So, beyond the euphoria, show of unity and strength of the party at its campaign launch in Cape Coast recently; what’s next for President John Dramani Mahama and the governing National Democratic Congress [NDC]?
This is against the backdrop of a determined and desperate, but confident exuding opposition bent on recapturing power. It also follows numerous predictions by Seers, men of God and rating institutions like the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) of an Akufo Addo victory in this year’s polls.
The conundrum is whether President Mahama and his NDC will make nonsense of all the forecasts by the EIU and Seers predicting a win for their main opponent, Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP?
Yes, it is truism that John Mahama, the second Northern-born Ghanaian to rise to the high office of the land as President, and his NDC administration have done so much for Ghana in their first term in office. What is however, not yet clear with barely four  months to the elections is whether the good works of the government could guarantee them outright victory at the polls slated for December 7?
This is a ‘one billion’ cedi question that should agitate the minds of all loving members, functionaries and sympathizers of the ruling party in Ghana. More so, when the NPP, in spite of its present fractured circumstances, are confident they will snatch power from President Mahama and the NDC.
The main opposition party’s confidence of recapturing power, perhaps, may have been bolstered by predictions by the EIU and the several religious Seers of victory come December 7.
Any wonder, Campaign Manager for Akufo Addo, Peter Mac Manu, audaciously pledged the party will not go to court after this year’s election like they did after the 2012 elections; neither would they write another “stolen verdict”.
Mr. Mac Manu who counseled supporters and sympathizers of the NPP to be vigilant at the various polling stations during this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections added:
‘‘In 2008, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo picked the telephone and congratulated the winner of the elections, Prof J. E.A. Mills and in 2012 he did the same to President John Mahama after the Supreme Court ruling.’’
This coded statement is however, making it difficult for independent observers to figure out what the leadership of the NPP has up their sleeves in the event they lose this year’s elections to the ruling party; which possible anyway.
Notwithstanding the “gloom and doom” predictions and prophesies, an indisputable fact is that the communication expert-turned-politician, and the NDC, by dint of hard work, have changed many lives and indeed transformed Ghana. However, as some say, that alone will not guarantee the governing party automatic victory.
Indeed, the Mahama government has constructed more roads, schools, hospitals, Universities and have provided more infrastructural development than any government in the country’s history save, that of the Nkrumah regime, within any four-year period.
Some landmark projects being executed or completed by the John Mahama led-NDC administration include but not limited to the renovation and expansion of Tamale, Kumasi and Accra Airports, Teshie Desalination plant, New Ridge Hospital, New Police Hospital, Kumasi, Wa and Bolgatanga regional hospitals, Tema Maritime hospital, Fish Processing Factory in Western region, Kwame Nkrumah, Kasoa, Sofo line and Asafo interchanges.
Others include, reconstruction of Kejetia and Kumasi markets, asphalting of selected regional and district town roads, Kotokuraba market, Cape Coast stadium, Komenda sugar factory, Seglemi Housing Project, Buipe Sheanut factor, Atuabo Gas Processing Plant and the ongoing construction of the 200 community day SHSs [some commissioned].
The rest include University of Ghana Teaching Hospital, Tamale Teaching Hospital, Dodowa and Bekwai hospitals, retooling of the security services and completion of gang of five roads and the two ‘brand new’ Universities in Volta and Brong Ahafo regions among other life changing and laudable initiatives.
Despite these remarkable achievements, the ruling party’s main opponent, the NPP and its flag bearer, Nana Akufo Addo are desperately campaigning for change in the upcoming elections. They are urging Ghanaian electorates to reject Mahama and the NDC.
The NPP seemed oblivious to the convention developed over time which shows that Ghanaians generally have soft spots for incumbent Presidents seeking second term in office. Ghanaians basically believe four years in office for any president was not enough and therefore, there was the need to give presidents desirous of contesting for a second term the opportunity to prove their mettle, particularly, when the president is perceived to have performed above average in his first term in office.
This, Ghanaians have kind-heartedly done since the return to multiparty democracy in 1992. Ghanaian electorates rewarded Former Presidents Jerry John Rawlings of the NDC and NPP’s John Agyekum Kufuor with second terms when the two statesmen requested for it in 1996 and 2004 elections respectively.
Fast forward to this year’s election, Ghanaians and the world at large are yet to know if President John Mahama will also be a beneficiary to this ‘conventional’ generosity.
