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Opinions of Saturday, 6 October 2012

Columnist: Jackson, Margaret

NDC: Get Out And Go Campaign

……..Don’t Wait For President Mahama

By Margaret Jackson

To the NDC National, Regional, District, Branch and Constituency Executives who are waiting for President John Dramani Mahama to give them the signal or come to their backyard before they launch or embark on serious political campaigning, I say shame on you. And to others who have folded their arms and waiting for the NDC 2012 Campaign Team to give them the go ahead before they wake up from their slumber and hit the grounds running, I say shame on you too.

The 2012 election is barely 12 weeks away, and time is definitely not on the side of the NDC. Time like tide, waits for no one. I am therefore, mad that to date we have not seen any credible or comprehensive campaign program from the NDC National, Regional, District, Branch and the Constituencies. It seems everybody is waiting for President Mahama to come and campaign for them or at best to hear that President Mahama is coming to their area before they would arrange for a campaign event.

I was expecting the Members of Parliament (MPs) and aspiring MPs to be campaigning relentlessly with the National, Regional and District and Branch Executives on the ropes with them, whilst using the Radio and TV Stations for series of advertisements, but the NDC seems not to get it. They seem to have adopted the “Wait for John Mahama Approach” whilst precious time seems to be passing like a rushing stream.

We were all here when President Mahama traveled to the United States to attend the UN General Assembly. The President was away for about 10 days, but nothing seriously happened on the NDC front until President Mahama returned back to the country. It was like everybody was patiently waiting for President Mahama to return before anything else could be done.

The NPP on the other hand are leaving no stone unturned. With their backs to the wall, the NPP folks are covering every blade of grass wherever they find any. They continue to beat the NDC on the campaign trail not only with their posters, billboards, newspapers, radio and television advertisements, but even with their door-to-door campaigns.

The NPP frowned and laughed it off when the NDC adopted the door-to-door campaign, thanks largely to the late President John Atta Mills, but when they saw the benefits that flowed to the NDC especially during the 2008 election, they have adopted same and even taken it to a higher gear. We see the NPP folks busily doing door-to-door campaigns twice and sometimes three times a day. Their billboards and posters are scattered all over the country giving them much more visibility to voters than their NDC counterparts.

Who would have thought that Akufo-Addo who does not even know his closest neighbours will embark on tours and go to mechanic shops, lorry stations, markets and some neighbourhoods which he would never have gone if he had won the 2008 election. But you visibly see him in those places today trying to sell them something that they do not want to buy: lies.

The best legacy that the NDC can pay to the glowing tribute of the late President Mills is to win this year’s election. The NDC, I know and believe can win this election, but it seems the party members have not yet tuned in to the campaign mode. It is time for the executives of the party to kick-start the 2012 campaigns from all fronts. The NDC does not have the luxury to wait, and the executives should not wait for President Mahama to come to their backyards before hitting the grounds running.

The NDC as the incumbent government has a lot more to do to maintain power than the NPP folks who are desperately scratching everywhere to wrestle power. The NDC government has done a lot in terms of bringing economic hope to many parts of the country, yet the party still has difficulty in selling its own story to voters. It’s about time for everybody who cares about the NDC to move out of their comfort zone to sell the achievements of the party to voters.

The NDC should not wait for President Mahama. The leg work must be done by the Constituency, Branch, District, Regional and National Executives. They must pour out in their numbers and go sell the party. They have remained in their comfort zone for too long and time has really caught up with the party.

Rallies must be organized every week with door-to-door campaigns spicing the campaigns. If in the course of the rallies, President Mahama zooms into a region or an area where a rally is being held, it becomes a big bonus for that region and the NDC.

With barely 12 weeks to go, President Mahama cannot be everywhere. I mean he cannot be at every rally let alone every constituency. That is why is behooves on the National and Regional Executives aided by the Districts to draw up a comprehensive campaign program that will sell the NDC to voters from now till election day. We have waited for far too long, and cannot afford to spend another week with our arms folded and still waiting.