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Opinions of Monday, 23 November 2015

Columnist: Baafi, Alex Bossman

NPP: Beyond Afoko’s Suspension

By Alex Bossman Baafi

It is rather unfortunate that the glory, grace, respect and honour that NPP delegates bestowed on Mr. Paul Afoko as chairman of the most respected and biggest opposition party of our country could not be wielded by Afoko himself let alone using the position to champion the regime change many people are yearning for.

Every misfortune they say is a blessing. The suspension of the chairman must enhance the fortunes of the party rather that the opposite of the case. The house cleaning exercise is needed to instill discipline which is a hallmark to success in every field of endeavour. The party’s forward march for victory in 2016 general elections cannot be sacrificed on the altar of, arrogance, disrespect and indiscipline attitude in the party.

Above notwithstanding, I have these few words of advice for the leadership of the party:

Unity
There is power in unity. Let the leadership of the party must put the past behind and March forward. This is obviously the time to unite the party and bring everybody on board so as to push towards the same direction. Individuals and groups interests must be sacrificed in the interest of the common objective of the party, which is, winning power in 2016. Nothing more nothing less. Unity must be the key in planning and organizing the party’s campaign messages. Unity must be maintained and sustained at all times throughout the preparations, strategies, and executions until power is won in 2016. Indeed that is the ultimate task of the leadership. They cannot afford to fail the party and for that matter the Ghanaian people.

Reforms
Because of the experience of Justice Atuguba-led Supreme court verdict, the leadership of the party must make it the cardinal duty to spearhead the needed electoral reforms in conjunction with the electoral commission and other political parties. You must take the electoral process very seriously and consume much time to secure the necessary changes especially with regards to the electoral register to enhance the credibility of our electoral system. Never again should the party and its teaming supporters be surprised by election results. Internally, the leadership must be extra careful when selecting their polling agents and precious time must be invested in their education, training, motivation and execution of their duties at polling stations to attain the needed victory in 2016.
Rebranding
The leadership could consider rebranding the party. The rebranding strategy must include projecting the party as the one for the ordinary people. The party has the track record to buttress that point as compare to the socio-economic hardships that has been brought upon the mass majority of the people by the ruling NDC government. Pro-poor programs such as NHIS, Metro Mass Transport, the LEAP Programme, National Youth Employment Programme and others carefully introduce by previous NPP Administration are good testimonies. The leadership should also brainstorm to craft good campaign message for the 2016 campaign. Here a careful look at what is unfolding such as massive corruption; erratic power supply (dumsor-dumsor), filth, Cedi depreciation, mass youth unemployment in addition to the mismanagement in the key sectors of the economy could serve as a useful guide. Articulate your campaign messages based on issues, facts and truth devoid of insults and propaganda.

Targets
In setting targets, the team must make it a responsibility to recapture all previous lost seats of the party and target specific seats of the ruling party. Carefully evaluate the party’s strength in the enemy territories and strategize to capture certain seats in certain constituencies of the opponent. It is not overboard to achieve such targets.

Fiscal leakages
Also work hard in collaboration with minority in parliament and do what it takes to block fiscal leakages on the part of the government to resort to budget deficit to fund its political campaigns for the 2016 elections. The Nation stood aloof whilst the government recklessly dissipated national resources to buy its way to power during the 2012 elections. Our people have now become the victims suffering from the implications of such wanton and irresponsible policy decision of the ruling government.

Complacency
Keep complacency at bay at every step you take in the face of the severely suffering of the mass majority of our people. We now have high utility tariffs, high taxes, high cost of credit, and high cost of doing business in addition to high cost of living. There is declining fortunes of our national currency, the Cedi with high unemployment especially, youth unemployment in our country. These together with huge public debt have led to huge social cost that had made the ruling government unpopular. The government has been overwhelmed by the mandate of our people and has disappointed them big time by that does not call for complacency.

Conclusion
Do not forget that your party has impeccable economic management record. That notwithstanding, kindly remain focus by keeping your eyes on the ball at all times. Bear in mind that your opponent has incumbency advantages on his side but please know that power is given and not taken. By their performance, they will give up power though unwillingly but work hard to position the party ready to take power. Many believe it is time for change and hope the next NPP government will not disappoint the good people of our dear country after 2016 elections. Best wishes.