Security details at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra had one hell of a time controlling supporters of the 2008 running mate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on the evening of Tuesday March 27.
This was when he arrived from his base in Harare, Zimbabwe, where he had served as Resident Representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) since February 2011.
For close to 20 minutes, supporters and well-wishers of Bawumia, who from all indications is set to be named the running mate of the party’s Presidential Candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for the 2012 elections, took over the arrival hall of the airport.
He arrived on board a British Airways flight amidst cheers, drumming and dancing from his numerous supporters who had travelled from the length and breadth of the country to welcome the man they hope to be the next Vice President of the Republic.
Dr Bawumia was met on arrival by his wife, Samira and their two children, as well as close aides including NPP National Youth Organiser Anthony Abayifaa Karbo, former Women’s Organiser Rita Asobayire and other friends, family members and well-wishers.
Samira and the children looked extremely happy and could not hide their joy when the banker appeared in the arrival hall, immediately exchanging warm hugs.
In a short statement, Dr Bawumia expressed surprise at the rousing welcome given him and the numbers that thronged the airport. “I was not expecting anything like this; I’m very surprised but I thank them.”
He was given a presidential treat by his supporters who rode in a convoy of motorbikes and vehicles to his residence.
If confirmed, it would be the second time Dr Bawumia, a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), has been given the nod to partner Nana Addo-Akufo.
He has long been considered favourite among a host of other big names including Lepowura MND Jawula, Boniface Abubakar Sadique and Ambrose Derry, who were all jockeying to become running mate to Nana Addo.
Sources close to the office of the party’s presidential candidate told DAILY GUIDE that barring any last minute maneuvers, Dr Bawumia was set to be confirmed at today’s crucial National Council meeting, whose sole agenda is to discuss the choice of a running mate. The meeting is taking place at the University of Ghana, Legon.
According to party sources, key among several reasons for which the candidate settled on Dr Bawumia was his youthfulness; his appeal to the teeming young men and women across the country, as someone with proven competence; his Northern-Islamic background and the fact that he was marketed in 2008.
Dr Bawumia, an expert in fiscal management, was appointed Country Director of the AfDB in February 2011 to help lead the restructuring of the Zimbabwean economy after the country was virtually brought to its knees by a myriad of issues.
He is believed to have been given the job with the express consent and approval of the country’s President, Robert Mugabe, who after rejecting the choice of many other leading economists across the continent, gave his backing to Dr. Bawumia on the basis of his work as Deputy Central Bank Governor and especially for the instrumental role he played in getting Ghana weaned off the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
It is also believed that former President Kufuor and Nana Addo had to equally intervene and give their consent before the renowned banker accepted the offer from the AfDB and that without the interventions of the two personalities, he would have turned down the offer.
Since moving to Zimbabwe, Dr Bawumia is said to have become a virtual darling boy of the country’s officials including President Mugabe.
Aides and close confidants of Dr. Bawumia told DAILY GUIDE of strenuous efforts made by officials of the African Development Bank, with its headquarters in Tunis, as well as the Robert Mugabe government, to get the Ghanaian to stay at post since news began making the rounds in the Ghanaian media of his likely selection as running mate for the largest opposition party.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia returned to Ghana in the year 2000 after extensive academic pursuits in mostly the United States and was quickly engaged as an economist at the Bank of Ghana where he rose through the ranks to the position of a Deputy Governor in 2006.
At the Central Bank, he carved a niche for himself as a skilled policymaker with a reputation for being a doer, a hands-on technocrat, and a professional with a remarkable ability to successfully handle complex issues and is credited with most of the monetary and policy reforms Ghana underwent between the period 2001 to 2008, which saw tremendous growth and stability in the economy after years of free fall, volatility and decline, especially in the late 1990s.
Source: Charles Takyi-Boadu/Daily Guide
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