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The driver’s companion conundrum – The Business & Financial Times

By Etse SIKANKU

There has been a lot of talk about the use of the phrase “driver’s partner” by the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. He has been the subject of widespread comments that sometimes border on ridicule, humor and attack.

While this is all well and good, it has drowned out the underlying or broader argument made by the vice president. Perhaps most importantly, it also confuses us or denies us the opportunity to appreciate the latent meanings embedded in the analogy and the values ​​it contains.

In short, the concept of a driver’s companion is familiar to all of us. He is an assistant, vice, deputy or supporter of the main person in charge.

Far from escaping responsibility, there are certain positive elements in the description used. And this could be a leadership or life value lesson that we can all learn from. As Vice President, a certain element of support, assistance, reliability, loyalty and service and, to a very credible degree, humility is expected from the office holder.

Servant leadership is something that has consumed the leadership and governance industry for some time now. There is an expectation that leadership should not simply be about power but about service to the people and authority. The vice president perceives himself as a person at the service not only of the nation but also of the president, who is his direct boss.

It is certainly worth appreciating that, as vice president, he did not see himself in competition with the president but rather from a position of service.

It takes a certain measure of humility to be able to adopt such a position of public service and servant leadership. He assured the president that he had a loyal and reliable assistant on whom he could count. Every leader would appreciate having a humble vice or assistant, devoid of ego, airs and certain tokens that may denote a sense of entitlement, equality or power play. This fosters confidence, unity and determination in the national cause.

In the long history of presidential and vice presidential studies, we all know vice presidents who have used the office as a power base, not always directly or consciously, but in ways that have distracted the presidency or raised suspicion, to put it mildly. .

At times they have created fiefdoms that have sometimes caused serious cracks or divisions in an administration. This is something that many Ghanaians would not accuse Dr. Bawumia of. Vice President Bawumia gained the trust of his boss, the President.

I’m pretty sure most of us would look for the reliability measure when looking for an assistant.

Another value very closely related to the idea of ​​a servant leader or trusted assistant is that of duty. As a couple, you are expected to be conscientious and dedicated to the task at hand.

Therefore, the concept of companion or assistant has an important degree of responsibility associated with it. What needs to be communicated more is not a sense of non-responsibility but rather of commitment and devotion to the national direction.

Once a president is elected, he becomes a national figure. The service provided by the vice president, although initially partisan, immediately becomes a nationalist duty/service.

Of course, this is not to take responsibility for any act of responsibility on the part of the vice president or the president. And of course, as a critical thinker, the Veep is always expected to offer his perspectives during speech and debate.

It is simply about contributing to the conversation and highlighting the values ​​of capability, dedication, devotion, reliability, energy, humility, duty and insight that Vice President Bawumia brings to the table.

Etse Sikanku is a political and communications analyst.