Brakopowers: Jane Opoku-Agyemang can’t beat Bawumia on any day

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For the records, John Mahama’s running mate cannot be an overnight political firebrand just as Dr Mahamudu Bawumia. Stop the pathetic comparison.

Since the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) announced Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as his running mate last Monday, the first female Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast has been compared to the current Vice President.

The verdict of political critics and some commentators is that the former Education Minister could not match Dr Bawumia, a respected economist and a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, on any day.

Maybe they are right.

Dr Bawumia is more than an individual in the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP). He’s their hope – their only real political alternative to the electorate and not the President and presidential candidate.

In fact, any discussion on the sorry defeat of the NDC in 2016 will be incomplete without the role played by Dr Bawumia.

Without a doubt, the then running mate of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo single-handedly brought the NDC government into ruin in 2016 with his consistent economic missiles aimed at Mahama. With time, Dr Bawumia became more credible in the eyes of Ghanaians and the international community than the then government. He succeeded in discrediting the Mahama government and tagged the ex-president as incompetent, a label the NDC has been struggling to run away from.

But Professor Opoku-Agyemang does not need to behave as Dr Bawumia did in 2016 because she cannot be like him. That’s the plain truth.

Even if she tried, it will not work. She has to find her own rhythm – whatever – something that works for her. She would have to innovate if she wants to stay relevant. Somehow, Dr Bawumia managed to come up with something new that Ghanaians bought into quickly and that sets him apart from his predecessors.

If ever there is any skill that is in short supply in Ghana, especially among the political class, it is creativity. To better appreciate this point, I will advise you to look for the 2012 and 2016 manifestoes of the two leading political parties and you will learn how similar their ideas are. Check out their solutions for solving the rising youth unemployment in Ghana and you will be disappointed.

After promising to create jobs for the teeming unemployed Ghanaians, the best solution President Akufo-Addo and Vice President Dr Bawumia came up with is the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) – another clever idea to waste taxpayers’ money. I have, in a much earlier forum, registered my disappointment with the government for this concept. I am convinced it does not offer any real respite for our youth irrespective of their political leaning.

Surprisingly, it appears we have given up thinking or at least we have stopped trying.

Professor Opoku-Agyemang needs to find a way of announcing her political presence in a grand style. Her political signature must be boldly written on the cover of Ghana’s political book.

She does not need to be a political savvy to do that. Also, she does not need to outperform Dr Bawumia in anyway to be appreciated or loved by Ghanaians.

She only needs to show Ghanaians the stuff she’s made up of – her political uniqueness.

More importantly, she needs to be herself and better that self.   Let’s stop the half-baked comparison because Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang cannot beat Dr Bawumia on any political platform on any day.

In fact, she does not need to because her rhythm is different. This is a mediocre exercise that does not serve Ghanaians.

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About Author

The author, A. Kwabena Brakopowers is a freelance journalist, development communications practitioner, essayist and a novelist whose works focus on communication, politics, gender, migration, international relations and development. He could be reached at Brakomen@outlook.com

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