Saturday, 13 April

John Kumah: Brilliant, gravitas and totally fit to be Bawumia's running-mate

Feature Article
John Kumah

One of the best things that can befall any politician is to do a turn around and see his popularity accelerate.

And oh yes, it has been incredible watching the rapid acceleration of the political journey and meteoric rise of the member of parliament for Ejisu and Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. John Kumah.

Indeed, you couldn't get a more urban, progressive or personally attractive man than Dr. John Kumah, and truly not many people in the public eye give you the kind of impression that he gives to the electorate.

From a bloody obscure corner as a youth activist to a national prominence and figurehead, John Kumah has charmed his audience and disarmed his opponents.

When he first took his major appointment under Akufo-Addo as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Entrepreneurship & Innovation Programme (NEIP) in 2017, he handled the portfolio with finesse, deftness and excellence.

And when he got the elevation as Member of Parliament and Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, John Kumah consistently went out of his way to deliver for the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Truly, Dr. John Kumah is an authentic star, who lights up every room he enters and just like John Agyekum Kufuor, John Kumah deploys his courtesy and charm for political purposes.

Just watch him in action when he's leading the political conversation. He does not sneer or talk down to his audience, as most political actors would do. Instead, he wows them.

There were times that I watched John Kumah compliment his political opponents even amid uncomplimentary hostility and in doing so, he has pulled the New Patriotic Party (NPP) towards both the centre ground and acceptance and succeeded in winning a lot of NDC youths and undecided voters onto the side of the NPP.

And if you are tempted to think this sort of courtesy across the political divide is a mere bourgeois triviality, remember how effective this maturity of style has also been in larger contexts.

Sometimes a line or two from a politician’s public advocacy resonates or echoes to perhaps evoke something of a more optimistic, inspirational political epoch.

John Kumah understands this so well. He understands that policy communication isn’t about self-affirmation, but rather, it is about persuading people, changing minds, and winning hearts and minds. He also understands that dealing directly with the issue, even helping your opponent build their best argument, and then demolishing that is the soundest way to argue if you really want to come up with a constructive solution to an issue.

In actual fact, the Akufo-Addo government's deficit reduction plan relies on IMF policy credibility and John Kumah has been at the heart of the conversation with convincing arguments, a calm demeanour and brittle sentiment. That pretty much sums up what he has been up to at the Finance Ministry.

In 3 years, he has risen from the obscurity of a young political player to become a force in the public advocacy space with regards to economics, finance and public policy.

Essentially, John Kumah has built a solid track record in a short time and that track record contains much more than his enemies—or even many of his friends have been ready to acknowledge.

So, the question is, why should he not be Bawumia's running mate for the 2024 elections? Why should John Kumah not be the man to leap forward and be on the ticket to save the New Patriotic Party (NPP) from itself in 2024? My own answer is that if the Deputy Finance Minister is not the answer, there is something desperately wrong with the question.

In all honesty, a certain grace has marked John Kumah's political outings since he emerged onto the national stage. He has not just taken to the realities of Ghana politics better than any other names being linked to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as running mate. He has also done it infinitely less condescendingly than Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Joe Osei Owusu and Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu would have done.

And now the major talking points on both social and traditional media show what a key asset John Kumah is to the NPP.

If the day ever comes that John Kumah becomes Bawumia's running mate, I shall be among those NDC activists pitching our camp in favour of the NPP.

To you, John Kumah, stay right where you are and stick to what you’re good at. The world has already taken notice of you.

I shall be back

Source: Dela Coffie