Bawumia is honest and frank - Akufo-Addo tells school pupils
I chose Dr Mahamudu Bawumia as my Vice President because of his honesty and frankness, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated.
Interacting with Grade 4 pupils at the Jubilee House on Thursday [Oct 26, 2023], President Akufo-Addo added that Dr Mahamudu Bawumia was an intelligent and honest person and that was why he selected him as his Vice President.
He explained that aside fitting the bill as a northerner for the north-south balance for a united Ghana, Dr Bawumia was “also a very clever man and I needed his brains to help me govern the country effectively”.
“He is an honest person, he speaks honestly to you, he is not one of those people who you have to guess what they are trying to say. He says what he has to say directly and I prefer to deal with people who are also very direct in what they say. These are some of the reasons why I chose Dr Bawumia to be my vice president”, President Akufo-Addo explained.
He was answering questions from some Grade Four primary school pupils of the Association International School in Accra who were on an educational tour of the Jubilee House, the seat of the presidency on Thursday.
Each of the children was given a book souvenir from the Presidency, individual photo opportunity with President Akufo-Addo and later as a group, they enjoyed a hearty chart with the President in what could best be described as a grandfather and grandchildren interaction.
“Good afternoon your excellency, my name is Adwoa and I want to ask why out of all the people, you chose Dr Bawumia as your vice President?” This was the question from Adwoa Boadiwaa.
President Akufo-Addo who had been bombarded with a lot of questions ranging from governance to Cabinet operations and his day as President said “Oh goodness, those are many many questions”.
He explained that because he, the President was from the southern sector of the country and he needed somebody from the north for the balance and “I think that for the unity of the country it is good that we have a leadership where northerners and southerners are together so that the country can remain united”.
“He is from the north, I want somebody from the north to partner me for the elections and then for the governance. He's also very clever man and I needed his brains to help me govern the country effectively,” he added.
Another question was, “Your Excellency, please, how do you keep calm when people criticize your actions?”
President Akufo-Addo said he believed that he had always wanted a system of government whereby presidents and all people in authority could be criticized, noting that “There was a time in Ghana when it wasn't like that, when one man spoke and that was that”.
He indicated that he had never liked that sort of situation because he did not believe that any one person knew everything.
“It's better to have a system where lots of ideas and lots of brains are brought forward.”
I am not God
President Akufo-Addo added that he approved of the system where people could criticize the president, therefore, it would look strange if he as the President “start getting agitated when people are criticizing me. I am not God. I cannot be. None of us are but we do our best”.
He described criticism as a good thing that sometimes helped the one taking the decision to have the opportunity of others things he was not seeing, indicating that “It opens up different perspectives”.
President Akufo-Addo said “a lot of times you can disagree with your critics. But sometimes there's something in the criticism that is of use and benefit which you can use to do [something] so that's the reason why I don't get agitated”.
He, however, stated that once it was the right of those criticizing to do so, “it is also my right to ignore their criticism if I think that there is no substance in it. That's the system we have”.