Opinion

The speech that Ghanaians expected from Bawumia  [Article]

In June 2011 Chelsea football club appointed André Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo as the manager and assistant respectively of their coaching team.

This appointment became a disaster as Chelsea suffered a string of losses during their reign. The Chelsea board therefore terminated the appointment of the head coach André Villas-Boas in less than 12 months into his tenure but shockingly they asked his assistant Roberto Di Matteo to take over as the substantive coach.

Many wondered at the time how logical it was for Di Matteo to step into the shoes of his boss when he was second in command of the technical team that has brought Chelsea on its knees. Most believed that Di Matteo had nothing new to offer.

Surprisingly Di Matteo proved the skeptics wrong and turned things around immediately he took over, going on to win Chelsea’s first champions league trophy.

Similarly, Ivory Coast who was on the verge of elimination from the recent African cup of nations having lost their first two group games replaced their manager with his assistant. And guess what, the assistant coach engineered a remarkable comeback and went on to win the tournament.

This has happened many times in the corporate world where the next in command has taken over the reign of affairs and turned the fortunes of the organization around.

Few weeks ago I heard the current vice president of Ghana speak, launching his bid to take over the reins of affairs of the country from his boss.

Like the André Villas-Boas- Roberto Di Matteo scenario, many are wondering the rationale behind his bid when the government which he superintends as the second in command has brought the country on his knees with high level of borrowing, corruption, rapidly depreciating currency, rocketing inflation etc.

Realistically the bid of the vice president defies all logic because if he has what it takes to take the country out of the doldrums why can’t he do it now that he’s the next in command?

But as seen in the Chelsea and the Ivory Coast case, it is possible (in the vice president voice) that the assistant can take over from his boss and turn the situation around.

It is not whether the vice president can be the Di Matteo or Emerse Faé of Ghana politics but the question is, will Ghanaians believe him enough to entrust the country in his hands? Due to his numerous failed promises, the vice president is facing credibility issues and personally I believe all his efforts should be channeled in repairing his credibility if he wants to stand any chance of winning this year’s election.

That is the more reason why I was expecting his recent speech to depart from his usual lengthy lectures with litany of promises and rather focus on being apologetic and hitting on the emotions of the electorate. After all, according to Cambridge Analytica, the research firm that led the 2016 Donald Trump campaign, election campaign is all about hitting on people’s emotions because people vote on emotions.

The person who wrote the vice president speech was befuddled as a bee in a bottle. On one hand he tried to distance himself from the government and on the other hand he tried to take credit for the positives of the government. Below would have been the speech I would have written for the vice president if I was his speech writer.

Fellow Ghanaians I stand before you to humbly seek your mandate. To some this is an audacious call and to some this is presumptuous because many are you that are disappointed in my NPP government not because we have failed compared to previous government but you expected a lot from us due to our track record and the bigger promises we gave you. For this I apologize unreservedly.

I came to you during our 2016 campaign and told you Ghana is rich and therefore we don’t need to borrow. I also told you during that period I will move the country from taxation to productivity and also I will stabilize the cedi as well as create jobs for everyone.

I know we have not been able to achieve these promises in its entirety. It is not that I lack the competence or the capability to achieve these but the time I was making these promises or statements what I didn’t know was as the vice president you are literally a senior advisor to President and only assist the president in implementing his vision and do not have the absolute power to make decisions.

The president has many advisors and though in some decisions my voice featured prominently, in others my voice might have been lost in the midst of many voices. I must admit that is not all the decisions that have been taken by my government that I agree with. Left to me alone certain things would have been done slightly different and certain appointees wouldn’t have been part of this government.

Some will ask why didn’t you resign when the reality dawned on you. I believe staying in government was more beneficial to the country than resigning. Staying in government at least helped me deliver on the digitalization agenda which all of us are enjoying and it has also offered me the opportunity to come to you today to seek your mandate to run this country.

I’m not here to absolve myself from the inadequacies of my government but what I want Ghanaians to know is, the buck stops with the president. Where the president gave me absolute responsibility such as the digitalization of the economy, mobile money interoperability the evidence are there for everyone to attest that I delivered in those areas.

And that is the belief I want you to have in me, that if given full responsibility to manage the affairs of this country, I have the knowhow as a leader and with your support I can stabilize the currency, move the country away from taxation to productivity, reduce borrowing and bring down inflation.

I still stand today by my famous phrase that when the fundamentals are weak the exchange rates will expose you. And I know how to strengthen the fundamentals when I’m given absolute power.

I know it wouldn’t be an easy journey but with your unflinching support and prayers I will be the leader of a generation that hasn’t lost hope in our country and together we will reposition our country so as to compete in this digital world.

I see a blessed nation with endless opportunities for everyone not just politicians and their family. I see a nation yelling for change. We are a nation that transcends beyond religion, ethnicity and gender.

If you see as I see and believe as I believe, it is you that I’m calling. Come join me let’s put this dear nation onto the path of growth and prosperity.

source: citifmonline

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