The over 14 million Ghanaian going to the polls on December 7 will be faced with another task of either sticking to “tradition” by renewing President Mahama’s mandate, or break the tradition, if they choose to elect Nana Akufo-Addo of the NPP as the country’s next President.
For President Mahama, the upcoming election presents an opportunity for him to make history. Not only will he be the first Northerner to occupy the presidency on two consecutive terms after Hilla Liman’s abysmal and short stay in office as President, Mr. Mahama will also be the first Ghanaian to be sworn-in as president on three consecutive times and on the trot.
In the case of Nana Akufo-Addo, December 2016 election certainly will be his final attempt to put smiles on the faces of his party folks after leading the party from government to opposition and losing two consecutive elections.
Going into this year election, the NPP standard-bearer party insiders say is taking solace in some African leaders rise power, including our own late President John Mills who were third time lucky at the polls. This has inspired him such that, he has relentlessly been urging Ghanaians to make that possible for him.
“I have tried the presidency on two occasions and it did not work. Help me this time around, help me bring the needed development into this country,” Akufo Addo recently pleaded.
In a special appeal to the people of Western region during a campaign tour last week, the NPP presidential candidate said: ‘‘I knocked at your door for the first time in 2008, the second in 2012 and you rejected me. Now I have come again for the third time in 2016 for you to give me the opportunity to handle the affairs of this country and things will not be the same.’’
The former Abuakwa South MP is going into this year’s election with a record of losing the 2008 and 2012 elections to the same political party. He thus becomes the only NPP big shot to have benefitted a third time opportunity to lead the party into any competitive election.
Baptism of Fire
On the other hands, President Mahama’s journey since he took office on January 7, 2013 has been “bumpy and rough” as he admitted in his speech at the party’s campaign launch at Cape Coast last week. However, he was quick to add that, it was also positive for the country and very eventful.
The President at Cape Coast, aptly recounted how the eight-month long election petition tied down the whole nation as investors and donor partners adopted what he described as “wait and see attitude” which also affected the nation’s growth in the early days of his administration.
“My first term as president has been challenging but also very positive. It began with the election case in court where many Ghanaians sat and followed through the process because it was televised and the international community [had] also been slow with the necessary support because of the uncertainty which surrounded the outcome,” the President narrated.
But, much as the Mahama government’s initial difficulties can be attributed to some external factors including the novel election petition, some analysts say, the government and the party (the NDC), share in the blame. According to them, some of the problems, extraneous as they were, were also self-induce and self-inflicted.
President John Mahama’s ‘baptism of fire’ was to come from his own party folks when even as he struggled to have his government settled down, appointed his boyhood friend, Mr. Douglas Proper Bani, as Chief of Staff.
This appointment, like other subsequent appointments, was greeted with agitations and threats of demonstrations by party supporters.
Mr. Allotey Jacobs, now Central regional Chairman of the party, led a crusade to reject Mr. Bani’s appointment on grounds that he was not a known member of the ruling party.
The real ‘character’ of NDC supporter’s indignation to the President’s appointments came to a head when many of his (Mahama’s) nominees to man some District Assemblies were roundly rejected, amidst fierce protestation from indigenes and government ‘sponsored’ assembly members.
The nationwide rejections of the MMDCEs, particularly in the Central region, shocked the then Central Regional Minister, Mr. Samuel Sarpong such that, he was forced to warn that if the rejections continued the President may be compelled to impose MMDCEs on the Assemblies.
Rumours later surfaced indicating some party bigwigs and NDC Members of Parliament, displeased with the president’s action and inactions, including appointment of MMDCEs, orchestrated the countrywide rejections to “teach him” (president) a bitter lesson.
Earlier, reports suggesting some leading members of the NDC were unhappy with the President’s handling of issues relating to appointments and “mistreatment” of some senior members of the party (variously referred to as ‘old guards’), was later to be confirmed by no mean a person than present Majority Leader in parliament and MP for Nadowli-Kaleo, Mr. Alban Bagbin.
The former member of the now defunct and amorphous “3 wise men” stirred the hornet’s nest with his criticism of government and the president in particular, when he accused John Mahama of being inaccessible to be counseled in private.
According to Mr. Bagbin, supporters of the party were not convinced the president was governing in their interest, noting, if anything, the president was only working in the interest of “family and friends.”
Angered by a reaction from an NDC latter day saint and presidential staffer, Stan Dogbe, who called him (majority leader) a liar, Mr. Bagbin said the president was “walking naked if people like Stan Dogbe were the ones managing him”.
