Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says his push to get politicians to buy into research works of technocrats largely influenced his decision to join politics.
Addressing the conference on Monitoring and Evaluation at the University of Ghana, he disclosed that he rejected the offer to partner then-candidate Nana Akufo-Adoo in 2007 but later changed his mind and joined him in 2008.
The then Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) said, “I was a bit hesitant and my initial answer was no I won’t get into politics.”
The economist said although he dismissed the issue then, it kept coming up during conversations with his boss Paul Acquah, the Governor of the central bank at the time.
The Vice President said although they regularly conducted a lot of researches on monetary policies and consequently take monetary decisions, they “knew that in the wider economy, the politician has the biggest impact on policy. Because we could do a lot of research and give recommendations but they will not be implemented.”
According to him, Mr Acquah told him that “our problems really are the politicians, so I think you should get in there. If you succeed, you will help us change things and implement some or all of these policies that we have been recommending.”
Dr Bawumia said that was part of his “secret agenda” to get into the game so all the BoG’s good recommendations get to see the light of day and try to make a change.
The Banker continued to work with the central bank until his nomination as the vice-presidential candidate of the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2008 alongside presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo.
Although the pair was unsuccessfully at the first attempt, he also ran as the NPP vice-presidential candidate in the 2012 general elections.
Dr Bawumia was the lead witness for the petitioners in the 2012/2013 Presidential Election Petition which challenged the declaration of former president John Dramani Mahama as the winner of the election.
However, the pair was third time lucky in 2016, beating incumbent John Dramani Mahama in the presidential polls with a wide margin.