Isaac Adongo writes: Mahama’s choice will restore dignity and credibility to office of the Veep

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Member of Parliament for Bolgatanga Central, Hon. Isaac Agongo has applauded flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic congress(NDC), John Mahama for nominating Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as running for the 2020 general election.

He stated the nomination will restore integrity and credibility to office of the Vice President come 2021.

Read full statement below

On Monday, 6th July 2020, H.E John Dramani Mahama, the leader and Flagbearer of the Great NDC Party made a shrewd and forward-looking nomination of the extremely qualified and respected Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang as his running mate for the 2020 Presidential Election.

This nomination has cemented his place as a visionary leader who has created a pathway and sowed the seeds for hardworking and qualified women to aim for the topmost job of the land, the President of the Republic of Ghana. He has shown the capacity to tolerate and nurture the talents of everybody, especially women. By appointing Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang, as Running Mate, the visionary and inclusive former President Mahama is giving confidence to women and Hand-holding them into the apex of the political ladder in Ghana.

The Presidency, has been the sole prerogative of men since independence in 1957. Indeed, the appointment of Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang provides Ghana and Africa as a whole a rare opportunity to tap the enormous benefits of, not just a woman, but a lady of strong acumen of international repute, as the second in command in the management of the nation. This is unparalleled in our nation’s history.

Beyond the historic nature of the appointment, H.E. John Dramani Mahama’s thoughtfulness in the nomination of Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang has given a unique and cherished opportunity to the country to redeem and restore the desecrating and dwindling image of the office of the Vice President of Ghana.

The image of the Office of Ghana’s Vice President, currently occupied by Dr Mahmoud Bawumia, has been reduced to one of eloquent rhetoric, embellishments, naked deceptions and outright lies, fake promises and confidence trickery.

Since 2017, Ghana’s Vice Presidential Office has become the seat of confident eloquent lies and trickery and sometimes a Centre of comic relief that threatens to outcompete our local soap opera, ‘the Cantata’. We can all remember the ‘we have arrested the dollar, locked it up and given the keys to the IGP’ statement and the various attempts to hide Ghana’s debt levels, fiscal deficit and growth rates.
Ghana deserves better.

Ghana badly needs a dignifying leader of high credibility and an achiever to redefine and restore the cherished image of the Office of the Vice President. This is where Prof Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang comes in handy as a special gift to Ghana by H.E John Dramani Mahama for this redemption and rescue mission.

It was, therefore, surprising that the NPP that has supervised the demeaning of the esteemed Vice Presidential Office with Dr Bawumia were expecting the visionary JM to further deepen the crisis of that office with a Running Mate who will mirror these unwholesome qualities of Dr Mahmoud Bawumia. As a matter of fact, the NDC does not have a person with the level of confidence trickery, eloquent deception and brazen lies that can match up to or outcompete the Walewale Adams Smith in his stock of trade.

To find a Dr Bawumia in the NDC as a Running Mate would have meant finding someone with the following cursed attributes;

  1. Someone who can lie better and more cleverly than Dr Bawumia.
  2. A professional confidence trickster who will be the envy of Dr Bawumia, the originator and master of that skill in Ghana’s body politic.
  3. An unapologetically empty but confident and eloquent braggart without substance
  4. An egoistic talkative economist without properly horned leadership.
  5. Someone who can twist and misinterpret data to the amazement of the international finance and economics community, colleague economists and finance experts.
  6. Someone who is good at polluting students of economics and finance and reducing the level of intellectual analysis to a disgustful dishonesty and competition.
  7. Someone who will deliver empty propaganda lectures in opposition and in Government and confuse same with governance and competent delivery.

8.​Someone with a shallow technical and intellectual understanding of the concepts of inflation (Mallam Attah Market inflation), exchange rate depreciation (use of rate of change to calculate depreciation of the cedi) and the fundamentals of an economy by confusing policy choices as basis to define strength of an economy.

These are the qualities JDM would have been looking in the wrong place to find in a Running Mate in the unlikely event that he was tempted to find someone with the qualities of Dr Bawumia.

But by resisting that temptation and sticking to the time tested values of credibility, honesty, sobriety and track record, Ghanaians will see a complete remake of the Office of the Vice President in 2021 with Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang as the Vice President of our dear country

The Vice President as Head of Economic Management Team
One of the most iconic and the critical roles of a Vice President of Ghana is to provide leadership for the Economic Management Team.