Mr. Bagbin’s comment on the President’s inaccessibility was later to be reinforced by NDC General Secretary, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketia, who said the party shared the sentiments of the Nadowli-Kaleo legislator.
On top of this charge, many party loyalists also fumed over the alleged “mistreatment” of senior gurus of the NDC they claimed had worked so tirelessly to secure electoral victory in 2012, but for strange reasons, were side-lined or, cut-off from having access to the President.
There were others who also alleged “faceless individuals who were nowhere to be found during the struggle for political power were those who wined and dined with President Mahama; to the neglect and chagrin of many of the hardcore party bigwigs who were in deep trenches with the President ahead of the 2012 victory”.
Mahama & Dr Liman
Even as the alarm bells of discontent amongst his party folks was ticking, President Mahama either appeared oblivious or deliberately overlooked.
According to some analysts, he rather allowed ‘praise worshippers’ who, like the story of the naked King, continued to assure him of how well he was on course. And that, with a horrid opposition party like the NPP; they could have easily taken advantage of the fragile situation to end his reign prematurely.
For a moment, many saw the goings-on in the president’s own party sharing semblance of the inopportune circumstances that subsequently led to the military overthrow of the first Northern President, Dr. Hilla Liman of the People’s National Party [PNC] on the night of December 31, 1981. This coup was led by Flight Lt. Jerry John Rawlings.
There were also fears among sections of the president’s admirers, particularly those of Northern extraction, that his administration was increasingly sliding to the realm of suffering similar fate as Dr. Liman, his fellow Northerner, albeit, without military involvement.
The president however, has managed to weather the storm and has since been at ‘peace’ with his party leaders even though some of the issues remain unresolved ahead of this year’s election.
Conversely, issues of unproven corruption allegations, economic mismanagement and charges over maladministration which were among reasons which led to the overthrow of Dr Liman’s government were rehashed and repeated against Mahama’s government.
Like his counterpart in Nigeria, President Mahama had even his party founder, Mr. Rawlings harshly criticizing publicly him for doing little to fight corruption.
Tale of Two West African Presidents
By accident of history, President John Mahama and former Nigeria President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Azikewe Jonathan ascended to the highest office of their respective countries following the demise of their respective bosses, John Mills and Yar’Adua, and amazingly, faced similar trials and tribulations, which eventually led to Jonathan’s excruciating defeat by General Buhari in 2015.
Not only do they have striking similarities in character and style of governance, the two Presidents, (Mahama and Goodluck Jonathan) were also greeted with equally similar economic difficulties to handle. Both administrations were also overwhelmed with allegations of corruption and charges of incompetence.
While both Ghana and Nigeria have similar economic structures, having inherited raw-material-producing economies from the British imperialists, Nigeria’s economy is much more expansive and bigger than that of their Ghanaian counterpart, having discovered hydrocarbon resources much earlier than Ghana.
Even as they confront the challenges in the management of their various national economies, President Mahama and Goodluck also came under intense pressure to unite their respective ruling parties, principally, how to integrate senior members of their parties into their style of governance which was fashioned around relatively young appointees.
In the case of Dr Jonathan, he stubbornly refused to heed to the numerous appeals from elders of then ruling People’s Democratic Party to step aside and allow the conventional regional rotation of leadership to take place in Africa’s most populous nation, a development that subsequently led to the disintegration of the PDP and its eventual exit from power, making Dr. Jonathan a one term president.
Among other reasons to have caused the downfall of the Nigerian President and PDP in the 2015 elections in Nigeria was that, even when it was becoming obvious the party was on its way out of government, Jonathan and his bunch of praise singers chose to play the ostrich, particularly, the open hostilities between him (Goodluck Jonathan) and some senior PDP governors and senators.
Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, one of the defected governors to the opposition APC described their action as a tip of the iceberg, predicting there would be more resignations from the ruling party because it had lost credibility and potency to take Nigeria to the Promised Land under President Jonathan.
“Every rational person knows that we need change. The PDP used to be an umbrella for everybody but it is now a hat for one man. Some people are holding the country hostage so we must come together to rescue it,” Mr. Kwankwaso noted.
Not even the most senior member of the PDP and former President, Olusegun Obasanjo’s admonishment to President Goodluck not to seek re-election in the midst of PDP governors, senators and high ranking official’s defection to Gen Buhari’s APC prompted him (Jonathan) and his cohorts that they were on their way out of power.
Goodluck Jonathan continued to live on false hopes he will go pass Gen Buhari at the polls until reality dawned on him when the Prof Atahiru Jega-led Independent National Electoral Commission declared his main opponent winner of the elections.
