The selection of a vice presidential candidate to partner Akufo-Addo is going through a lot of screening and scrutiny. Many shades of opinions have been expressed to the extent that some even try to spin what others say without any malice in order to score a negative political point. I believe strongly with what President Kufuor said in which he likened the choice of a vice presidential candidate to that of a young man or woman looking for a partner to marry. To him the choice is solely the responsibility of the man or woman with some advice from parents and others who may have some stake in the relationship but those people cannot impose any partner on any one irrespective of the blood or otherwise relationship they may have with the man or woman concerned.
This wisdom clearly shows that Akufo-Addo is the most important singular person in the choice of who he wants to partner with politically subject to the wise counseling of other personalities of influence.
Much as I support Nana in whatever decision he comes up with, I believe I could also facilitate the process for him by offering some little, little advice from afar. It is in this context that I want to speak for why I think Nana should give Bawumia a second opportunity. I say this because of what I learnt from the personality of Bawumia in addition to some basic but critical information gathered from my interactions with people as a teacher myself.
I must say I was with Bawumia during the 2008 campaign and have since been studying him from afar after the elections not for any reason but for the simple reason of his potential of not living in his status and positions but using same to change the business of human development for the better through his leadership craftsmanship.
Using his professional achievement as a yardstick to lend him my support may just mean restating what professionals and non-professionals are aware of. The professional transformation he is so far associated with and the way he carried out his job responsibilities are all there for all to analyse. What I am interested in for which I think makes him lead the other equally qualified personalities has to do with some basic leadership traits that this man is fortunate to have been gifted with.
The Personality Bawumia:
To begin with, I saw in Bawumia a personality type who does not ask what needs to be done but goes about doing the exact work that needs to be done with high sense of professionalism and imbibed with leadership expediency as if that is all owes his life to. He connects with the right people in the most appropriate medium through mutual understanding of the individual and collective roles to get what needs to be done at the right time. He is the type too who supports the vision and values of the leadership in the organization he works with and always tries as much as possible to share every detail of information of all the actions he responsibly takes with all those who have some responsibility in the agenda they are collectively pursuing.
In my short working period with the then Vice Presidential Candidate Dr Bawumia I saw in him a personality with the skill to lead high standard performance and not just being a performer. This brings to bear his capacity to put several performers with distinct values and weaknesses together and then provides the leadership that enhances the skills of such people. He is also the type who does not just make speeches but organize his thoughts and words to make people believe in what he stands for and that made him a puller of crowd on a gradual, systematic basis during 2008.
He respects family dearly. When he sees his people he delves much to know how their families are doing back-home. His reason is that if the families of the very people he is working with are not in the right spirit, it means that he is not going to get a high spirited working force and that may affect the performance and output expected. So I was not surprised to see him with the kids, interact with them and share some smiles with them with the little opportunity he gets to be around them. The feelings from the wife and the kids in particular were very phenomenal and all I learnt from it was enormous feelings and respect for him as a person, a husband, a father, and the likes.
I also learnt from him as one who is touched by the excitement of the challenge ahead of him and that drives him to persevere until the ultimate is achieved because he just sees challenges as the only avenues to turn new green leaves for better flowers and healthy fruits. Through his sensitivity to issues of human development, he is always on the lead role to creating new avenues. The man does not believe in leadership responsibility that intimidate others but one with the vision of enthusiastically championing the work of upliftment and new direction.
Dr Bawumia’s mental toughness is also worth noting. He is the type who is ever willing to pay the highest price for the just and fruitful cause. He is not mean and petty but concerns himself with issues that enhance the skills and capacities of people in their drive for better achievement. He is the peer respect type who takes delight in people with the mindset to help one to succeed.
Bawumia does not get confused in the mist of some discussions that get others confused. He stays focused with what he believes in and willingly accepts opinions and contributions that will help provide the avenue for others move out of the state of confusion so collectively a better chart is carved out for the future.
Relationship and recognition:
Politics is about relationship and if you happen to belong to a family that is able to develop a positive and pragmatic relationship within the society which people can attest to then your chances are better boosted. Fortunately Bawumia is also gifted with that positive social interaction through his late father’s works. One thing that is clear to recognise is that the leadership of our northern people, the great and phenomenal chiefs, dearly showed huge support for Bawumia in recognition of the instrumental leadership his late father provided towards the development agenda of Northern, Upper West, Upper East and the entire Ghanaian society.
I recall the Nayiri Naa describing him as the wonderful son of a great leader of their own, whilst to the Bolin Lana of the Abudu gate, he was a chosen compatriot and marvelous son of the son of their land, with the Regent of the Andani gate Abdulai Andani describing Bawumia as the honourable son from a family of theirs that has brought much hope to them.
At Damango the late Yagbonwura described him as the son of an outstanding son of the land and at Gwollu they described Bawumia as the ‘mother in the kitchen’ in reference to the great works of his late father and his support for the late President Dr Limann.
For me one thing that we cannot take away from the people of our three northern regions is their eagerness to stay loyal to people who have been of service to them, to the extent that families of such people continue to be given such herald support any time possible unless one decides to go hay wire against the respect and support accorded them. And this ingredient which is critical in our political discourse is all there for Bawumia because of the credible achievements of his late father Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia.
The debate may continue until the day Nana Addo breaks the news of his ‘marriage partner’. But if that wonderful news from a wonderful leader goes in favour of Dr Bawumia it can only be a message confirming the support and the solid vision with strong leadership by action and not by position that Bawumia has exhibited in his professional life for which Nana Addo and all those who matter in such decision give credence to with the view of thinking BIG – Believe In Ghana – for a prosperous and rewarding society.
Bawumia has come of age politically and his choice will boost the chances of the NPP greatly than never before. It is therefore my prayer that those who share this opinion will commit it into prayers so that our collective wish will be what God sees as the best option for Nana Addo. This is the only way it can come to pass. God bless all Ghanaians.