Dr Jonathan Asante-Otchere, a senior political science lecturer at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) in the Central Region, has advised Mr Kofi Bentil, Vice President of IMANI Africa, to set aside his emotional closeness to Vice President Mahamadu Bawumia and objectively evaluate the economic challenges facing the country.
Dr Asante-Otchere argued that it would have been challenging for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to accept Dr Bawumia as its flagbearer if he consistently criticised the economic management of the country at the Cabinet level.
According to Dr Asante-Otchere, the NPP welcomed Dr Bawumia due to his role as the head of the Economic Management Team (EMT) and his contributions to the country's economic management.
He emphasised that if Dr Bawumia had openly disagreed with certain economic policies, the party might not have embraced him as a leader.
Dr Asante-Otchere made these remarks in response to Mr Bentil's call for Ghanaians to give a fair hearing to Vice President Bawumia.
He spoke on Accra 100.5 FM's mid-day news on Monday, February 6, 2024.
He expressed disappointment that Mr Bentil, given his position, seemed influenced and dazed by affinity and proximity to the Vice President and now flagbearer of the NPP.
The political science lecturer underscored the importance of objectively evaluating the performance of leaders, especially in crucial economic roles.
He urged Kofi Bentsil to consider Dr Bawumia's actions in managing the economy and not to let emotional connections cloud his judgment.
In light of the upcoming 2024 presidential election in Ghana, Kofi Bentil, the Vice President of the policy think tank, IMANI Africa, has advocated for a fair and objective assessment of Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia's candidature.
While being critical of the Akufo-Addo government's policies, Mr Bentil separated Dr Bawumia from the current administration, emphasising that he lacks constitutional powers and cannot be blamed for the government's shortcomings.
In his argument, Mr Bentil urged Ghanaians to give Dr Bawumia a fair hearing, pointing out that he has never held the position of president and should not be punished for the current government's perceived failures.
Mr Bentil stressed the need for the debate to rise above emotions and anger, encouraging sober thought and reflection in making choices for the nation's future.
Comparing Dr Bawumia to the main opponent, John Mahama, Mr Bentil highlighted Mahama's two terms as Vice President and one term as President, citing his known record.
On the other hand, he pointed out that Dr. Bawumia has only served two terms as Vice President and has not been in charge as President, highlighting his role in the digitalization drive.
Mr Kofi Bentil acknowledged disappointment with the present government but argued that punishing Dr. Bawumia for the sins of the outgoing administration would be unfair.
He expressed confidence in Dr. Bawumia's potential, stating that he has shown promise but has not had the chance to implement it.
Mr Bentil concluded by encouraging Ghanaians to consider new and promising leaders, expressing his belief that Dr. Bawumia is a candidate worth trying.
Dr. Bawumia is expected to address the nation on February 7, 2024, in Accra, where he may announce his running mate for the upcoming election