To his cluster of well-wishers, admirers, supporters and circle of friends, hanger-ons and sycophants, the vice president, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia can do no wrong; to them he is a policy wonk, an accomplished technocrat of high esteem who can easily diagnose what ails/troubles a struggling economy and prescribe necessary and ready solutions.
To his detractors, however, Dr. Bawumia is a peddler of half-baked truths, a long-winded bureaucrat who has no scruples about passionately defending an incompetent administration and someone who has failed to live up to the huge expectations, excitement and hype that accompanied his selection in 2016 as the running mate of Mr. Akuffo Addo.
Little wonder his critics view him with deep suspicion largely based on his stunning inability as head of the Economic Commission to halt the downward trend of the national economy.
They argue that whatever solutions he comes up with should be treated with a healthy dose of skepticism and the scorn and contempt they deserve. Along the way, Bawumia’s critics have accused him severally of being inept, irresponsible and untrustworthy.
Now, I am not a fan of the Vice president for obvious ideological reasons, but I don’t think he is a fibber, a liar, a stretcher of the truth, for that matter. After it is all said and done, he is a politician, your typical politician, so there are times when he takes liberty with the truth.
The stark reality is that Mr. Bawumia is up against many challenges, some of them his own making and others largely out of his hands, due to forces beyond his control.
As the economy continues to struggle, Mr. Bawumia may have realized much to his disappointment that his earlier promises to put the economy on the right track were essentially a campaign pipe dream.
The truth of the matter is that the structural problems afflicting the economy are an impediment, an uphill battle for anyone to fix regardless of their educational background in economics, finance or whatever.
Last week Wednesday, Dr. Bawumia once again sought to soothe the frustrations and anger of Ghanaians about the pathetic Ghana cedi and by extension the wobbly economy with a highly spirited presentation at a town hall meeting in Accra.
The vice president as is his wont, bandied economic data around with excitement all the while touting his government’s economic performance and taking potshots at the main opposition party, the NDC.
Ghanaians were least impressed by Dr. Bawunia’s lengthy wonkish/ bookish presentation. And the evidence is on their side. The economy continues its mighty struggles and the unemployment rate is still astronomically high. And the crippled cedi is still limping along.
To counter Bawumia’s performance, the NDC trotted out its intellectual heavyweight, Isaac Adongo who more or less resorted to the same game plan the vice president had used the previous day.
He threw around numbers and incomprehensible data, called the NPP a collection of incompetent and pathetic managers of the economy and castigated the party for misleading Ghanaians about the trajectory of the nation.
I don’t begrudge the two politicians. They both meant well, but their presentations meant very little to Ghanaians who when push comes to shove, desperately want someone who can right the already weakened economy and help push them out of their fin