Exactly a year ago today, I found myself seated in the heart of Dr. Bawumia’s campaign office, humming with anticipation and fervour. The air was charged with an electricity that spoke of something monumental about to unfold. We, a handful of young individuals, were about to witness a pivotal moment in Ghana’s political landscape – Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia was about to share his intention to seek the nomination of the New Patriotic Party as its Presidential Candidate for the 2024 Presidential Elections.
As he began to speak, I could sense the weight of his journey, the path that had brought him from the hallowed halls of academia to the forefront of political action. Dr. Bawumia’s voice carried the cadence of experience, a melody shaped by sacrifice, loyalty, and inclusiveness. His journey, like the river that winds its way through our diverse nation, has been marked by twists and turns that have shaped him into the leader he is today.
Leaning back in his chair, he recounted his entry into the political arena in 2001 as a young man driven by ideals and determination. This decision marked the beginning of his journey of sacrifice. With a promising career as an economist, he could have basked in the comfort of academic pursuits, but instead, he chose to serve his beloved Ghana. He worked with Hon. Osafo Maafo and the late Hon. Akoto Osei (who was at the Finance Ministry). As the technical lead in the HIPC negotiation, he showed dedication to Ghana’s economic growth. Due to his exceptional work, President Kufuor appointed him as the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, which was a clear demonstration of his unrelenting dedication to the nation.
It was during these moments that I realised Dr. Bawumia’s commitment wasn’t just rhetoric; it was a foundation upon which he built his life’s work. He narrated how he could have easily remained within the financial realm, enjoying the prestige of the Bank of Ghana, but destiny had other plans for him. When the call to be the running mate to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (now President) came, he answered it without hesitation. It was an act of loyalty to both his party and the greater cause of Ghana’s progress.
With a twinkle in his eye, he spoke about his time as a Research Fellow at Oxford and his authorship of a book on Ghana’s economic history, another testament to his intellectual prowess. Then, Zimbabwe beckoned as he took on a role with the African Development Bank.
In 2012, the nation watched as Dr. Bawumia took the stand as the star witness in the court challenge against the election of Former President John Dramani Mahama. His clear, thorough explanations demystified the electoral process, cementing his place as a key strategist for the New Patriotic Party’s subsequent victories in 2016 and 2020. His words, “You and I were not there,” resonated through the court and the entire nation, a clarion call for transparency and fairness in the electoral process. Like many other Ghanaians, I will never forget the detailed explanation of the “pink sheets”.
What struck me was the risk he took during that time. Even as he stood as a star witness, the African Development Bank extended a job offer for a prestigious position at the Bank, an opportunity he declined. The audacity of his choice spoke volumes about the depth of his commitment to the Party, its beliefs, and its ideals. Dr. Bawumia’s loyalty was unwavering, a beacon in a sea of political uncertainty.
While he spoke, I remembered how he demonstrated his competence and expertise by delivering impactful lectures on the economy. He exposed the mismanagement of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration and laid the foundation for shaping Ghana’s economic policy under the current administration.
As we listened, it became evident that Dr. Bawumia’s story was a tapestry woven with threads of inclusiveness. He understood the intricacies of unity, a quality that resonated profoundly with his own lineage – his father, the Vice Chairman of the Northern People’s Party, the emblem of which was the elephant. This emblem, now synonymous with the New Patriotic Party, spoke of a legacy deeply intertwined with his own roots.
The thread of unity woven into this narrative was further evident in the love and respect he garnered from people across the spectrum – from President Akufo-Addo to President Kufuor, from religious leaders to traditional leaders to citizens of diverse backgrounds. His ability to unite and rally people behind a common purpose was truly remarkable.
In the years leading up to the present, Dr. Bawumia’s influence was felt like a guiding hand. His commitment to digitalisation, innovation, education, and healthcare was unparalleled. His rallying cry, “It Is Possible,” isn’t mere words; it is a mantra that seeks to propel Ghana towards progress.
Today, as the campaign for “Bawumia 2024: Our Hope, Our Future, Our Leader” unfolds, I am reminded of the man I sat before a year ago. A man who walked a path of sacrifice, who carried the torch of loyalty, and who understood the power of inclusiveness. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia isn’t just a candidate; he’s the embodiment of Ghana’s potential and a united and prosperous future. The chapters he has penned through his actions and sacrifices tell a tale of a leader who is not just seeking the presidency but inspiring a movement – a movement towards a Ghana that stands stronger, united, and full of promise. His journey has been marked by an unyielding belief in a better Ghana, and as I stand by his side, I know that his leadership is the beacon our nation needs.
Kow Essuman is a lawyer by profession and he is admitted to practice law in three different jurisdictions – England and Wales, New York (USA) and Ghana. He is Legal Counsel to the President and a member of the constitutional and legal committee of the National Council of the New Patriotic Party. He was a member of the NPP’s 2020 campaign communications committee and director for new media in the 2020 election campaign.