In the case Ghana and Mr. Mahama, elders, gurus and the rank and file of NDC unanimously stood behind him to be sworn sworn in as president following the sudden demise of late president Mills and subsequently; aided him to win the 2012 elections after tirelessly working to have him (Mahama) acclaimed as the party’s sole candidate.
However, no sooner his relationship with the party elders and capos went sour. President Mahama’s radical governance style made some of these capos feel alienated and/or marginalized.
Though, both feuding sides initially won’t publicly confirm to this, privately, some of them blamed President Mahama as the one responsible for the squabbling by some of his “actions and public pronouncements”.
These displeased party linchpins were later reported angered further by President Mahama for publicly and grudgingly rubbishing their request for the Finance Minister, Mr. Seth Emmanuel Terkper, to be sacked.
“I mean several times they (NDC gurus) interceded with me to sack Seth Terkper because he’s hurting the politics,” President Mahama told the new Managing Director of Barclays Bank Ghana, Patience Akyianu, at the Flagstaff House in mid-January 2014.
This perhaps, informed why then NDC National Chairman, Dr Kwabena Adjei, went public to express reservation over Mr Terkper’s handling of the national economy and pointed out that the rapid deterioration of the major economic indicators in 2013 could affect the party in this year’s election.
Meanwhile, when Dr Jonathan finally lost the Nigerian presidential election to “good old” General Buhari, a loss blamed on his intransigence, many were those who counseled President John Mahama to “Sit up” or risk suffering the fate of his Nigerian brother.
Dr Evans Aggrey Darko of the Political Science Department of the University Ghana, told Accra based Citi FM that President Mahama must take a cue from the circumstances that led to the defeat of the Nigerian leader.
“The lesson here is that you can still be a sitting president, organize elections and still lose the elections. So if there are concerns and people have genuine problems; like the power crisis we are facing and the many complains of corruption, the President must take them seriously and must not sweep them under the carpet,” he noted.
First Lady’s Influence
At the heart of Mr. Mahama’s troubles with his party bigwigs was also accusation of the First Lady, Madam Lordina Mahama’s overriding influence at the presidency such that, it was alleged appointments, whether qualified or otherwise, had to go through the first lady.
Thankfully, Madam Lordina has since distanced herself from government, concentrating on her charity and philanthropic works as it is the norm of first ladies worldwide. Hitherto, at high level party meetings bigwigs complained about the supposed ‘disturbing influence’ of the President’s wife.
They were reported to have voiced out how Madam Lordina Mahama’s unseen hands ‘shaped’ affairs at the Flagstaff House including appointments, and deciding who went on presidential travels.
But the president’s wife has not only dismissed these accusations as without merit, she indeed, has since, distance herself from affairs of the state as she is focused on her humanitarian activities much to the admiration of all, including NDC adherents and her ‘internal’ critics.
Luckiest Vice President
Comparatively, no Head of State of Ghana since 1992 has had up his sleeves such rich experience in governance as President Mahama before becoming the number one gentleman of the land.
Mr Mahama’s meteoric rise to the presidency did not surprise many. Indeed, his political journey began when he was first elected Assembly Man in his native hometown, Bole, through which he earned the mandate of his people to represent them in the law making house for 12 years.
During his stay in parliament, John Mahama also served as deputy Minister of Communications and later substantive Minister under the Jerry Rawlings government. During the NDC’s days in opposition, Mr. Mahama served as the party’s Director of Communications.
The Bole born politician capped his political life with a call by the late President John Mills to partner him as vice presidential candidate for the 2008 elections of which the NDC won.
Then vice president Mahama was later in July 2012 sworn-in as president following the sudden death of his boss, Mills. Mr. Mahama proved his political mettle when he used only three months to campaign to win the 2012 elections to begin his first term in office.
President Mahama himself once affirmed his uniqueness when he said he was “the luckiest vice president,” in apparent reference to the free role and exposure handed him by his late former boss.
Even before the tragic demise of late Prof Mills, many in the NDC and others outside believed Mr. John Mahama would be the ideal candidate to lead the umbrella party after the late president had finished serving his term as president.
This was demonstrated when the party unanimously endorsed the president to lead the NDC into the 2012 elections without any disagreements.
President Mahama’s willingness of assembling a new team made up of relatively young NDC activists to steer affairs of state in the beginning did not go well as he had anticipated.
Unfortunately for the president, his replacement of virtual seasoned and knowledgeable “hands” appointed by his predecessor, the late President Mills, meant the untested newcomers would have to start all over again. This led to many unpardonable and avoidable gaffes, and it took some of the appointees close to two or more years to adjust at their various posts.
Many had complained, and blamed the several inconsistencies in government information to lack of institutional memory.
According to those who held this view, the President would have saved himself and the government some of the embarrassments if he had avoided the “wholesale overhaul” of the administration, a continuing one at that.
Having been elevated to the high office of president and subsequently, winning the 2012 elections, Mr. John Mahama, saw his administration confronted with challenges in the economy resulting in the fast depreciation of the cedi, unemployment and power sector crisis among others.
This led to untold hardships across the country. The power challenges, for instance, led to collapse of several businesses and layoffs. In the midst of these difficulties was unending unrest at the labor front over salary increments and unpaid allowances of public sector workers mainly due to the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy.
To compound Mr Mahama’s woes was also the opposition-inspired unrelenting demonstrations that sometimes turn violent, and protests over increases in fuel and utility tariffs. This pitched the populace, particularly the suffering masses, against government and for that matter the President.
Perhaps, himself overwhelmed by the inexorable demonstrations and strikes by public sector workers, President Mahama told a gathering of Ghanaians living in Botswana he had to develop the “dead goat syndrome’ to withstand the pressures.
"I have seen more demonstrations and strikes in my first two years. I don't think it can get worse. It is said that when you kill a goat and you frighten it with a knife, it doesn't fear the knife because it is dead already,” he stated.
In the midst of this rocky and bumpy start, President John Mahama and his administration have managed to resolve most of the challenges it initially face and have posted exceptional achievements, particularly in the provision of infrastructure.
The once debilitating power crisis, which became a thorny issue in the country, has for some time now been brought under solid control. Speaking at the Cape Coast NDC campaign launch, the President said Ghana is now second in Africa after South Africa with 80 percent nationwide electricity coverage.
Even members of the main opposition party have testified to the president’s good works. This is said to be making it very difficult for the NPP to come up with a campaign message to counter the President’s changing lives, transforming Ghana catchword, most especially with corroded Peter Mac Manu in-charge of the NPP campaign.
President Mahama’s planned 200 community- day Senior High School, some of which have been completed and commissioned, and others at various stages of completion, road projects, hospitals, markets, universities among other valuable projects add to the NDC’s advantage going into the December elections.
Communications Director for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea was reported to have praise the president for commencement of the construction of his promised 200 Community Day Senior High Schools “President Mahama has shown commitment by managing to start the building of 123 out of the promised 200 Community Day Senior High Schools,” Akomea told an Accra-based Class FM’s political talk show host, Moro Awudu.
The stabilization of the cedi, a robust economy coupled with unmatched achievements in the energy sector which have resulted in relative stability in the present power supply are but, a plus for the young affable President and the NDC.
Available figures show that the Mahama government has since added almost half of the country’s energy generation. The President boastfully told a cheering crowd of NDC supporters at Cape Coast that his government has added over 1000 megawatts of power to the present installed capacity.
The Mahama government is going into this year’s election with a baggage full of success stories which strategists of the party say will fetch them victory. To add to the NDC’s advantage, the Mahama government is enjoying all the trappings of incumbency.
Mesmerized by the scale of ongoing infrastructural works under the Mahama government, Nigerian business mogul and one time presidential aspirant, Chief Dele Momodu recently said “I can tell you very confidently that the scale of what President Mahama is doing is so humongous, it’s so incredible, it’s so ambitious, and it’s so audacious. …I have travelled extensively, I have taken pictures, I am a journalist, my job is to report, I don’t embellish, I don’t do Photoshop. Even when I photograph celebrities, I tell my people: ‘Leave them naturally’, we will show the world what is going on in Ghana, and we are already showing a bit of it on social media,” he stated.
Though most political parties in the country have elected their flag bearers and have all given indications of ending the nation’s political duopoly this year, pundits have posited that, like all previous elections, the December 7, 2016 election will be a straight contest between two candidates; the governing NDC’s John Mahama and the leading opposition NPP’s Nana Akufo Addo.
So far, media spotlights have been focused on the two presidential front runners, President John Mahama and Hon. Nana Akufo Addo. Both recently concluded nationwide campaign tours.
President John Mahama’s tour dubbed, “Accounting to the People” was to also commission projects and showcase what his government has undertaken so far. Nana Akufo-Addo’s tour, on the other hand, was to whip support for his message of “change”.
