The vice president, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, is identified closely with progressive ideas and reforms in the country. At the mention of his name, the great strides he made– in managing the economy and digitization of same– readily come in to people’s mind. But that’s not all there is to Dr Bawumia. There is more to him than meets the eye, which I will unpack in this piece.
The Veep possess certain virtues, ones which shine through in his public and private life. For openers, Dr Bawumia is a byword for religious tolerance. His life is a blueprint of a sort for everyone learning to live at peace with people of other faiths. He has demonstrated as much in words as in deeds, that the differences between Muslims and Christians are superficial ; that the two religions could get along and co-exist in peace. He has led the way on so many levels.
He has opened his doors wide to Christian and Muslim leaders. And every now and then, they call on him at the Jubilee House, where they have important, and sometimes casual discussions over dinner. Dr Bawumia reciprocates this gesture by honouring invitations extended to him by the Churches and Mosques.
Just a week earlier, the picture of Dr Bawumia and his long-term friend, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills, had gone viral. In the picture, Heward Mills is seen behind the wheel of a motor tricycle, taking Dr Bawumia on a leisurely ride. It was a sight to behold. This, among other gestures, helps foster his relationship with people of different religious orientation.
The vice president, as ever, is compassionate and generous to a fault. He doesn’t run a philanthropic organisation, but when the needy and the downtrodden count on him to help, he doesn’t disappoint. He comes in to save the situation – from paying school fees, to offering scholarships to brilliant but needy students, to footing hospitals bills. One notable incident where the sense of compassion of the veep was felt to the core by Ghanaians was when Joynews had covered the story of Daari Pogo.
Daari is 80 years old woman who had been abandoned by her children. The veep– after the story had come to his attention– had built a modest house for the woman.
Aside this, there are other acts of generosity Dr Bawumia does that the public don’t get to hear, because he keeps them on a low profile. One great example is the testimony of Rev Father Campbell. At a ceremony at the Jubilee house to mark the 102 birthday of the Chief Imam, Rev Campbell had reiterated Dr Bawumia’s kindness and generosity. ” How it was in Christmas when the Vice President gave me a present of 2000 bags of rice to be distributed to the poor and needy “, Rev Campbell had revealed.
One cannot talk about the Veep and forget to mentione one important trait of his: his humility. Of all the traits inherent in him, his strength lies in his humility. It is the first thing people notice when they meet him in the flesh. I can’t for the life of me remember when last the vice president stood upright to exchange pleasantries with older people, President Akufo Addo in particular. Instead, he curtsy and bend over a little– a gesture which fills older people with a feeling that they are being respected.
His humility, too, shines through in his working relationship with the president. Dr Bawumia is always at the service of the president, and not on record to have put up insubordinate attitude towards the president. This and many more, I have a hunch, explains why president Akufo Addo is effusive in his praise of the vice president.
And one last thing. Dr Bawumia has a disarming smile . The vice president, we’re all in the know, wear smiles all the time. This sometimes makes me wonder if he has ever been sad before. He certainly will have sad moments, as it is normal of every person. But he has made it a habit never to wear a frown.
All these virtues packaged in one person : Dr Alhaji Mahamudu Bawumia. The vice president is indeed a whole package – competent, economist, digitization-minded, religious tolerant, compassionate, humble, generous, disarming smile.
In the event that Dr Bawumia leads the NPP in 2024– which is a given– he will be a rare candidate with so much to leverage on.
By : Jabir Gbambegu.