At a recently convened meeting of the Functional Executives of the ruling NDC on 1st September 2011, an election motto was adopted titled ‘Win at All Cost – Do or Die!’
Good people of our beloved country Ghana, behold the undisguised declaration of intent by the NDC and be the judges as to what this portends! Whilst considering your verdict, please consider these salient points:
Mottos are meant to garner support, galvanize the base, show the direction and focus of a party, as well as make a statement of intent! Some mottos are meant only to appeal to the raw sensibilities of a party’s base, and otherwise have no progressive purpose; to wit, this motto adopted by the ruling NDC for the 2012 elections. You can debate this motto till the break of dawn, nevertheless, one thing stands out, that is, this is a no holds barred declaration of a desperate party/government hopelessly out of its depth in governance and determined nonetheless to cling on to power …at all cost.
Please note this glaring difference! When the NPP was going for the 2008 elections as the party in government, there was an understandable confidence within the party based on its performance in government. The NPP was able to hold up the record of president Kufuor’s government where innumerable developmental and social interventions accrued, as a trump card to winning a deserved third term. There was no need for negative campaigning. There was no need for desperation, because the NPP could boldly render an account of its tenure in office.
A well performing government confident of her achievements would never adopt such a motto. In fact, this motto amounts to a criminal charge of incitement to social disorder! What the NDC is telling its base is that ‘deservedly or not, the party should retain power and be willing to cause mayhem and even civil war into the bargain!
Before any less discerning individual rushes to counter this by citing the NPP flag-bearer’s statement that ‘All Die Be Die’, let me show their relative differences by juxtaposing and contextualising them.
1. ‘Win At All Costs – Do or Die’: the literal interpretation of this motto has already been given above, but in summation (i) It is a desperate call by a party whose self assessment and sponsored opinion polls tells them that their re-election chances are zilch! (ii) It is an irresponsible call by a party in government, who instead of fulfilling its responsibility of maintaining law and order, is rather marshalling its foot-soldiers to commit acts of wanton violence and possibly plunge the country into a civil war (iii) It is a call by a party/government with no record of achievement to present to the electorate (v) It is a bold statement that this government would use any means, fair or foul, to retain power, including cheating at the electoral stage. Is it therefore any wonder that there is justifiable angst that persons holding key and influential positions at the Electoral Commission are seen as NDC sympathizers? –Amadu Sulley, Head of Research at the Electoral Commission and others.
(a) The attendance of the EC’s Head of Research, Amadu Sulley, at the NDC party functional executives meeting in September 2011, where he briefed the executives on how to cheat the biometric registration system and literally conceded that biometric registration without verification was useless, is note worthy.
(b) Furthermore, the obvious gerrymandering the NDC government recently instituted with the creation of 42 new districts and the intention to then create a corresponding 40 new constituencies, even though the Statistical Service has not yet formally published the final census results, as required by the constitution, is indeed another case of ‘…win at all cost!’
(c) The NDC’s voyeuristic preoccupation with Nana Akufo-Addo as an election tactic is further proof of their desperation. The baseless and well-worn accusation of drug-taking against Nana is viewed by the NDC as the only ‘viable’ weapon to use against Nana. Therefore, rather than discussing issues, they choose to focus on the negative. After all in their Machiavellian view, ‘the end justifies the means’ – ‘win at all cost –do or die!’
(d) This motto is to all intents and purposes, prejudicial to the outcome of the 2012 elections, especially so when you consider President Mills’ confident and unwarranted declaration that he will hand over peacefully in 2018.
It makes you wonder and gives added weight to this election motto. Where is this confident prediction coming from? Is it due to certain knowledge that there are dubious plans in place to actualise this prediction?
Is he like the blind man threatening to stone you? Of course the blind man must be standing on a stone to know why his threat is not a vain one. Considering that this party is in power, and Mills, the executive president with the levers of power and influence within their grasp, including control over the military, police and government departments, the presumptions against this party’s election motto of ‘Win at All Cost – Do or Die’ do really mount up.
Folks, as said in one horror movie, “be afraid, be really afraid!” But then that is precisely where the NPP’s ‘All die be die’ comes in as explained below.
(2) ‘All Die be Die’:
(a)This call was made by the NPP flag-bearer Nana Akufo-Addo in his personal capacity, and not as an officially adopted NPP battle cry! The fact that this call resonated with the broad masses of the NPP and has assumed a life of its own, makes it appear as if it is an official NPP motto, which it is not!
There is a world of difference between an official party motto as adopted at a party executive meeting, such as the NDC did, and an off-the-cuff statement made by an individual, albeit the flag-bearer of the NPP.
(b) Nana Akufo-Addo’s ‘All Die be Die’ call was made in reaction to a series of intimidatory acts by NDC hoodlums during the by-elections, where NPP supporters were either mowed down by the NDC National Women’s Organiser on the one hand, or the Azorka Boys harassing and preventing NPP supporters from going out to vote, on the other hand.
Nana’s statement was in justified frustration to these undemocratic acts and bestiality by the NDC apparatchiks. As a responsible leader of a besieged party, he had to make a stand in defence of the interest of his party.
Therefore, a translation of ‘all Die be Die’ within the context the call was made is: ‘Whereas the NPP would not initiate violence, henceforth we will not meekly surrender to NDC violence and intimidation; we will resist any acts of voter intimidation that is intended to give an unfair advantage to the other side – the NDC – even if this results in death.
After all, political decisions determine the outcomes of peoples’ lives and therefore dying in defence of a political party that will ensure the realization of one’s goals in life is a worthy cause.
Any illegal act that militates against the success of one’s party of choice is equal to a death of one’s aspirations. Therefore, if one physically fights the inimical political force and dies in the process, it is no different from the political death of one’s aspirations = all die be die!
(c) Nana Akufo-Addo’s contextually relevant remark does not manifest itself in how he has conducted his campaign to date. He has focused solely on issues such as improving educational standards through revamping the training, remuneration and other incentives for teachers.
He has pointedly refused to be distracted from his vision and focus by the vile and slanderous attacks on his person as well as his family by official NDC sanction. Instead, he has undertaken a political master stroke by going on his phenomenally successful national ‘listening tours’, much to the chagrin of his political detractors.
Conclusion: When a political party in government prepares for impending elections by not discussing issues; by not confidently enumerating its achievements and therefore the reasons why the electorate should retain them in power, then you know all is not well and therefore, desperate times call for desperate measures!
Therefore, ‘Win at all Cost – Do or Die!’ is none other than this self same act of desperation.
Citizens of Ghana, behold your incumbent government’s desperation and decide whether you’d rather have an extension of this parlous state of affairs for another four years, or the discerning people that you are, you’d prefer the party and candidate that maintains a cool head in the face of a barrage of baseless and unsubstantiated accusations, and who’d rather discuss issues that aim at progressing the country. From this NDC election motto, the choice is clear and your decision made easier, if you needed further persuasion.
Source: Richard Dombo Diedong
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