Unlike the two dominant political parties, little is being heard of the “smaller” parties, except Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom’s Progressive Peoples Party [PPP] which occasionally makes the headlines to “attract attention”.
The Convention Peoples’ Party [CPP] has also of late snatched headlines of some major media outlets but unfortunately, for the bad reasons. Most of the news reports on the Nkrumaist party for some time now are either about party executives publicly scolding the flag bearer or suspension of some of its officers leading to in-fighting among the National Executives.
Mahama Takes Early Lead
In spite of the government’s bumpy take off and the unpardonable gaffes and challenges, the Mahama government won the heart of many when it kept its head above waters, surmounting most of the difficulties and its now poised to put smiles on the faces of Ghanaians. However, the question that remains on the lips of many is whether, against the backdrop of the in-fighting in the seemingly confused NPP camp, President Mahama will have a jolly ride to victory come December 7?
As early as the second year into Mr Mahama’s presidency, there were talks that the 2016 election would be a walkover for the NDC. This observation gained currency when some National Executives of the NPP and MPs openly endorsed Nana Akufo-Addo as the ideal candidate to lead the party to the disadvantage of Mr.Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen and others.
This action further deepened cracks in the opposition party which further led to suspicions that the party’s National Chairman, Paul Afoko, and General Secretary, Kwabena Agyepong were working against Nana Akufo-Addo. Suspension of the duo after the death of the Upper East regional chairman of the party, Mahama Adams, further fractured the party beyond redemption.
Conversely, the NDC is enjoying a relatively internal cohesion and hoped to cash on the friction in the biggest opposition party to enhance their electoral fortunes.
The Bole-born President was recently unveiled at the party’s Adabraka headquarters as the governing party’s 2016 presidential candidate. He has since nominated vice president Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur for the second time to partner him for the elections.
Prior to this, there was intense lobbying by some leading members of the party to supplant the vice President.
Ahead of filling of nominations with the Electoral Commission to seal President Mahama’s readiness for the December election, the NDC last week launched its campaign with all the pomp and pageantry at the newly-built Cape Coast Stadium in the Central region.
Unlike their main opponents, the NDC says it is united ahead of the elections. This was somehow manifested at Cape Coast when former President Rawlings and all those who matter in the party were present at the campaign launch.
However, in spite of claim of being united, Majority leader, Alban Bagbin, warned that the party can only win this year’s election if immediate steps are taken to address lingering issues arising from the party’s primaries to select parliamentary aspirants.
According Mr. Bagbin, the NDC may win the election without gaining absolute majority in the law making house. This, he says, will make it difficult for Mr. Mahama to govern.
The majority leader’s comment paints a gloomy picture of how unresolved petty quarrels among party members in some constituencies are likely to affect NDC’s chances of retaining some parliamentary seats.
Adding to this disturbing phenomenon are complaints by some parliamentary candidates of the ruling party of lacking resources and logistics to prosecute effective campaign.
Some NDC candidates in known NPP strongholds say their dreams of crossing the vote margins between the ruling party and the main opposition party is being thwarted by lack of resources.
Those contesting in NDC strongholds, particularly the ‘new comers’, are also said to be cash–strapped, making it difficult for them to engage in rigorous campaign that will lead to the party increasing its votes.
Opposition in Disarray
Even though NPP has been touting itself as government in-waiting, the party is struggling to unite its ranks. The indefinite suspension of Mr Afoko, Kwabena Agyapong, Sammy Crabbe and others coupled with unresolved issues after the party’s primaries to elect parliamentary candidates have made the party unattractive to floating voters.
Some grumbling members of the party say Nana Akufo-Addo orchestrated the defeat of some veteran MPs aligned to the Kufuor/Alan faction. In constituencies where this perception is rife, there are fears the NPP is likely to lose votes.
In the party’s stronghold of Ashanti, Nana Akufo-Addo’s divisiveness is said to have driven away some party folks. This is said to be threatening the NPP’s control of the region. Political Pundits have predicted that the ruling NDC may achieve its targeted one million votes in the region if the NPP does not close its ranks.
Aside these difficulties, the NPP flag bearer’s age and inability to engage in rigorous campaign is also not favouring the party. To plug this hole, the NPP has made its running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the face of its campaign.
Dangers Ahead of Election
While expectations of a John Mahama outright win in the first round of this year’s election are very high with barely 100 days to go, this unfortunately seem to be gradually blurring as factors hitherto adding to his chances are losing saliency.
Incumbency advantage and financial muscle of the ruling party, which puts it ahead of their arch opponents, the NPP, are blunted by the intensity of support Nana Akufo Addo is enjoying in some NDC strongholds. Adding to this is the lackluster grassroots campaigning by the ruling party and “quite” bickering among NDC executives at all levels.
Equally, the enthusiasm gap between parliamentary candidates as against widespread complaints of neglect by NDC activists, including some party bigwigs is a matter of great concern. This was evident in the tepid reception that greeted President Mahama during his “Accounting to the People” tour of the three regions of Northern.
There are signs Akufo-Addo’s campaign is gaining grounds in the three regions of Northern and the Volta region and all NDC strongholds due to apathy, according to reports on the ground.
The fall of over 20 MPs at the NDC primaries to elect parliamentary candidates is also adding to the woes of the governing party. There are indications some of these MPs and others amongst them who have won their seats but believed Flagstaff House supported their opponents, are subtly distancing themselves from President Mahama.
Those who were defeated are reported withdrawing their support as a sign of paying back the president over alleged reports that their defeats were orchestrated if not by him in person, his outfit.
An early indicator of this was the relative low turnouts at some places visited by the president during his tour.
In contrast, Akufo-Addo’s recent tour of the North attracted bigger turnouts. Turnouts at campaign rallies are important gauge of strides of political parties especially in the absence of credible polling ratings in Ghana.
If turnouts at rallies were sole criteria for measuring the strength of parties, the danger witnessed in Yendi recently when both Mr Mahama and Nana Addo visited should clearly indicate that, despite all odds, the belligerent and warmongering opposition leader is indeed in for a fight.
But it appears President Mahama and NDC are not oblivious of the incursions the NPP, through Dr Bawumia, is making into its strongholds up north amidst lies.
To regain the lost confidence of his fellow Northern brothers, President has taken his campaign to the Northern region after spending five days in the Western campaigning.
This comes days after the President and the NDC made history by air-lifting for the first time Hajj pilgrims from the three Northern regions from upgraded Tamale Airport.
Amenfi & Talensi Bye-elections
Outcomes of Talensi and Amenfi West bye-elections, political observers have opined should be a source of concern for the ruling party ahead of the December polls. They say even though NDC won the two bye-elections, turnout and the results revealed the dwindling fortunes of president Mahama and the NDC even in its strongholds.
In Amenfi West for instance, there were reports that known NDC party supporters openly refused to go out to vote as protest for the party’s neglect. Not even assurances from party bigwigs that, their concerns over distribution of fertilizer and insecticides for their cocoa farms would be considered after the bye-election, was enough to convince them to go out and vote. Ironically, NPP, which is in opposition, was able to supply its members who are cocoa farmers with fertilizer and insecticides to the chagrin of NDC sympathizers.
In the 2012 general elections in Amenfi West, NDC’s candidate, the late John Jatuah polled 26,435 to beat NPP’s Paul Dekyi, who managed only 16, 829, a difference of almost 10,000 votes. However, three years after this impressive result, the ruling party’s candidate in the bye- election polled 15, 809 as against the NPPs’ 13,076 in the bye-election to retain the seat.
The Talensi constituency remained stronghold of the NDC until the party lost the seat to the NPP due to internal wrangling in 2012. Though the ruling party managed to reclaim the seat, it struggled to garner 10,366 votes to go pass the NPP candidate who polled 6845 votes in a bye- election.
Following this development, and in other to avoid further embarrassment in the case of the Abuakwa North and Abetifi bye-elections, the NDC leaned on lame excuses of “honoring the memories” of the deceased MPs to pull out.
Complacency And Appointees Arrogance
In spite of the giant strides made by the Mahama administration in transforming the country, independent political watchers have warned that, the NDC risk paying huge price in the upcoming elections as a result of creeping arrogance, complacency and indifference on the part of some its office holders. They say the Mahama government could suffer the same fate the Kufuor administration suffered in 2008.
Whereas many Ghanaians are complaining of economic hardships arising from government’s belt-tightening measures, some appointees are audaciously worsening the president’s plight with their opulent and despicable lifestyles. There have been persistent reports of NDC party supporters bitterly complaining of mistreatment by several appointees of the president.
Another worrying trend observed recently, and which irks many Ghanaians including NDC members is that, instead of remaining in their offices, some of the President’s appointees take delight in following him like ducks wherever he goes, thereby increasing the number of president’s fleet.
Managing Editor of The Insight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jr recently had course to complain about this practice.
