Diasporian News of Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Source: Husseini Y Baba AlWaiz

Comparative Analysis between DNC in America & NDC in Ghana

“What others say and do cannot stop you from fulfilling your destiny. Your destiny was handed down by Almighty God.” --- Joel Osteen

Coincidentally, there appears to be some striking similarities between the Democratic National Committee (DNC) of the American incumbent government and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of the Ghanaian incumbent government. While the opposition Grand Old Party (GOP) or Republicans in America and their counterpart New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Ghana have many traits in common.

The Republicans are known to be anti-immigrants and consider minorities as aliens or second class citizens, and they have pushed various bills in the congress to deport undocumented immigrants, whiles Democrats are known to be advocating for the interest of the undocumented immigrants and the minorities and are working toward legalizing their stay in America. Same thing in Ghana, where the NPP is known to always regard people from the North or Zongos as aliens or non-citizens. Their mother party, the UP introduced Aliens Compliance Order in the late sixties to early seventies, which led into deporting people who have lived in Ghana and had children for decades out of the country, and are(currently) always addressing non-Akan person with a derogatory, demeaning and debasing term as 'oteni', while the NDC is embracing everyone, and does not discriminate against people from those geographical areas.

In America, Republicans are predominantly White, elitist and rich people's party, and it is impossible for a Black, Hispanic or Asian born and bred in the US to contest and win primaries as presidential candidate. They only woo some members of these races to satisfy their whims and caprices. While the Democrats have the most diverse and broad base party, which encompasses all stratum of the American society, and it is easy for the minorities, like Blacks, Hispanics and Asians to contest for the presidency in the Democratic Party and win.

Likewise the same situation in Ghana, where the NPP is regarded as the Akan dominated Party, whose executive members are predominantly Akans and has never produce a presidential candidate besides an Akan, since the inception of the Fourth Republican Democratic dispensation in Ghana for the last two decades. They only appoint a Muslim or Northner(without which they know they can not win) to play second fiddle of vice-presidency, out of desperation to win power and will not place a Muslim or Northner or a Fanti, Ewe or Ga at the forefront of the presidency. A case in point happened to the former Vice-President Alhaji Aliyu Mahama, who after successfully serving under former President Kufour for eight years, he shove him off and endorsed an Akan, Alan Kyeremanteng. Even Nana Akufo Addo and some of their gurus were urging former President Kufour to drop Aliyu for him to get the chance to run for the vice-presidential candidate, when they were going for their second term in 2004, thinking that, they would win without him, he nearly agreed but later rejected the idea, upon second thought.

However, the NDC senior executives comprise of virtually all the major Ghanaian ethnic/tribal groups. And it is the only party that has a track record of nominating an Ewe, a Fanti and currently, a Northner as President. One noticeable similarity that is emerging between Ghana and the United States is that, at the inception of the fourth republic in 1992, Democrat was the party in power as the NDC was the incumbent in Ghana. And when the Republicans won the elections in 2000 against Democrats, the NPP also won against the NDC. And currently Democrats are in power, they just won their second term, the NDC is in power and is undoubtedly going to win. The Democrats in the US adopted a very smart and systematic “ micro-targeting” approach in their recently conculded electioneering campaign, targeting a divergent and diverse multi-racial minorities from the grass-root, which helped them made an effective use of the social media networks, such as facebook and twitter. And the NDC campaign is succeeding in the same vain, as we are making effective use of the social media and the internet to counter negative reportage of the NPP and showcase our Better Ghana Agenda, as well as market President Mahama, whose catchy and captivating pictures are going viral across these networks.

Narrowing down on a more personal level, President Obama is humble and down to earth and he easily relates to the common man and understands better the plights and problems of the poor, while Mitt Romney appears to exude elitist posture and struggles aggressively to present a 'sympathetic' face to the women and the Hispanic electorate, who are the "American King makers", by virtue of their numerical strength.

Within the Ghanaian contest, President Mahama also has same sense of humility of President Obama-a calm, cool, collected, charming, charismatic and soft-spoken gentle man-qualities which are diametrically opposed to the mannerism of Nana Akufo Addo, whose arrogance and aggressiveness is attested even by his own kith and kin in the NPP.

Undoubtedly, elegance and handsomeness are outstanding qualities that majority of the electorate, such as women and youth consider to cast their ballot. And many voted for President Obama because of his elegance and the beauty of his family, while more people in Ghana will also vote for President Mahama, by virtue of his elegance and attractiveness. Because people would naturally be fed up with always having an unattractive President leading the country. They would want to see Ghana's President like a brand, whose handsomeness would overtly or covertly attract tourists and investors into the country. President Obama is an eloquent, articulate and crowd pulling speaker, so as President Mahama. President Obama wrote his childhood memoir and working on another book, so as President Mahama. President Obama although a Christian, but came from a Muslim family, so as President Mahama. President Obama was leading in most of the polls before the recent elections, so as President Mahama, currently leading in the local polls and he is on his way to an overwhelming victory, come December 7th, 2012.

Now after the Republicans lost the elections, they are in the process of self assessment, as to what went wrong, losing sight of their contempt against the minorities, who are now ironically the majority and will never win the presidency again, unless they change their negative perception toward them. Likewise the NPP will never get another chance to lead Ghana until they shed off their "Ye Akanfo" mentality and be ready to give chance to a Fanti, a Northner or an Ewe to contest for presidency, for Ghana is not a bonified property of only ethnic group, besides there are galaxy of intellectuals and think-tanks among these ethnic groups who meet leadership criteria.

At this juncture, I will therefore humbly appeal to the power-drunk and desperate Nana Akufo Addo, who lauded the peaceful and orderly elections in America, where Mitt Romney conceeded defeat to prepare and do the same, since he himself knows he is fighting a losing battle. Nana Addo literally imported a white elephant to mount to celebrate his 'victory' during the 2008 elections, and nobody knows where the elephant ran to, probably back in the bush where it belongs, after a devastating defeat. We do not expect him to be overly optimistic this time round like Mitt Romney, who took his optimism the extra mile, when he said to the American media, “I have only one speech to make, which is victory speech”. But after he and his 'first lady' dressed up while waiting the final results of the elections to celebrate victory, he suffered a bitter defeat and indeed gave the long-awaited 'victory' speech that never was.

Husseini Y Baba AlWaiz, Press Secretary, NDC New York