The New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for the Bekwai constituency in the Ashanti Region, Joe Osei-Owusu, has stated that the National Democratic Congress’ flagbearer for election 2024, John Dramani Mahama, would be overshadowed by the NPP’s leader and Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia anytime they’re placed side by side.
The NDC has repeatedly singled out the Vice President and criticized him for the struggles of the Ghanaian economy on the basis that he touted himself as an economic messiah while in opposition, and threw a lot of jibes at the NDC and its leader.
According to the NDC, the rising public debt caused by excessive borrowing, the struggles of the Ghanaian cedi against major international currencies, and high inflation among others, have exposed the Vice President as inept, considering that he spoke harshly against lesser versions of these problems back in opposition.
The Vice President has also not been spared for the failures of the NPP government particularly because of his role as the head of the government’s economic management team.
But speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express on Monday, November 13, the First Deputy Speaker said Dr Mahamudu Bawumia stands a brighter chance against the former President.
When the host, Evans Mensah asked what the chances of Dr Bawumia are going into the 2024 polls, he responded, “Very bright. There are people who will vote for a party and a party symbol, no doubt about that. But anybody who wants to evaluate them has their independent and respective roles in the past as a guide, and I am sure that if you placed Bawumia against Mahama, Bawumia will always outshine Mahama based on what they have done in the past, what ideas they have thrown out, how they have helped implement them and their quality of person and integrity.”
In a recent interview on Joy, a former General Secretary of the NPP, Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, also downplayed attempts by political opponents to blame the woes of the incumbent NPP administration largely on the Vice President and now flagbearer, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
In the view of Mr Agyapong, unlike the National Democratic Congress’ flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama who has been President before, the same cannot be said of Dr Bawumia because the buck does not stop with him as the Vice President.
He thus suggested that comparing him to the NDC’s John Mahama who has been both a Vice President and a President would not be fair.
“Let’s not create the impression that the current government hasn’t done anything positive. I don’t subscribe to that. There have been shortcomings and difficulties on different fronts, it’s a fact, and that’s a reality that we face. And he [Bawumia] as a Vice President, would have to carry some of that.”
He however noted that “At the end of the day, John Mahama would know more than most because he’s been Vice President and President, and he knows there’s a sea of difference in the two offices, so we’ve got to cut Dr Bawumia some slack; the buck doesn’t stop with him. In any case, there have been a lot of areas that we can be proud of as a government, and areas that I think we need improvement.”
According to the former NPP flagbearer aspirant, the ability of Dr Bawumia to carry through a vision that will change the status quo will make the difference.