I cannot in fairness punish Dr Bawumia for Akufo-Addo’s sins – Kofi Bentil writes

Kofi Bentil Dr Bawumia
IMANI Africa VP Kofi Bentil, Vice President of Ghana Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

It's interesting that I'm trending because I chose Dr. Bawumia1. I'm glad it's not for bad reasons, but because I've chosen to be open about my preferences2. Here's the big picture: Ghana is blessed to have the choice of two fine gentlemen who have both tasted the presidency.

I respect everyone's choice; we all can't think alike. What baffles me is that some people find my choice intriguing. My colleagues at Imani and I have been the most critical think tank of this government, leading CSO agitation against many of their ideas, from criticizing flagship programs like FSHS through to Agyapa, resisting , and recently Credit Scores and the Lithium deal.

I know why; there's a lot of anger against the government, but I've been very clear. After much thought, as someone who has been actively engaged in the past 30 years in conversations on nation-building, I concluded that to succeed, we must be led not by our emotions and anger but by sober thought and reflection. We should always make the choices we believe in, admit where there are errors, and still make the best choices we can. In nation-building, sometimes the people with the solutions are in ‘funny' places. We have to rise above anger and make clear-eyed choices.

Let me share again some of my thoughts. I will also repeat the promise I made some time ago to a group. That if things change, I will inform you, and if I change my mind, I will let you know. For now, this is what I will say, even if I stood before God himself. This is what I believe.

Of the two choices, one has had two terms as VP and a term as President; his record is known. The other has only had two terms as VP and has never been in charge as President, and his record is known. One has had all the power in the nation, and we know how it turned out. The other has had an office which, by our constitution, is essentially powerless; those who know will tell you he was indeed like a driver's mate. He was part of the system but had no control.

I have decided that even if I'm disappointed with the present government of which he is part, I know he was not in charge, and I cannot, in fairness, punish him for the sins of the one who is leaving for good. I will be hurting the wrong person and myself. This government is over; they are leaving. That's the way we designed the constitution, and it's a good safety valve to ensure there will be a change. The same design now allows us the chance to put the right person in place who has shown potential but has never had the chance to implement, as compared to the one who has had the chance and shown us his best, and whom we rejected.

The fact of his earlier record is etched in history and cannot be changed. I choose to move forward; I choose never to go backward, especially to an option we all rejected. Ghana has enough people, so we don't need to go back to old unsuccessful options. We can try new and promising people. I believe Dr. Bawumia is the new one we haven't tried. I am 100% sure I will forever wonder how it would be if we don't choose him. Ghanaians will forever wonder. I am quite sure he will be a great President. I've watched him closely, and I am convinced. If I'm making a mistake, I would rather make the mistake going forward than going backward. Clear thinking will say, don't punish the wrong person who is actually the best hope we have.

Then again, anyone who looks really hard at the choices before us and can rise over their anger for this government will find some facts:

  • A. This government is over and is going away with its key players.
  • B. I decided it is never a good idea to cut my nose to spite my face! If the best choice is DMB, then I need to move beyond the anger and make the right choice instead of being driven by anger to return to the past we all rejected.
  • C. Yes, they failed, but note that the President is leaving with his key people. I know that DMB was sidelined; it is he who has the better chance of doing a better job now, who has been proven not corrupt, and who has the better ideas for Ghana's digital future and modern economy.
  • D. 4 years? Every serious analyst knows that 4 years is not enough to do anything positive, but it is enough time to do serious damage. So ask yourself, what would they do in 4 years when they know they will not be back? I think they will focus on personal and not national economics.

I'm saying it's not an easy choice, but if my annoying neighbor is the only one to save me when I'm attacked, I will ask for his help despite my anger at him. I gain nothing by acting on my anger; it only damages me.

It's also baffling how some people degenerate into insults and attack me for simply making a choice I am entitled to. Anyway, it's a cross I have to bear with grace. I will respect everyone's choice; I only hope they also respect mine. Some ask, and I explain my position out of courtesy because they respect my views and give it serious thought. As for the trolls, they are set in their way and refuse any contrary view. They even refuse to think hard because sometimes thinking hard reveals truth and fact, and not everyone is able to handle truth and fact.

When emotions are at play, it is not an easy thing to face facts. It's like admitting that the person you hate passionately is the only one who can save you. Your mind will say one thing, and your heart another. I am fortified in my assurance that I made the right choice. I would rather choose Dr. Bawumia. I would rather move forward. I hope my trending leads to a better Ghana.

  1. The write-up is in reply to a message from Maximus Kwaku Ametorgoh when he (Kofi Bentil) was trending on because of his stated preference for Dr as a better candidate to lead Ghana. Maximus Kwaku Ametorgoh published it online with permission from Kofi Bentil. Maximus Kwaku Ametorgoh is International Relations and Communications at Ghana Esports Association, Facilitator/Lecturer at Institute of Digital Marketing and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) & Founder at Esports Academy ↩︎
  2. Kofi Bentil I confirms that he sent this to “my brother Maximus”. He adds “It confirms the views I have held for these 3 years I have been observing Dr Bawumia closely. I am fortified in my assurance that he is the better of the 2 fine gentlemen we have to choose from. I will choose the one I haven't tried instead of the one who was tried and failed. I choose to move forward, even if I make a mistake I will make it moving forward instead of going backward. ↩︎

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