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Is Bawumia Betraying the Northern Cause?


To his legion of admirers, he is unfailingly brilliant, articulate and a delight to watch as he trades barbs with NDC legal hirelings, primarily lawyer Tsatu Tsikata. To his detractors, he is a conflicted young man, evasive and a clueless operative deliberately being used by the NPP to continue a futile effort to unseat a legitimately elected president.

In the north where he hails, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia’s political leanings and recent court room posturing have raised eyebrows and caused a great deal of unease. Long before he waded into politics on the wings of the NPP, a move that frankly baffled his close friends and relatives, Bawumia epitomized the academic and professional success many in the region dreamed of. An Oxford trained economist, a former professor of finance at Baylor University in Texas and later a deputy governor of the Bank of Ghana, Bawumia was destined for great things.  

But the way to greatness has been fraught with a cluster of missteps; in other words, Bawumia stumbled badly.  His initial error or miscalculation was aligning himself with a political party that many in the north see as virulently tribal and ill-disposed towards them.

It is common knowledge that since its inception, the NPP has been openly hostile to the aspirations of the northern region, and that is putting it mildly. Policies the party pursued when it was in power did not bring relief to the poverty-ridden north. Small wonder therefore that the NPP’s electoral performances in the region have been anything but awful.               

Bawumia’s next political misstep was to join the lawsuit that seeks to nullify the results of the 2012 Presidential elections. Nobody knows if Bawumia was coerced into joining the frivolous suit or if he was just towing the party’s line.

His decision however, has antagonized and alienated a large section of the northern citizenry who, since the escapades of former Staff Sergeant Aloaga Akatapoare (a northerner) who played a pivotal role in the 1981 overthrow of the late President Hilla Limann(a northerner) consider it a betrayal of the northern cause if a northerner willingly helps to derail the presidency of another northerner.

And from the look of things, Bawumia is willingly participating in the effort to knock off John Mahama. His courtroom testimony, sometimes contentious and other times engaging, lends credence to a widely-held perception that he is a sore loser and that he is in bed with the region’s arch enemies who are determined to take down Mahama.

The ongoing courtroom drama has given rise to questions such as; does Bawumia has the supreme interest of the north at heart or is he just chasing his own narrow goals? Doesn’t Bawumia realize that his continuous support of the lawsuit undermines the bond that holds northerners together – the collective desire to close the gap between our region and the wealthiest parts of the country? Doesn’t he see that the lawsuit diminishes his influence and ultimately his ability to run for political office again?   

Northerners are not monolithic; they hold a vast array of divergent political views. Bawumia has every right under the sun to associate with any political entity of his choosing.   However, given the North’s long history of poverty brought about in large measure by deliberate neglect on the part of succeeding central governments, northern politicians of different persuasions should think first and foremost of how best they can help the region catch up with the rest of the nation.                         



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