CALEB ENSTIR EGHAN
Since the beginning of the fourth republic in 1993, Ghana has seen various technocrats transitioning from the tie and suit type to becoming seasoned politicians who blend their ‘book-long’ orientation to the field reality they face in the political sphere.
Late President, Evans Atta Mills for instance had served as a law lecturer and sports administrator before becoming president.
When Atta Mills came to the scene it took the Prof a lot of time to impose himself in the political game. He was your geek at the party which really affected his chances at the 2000 elections but Prof as he is affectionately called would take on a new and vibrant mojo. He did it his own way. He positioned himself as a man of peace in contrast to his opponent Nana Addo who his critics claim was arrogant.
The critics of Nana Addo were up in arms about his personality, so the NPP and it flagbearer had to draw a card and that was Dr. Bawumia. He is the darling boy of the NPP. He is an Economist and a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana. He came on board and dazzled many observers and taunted opponents, the NDC for years irritating them.
He had his detractors but also won admirers who point out his use of figures and data coupled with his Central Bank experience, his take on the economy was generally trusted.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) and some Think Tanks rebuked his use of selective data in his presentations and still accuse him of sacrificing his professional training for partisan political gain but to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) faithfuls, Dr. Bawumia is a gem and the real deal. His brand has also grown steadily with time.
It’s safe to say Dr. Bawumia was and is still not one NDC communicators love dealing with or countering. His lecture, using the Central University as a platform was strategic. It offered the NPP the chance to attack the government while being within academic remit.
The NDC had to find an answer to Bawumia and so they dug deep into the registry of the NDC to pull out Mr. Amissah Arthur. Just like when Bawumia was announced as a running mate, Amissah Arthur’s announcement was a surprise, finally the umbrella family found someone with credentials to balance the sheet.
Amissah Arthur was appointed and assumed office on 6th August, 2012 and became the 5th vice president of the fourth republic. Many analysts claim he was appointed to tame some of the country’s economic challenges.
Amissah Arthur will finally come face to face with Bawumia at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) debate in 2012 where both men excelled in their presentation but the political spin will favor Bawumia with many arguing that he was aggressive and spontaneous than Amissah Arthur.
After the debate, many Ghanaians formed an opinion of Amissah Arthur as a ‘lame duck’ and very reserved. His image in the media did not project him as someone who can even succeed President Mahama and this was made more vicious when some NDC supporters started agitation for his replacement as the Vice President for President Mahama’s second term bid. It took the boldness of Mahama to maintain Amissah Arthur.
But for some reason, Amissah Arthur seem to have found his feet in the political arena for some few months now. The reserved Vice-President now looks more cheerful, vociferous and very cocky to the surprise of many political watchers.
The vice-president has been unveiling a temperament that the NDC supporters have been yearning for especially on the campaign train and many people are noting his transition. First, he’s promised to tackle and correct Bawumia on the economy. He took the opportunity of the NDC manifesto launch to showcase his jabbing skills.
Amissah Arthur’s actions will be welcomed by the NDC supporters and if he handles his new found mojo may prove to be a great elevation, as he eyes the presidency in 2021. For now, it may be out of touch but just as we saw Prof Mills and Dr. Bawumia transition, so is Amissah Arthur’s time to be hatched.