Politics of Thursday, 12 June 2014
Source: Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang
GAKE is the short form of Get Alan Kyerematen Elected. It is a pressure group of NPP delegates working hard to get as many delegates as possible to vote for Hon. John Alan Kyerematen (JAK the second) as the next NPP flag-bearer for Election 2016. Its motto is: GAKE, one more change for power. The group is led by Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, and has regional, constituency, and polling station coordinators. GAKE also has overseas branches in Europe and America. It had its maiden meeting at Rexmar Hotel in Kumasi on Sunday, May 11, 2014. The meeting recorded 250 attendants even though the publication of the maiden meeting was done through the Internet - ghanaweb. Since then, the membership has increased tremendously as it currently stands at 4, 672 in Ashanti Region alone, with over 20,000 members in all the remaining 274 Constituencies in Ghana.
GAKE's political message is simple and concise. GAKE, like majority of Ghanaians expresses grave concern about the persistent electoral defeats of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in recent times. It is mind-boggling to the group that former president Kufuor left the NPP and Nana Addo six (6) winnable regions, 52% of the total valid votes, and an impressive socio-economic record - NHIS & free maternal care to cater for the health needs of all expectant mothers; national youth employment programme (NYEP) to attract votes from the youth; the livelihood empowerment against poverty (LEAP) to cover the aged and vulnerable; the mass spraying exercise to woo cocoa farmers, among others. Thus, with a Campaign Message of Free SHS being championed by the most popular, tried, tested, experienced, and marketed presidential candidate in the person of Nana Akufo-Addo, GAKE expected nothing, but absolute victory in 2008 and 2012.
Unfortunately, Nana Addo's votes have been dropping consistently from Kufuor's 52.45% to 49.13%, and 47.74 in 2008 and 2012 respectively. In addition, the NPP's winnable regions have dropped from six (6) to two (2) or one and a half, as some prefer to say, in Election 2012. In view of the above, GAKE sees the imminent threat Nana Addo's candidature poses to the NPP as far as victory in Election 2016 is concerned. The NDC's Candidate, John Mahama used only just three months to beat Nana Addo, with a vote difference of 323,663. It is expected that Mahama would be four (4) years on the presidential throne, come 2016. If by mistake, Nana Addo is chosen to lead the NPP again, he would still compete against an incumbent president, John Mahama. In all honesty, how does anyone expect Nana Addo to dislodge Mahama on the presidential seat in 2016, when Nana Addo's supporters keep relying on sympathy votes, and Mills's third term bid as a respite?
In fact, the arguments that the 2012 Elections were 'rigged'; Mills won on his third attempt so Nana must go for the third time; Mahama has under-performed so Ghanaians want a change; there is a change of government every eight (8) years; and Nana Addo would get sympathy votes are all flawed, and should never be used by any delegate as the basis to give Nana Addo a third chance. GAKE notes that going into crucial elections with such arguments is very risky. At least, the Supreme Court (SC) proved to the NPP that elections are won at the polling stations and not at the Supreme Court. Also, one cannot compare Nana Addo to Mills because the two personalities and their parties are different. Whilst Mills, a sitting vice president and professor changed his running mates three times, Nana Addo has maintained Dr. Bawumia over the years. GAKE also finds it difficult to locate the source of the sympathy votes people always talk about. Where would such sympathy votes come from? Would they come from the NDC members or floating voters? Besides, the argument of 8-year rotation is weak, because only one candidate served the two terms at different points, unlike the last 8 years that have been served by both Mills and Mahama. Finally, GAKE wants to put on record that the Ghanaian voter's vote is not based on a political party's economic record in government. For, if that were the case, either the NPP would have retained power in 2008, or the Ghanaian voter would have rejected the NDC in 2012 due to its abysmal performance in government.
GAKE therefore implores all the NPP delegates to give serious consideration to the preferred political commodity for both the NPP and Ghanaians, and not only NPP core members. Admittedly, majority of NPP members see Nana Addo as the obvious choice to lead the country at the moment, but do Ghanaians in general want Nana Addo as their president? The answer is a big NO, and this can be supported by Nana Addo's three (3) electoral defeats (run-off included) in succession. The continuous rejection of Nana Addo at the polls should convince the NPP delegates to change him as they did to Jake and Sir John in Tamale recently.
GAKE believes that in the face of the current economic difficulties, Ghana needs not just a lawyer, but more importantly, a practical economist, and entrepreneur to save our beloved country from her economic woes. The country needs someone who has a proven track record in job creation, human resource, and business development. She needs an experienced leader who has extremely rich knowledge in economic management. Alan Kyerematen is undoubtedly the right person for the job. As a party, it is imperative we look beyond the selection of a mere flag-bearer, because flag-bearers neither solve economic problems nor create jobs, but presidents do. The NPP delegates should therefore consider a broader picture by putting the interest of Ghana at heart, when choosing the next NPP flag-bearer in December.
Ghanaians do not need a 'popular', 'marketed', 'young', 'aged' or 'handsome' person to manage the economy. They need a problem solver, economic redeemer, business developer, trade expert, skilful diplomat, and charismatic leader, who has the prowess and vision to save our dear nation from total collapse. For those who might not know, John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen is credited with "Friday/African Wear", President's Special Initiatives on Cassava, Oil Palm, Salt, Garment, and Distance Education. The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), which allows Ghanaian exporters to enter the US market with their exports, and MASLOC loans to Ghanaian traders are all Alan's initiatives. Alan is on record to have used his US Ambassadorial position to negotiate for the release of $547m as part of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) by the George Walker Bush's administration to reduce poverty in Ghana. He also played a key role in COSMOS Energy's discovery of oil in Ghana during the NPP regime.
With the above and many more, GAKE respectfully appeals to all NPP delegates to vote for a candidate whose positive attributes could beat those of John Mahama in 2016. As known to all, the NPP delegates gave Prof. Adu Boahen only one chance in 1992; they gave Kufuor only two chances in 1996 and 1998, and we were in power for eight years. Nana Akufo-Addo has had more than two chances (run-off included) in 2008 and 2012, but where are we? The NPP has painfully been in opposition for eight years. What prevents us as delegates to offer a new opportunity to Alan, the 'humble servant', to lead us into victory in 2016? Think Alan! Think Power!! and join GAKE now!
GAKE, one more change for power!
Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang
(National Coordinator - 0202471070/0547851100 - email@example.com)
Michael Asante - Ashanti Regional Coordinator