Former President John Mahama has said none of the presidential aspirants from the stalk of the governing New Patriotic Party can escape blame and responsibility for the economic "mess" created by the Akufo-Addo government.
On Wednesday, 7 February 2024, NPP flagbearer Mahamudu Bawumia, while sharing his vision for the country, said as the chairman of the economic management team, he had no powers to take decisions.
“I was, thankfully, appointed as Chairman of the Economic Management Team (EMT). As a sub-committee to Cabinet, we do not have any decision-making powers”, he said.
Vice President Bawumia said as the head of the EMT, he could only advise the president's Cabinet.
“I am very proud of the quality of advice we have been providing over the years to Cabinet”.
He also said Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta and Bank of Ghana Governor Ernest Addison have been the ones running the economy since 2017 as he focused on digitalisation.
"For me, to lead is to solve. Indeed, all my adult life, my biggest motivation is about finding solutions; solutions that improve lives; solutions that make public services efficient and accessible; solutions that make society progress; solutions that protect the public purse; solutions that make our businesses competitive".
Dr Bawumia added: "I derive my greatest satisfaction from solving problems and I have done so whenever I am given the opportunity and will do more if I am given the mandate to do so".
Explaining why he chose to focus on digitalisation, Dr Bawumia said he had long held the view that "many of these problems facing the economy could be resolved through digitalisation."
In fact, he noted, "in my 2010 book on Monetary Policy and Financial Sector Reform in Africa, I proposed digitalisation amongst others as the way forward for African countries".
"So, when we assumed office in 2017, as Vice-President, I made the decision, with the blessings and support of the President, to focus on the critical but underdeveloped systems that would expand the economy, improve systems, and create jobs through digitalisation", he said.
"Therefore, as the Minister of Finance oversees the budget (fiscal policy) and the Governor of the central bank also focused on monetary and exchange rate policy, I focused on the complementary data and systems improvement that would ensure the ease of doing business and change the fundamentals of the economy, making it more dynamic and responsive to modern trends, and themanagement of it more scientific and efficient."
Dr Bawumia also described himself as a "mate" who only assised the driver.
On that same day, independent presidential aspirant Alan Kyerematen, who served as Akufo-Addo's Trafe Minister and later resigned from the NPP in the heat of the party's presidential primaries, told Accra-based Citi TV that "... governments are not run by ministers. It’s about the executive authority at the highest level. You provide the direction as a minister.”
In the aftermath of these comments, Mr Mhama, at a town hall meeting in Tamale in the Northern Region on Thursday, said, observed: “Now, all those who contributed to the mess are attempting to distance themselves as if they were not involved". "People have started claiming they were not in charge and that their voices weren’t heard, but they all played a part in the crisis, and none of them can evade responsibility. They all participated in cabinet meetings and collectively made decisions.”
“All of them ‘dey inside’: Jack Toronto and all his brothers, all of them are part of the mess we are going through. None of them can escape responsibility", Mr Mahama said.