Celebrated investigative journalist, Manasseh Azuri Awuni has stated that the role of Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia in changing the kind of politics that existed prior to his emergence cannot be swept under the carpet.
He indicated that politics in the country was characterized by vague slogans in elections as well as politics of insults.
“Politics in Ghana used not to focus on issues, and certainly not on the economy. Apart from vague slogans in elections, we used to worry so much about the “politics of insults”. The height or looks of candidates used to hold sway above critical issues affecting us”, he recounted.
He admits Dr. Bawumia sometimes engages in politics but he has influenced the political discourse in the country with his style which focuses more on the economy.
“Thanks to Bawumia, the economy is on the front burner all the time. He certainly does his own politics with the economy, but he has influenced our politics a great deal. We need this at all levels of our politics”, he observed.
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THE BAWUMIA EFFECT
Ghana’s economy isn’t in the right shape. Those who feel it know it better than those who see it through figures and interpret the figures to suit their interests and objectives.
And we did not get here because of Covid-19 or the War in Ukraine or the collapse of some banks, in which the assets seized are yet to be properly accounted for.
Before Covid-19, we were sinking. And the reason was obvious. Akufo-Addo and running mate Dr. Bawumia had told us in 2016 that they would stop the leakages and use the money to develop Ghana.
If the resources of Ghana were being stolen through the window, Akufo-Addo’s era opened the doors and ceiling to make way for the looting.
There was no fear of God even when the pandemic struck. Those managing our resources were running around like headless chickens and screaming “We’re not in normal times!” while grinning at the golden opportunity to create, loot and share.
Apart from using the pandemic to prop up diminishing chances in the 2020 elections, the pandemic was also used as a conduit to waste and steal national resources through some shady procurements.
So Dr. Bawumia’s figures may mean nothing to the average Ghanaian. They won’t mean anything to the sweeper of our streets and markets who goes home with a monthly pay of only $26, without health insurance or pension.
It will also be difficult to quantify Dr. Bawumia’s impact on the management of the economy. A cabinet minister’s position is more powerful than that of the vice-president, who does not have a defined role or territory. That has always been the case in our republic.
So, Dr. Bawumia may have used his tongue to espouse theories in opposition, but, in government, the hands with which implemented them have been amputated. His face has now become the punching bag–and rightly so–for the failures of an economy whose management he has no power.
But there is a fact that cannot be denied even by his staunchest critics–a Bawumia effect in the politics of our land. The economy has become a central theme in our political discourse since Dr. Bawumia emerged from political obscurity to partner Akufo-Addo in 2008.
Politics in Ghana used not to focus on issues, and certainly not on the economy. Apart from vague slogans in elections, we used to worry so much about the “politics of insults”.
The height or looks of candidates used to hold sway above critical issues affecting us.
Thanks to Bawumia, the economy is on the front burner all the time. He certainly does his own politics with the economy, but he has influenced our politics a great deal. We need this at all levels of our politics.
In parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has been impressive as a ranking member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. From highlighting and scuttling the shady embassy building acquisition in Norway to exposing Akufo-Addo’s insensitivity in renting luxurious private jets, Mr. Ablakwa has carved a niche in the foreign affairs committee and affected national discussion positively.
Our politics will get better if we focus on what politicians bring in terms of value and expertise and not only how much money they bring even if the source is questionable.