democratic Congress decided to pooh-pooh the expert advice of one of Africa's best economists, and rather visionlessly venture abroad for the same quality of advice at a price that is worth more than the amount of bailout funding sheepishly sought from the Bretton Woods establishment.


In other words, in Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia, Ghana has in tandem a rarely deft combination of its finest politician and economist; and these two gentlemen may very well represent the best and last chance for the country to radically turn around its badly battered economic and political apparatuses and fortunes, as well. It has often been said that one does not step into the same river-water twice. Miraculously, Ghana, which has twice before rudely ignored its blessings and painfully suffered for the same, is, once again, being blessed for the third time around with Messrs. Akufo-Addo and Bawumia; and we had better make certain not to forever deny ourselves our most just deserts.


For me, though, there is this very fortuitously personal dimension to the "hat-trick" affirmation of the candidacy of Nana Akufo-Addo and Dr. Bawumia. And it is the fact that these two of Ghana's finest gentlemen are also my uncles. I shall explain this to my dear readers in due course.
Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame