Feature: The analogy of driver’s mate vrs a spare driver – NPP/NDC (EPISODE 1)

Every political season brings its own terms, jargons and scenarios in anticipation to explain issues to the electorates. Such is the term we are experiencing in the 2024 election season. 

Dr. Bawumia, the presidential candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has stated that he is driver’s mate and for that matter, major policies are not taken by him. He postulates that giving the opportunity to sit by the steering wheel, he will drive Ghana to the promised land.

In a sharp contrast, supporters of former President John Mahama and the NDC party see it otherwise. They are of the view that the Vice President was rather a spare driver and not a driver’s mate. They further postulate that John Dramani Mahama was a spare driver who aided President Atta Mills to execute his vision.

In this article, I will attempt to break this into episodes for easy understanding of the issue at stake.

This analogy by the two political parties will be analyzed critically to see who is making the best judgment and which of the two should Ghana accept. The Ghanaian citizenry is now personified as being the car owner. If that is so then the judgment of Ghanaians will determine who wins this year’s elections.


The highlight of the previous episode is to introduce the view held by the Vice President, His Excellency Dr. Mahmoud Bawumia and that of the former president His Excellency John Dramani Mahama.

Spare Driver

Who is a spare driver? A spare driver is a driver who has undergone equal training as the substantive driver. A spare driver is seen as experienced just as the original driver and that he can handle a car as it is supposed to be.

A spare driver needs no direction from anyone in his quest to drive. He is matured enough and can handle situations of any kind as they appear. The following are some of the factors that make a person a spare driver.

  1. That he lost his car in an accident.


  1. Or, he has been sacked by his car owner through mismanagement or negligence.


  1. Or, has been sacked for failure to adhere to the instructions of the owner.


  1. Has become a driver’s spare because his car has gotten spoiled.


  1. Or, his car is in the fitting shop and in order not to become idle, offers himself to become a spare driver.

The factors above necessitate a driver to become a spare driver. Of course there might be other factors, but the above are the common ones that necessitates one to become a spare driver.

These factors will surely be compared to the former President whether they match or not.


The highlight of episode 2, brought to light who a spare driver is and the factors that normally make one a spare driver.

In this episode, we will turn our attention to a driver’s mate.

A driver’s mate is an apprentice or a learner who practices under the tutelage of the substantive driver. The following are the factors that qualify one to become a driver’s mate.

  1. Eagerness to learn the driving profession.


  1. Readiness to take instructions from the driver.


  1. Being prepared to be honest and truthful at all times.


  1. Being prepared to be obedient at all times.


  1. Being prepared to attend errands all the time


  1. Being bold and courageous to hold the steering wheel and drive.

A driver’s mate has no right, whatsoever, to act on his own unless instructed by the driver.

The driver makes the final decision. Most of the time, drivers go in for mates with the above attributes.

In the next episode we shall look at the behaviours of the two and see the negative sides of the Mate and the Spare Driver.

By Dr. APC

*The writer is the District Chief Executive of Afigya Kwabre South

Christian Adu Poku


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