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Opinions of Thursday, 27 October 2016

Columnist: Abdul Rashid

NPP must focus; Ibrahim Mahama is not our target

NPP seem to be repeating the very mistakes that caused us the last election in 2012; attacking the institutions and individuals who have no role on the ballot come the elections.

I read with amusement, several posts on social media by aides and operatives of our flag bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, attacking the personality of Mr. Ibrahim Mahama, the closest brother of the President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama over some trivial issue such as military men providing security for him and thousands of individuals who marched with him last Saturday in New Town, Accra.

I thought the NPP had learnt lessons from attacking Ibrahim Mahama over issues that do not only add votes but repel people from voting for our dear party. We all attacked his person, thinking it could make John Mahama unpopular but the reality on the ground proved otherwise. After all, John Mahama is our target going into this election.

As an Abudu, from Dagbon, having lived in Nima and Mamobi, I was shocked to the marrow, when I realized the popularity rating of the business mogul. I had visited some few friends, wanting to sell the Nana Addo message, and veered off to talk about Ibrahim Mahama and his acquisition of a private jet. The all-of-a-sudden furious young men, stopped me, and insisted that I desist from talking about Ibrahim Mahama, if I really want to make headway. It is same when you travel to Tamale and other areas with youthful population. Let's not miss our target. We must keep flogging our "enemy".

Come to think of it, we all hailed Ken Ofori Atta, when he campaigned for Nana Addo recently on the streets of Accra so why not Ibrahim? Gabby Otchere Darko campaigns and controls the NPP but we see nothing wrong with it. Providing security for the first family isn't something new. Relatives of Obama in Kenya are protected by the secret Service. Ibrahim Mahama happens to be the closest to the President and as I'm told, they share things together so why can't he be protected.

Let us not provoke a lion, whose roar might affect the fortunes of the NPP. Ibrahim Mahama should not be unnecessarily provoked into getting involved in the elections. He will pull the crowds. Appeal to the youth which will eventually affect our chances of winning the elections. He's made his money without any government influence despite his privileged position. Let's focus on winning the elections, by exposing what we deem wrong within government rather than attacking personalities.