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Opinions of Sunday, 5 October 2014

Columnist: Superior, Musa

NPP Must start a conversation to victory in 2016.

Musah Superior

Special Assistant to the Gen Sec.

The NDC is crafty; they know how to make us look bad; they have "ideas" to distract us; they are good at covering up and their agenda is to systematically destroy our country.The evidence is out there: they are looters and will do anything to block the NPP from defeating them and get the country back to work. Whilst the ordinary Ghanaian is defenseless, voiceless snd incapable of challenging the failures of the Mahama government and seeking for the return of the NPP to take over and deliver on the very social intervention programmes introduced by the NPP on the watch of President Kufuor and now being wrecked by this government, it appears we are unprepared to listen to the masses.

Last week, a taxi driver narrated how disappointed he was in our Party when he discovered that I was a member of the NPP. He felt our Party is not playing the politics well. "You dont go to the markets and other public places to let the people know the true state of the economy", he exclaimed! He lamented also that; "it appears there are no elders in the Party. Anybody says anything on radio". Detailing his anger, he stated "may be you guys are not ready for power". I tried to provide some answers to this visibly frustrated gentleman's concerns but he was unconvinced and repeatedly blamed our Party for allowing some of our members to publicly make statements to denigrate and ridicule "yourselves". He believed that; "if you put yourselves together and stop this puerile and nonsensical talk, the power is there for the taking and Ghana will return to proper adminstration". A fairly educated taxi driver taking us on..

I reckon the frustrations of the taxi driver and I believe majority of Ghanaians who expect a stronger and more focused NPP as we go into the national contest to elect a President and Members of the Legislative Assembly are equally frustrated about the needless "confusion" in the Party.

The signs are clear. President Mahama is clueless and perpetually confused; his government is unable to deliver; his administration is frought with corruption and the masses are the victims of an incompetently managed economy. We have a responsibility here to protect our country and the people.

So what do we do as a Party?

I want to start a conversation for the wayforward and the following is my take for now:

1. Let's all concentrate on the larger picture. Our internal politics must be an exercise to prepare us for the 2016 elections. Our single most important objective as we set out to elect our Presidential candidate is to win the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections. We must work harmoniously to build an effecient Party to challenge and defeat the NDC.

2. We must genuinely unite after October 18. The winner must be magnanimous enough to genuinely reach out to the unsuccessful ones and assign them frontline roles in the campaign. The unsuccessful aspirants must demonstrate that they were in the contest for the good of the Party and genuinely and fully support the elected candidate unconditionally. They must all resist vehemently the forces of evil in their "camps". We are better placed together and will beat the NDC anytime if we are genuinely united. All form of intra Party banter must cease so that we can use our energies to exert pressure on the NDC.

3. To win an election means you must prepare and package your Party well enough to convince those who will normally not vote for you to accept or be attracted by you. We must clearly identify ourselves and explain what our identities mean to our country and remind the people of the NPP legacy. A standing legacy of true and proper governance; detailing the specific social intervention programmes we achieved for our coubtry.Today Ghanaians of all classes receive healthcare throughout the country without the headache of financial inadequacy, etc.

4. All "leading" members of the Party based in Accra and elsewhere must be assigned to their native Regions to help with the campaign. The Presidential campaign should be more strategic, leaner and targeted.The Presidential candidate should not be "overwhelmed" by Accra based politicians. Let's run a SMART campaign. Let's ensure our campaigns are locally friendly.

5. In the constituencies, the Parliamentary candidates and Constituency Executives should "own" the Presidential candidate as soon as he arrives in the constituencies. All the members of the accompanying team must be at the back seat and allow our local patriots to feel part of the Presidential candidate. This increases the confidence of the local Party officers and motivates them to work harder after the candidate had left.They are also respected because of the rapport evidenced between them and the lead officer of the Party. In past campaigns, most constituency officers were relegated to the background only for "leading" members from Accra to take centre stage without an iota of understanding or familiarity of the local area. Why should for example, the National Organiser be MC for a Regional rally? I think a regional officer should; not a national officer. Why shouldn't Constituency Officers and PCs be seated shoulder by shoulder in the front row with the Presidential candidate? Why shouldn't the PC be in the same vehicle with the Presidential candidate in a constituency tour? These and many more should be addressed in the next campaign.

6. Our communicators should concentrate on the terrible record of the NDC and their weaknesses. We must also communicate to the sensibilities of Ghanaians and on specific matters pertaining to their livelihoods, be more persuasive and non-confrontational . Persons who speak for the Party must be responsible in their communication, control their voice tone and ensure that the listerner/viewer connects with them. A lot more non-Akans are required in the frontline, especially on TV and radio.Trust me, our human resource base in the countryside is solid. Let's identify these talents in the constituencies and "import" them to Accra to do the talking on national platforms. I was fascinated by the deep knowledge and in depth understanding of the major policy issues by some of our constituency officers during the last intra Party national electioneering campaign when I was the field campaign coordinator for Kwabena Agyepong.

7. We must not shy away from the our "haters". Giving up on them is dangerous and definately an unstrategic. We must be comprehensively available in our non- strongholds and lead the "fight"; the warfare. Let the people see us ready and willing to talk to them. Let's get out there and crush the NDC's propaganda. Let's not be intimidated by their numbers in their comfort zones.The people no longer believe them. They don't trust them. They feel let down, misled and mistreated.The people are at "war" with the NDC. We must initiate honest talks with these persons and be consistent with our relationship with. What they need now is hope and ecomonic security. We must speak to these issues.

I admit that we might be unable to beat the NDC in these areas; but I trust that we will increase our votes with increased presence and advocacy. That is how you get the people to vote for you. That is how you make your 'enemy' your partner. That is you win elections.

Power is the reason we are in this struggle. Let's go for it.

What is your take?

Let's start the conversation now.

I shall be back.

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