Although not a Constitutional or legal requirement, this role has become a practice passed on from past political administrations.

The question therefore, is: ‘Is the role of Head of the Economic Management Team a specialist economic role? It is obviously not. As a component of the various delegated functions of the Vice President, this role is a general leadership role and not one requiring of a technical, specialist economist. Rather, it requires a gifted, experienced and a diverse leader who can pull various expertise and the array of technical skills to achieve high results of key national goals.
Unfortunately, the current Vice President of Ghana, Dr Bawumia has reduced the leadership of this collection of experienced and technically-supportive team, often drawn from expertise in critical sectors of the economy, as resident in the
Economic prowess and wizardry of an economist Vice President.

This is very pathetic and point to an egoistic person lacking the desired leadership to get the best out of the economic management team. No wonder this has earned the government and the nation as a whole considerable damage through such policies such as the failed COVID-19 tracker and its fan fair launch, the infamous US$21 billion wishful loans from China, which are still enroute to Ghana after the announcement in 2017, the bogus and distractive paperless system at the ports, the PDS debacle and the knee-jerk introduction of a Luxury Vehicle Tax which was later withdrawn.

In the last three and a half years, under the rhetoric orator as Vice President, the Economic Management Team has become almost unrecognizable and now synonymous with Dr Bawumia and his dubious and manipulative showmanship. Is it therefore surprising that Dr Bawumia insists on being the person to inaugurate all projects and policies emanating from his office and has also resorted to town hall meetings to parrot his failures as successes to Ghanaians, the very people who would have seen and felt them?

This is a complete failure of leadership of a critical pillar such as the national Economic Management Team.
For the avoidance of doubt, let me emphasize that the VEEP as the Head of the EMT is not a profession-based, subject matter role; it is a leadership role. As the second in command, the VEEP is expected to lead, direct and manage an array of talent and expertise on the economy to achieve stability and growth to the long term benefit of the country.

It is not a role that requires the head to provide hands-on economic management of state institutions mandated to deliver on, say, agriculture, manufacturing, services, infrastructure, natural resource governance and social protection, to mention but a few. Dr Bawumia who lacks the leadership ability to handle this has been egoistically and naively standing on one faulty leg, leading to the scorn and disdain among people within his cycle against his ill-conceived leadership style.

Indeed, Ghana’s economy enjoyed one of the most stable periods between 2009 and mid-2012 when H. E. John Dramani Mahama was the Vice President and the leader of the EMT.

Within the period, non-oil growth picked up tremendously; it consistently registered about 8% growth year after year, with overall economic growth peaking at 14.4% in 2011. Inflation, on the other hand, reverted to single digit and stayed there for the longest period ever up to date, while the exchange rate was stable and private sector growth rebounded, among others. Under the astute Communicator as Head of the EMT, these successes were chalked up, owing to the sterling leadership ability of the then Vice President Mahama to marshal the diverse expertise and technical know-how in the government to achieve prosperity for all Ghanaians.

Compared to when Dr Bawumia, the NPP’s economic wizkid and Ghana’s Walewale Adam Smith took over as Veep and Head of the EMT, the exchange rate has been tumbling, the debt and the fiscal deficit have been ballooning in spite of the frantic efforts to conceal their true state, inflation has been playing ‘chaskele’ and business and consumer confidence have reached their lowest levels in years.

These are the records of an economist Veep as Head of the EMT and they give credence to the fact that leadership, not profession-based, technical economics is the result of sterling output in the VEEP role.
For the above, it is obvious that the leadership record, not the professional career of a person in economics determines his or her success at the Office of the VEEP.

Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang has distinguished herself in leadership, starting from the University of Cape Coast, where she rose from a lecturer to become the first female Vice Chancellor of a public University in Ghana before being appointed the Minister of Education in 2013, a role she also excelled to the admiration of all.

Therefore, come 2021, when Ghanaians give the John and Jane ticket victory to rescue Ghana from the current leadership deficit and redeem it of the family and friends shackles, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang would restore credibility to the Vice Presidential office by using her distinct leadership skills to lead the NDC’s vast reservoir of expertise on the economy to produce macroeconomic stability and microeconomic relief that every Ghanaian will see, feel and enjoy.

Hon. Isaac Adongo, MP, Bolgatanga Central.

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