Vice-President, Dr. Bawumia

Let me begin this by making it clear that this is not an endorsement or disparagement of any candidacy. If and when I decide to endorse any candidate, I shall be unequivocal. This is a commentary on honour, truthfulness and gratitude.

The Vice-Presidency is a strange office. It is said by many to be so close to power and yet so bereft of power. I have not heard of a more aggressive disparagement of the office of Vice-President since US V-P John Nance Garner described it as “not worth a bucket of warm spit”, as we are witnessing from Team Bawumia.

I am completely baffled and so should you. This Vice-President has repeatedly been celebrated as perhaps the most consequential VP in Ghana’s history.

Speaking at a Town Hall Meeting on 18th August 2020, Senior Minister and member of Ghana’s Economic Management Team Osafo-Maafo said of Dr. Bawumia, “He has served and continues to serve as the Chairman of the EMT and it is a privilege to belong to that team. I said it once and I will repeat it, the EMT is made up of all the productive Ministries and a few others in this government and Dr. Bawumia is the Chair and he is a Chairman with a difference. He is a Chairman who gets involved– he is the Chairman to dot the “I”s and cross the “T”s. He is the Chairman who wants to participate in the technical details and he does his homework. Doc, we are privileged to have you as our Vice-President!” Wow!!

Speaking on the same topic, Hon. Kennedy Agyapong said, “I want Ghanaians to understand that it is not every President that allows their V.P. to shine. It is Akufo-Addo’s style of government managing the country that has allowed the VP to shine– but Dr. Bawumia himself is naturally good.If he was like Mahama, he would have been ineffective.” Dr. Bawumia himself seemed to revel in his good fortune. He declared, ” I owe endless gratitude to President Akufo-Addo for his decision in 2008, and his unwavering faith in me in the years 2012, 2016 and 2020″!

So, is Dr. Bawumia the most consequential VP in Ghana’s history or a mere “APLANKE” who was disrespected and never listened to? When Osafo-Maafo and others paid glowing tribute, were they lying? As the Tadi guys would say, ” Nna worebo lata anaa?”

It didn’t need to come to this. Most of us know that Vice-Presidents are NOT replicas of the Presidents they serve. Truman was not FDR. Lyndon Johnson was a very different President compared to JFK and George H.W. Bush served Reagan loyally before emerging to fashion the great global coalition against Iraq. As he said during the 1988 campaign, “If you give me half the credit for the achievements of the Reagan administration, I will take all the blame for its failures”. Even here in Ghana, V.P. Mills was loyal to President Rawlings to the end. And NADAA, as a candidate, refused to disown any of Kufour’s policies, despite urgings from many, including me. As he told me, “Kennedy, I was part of the government. I can’t criticize it.”

There is, of course the option of resignation for all VPs who feel APLANKETIZED! In 1966, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga resigned as VP over policy differences with President Kenyatta in Kenya. That’s what honest leaders should do. Indeed, when John Mahama felt disrespected in the Mills government, according to Azure-Awuni in “The 4th John”, he threatened to resign and had to be talked out of it.
It appears that this aplanke bull is another example the brilliant Bawumia’s penchant for putting cleverness before commonsense. It does not comport with facts, makes him sound ungrateful and feeds into the unfortunate perception of him as an ambitious man who will do or say anything to get elected.
It does not serve him well. The mantle of the most consequential VP in our history looks better than APLANKE– Let’s cut the bull.

Finally, I have a sneaky suspicion that this whole Aplanke narrative may be one more Machiavelian manouvre by the Kyebi Mafia to hang onto power.

Let Dr. Bawumia stop the bufoonery and make his case for the Presidency to Ghanaians. They will judge him fairly.

Long live Ghana.
Arthur Kobina Kennedy
10th February, 2024

February 15, 2024

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