Your Most Reliable and Dependable Source

Bawumia’s blistering attacks on President Mahamaa are becoming old and stale


Dr Bawumia, the NPP vice presidential candidate never misses an opportunity to sock it to the President and the ruling National Democratic Party. So, there he was at his latest campaign stop…..the National Theater, unleashing a torrent of sharp barbs at Mahama before a crowd of cheering partisan supporters.

As is often his style, Bawumia used hard data to bamboozle the awe struck crowd. He did a lot of extrapolation from the IMF’s country report on Ghana to dissect the ills of the economy and to illustrate how poorly Mahama has managed the economy. In fact, if Bawumia had his way, he would have compelled Mahama to wear sack cloth, and publicly atone for his alleged dismal stewardship of the economy.

Since this was a naked, well orchestrated political assault on the administration’s policies, the response from NDC operatives was not unexpected; indeed, it was swift and unrelenting. They accused Bawumia of being a master numbers manipulator, and a bold faced liar who does not realize the severity of the task government has to deal with, but is always quick to pull the trigger, to criticize.

And amazingly, Imani, the Accra based think-tank that has been a thorn in the flesh of the administration, joined in the chorus of voices that had descended heavily on Bawumia for playing fast and loose with data. The guys at Imani dissected Bawumia’s long winded lecture and highlighted its inadequacies. Chalk one for a partisan think tank.

Criticism, especially a constructive one and a healthy dose of it is good; it keeps the other party accountable, and on its toes. However, when criticism goes overboard, indeed, when it becomes excessive and overly partisan without due consideration of mitigating factors, then there is a problem.

Bawumia certainly scored some points in his so called lecture—he was reading from a prepared text all along—-there is one point that we all agree on, and that is the poor performance of the national economy.

It has been in the doldrums for almost eight years for reasons that are both internal and external. Erratic domestic fiscal decisions have caused a lot of upheaval to the economy, and so have global economic trends.

Globally, commodity prices continue to tumble, and with it, shrinking foreign exchange earnings and budget short falls for producers of oil, iron ore, copper, cocoa and timber. Just ask Saudi Arabia Nigeria, and Venezuela three of the biggest oil producers in the world. Nigeria’s economy is officially in a recession, Saudia Arabia has to take stock of its generosity to its citizens.

And in Venezuela, poor domestic policies combined with low oil prices have compelled the government of President Nicholas Maduro to take drastic measures to ensure that there isn’t a complete economic implosion. Citizens of this once rich country now have to queue for basic food items, stuff they took for granted just a couple of years ago.

It is therefore disingenuous for Bawumia to lay the entire blame for the sad state of the economy on the shoulders of Mr Mahama. Granted, prudent fiscal policies should have been crafted, but there is another side of the coin that critics conveniently elect to forget; our economy is intricately intertwined with the global economy, and anything that happens externally, be it good or bad is often beyond our control and thus impacts us heavily.

Bawumia took a swipe at the government for its heavy borrowing from international creditors. Well, well, well, I wish he had told his cheering supporters one basic rule in economics; nations borrow all the time to sustain their economies and create jobs.

The NDC may have borrowed mindlessly, but all was in good faith, first to fill holes in our budget and to pay off debts. Where else does Bawumia want the to go and secure loans? The capital markets, that is where.

Even the biggest and richest nations in the world borrow; the world’s biggest and most dynamic economy, the United States, borrows extensively to grow its wonderful economy. It owes a large portion of its debts to the new kid on the block, China, and to date, the unemployment rate in the United States is at an impressive 4 percent, jobs are now abundant and America’s manufacturing base is back to what it was in the 1970s.

Bawumia’s incessant attacks on the policies of the NDC clearly put him at an advantage before the elections—–the economy is struggling and Ghanaians are out of work—-but should his party be victorious, the attacks will come back to bite and undermine him. His political foes will have their knives sharpened ready to cut their pound of flesh. He will endlessly be flogged, even if his party were to get the economy working again.

We are at the tail end of a vicious and often times ugly election season; the negativity will continue to be part of the landscape until one of the two presidential candidates is handed the keys to the palatial Flagstaff mansion in December.








Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.