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Opinions of Saturday, 19 December 2020

Columnist: Kwadwo Tufuor

The NPP's political tsunami in Ghana's election 2020

NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo NPP flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

Many reasons have been given for the political tsunami which nearly snatched power from the hands of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in Ghana into the waiting hands of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The NPP needs to go back to the drawing board to review every grievance thrown out there by well-meaning dyed-in-the-wool NPP members and NPP sympathizers.
Among them are the following:

1. Galamsey

a. The NPP government waited too long in helping to create/find alternative jobs for those who lost their livelihoods as a result of the outright ban on galamsey.

b. While the ban was in place, some unscrupulous government appointees and their agents were still clandestinely mining in the affected areas.

There were unresolved issues with the confiscation of Excavator Machines.

Upper Denkyira West and Prestea-Huni Valley Constituencies which were snatched by the NDC quickly come to mind.

The question is: why did the NPP win the Upper Denkyira East Constituency seat but lost the Upper Denkyira West and Prestea-Huni Valley Constituencies when all three were heavily affected economically by the ban on galamsey?

2. The near collapse of the buying and selling business in Ghana.

There were complaints all over the country concerning the slow nature of the "buying and selling industry" which is the mainstay of a sizeable percentage of the Ghanaian economy.

Were the complaints ignored?

3. Banks and other Financial Institutions that were closed down.

The affected depositors blamed the NPP government for the los of their cash/delayed payments that were due them.

Whether they were right or not didn't make any difference to them. All they wanted was their money from financial institutions which had been collapsed by the government.

They held the government accountable for their undiscerning investments.

4. The arrogant posture of government Ministers and other appointees left a sour taste in the mouths of the Ghanaian electorate.

5. The inability/failure of the Government/NPP Communicators to effectively

highlight the Court Cases of the NDC's corruption scandals and the imprisonment of those who had been found guilty as charged (eg. Eugene Baffoe-Bonnie and Co. in the National Media Commission case).

6. Corruption scandals of NPP appointees that were not satisfactorily (in the opinion of the electorate) investigated and punishments meted out to the guilty ones.

The public's perception of corruption and how it must be dealt with is at variance with the government's position on the rule of law.

Government and Party Communicators need to up the ante in this area.

7. Unhealthy power play amongst Constituency Chairmen, District Chief Executives, and the Parliamentary Aspirants.

a. (See Ghanaweb Politics of Friday, 18 December 2020 "My DCE is evil, she caused all the violence in my Constituency, MP cries.)

b. (Kpone-Katamanso NPP maidens descend on ‘ignorant and unpatriotic’ MCE.

Source: Ghanaweb Regional News of Friday, 18 December, 2020.)

8. Unpaid Salaries of newly employed nurses.

(See Graphiconline. Nurses threaten Strike over Unpaid Salaries

Date: November 19, 2020 By: Haruna Yusif Wunpini

Source:Graphiconline).

9. Alleged half-hearted payments of nurses training allowances.

10. Students on vacation were faced with transportation problems in their desire to go to their Constituencies where they could vote.

Several of such reports were noticed on Social Media.

11. Contractors who had not been paid after completing government

projects. (See Citinewsroom.com. Ghana First Contractors Demand Payment.

November 10, 2020).

There were several of such complaints all over the country.

"A hungry man is an angry man", so goes the saying. The Contractor and his family; the Contractor's employees and their families were all hungry and angry.

Were their complaints swept under the carpet?

12. Job creation through the establishment of Viable Factories versus the Ghanaian's desire to own his/her business.

The government's job creation strategies and poverty alleviation measures were all commendable. And they would yield the expected results in future.

But what were the expectations of the people?

13. The voters understanding of "Infrastructural Development".

How do they see "Infrastructural Development"?

"It is the government's responsibility, so what's the big deal about this topic?"

"I can't eat infrastructure."

"How does an interchange in Accra benefit me when I live in a village in the hinterland?"

It sounds funny if you dwell in the city. But to a village dweller, that's a major concern.

Did the Government and Party communicators break it down for the village dwellers to understand the nationwide infrastructural

development that was all over the Regions?

14. The arrogant manner of clandestinely imposing "chosen and anointed"

Parliamentary Candidates for some Constituencies.

(Ama Sey of Akwatia and Lawyer Amoakoh of Adansi Fomena Constituencies respectively quickly come to mind.)

15. Campaign resources.

There were widespread reports of inadequate campaign resources/resources kept for private use.

(See Ghanaweb. Greedy NPP Parliamentary candidates diverted campaign cash – Wontumi’s Aide blows their cover).

Source: Ghanaweb Politics of Thursday, 10 December 2020.

What must be done to forestall such future occurrences?

16. Voter apathy as a result of all of the above.

A sizable portion of NPP members and sympathizers voted "Skirt and Blouse" as a result of all the reasons above.

What solutions would I proffer to avert a future political tsunami that could send the NPP into opposition?

a. Committees (not the khebab and tea type) must be set up at National, Regional, and Constituency levels to deliberate on all the listed problems and any additional ones (not more than 20).

b. Constituency Committees must submit their reports to the Regional Committees which would collate their findings and submit to the National Committees for a final report.

c. Should Party Executive Members be part of the Committees that would be working on this Project?

I wouldn't subscribe to that idea. Culpable Party Executive Members might sabotage the work if they realize that they have been exposed.

There must be a time frame for this task.

Kwadwo Adom Tufuor is a Communication and Higher Education Administration Consultant.

He is also the author of "Campaign and Win, One Touch".