Opinion

Ghana geared towards a Spio presidency?

I heard it in the grapevine. Nonetheless this is actually one of those rumours you link with the highest probability; why? Because it appears as a matter of course. In a proper republic where voting decisions are a semblance of meritocracy, that man would actually be the president; not the vice presidential spot he is being touted for.

He is a communicator par excellence with skills grounded in solid personal achievements and experience. No, I am not talking of the President. I am referring to the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) shadow president.

Beginning as a mortgage banker in New Jersey, through to becoming the chairman of the Middle East Africa Group within the international public relations firm of Hill and Knowlton in New York, he went on to provide investment, export and tourism promotion counsel to the governments of Indonesia, Turkey, the Netherlands and Austria. He was a financial relations adviser to the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, Crédit Agricole of France and the UBAF-Arab American Bank. To add, he was also once among the energy sector intelligentsia for OPEC. Truly, here is a man whose professional credentials remain simply impeccable.

Well before the 1992 Constitution that has landed us on this frenzied fairy planet of democracy was brought to berth, this professional Marco Polo was steeped in exploits as an External Relations Officer at the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and subsequently Head of Communication at the African Development Bank. So you see, becoming boss of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO); Serving on the Boards of AngloGold Ashanti, South Africa Telekom and Vodacom; as well as being President of Dominion University College among other high profile posts are just actualization stints for an already accomplished and consummate professional of global dimensions.

Enough said. It is true the man has sufficient professional exploits to make the legendary Buckminster Fuller envious. However, I am certain Mr. Fuller himself will doff his hat for any man who attains the rare feat of a seamless transition from the hallowed environs of prolific expertise and professionalism, to wading successfully through the murky waters of Politics. Not just for a while, but for over two decades and still wielding more staying power.

Politically, he had ambassadorial spells in Mexico and the USA and occupied the Ministerial positions of Communication, Education, Mines and Energy and has currently been put in charge of Trade and Industry. Without an iota of guilt for extolling a stranger’s achievements, I maintain that if there are ever some citizens of this land who can be described as over qualified for the office of Presidency, he surely is one. That is, if previous feats are the standard yardstick to judge a potential leaders performance. Please do inform me if you know of any other more defined or tangible criteria.

Still maintaining that the profile rendition of this shadow president is by no means inspired by puffery, I will quickly launch into the politics of him becoming a potential vice presidential candidate in the upcoming 2016 elections.

It must be said that the NDC’s performance in the last couple of years under the incumbent president is farfetched from flattering. However, before they could manage to put their house in order, another election beckons. This development therefore calls for all the strategy they can muster to build credibility of some sort heading to the polls.

As it stands, one will expect that the current veep will be the natural choice to support the NDC presidential ticket come 2016. But for want of a better expression, I will say retaining him for the next election will amount to pushing a lamb in a battle of wolves. The sympathy enjoyed immediately after the passing of the late Professor John Mills will be no more. This is now real game time; and all the best cards are supposed to be at hand.

It is therefore natural to expect the NDC to fortify their election ticket with no mean a personality as profiled above. If the NDC makes such a decision, they will not only be spearheading their campaign with a veritable communication arsenal, but also providing a fire in the belly sort of politician. A kind of inspirational persona most of the youth can identify with and easily adulate.

This development will however portend a further steeped challenge for opposition political parties such as the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), and the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) among others; in their quest to wrestle power from the incumbent. But what do I know? Maybe a switch of vice presidential candidacy might just well be that vital knocking copy the opposition entities can hammer on to undo the current administration. But with the caliber of person being advocated, I wonder if any opposition salvos can really out do the merits of this choice.

However, looking more deeply into the kaleidoscope of the NDC’s political setup, it is possible to hold that the man being bandied about as their next vice presidential candidate is not being considered solely on his merits. This is because; most Ghanaians are still struggling to unravel the rather resounding silence of former president J.J Rawlings since His Excellency John Mahama took office.

It is alleged in some circles that, after consultations and in fact as a matter of convenience to himself, President Mahama rid the Presidency of the “Evil Dwarfs”. This is a development which served as common interest for both the founder of the party and relieved the president of the old guard. Secondly, some wares are being hawked to the effect that the former president has been made more comfortable under the current incumbent. The validity of this and the former reason adduced are supposed to account for him having been superlatively quiet till now.

Notwithstanding the purported arrangements above, one and all know that, apart from holding sway in the corridors of power, nothing brings more joy to the founder of the NDC and erstwhile PNDC. After all, this power business is said to be intoxicating. The man has been on this addictive substance for almost two decades. How does anyone possibly expect him to just quit? Any wonder he continues to display withdrawal symptoms?

In the hope of having a slice of power once more, the ex-flight Lieutenant virtually dragged his party by the scruff of the neck into power in 2008. However, to his utter chagrin, the then president had subsequently surrounded himself with the men described infamously as the “Evil Dwarfs” and “Babies with sharp teeth”; who won’t let Junior Jesus of old get any closer to the throne.

In earnest, he decided to slice a chunk of the power cake for himself. This plot he probably instigated by inspiring his very ubiquitous and rather feisty wife to initiate a break away. This plan apparently did not work to good effect. The AFRC fox then probably decided to go Machiavellian. It could be the possibility that, he is looking ahead of the presidential race; while I’m sure most a clueless Ghanaian politician are fixated on 2016. Because, if the AFRC, PNDC, NDC boss is successful in the bid to get Spio into the vice presidential position, then he has actually installed a shadow president in essence.

Just do the math; the clout and character of our current president against that of the man being proposed for veep. It will surely be nothing short of a Bush – Cheney affair, only this time with the Cheney analogue eyeing the Holy Grail. Guess who will be lurking in the shadows having a power frolic once more? Could it be any other than the one who plucked Spio from political oblivion into the national limelight?

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