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Opinions of Monday, 11 August 2014

Columnist: Appiah-Osei, Lawrence

The Dilemma Of The NPP Delegates

It is very clear that the race for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential Candidate is going to be a fight (I will not call it a close fight for now) between Alan K. Kyeremanteng and Nana Akufo-Addo. So, who becomes the Presidential candidate of the NPP for 2016? That is the dilemma of the NPP delegates.
Now when you listen to the camp of Alan Kyeremanten, their core message is that should the delegates make another mistake and choose Nana Akufo-Addo, chances are that the NPP will stay in opposition for a very long time. Their main reason is that Nana cannot win the general elections in 2016 because of his track record. They say he had 49%, 48% (run-off) and 47% in 2008 and 2012 respectively. The likelihood that Nana can move from 47% to 50+1% in 2016 is very, very impossible. The fact that Nana might be the most popular politician in the NPP, does not make him presentable for the Presidency. Now when the NPP loses in 2016, Nana cannot contest again in 2020 because of his health and age. NPP would have to prepare someone fresh for 2020, 2024 and 2028. NDC would have firmly established their control over the Ghanaian economy and the Ghanaian voter. At that point, it will be very impossible to beat the National Democratic Congress (NDC) even if Jesus Christ is made the Presidential Candidate of the NPP.
They say the NPP was in power in 2008 but Nana lost and ask, was the 2008 election stolen by the opposition NDC? The NPP accused the NDC of stealing the 2012 elections too. What will you do if you entrust your destiny and property to somebody only to be told that it had been stolen not for the first time, but for the second time in succession? The reason why Nana can’t win in 2016 is that during his campaign launch, all those following and making all those loud noise after Nana were the same crowd, same message, same running mate, same parliamentarians and same Nana. Anything at all counts in Ghanaian politics. It is in the light of this that the fourth Republican Constitution does not allow Ghanaian citizen below the age of 40 to contest presidential elections. Age is not just a number, it is a factor. It counts, so delegates should be aware. These are the views of the people in the Alan camp.
Now when you listen to Nana Akufo-Addo’s camp, what you hear is that Alan K. Kyeremanteng cannot fight corruption in his government. They say emphatically that Alan Kyeremanteng cannot beat President John Mahama in the 2016 elections and that is why the Alan camp are seriously preparing for Agenda 2020. They say Alan could not even manage a small cassava project that President Kuffour left in his care, and for that alone, they don’t see how Alan could manage about 25 million people who are always complaining.
The Nana camp say even though Alan might appeal to the floating voters, the core NPP supporters might choose to stay home on Election Day. That will make Alan’s campaign for floating voters a mere propaganda. They argue that the fact that Alan Kyeremanteng has promised all Executive members of the NPP from the constituency to the National level, a full time job and paid salary and also has promised all party Chairmen, a District Chief Executive (DCE) positions means that Alan himself doesn’t know what proper governance is all about. So voting for Alan K. will be a complete waste of time.
So far, these are the issues facing the delegates of the NPP as they prepare to choose their Presidential Candidate. That is, either they choose Nana Akufo-Addo and loose the 2016 elections and then prepare someone for the next 12 years or they choose Alan Kyeremanteng, loose the 2016 elections and prepare him for the next 8 years. The choice is very clear but the delegates have to make it that clear.
My advice to both candidates is that they should learn from what happened to some candidates at the Tamale Congress. If “Sir John” of all candidates, could lose his position and Jake, the current party Chairman at that time, could get only 6% of the valid votes, then, I will agree with ‘Sir John” who said that the NPP delegates are to be feared more than ghosts.
The bottom line is that at the end of the day, the NPP delegates will overcome their dilemma and elect a Presidential candidate. That is the only good thing the delegates would do for him. The Presidential Candidate title would exist just by the name because neither Nana Akufo-Addo nor Alan Kyeremanteng will be able to beat President John Mahama in any general elections in Ghana. When it comes to the 2016 general elections, the Ghanaian voter has no dilemma. The choice is very clear. The obvious choice is President John Dramani Mahama. He is the one taking us to the land God has promised Ghana, and no amount of distraction and noise making will stop him. He already has the blessings and favor of God Almighty to deliver a better Ghana to his people. So will it be.

Lawrence Appiah-Osei (Protocol)
Public Relations Officer (PRO)
NDC Washington Metro Branch