The Best and Worst Vice Presidents in Ghana’s History

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In Ghana very few surveys have been carried out to judge the ratings of past and present Vice Presidents. In the USA and other civilised democracies, surveys are carried out at regular intervals and the Vice Presidents are ranked according to the results of the Poll.

The latest ranking by #Corruption WatchGH is based on surveys of academic historians, political scientists and popular opinions. Some of the parameters for the survey are achievements, leadership qualities, failures and faults.

In the Ghanaian context, there have been seven Vice Presidents. Alhaji Aliu Mahama who was the Vice President from 7 January 2001 to 7 January 2009 was the longest serving Vice President without any interruption. The rest of the Vice Presidents served one term or were removed from office before their first term ended.

Vice Presidential candidates are viewed as motivators. They flatter the candidate’s strength and lend extra panache. In fact, some Vice Presidents have gone down in Ghana’s political history as more skillful than the bosses they served under. Prof. Mills led cabinet meetings on behalf of President Rawlings, he also boosted legislative savvy that his boss could not match.

Then there is John Mahama, whose unprecedented control over the economic management team between 2009 and 2012 gave his political opponents the jitters.

But where do the rest of the the Vice Presidents rank in the Canon? Here, we present the best and worst Vice Presidents in Ghana’s history.

De Graft Johnson was was Ghana’s Vice President from 1979 to 1981. His government the PNP was overthrown by coup d’tate on 31st Dec 1981. He left for exile in London after the coup. He was a moral enforcer who kept the neo-leftist troops in line. He got excellent ratings, as high as +81, in two of his first seven surveys. In spite of the challenges his team faced as a result of the highly unfavourable global economic situation he is rated amongst the best Vice Presidents.

Kow Nkensen Arkaah was hailed as a strategic balancer, who added made things difficult for the UP elements but the relationship between the two turned sour. The President all but abandoned Arkaah. He performed above average as Vice President. His ratings were moderate at most +19.

Prof Mills, he carved out new possibilities for his office, becoming a trusted counsellor to the President.

The Rawlings/Mills combination is described by political pundits as one of the best alliances ever. Rawlings granted him the space, resources and support he needed to operate as Head of the economic team and as his deputy. He was a forceful advocate of civil right and economic research. His demeanor attracted many floating voters to the NDC. He introduced many economic reforms and totally removed all the command elements. He Started at a very Good +58 and reached excellent as high as +76.

Alhaji Aliu Mahama is ranked among the best VPs. His crusade against indiscipline projected his image.

John Mahama, broke the running mate mould by mirroring and balancing his boss. 91.42 percent of Ghanaians were satisfied with his performance as Vice President, and head of the economic management team. This gives a net satisfaction rating of +88, considered excellent. The rating was based on his achievements as Head of the economic team, leadership qualities, failures and faults. His team improved Ghana’s macroeconomic situation and placed all the economic indices on a sound footing. Inflation dropped to single digit for many mouths. The country also recorded other major economic success during the period.

Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, started at a Very Good +56, and reached excellent +72. His contribution to his government’s economic revolution cannot be underestimated.

Dr Bawumia, as of August, 2018, 89percent of adult Ghanaians were not satisfied with his performance. This gives net satisfaction rating of -36, considered very bad. His initial rating was good +44 between January 2017 and October 2017, but severely collapsed to -6 in June 2018, due to his government’s failure to fulfil its promises, the economic hardship, the cadis terrible situation. His poor -10 in August 2018 is the worst finish of all VPs.


1.Joseph W.S. de Graft-Johnson – 72%

2.Kow Nkensen Arkaah- 56%

3.Prof Evans Atta-Mills – 93%

4.Alhaji Aliu Mahama – 71.2%

5.John Dramani Mahama- 91.42%

6.Mr Amissah-Arthur – 88.33%

7.Dr Bawumia – 22.1%

Ghana News Online

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