Bawumia Or Mahama – Your Choice


The 2024 General Election is fast approaching, and Ghanaians are already engaged in many debates regarding who will be elected to rule this country after President Nana Addo completes his term of office.One of such debates is centred around Dr. Bawumia and ex-President Mahama as to who is more suitable to lead the country after President Akufo-Addo.The two contestants have passed through as drivers’ mate and one has tasted the presidency.


The NDC is banking their hopes on the ex-President’s previous term of office as an advantage and the experience he has acquired to do the job. The NPP on the other hand sees it as evidence to judge of his performance as president and his defeat in the 2016 election was proof of his incompetence. He must therefore not be given another chance to mess up the country as he did previously. Besides, his utterances after leaving office suggest that he has not learnt any lessons, and he is seeking the office to satisfy his ego and ambition and not to save Ghanaians.


The reality is that, for the office of the president, no institution exists for presidential candidates to undergo training or acquire the knowledge and qualifications to become a president. Many presidents have occupied the high office without any clue as to how to govern. Almost all of them learn the trade of governance whilst on the job and those who excel do so by the wise counselling they receive from their advisors.


Many of those who failed, failed because of ineptitude, arrogance and were not humble enough to take or seek wise counsel on many difficult decisions they were confronted with. The office of the presidency is not a correctional centre where individuals are given the opportunity to overcome their mistakes. By the existence of various constitutions and conventions presidents leave office when their term ends – whether they perform well or not.


In a developed democracy, it wouldn’t have been too difficult to separate the grain from the chaff but with illiteracy constituting majority of the electorate, it is a daunting task. The best option to handle this situation is to weigh the programmes of the candidates against each other and select the leader, whose programmes and policies will mitigate the problems confronting the nation. Unfortunately, whilst Dr. Bawumia is proposing many ways to solve the country’s problems, ex-President Mahama has chosen silence and to sermonise on NPP’s past mistakes.


“We need more leaders who seek change, not just to criticise the status quo but to be part of the solution.” – Bill Bradley Unfortunately, ex-President Mahama has chosen to recount the ills of the past and has failed to come out of his shell to say anything worth considering as part of the solution to the problems facing Ghana.


There are not many examples of presidents who have been defeated in general elections and later re-elected to office. The few that come to mind is Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Mr. Putin of Russia. In Africa, many Presidents rather extended their constitutional mandates to prolong their reign and avoided the humiliation of being defeated in a general election. This means that the challenge facing the ex-President Mahama is stupendous and needs a better strategy and policies than he is spewing out. I can only predict defeat if he continues on this tangent.


The ex-President described the economy he left behind as a ‘bone without meat’ suggesting that the economy was in bad shape before he left office.Some of his current policies which he claims are juicy and awesome to move the country forward are that: he will rebuild Black Stars with home grown players, implement a 24-hour economy, reverse the names of many Universities, give ‘galamsey’ prisoners amnesty and direct UMAT graduates go and work with them, review Free SHS, cancel teachers’ licensure exams, double Cocoa prices, bring NDC judges into the judiciary, re-open the Cecilia Dapaah issue and groom Ghanaian musicians to win Grammy Awards. Haaba! Dear Readers, it is up to you to judge if these policies will take Ghana out of its current economic crisis, the decision is yours.


The economic situation is the most important issue now and the ex-president has proposed his flagship policy of 24-hour economy which does not seem to have found favour withmany Ghanaians. Apart from ex-President Mahama’s conviction that it will provide jobs for all, many Ghanaians are finding it difficult to see how this could be achieved practically. Despite the poor response to the policy, the ex-President is polluting the atmosphere with the amorphous policy as if his entire political life depends on it.


Another worrying development which the NDC has embarked upon recently, is its incessant attacks on the Electoral Commission, accusing them of preparing to rig the elections. These wild allegations are being made without any evidence and seem to suggest that the minds of Ghanaians are being prepared for violence should the NDC lose the elections or divert Ghanaians attention from the real issues of the campaign. I have reminded my readers not to take the peace we are enjoying now for granted since events in Sudan, the Middle East, our neighbours under military regimes are all examples to caution us.


“In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way” – Franklin D. Roosevelt. We have in the person of Dr. Bawumia of the NPP who happens to be the current Vice President of Ghana, an economist and by his association with the current government has acquired a lot of knowledge on what needs to be done to put the economy on a sound footing.


He has proposed to pursue a digital economy by moving it from the informal to the formal sector. Dr. Bawumia has engaged citizens from diverse background, listened to their concerns, shared his plans for inclusive growth, job creation and social activities, and has assured Ghanaians that together we can build a brighter future for all Ghanaians. “We need leaders who can ask hard questions, challenge conventional thinking, and inspire a world where we can all rise together” – Carly Fiorina.


We have in Dr. Bawumia, a candidate who is asking questions, challenging the conventional wisdom, and finding solutions to the problems and promising to work with the people to improve their lot. This is the first time a political leader of this calibre has appeared on the political scene and shifted the old style of political campaign of lies, deceit, apportioning blame for all past failures with new ideas to create opportunities for all.This divine intervention in our politics should not be allowed to slip by.


Corruption, the major social evil destroying this nation will be fought through digitalisation by reducing human involvement in all administrative processes. He states that, “The next step in Ghana’s digital transformation will be to become Africa’s first blockchain-powered government.”According to him the adoption of a blockchain technology which can identify and detect changes in digital data to trace all transactions in governance space will enable the government to fight corruption and promote transparency in the country.


On the tax system, Dr. Bawumia intends to review the current system to make it easier for businessmen, importers, traders, and many others to calculate and pay their taxes at the ports and everywhere. Consequently, “a flat tax import duty system at the ports of containers of various goods in Ghana Cedis to make import duties more predictable for traders and avoid persistent increases in prices by traders in anticipation of higher import duties” will be introduced.


Dr. Bawumia highlighted that these policies will include a flat tax regime for all businesses and individuals to make the system more transparent and improve compliance like what exists in Estonia. For some time now the tax system has posed a lot of challenges to businesses and individuals whilst unscrupulous officials have taken undue advantage of the system to enrich themselves. There is a lot of excitement among the traders and business community which suggests their support for these new proposals.


I have conceded that the emergence of Dr. Bawumia in Ghanaian politics and the timing is a divine intervention. I am convinced that his proposals are very progressive and stand a chance of addressing the problems of this country.


When you compare the policies of the two major contestants, ‘the difference is clear’, and Ghanaians must not hesitate to vote massively for Dr. Bawumia to ‘break the 8’.


Yes, it is possible!


By Brig (Rtd) J. Odei