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Opinions of Sunday, 30 December 2012

Columnist: Sidibe, Abdul

The Triumph Of The Truth; NPP In A Bubble

Nana Akofu-Addo’s political career is dead and over. Instead of allowing his political family to say good bye and bury the body, he is forcing them to keep and worship the body, and get contaminated in process. Nana is behaving as if the New Patriotic Party (NPP) will not run for any election in Ghana again.

If this is deliberate, then Nana Addo is the most selfish politician in Ghanaian history. He has lost an election and he is leaving a pill of dirt for any future NPP candidate to clean up.

Responsible people should come to the aid of the great NPP. Tell Nana Akuffo Addo and his cohorts that they lost election 2012. The National Democratic Congress won in eight of Ghana’s 10 regions by over 50 percent of the votes. It carried 154 of Ghana’s 275 constituencies in the Presidential election and elected 151 members of parliament. Any responsible opposition will see the writing on the wall.

Painful as it may be, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo should be told by senior members of his party that his dream of becoming president has been quashed forever. And that it is about time he and his campaign team step side and allow the great NPP to heal its wounds, select new party leadership and fight again next time.

It is against this back drop that we call on senior members of the NPP to call Nana Akufo Addo and the current party leadership to order. If their current fas about the election continue, they will make it very difficult for the NPP to win any future election. Thus create a dominant one system in Ghana. If this is allowed to happen it will be a major dent in Ghana’s democratic process and some of us are nervous about it. It should not be allowed to happen. Ghana needs a strong and viable New Patriotic Party opposition waiting to form the next government if the ruling one fails.

The New Patriotic Party needs to go back to the drawing board and rethink its political strategy and organization. The party needs to think beyond the usual tribal and ethnic reasons it had always sighted anytime it is defeated. And that there are other ways to win minds and souls beyond “all die be die”, ethnic entrepreneurship, and intimidation as demonstrated by Mr. J. A. Kufour in his 2000 campaign.

It is time people start telling Nana Addo, his family members and his campaign team to accept some responsibility for NPP’s lost. Nana Akufo Addo single-handedly cut off one of his own legs even before the 2012 race started. Soon after his nomination, he went about inciting ethnic sentiments in the country. Telling people “all die be die.” Around the same time the conflict in the Ivory Coast was brewing. It is not difficult for non violent voters to make associations between his statements and what was happening elsewhere in the sub-region.

Besides, Nana Akufo Addo’s campaign lacked basic strategic focus. We have spoken to many NPP supporters both on Facebook and over the phone. None was able to articular a single strategy on the ground on how Nana Akufo Addo intended to win the election. And they will not understand when told the decks are stack against them. Every single polling data, including those conducted by international polling organizations, pointed to an NDC victory. The poll the NPP sights when confronted with this gigantic influx of fact is Jake Obetebi Lamptey’s partisan Research International poll.

It seems the NPP had bank all its hopes for winning the 2012 election on their 2008 lost by a little over 50,000 votes. They think that if you could make up that voter lost in 2012, they would win the election. Some of them argued that they could do this by increasing their margins in their strongholds of Ashanti and Eastern regions. But they over looked certain fundamental facts. In 2008, the NDC was fought from opposition stand-point. In 2012, they are the ruling government. There are certain constituencies in Ghana that had always voted for the ruling party. NDC is more likely to win in those constituencies. No wonder the NDC increased their margin of victory by over 300,000 votes. In percentage terms the NDC had increased its margin of victory by 600 percent.

This means that all along the NPP campaign was in a bubble. They heard only to and from themselves. Like most campaigns in the bubble they lost and were shocked. But the signs of their lost was written all over. They just did not care to look, find, and remedy the situation before it get worse. And like most campaigns in the bubble, they are now blaming everyone; the Electoral Commission for officiating and declaring the result of the election, the NDC and its supporters for voting and winning, and the media for reporting that NPP lost.

In conclusion, we are writing as concern citizens who view the political parties as corporate properties of the people of Ghana. They are not meant for a single individual or a group of individuals. They are meant for posterity to join and use to flourish the democratic process. We may not have the supported the NPP. But we believe that as Ghanaians all us have a vested interest in the well-being and viability of the NPP as a Ghanaian political organization. Therefore it is in our collective interest that the NPP has quality leadership both in government and in opposition. A word to the wise is a enough.

Abdul Sidibe