By Issifu Seidu Kudus Gbeadese
(Loud citizen from Laribanga)
As I painfully stroll down the lonely Laribanga mountains, my itchy fingers kept reminding me of a task I have to execute before dusk; A simple task of flipping a postcard with the inscriptions as captioned as a heading of this epistle.
Yes, it is very easy for an empty VEEP to throw directionless jabs than to call for practical debate on his field of study-economics. Has the Ghanaian not had enough of the emptiness of the Vice President? At least Ghanaians have had the taste of Attah Mills, Aliu Mahama, John Mahama, Amissah Arthur-all as VEEPs. Never in our history in the 4th Republic have we been subjected to such abuse and insults by any of the VEEPs. Dr Bawumia why?
Here was a running mate who had the privilege of being called to partner the current president since 2008. He had an opportunity to share the same platform with H.E John Mahama, who was a running mate as well, to debate on issues. Although he performed poorly on those platforms-with most of his submissions assuming theoretical trends instead of the real economic issues that the people of Ghana faced then, but he had the platform anyway.
After losing out in 2008 and 2012, Dr Bawumia became something else. His submissions in the witness box in 2013 surprised many a Ghanaian. This was the time he started to learn how to lie through his teeth. Although It’s not morally right for a young Northern breed to refer to an elder as a liar, but Dr Bawunia would not stop tempting us.
His rise to fame in the run up to 2016 elections was due to the person created out him by Ghanaian media and its covert academia then. So, Dr Bawumia was created to fit into the agenda of the NPP to use the media, the clergy, CSOs and academia to do their dirty works. So that all the rest in the agenda box were made to be on standby to amplify his voice anytime he spoke.
Dr Bawumia was branded and cleaned up to look like the Economic Messiah they said he was. Anything that doesn’t even make sense like, referring to John Mahama as the incompetent one, and anything impossible he said then were washed, cleaned and embellished by the media and their allies to look like the solution Ghana needed then. So, he took that opportunity to engage in lies and making juicy but impossible promises.
His almighty 25th March, 2014 lecture on the restoration of the value of the cedi saw him flying without wings. At the time, importers and traders saw Dr Bawumia as their savior; the academia saw him as the economic magician; the NPP saw him as their Messiah and the Ghanaian at large saw him as the solution to the decades of a weak currency. Today, what has happened? A cedi which was going at about GHC 3 to $1 by end of 2016 is now selling at about GHC 6 to the same $1.
Dr Bawunia didn’t forgive President Mahama even with the external shocks that greeted the latter’s government during these times, with prices of gold and oil dropping to unexpected levels. Dr Bawumia spoke as though those external factors don’t matter in our exchange rates computations. Can Dr Bawumia tell us what is causing the cedi to depreciate now? Or is it because he’s not part of the 40 member team set up by his boss-Ken Ofori Attah?
Was it coincidence or by design that all the lofty but impossible promises were made by Dr Bawumia? Remember 1V1D? Remember 1 Ghanaian, 1 Bank Account? Remember 1 household, 1 toilet?
This was a man who told the world in 2015 that he worked with the Bank of Ghana before, so he knew government needn’t borrow to develop Ghana. I was shocked as a student of economics then, but who was I to challenge a man who was carried shoulder high and touted as the incarnate of William Stanley Jevons. Even when Mahama borrowed to build assets like the Atuabo Gas Plant, the Terminal 3, energy plants, the Tamale International Airport, Dr Bawunia still referred to that as reckless borrowing. Borrowing to build the Atuabo Gas Plant which today is saving the government about $500m annually cannot he said to be reckless, unless my economics professor didn’t get his explanation right.
Today as we speak, Dr Bawumia and his boss have borrowed more than what was borrowed by the 4 Presidents of the 4th Republic put together. Ironically, he and his boss have done little in terms of capital investment as compared to Mahama he incessantly referred to as incompetent. Dr Bawumia, what is more incompetent than an economist like your class who will advise his government to borrow money at market rates from the international capital market for consumption related activities instead of using same to connect the Eastern Corridor Roads which will make it easier for your people in Walewale and others in that enclave to access the bigger markets in Accra and the south at large?
He doesn’t even know shame when he mentions corruption. I should think that someone is sabotaging our VEEP. Back home in the North, his sister from Walewale, Madam Zuweira Lariba Abudu, the Deputy CEO of the Northern Development Authority was fingered in the case of the stolen 700 tricycles. In fact, it was alleged that those were the items she used to induce delegates of the NPP to vote her as the Parliamentary Candidate of the NPP for Walewale. Dr Bawunia’s own right hand man, Chairman Samba was equally fingered in that open stealing of the 700 tricycles and thousands of motorbikes which cannot be traced as at now. So which corruption again is Dr Bawunia talking about? Worse of all, Dr Bawunia himself was accused of padding the Ghana Post GPS and the drone deals. So who is he pointing his one finger at when the rest of the four are pointing at him?
Maybe someone from home need to speak very loudly into Dr Bawumia’s hard ears that he’s been used. If not, why is he not given the opportunity to speak on real economic issues but given scripts full of jabs and attacks on his opponents, especially HE John Mahama? Why is it that Ken Ofori Attah and Osafo Marfo seem to be taking over his job as the head of the Economic Management Team? Why is it that Ken Ofori Attah controls everything within the financial and economic sub sector while Dr Bawunia is chased into some IT industry which he doesn’t even understand? Somebody should see what I am seeing.
Today, as a VEEP, you have supervised the worse performance of the cedi, worse of International Reserves, worse of borrowing with nothing to show for, the worse business environment with businesses collapsing, worse performance in terms of capital investment (infrastructure development). So what will Dr Bawunia use as his standing block when the crown is before him in the future? Will it be how many jabs he threw at his brother John Mahama or how much value he added to this country as a VEEP?
The ears of Ghanaians are saturated with that incompetent and corruption tag on Mahama. Those tags are no more tasty. Maybe Dr Bawumia should commission a research into what interest the Ghanaian businessman and he will hear from the importers and clearing agents at the ports. Maybe he should take a walk into the Makola and spare parts market and tell the traders that the cedi is doing well now as compared to Mahama’s regime, he will probably hear what he never heard in his lifetime. Or he should try and board a trotro in Accra and then start singing to the drivers and ordinary passengers that fuel prices are better than before, his obituary would have been read before his next birthday.
In any case, which statistics is he always talking about all the time? Is exchange rate part of it? Is Ghana’s debt part of the said statistics? Well, if you have a VEEP whose party footsoldiers will be waiting to copy his jabs and share on social media instead waiting to share his policy statements and outcomes, just know that his government is sinking and he is taken for a clown. The worse is when when academia, business community and students can’t sift some thesis and better economic policies from his submissions. When this happens, just know that he has lost his marble and the country is dead.
A man whose smiles are suspicious and ambiguous should be feared. Dr Bawumia has taught us this lesson.
27th June, 2020