Feature Article of Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Well, it is that time of the year again, and Ghana’s politics, unfortunately, is simply not a battle of ideas. Ghana’s political campaign lacks the basic values of the typical Western democratic theme. It is about personalities, not policies. In addition, there is the tribal element. Indeed, it is about who can be seen and heard as a method for pursuing political power. When in opposition, you lose the advantages of incumbency: you lose power; you lose security, and the frequency to make self-congratulatory speeches and woolliest promises on stage-managed platforms. The NPP is indeed struggling to be heard!
There is leadership vacuum in Ghana. Ghanaians are desperate for bold and patriotic leadership. Ghana’s major political parties, the NPP [Cosa Nostra] and NDC [The Russian Mob] motivated by greed, criminality and political resentment are holding back Ghana’s development and progress. Ghana is in search of new leadership. In this NDC Government, we have breathtaking ineptitude, mismanagement and corruption. Well, is the NPP, under Nana Akufo-Addo a credible alternative? This is argument for another day. NPP’s leadership and supporters should not delude themselves in underestimating NDC’s campaign machinery. The problem is, NPP has failed to take advantage of NDC’s vulnerabilities and failings. NPP’s calculation that the NDC Government will self-destruct: by its internal squabbles with ex-Pres Rawlings, and be distracted by Konadu’s link with NDP, will help NPP take the mantle of power is a high-risk gamble. Either NPP is gripped by complacency far more entrenched in its leadership or there are serious questions about the management of the party’s campaign strategies.
NPP’s self-indulgent obsession with Opinion Polls, predicting the party’s electoral victory could lead to voter’s apathy of its supporters. One, pollster predictions are based on certain assumptions that may be unreliable and inconclusive. This has the dilemma of voter’s apathy. NPP’s leadership and strategists should not take comfort in any pollster’s predictions. The party’s campaign strategists should rather embark on public education for massive voter turnout of its supporters.
In all probability, NDC under the disillusioned leadership of ex-Pres Mills [deceased], the NPP could have capitalised on his personality and health to cruise to electoral victory. By contrast, President John Mahama is a different kind of political machine, something NPP’s leadership cannot pretend otherwise. NPP’s campaign strategists should realise that ‘when the music changes, so should the dance’. The NPP campaign strategists should assemble aggressive grassroots organising operation to embark on door knocking, canvassing and leaflet delivering to give rural voters a clear idea of what Nana Akufo-Addo’s vision is about. Today, many ordinary Ghanaians are armed with the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, iPhones and iPads. These social media network could be used effectively to run effective election campaigns. NPP’s leadership should make connection with voters beyond its strongholds on how best an NPP Government will address the challenges this country faces, and its vision for Ghana. Nana’s Free Education Policy is commendable. However, without clarity and candour on its funding and implementation, it could be construed as seductive campaign rhetoric. NPP’s campaign strategists must do more to explain the party’s policies, particularly for undecided/independent voters and to command wide public support.
At 68, Nana Akufo-Addo is in the autumn of his political life. After 2012 General Election, Nana will be either President or a defeated ex-leader of NPP. There is no doubt; he is under extraordinary pressure fighting to win the election. Whatever the outcome of 2012, I personally believe 2016 could be a political game-changer for NPP with the likes of John Alan Kyerematen, Dr Bawumia, Nana Akomea or even my fellow Opoku Ware Old Boy, Okatakyie Justice Sarpong as would-be leaders in waiting. The NDC Government has presented NPP with ammunitions to fire at it. The NPP strategists have failed to attack the NDC party on the criminal profligacy and reckless waste, incompetence and the staggering corruption so conspicuous under this NDC Government. Woyome’s gargantuan corruption scandal and the failed STX project readily come to mind. Who cares if it is opportunistic campaign strategy?
Fellow Ghanaians, Ghana faces big challenges in the futures. Which party will be able to meet those challenges? This country needs bold and patriotic leadership. Will Pres John Mahama or Nana Akufo-Addo be the one that gives it? Ghana has vast potential and promise. Which Government will be the one to develop it? Ghana is in search of leadership. Will Ghana’s political process provide us with a credible, responsible and progressive Government to develop this nation? For now, I can only look forward to the day, when NDC and NPP politicians will come together and work for our national interest.