Mahama names Veep today
Ebo Quansah Reporting
The seven days of national mourning declared by President John Dramani Mahama for Ghanaians to remember Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, the departed Head of State of this Republic, comes to a climax today, when the traditional seventh day of the death of late Head of State will take place at three different locations.
Incidentally, it is the day President John Dramani Mahama has decided to submit the name of the Vice-President of the Republic to Parliament, as required by the Constitution of the Republic.
The Chronicle can report authoritatively that the name of the person President Mahama has chosen to help him administer this country as Vice-President will be handed over to the Speaker of the House of Parliament, Rt. Honourable Justice Joyce Adeline Bamford-Addo, at the august House today.
Yesterday, President Mahama intimated that he would submit the name of his able assistant to the Speaker this week. The Chronicle gathered that “this week’s” permutation came about because of the realisation that the Speaker had put off her intended trip to California in the United States, originally scheduled for tomorrow, out of respect for the memory of the fallen Head of State.
Pressure from lobbyists for the Veep slot within the ruling National Democratic Congress had reached such an amazing height yesterday, that the President took the decision to name the person early to stem the tide of factionalism gaining root in the NDC, as a result of intensive lobbying.
Under Article 57 (10) of the 1992 Constitution, “the Vice-President shall, upon assuming office, as President under clause (6) of this article, nominate a person to the office of Vice-President, subject to the approval of Parliament.”
Chronicle sources at the Castle, seat of Government, has intimated that President Mahama’s choice will definitely come from the Central Region, to appease the region for the sudden demise of the only Ghanaian Head of State to originate from the region.
Chronicle can report authoritatively that the search has zeroed in on three prominent members of the region in the NDC family.
Mr. Kwesi Botchwey, Minister of Finance in the Provisional National Defence Council era, all the way to his resignation in 1995, is the fore-runner, according to unimpeachable sources.
The other strong contender, according to usually reliable sources, is Mr. Goosie Obuadam Tanoh, who led a group of activists from the NDC to establish the now defunct Reform Party in the year 2000. At the time of going to press, it emerged that Bank of Ghana Governor, Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, has emerged the dark horse in the race, which is expected to raise tensions in the party, up to the naming ceremony in Parliament House.
Dr. Kwesi Botchwey was a dashing young socialist lecturer in law at the University of Ghana, Legon, when Jerry John Rawlings launched his December 31 coup d’etat in 1981.
He found favour with the most brutal regime ever to take centre stage of national politics, and was appointed Finance Minister, a post he proudly occupied until he fell out with then President Rawlings after 14 years.
It was as a Finance Minister when Dr. Kwesi Botchwey earned another reputation as a striker. He brought forth a child with Ms Sandell Scrimshaw, a diplomat with the Canadian Mission in Cote d’Ivoire. The Chronicle named him ‘Black Mamba’ for that feat.
On his birth and origin, this is what Dr. Botchwey has posted on his website: “I was born several years ago on a bright Sunday morning in Tamale, in Northern Ghana, to a dashing and young Edward Andrew Botchwey, a colonial civil servant, and Jane Addae, a baker and entrepreneur, both from Agona Asafo in the Central Region of Ghana.”
Goosie Obuadum Tanoh was born to a former Attorney-General of Ghana from Agona Nsabah in the Central Region in 1956. He holds the Bachelor of Law (LLB) and Master’s Degree from the University of Ghana, Legon, and North Western University Law School, Chicago, in the United States.
He is credited with being a founding member of the ruling NDC in 1992. In the year 2000, he led a group of cadres to break away from the NDC to form the Reform Party, in protest over what the leadership of the Reform group described as the imposition of the deceased Prof. John Evans Atta Mills by the founder of the party, Jerry John Rawlings, as a presidential candidate of the NDC in the 2000 elections.
Incidentally, it was the success of the late President Mills at the polls in the year 2008 that encouraged Goosie Tanoh to return to the NDC fold with some members of the Reform Party, including its General Secretary, Tweretwie Opoku. Mr. Tanoh is known in the party as one of its sharp brains and an organiser.
Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur is credited with leading the economic transformation of Ghana at the Bank of Ghana. But the free fall of the cedi in recent times might not put him in good stead.
There is also the niggling feeling about his political clout that he might not be able to deliver the Central and Western regional votes in the face of the stiff challenge expected from the NDC’s main opponents, the New Patriotic Party, in the two regions, especially, in the absence of the ‘Adze Wo Fie A Oye’ mantra.
Short URL: http://thechronicle.com.gh/?p=46435