According to Mr. Pratt Jr, “This practice where all the ministers abandon their offices and follow the President on the tour must stop. It is needless and I am against it. This one ‘logo logo’ line of everybody following the president is a waste of time. While the president is going round, others could be elsewhere explaining government policies,” he fumed.
In the midst of this apparent conceitedness and complacency on the part of some of these government office holders, large section of the Ghanaian middle class, some civil society organizations, media and religious bodies are busily scheming to have the Mahama government supplanted with an untrustworthy Akufo-Addo administration.
The NDC has in the past allowed the opposition New Patriotic Party to dominate and control the media, churches, CSOs, Professional bodies, Students and Workers unions among others, thus, using them to detract, torment, harass and distort the good works of government.
For reasons best known to it, the NDC party seemed indifferent to student and labor politics. Rather, it is the opposition NPP which has shown keen interest in what goes on in these two organizations. They equally sponsor candidates to occupy various strategic positions.
Whereas it is clear the party’s relationship with these bodies was not as cordial as one would have wished, some elements in the party tend to antagonize them further, thus justifying their hostile attitude against the NDC.
The recent signing of petition by some Ministers and government functionaries in other to put pressure on the president to invoke article 72 of the constitution to pardon the Montie Fm contemnors is a case in point.
These appointees shrugged off warning by President Mahama’s personal lawyer, Mr Tony Lithur, and went ahead to present two petitions to the president to pardon the contemnors. According Mr Lithur, whiles the call for pardon of the three was understandable, it has the tendency to undermine the judiciary, if the president were to heed to it.
Lawyer Tony Lithur further argued that “It would constitute a direct undermining of the judiciary in a manner that is unprecedented in recent times save for the appointment by President Kufuor of an additional justice of the Supreme Court to achieve a collateral purpose. And what happened in that instance?” He queried
Paradoxically, the same fanatics in the NDC calling on the president to pardon the Montie trio are the same people calling for the prosecution of NPP activist, Michael Omari Wadie for allegedly threatening President Mahama. Greater Accra regional Secretary of the NDC, Victor Quarshie Adonoo has lodged a complaint with the CID in furtherance of this ‘project’.
Ominously, the party and government’s relationship with another arm of government, the legislature, is nothing to write home about even though the NDC commands majority in the august House.
Perhaps, the ludicrous assumptions by some appointees of government and party bigwigs that, President Mahama’s “good works’ alone can secure him a second term may be part of reasons why NDC government remains nonchalant when it comes to dealing with some of these bodies.
Mr. Kwesi Pratt recently had cause to depressed this erroneous supposition: “I have followed the president for some time and I must say that there are certain positives going for him; there is nobody in Ghana who can argue that the road infrastructure has not significantly improved within the last four years…there is nobody in this country who today can in all honesty argue that the water situation has not improved significantly…health infrastructure has improved significantly, educational infrastructure…
“(But) if the completion of projects were the only yardsticks for getting votes and so on, perhaps the NPP stronghold may be in the Volta Region and the NDC stronghold may be Ashanti…those who want to assist President Mahama to win elections need to do a proper assessment; otherwise, they will mislead the President and mislead themselves and the consequences can only be disastrous”
“The people canvassing for votes should know that it is not what they say that will bring the votes to them… they (electorates) will look at their needs and aspirations as well as what they are going to benefit…”
Even worse among the misconduct of some NDC appointees is their irritating craving over who succeeds President John Mahama. Media reports recently revealed over two dozen kingpins of the ruling party are already lining up to stake claim to the party's flag bearer slot for the 2020 elections.
Among those nursing ambition to step into the shoes of President Mahama after his exit include cabinet members, regional and deputy ministers, high ranking officials at the seat of government and some party gurus in the legislature.
The rest include Chief Executives and board members of some state institutions, senior party officials and angry senior party functionaries relieved of their posts.
While the President is yet to secure his second term, these presidential hopefuls are said to be forming groups around the country ostensibly, projecting the president and the party but are indeed, broadening their base within the party ahead of flag bearer contest for the 2020 elections.
These NDC 2020 presidential hopefuls are reportedly engaged in turf wars in their respective regions over who stands out as the face of their regions in government. This is creating frosty relationship among some Ministers and deputy Ministers and blunting the synergy needed to prosecute the President’s re-election for the continuity of the Better Ghana Agenda.
Despondency & Apathy
“Foot-soldiers” complaints nationwide have been the Mahama administration’s topmost Achilles heel. Grievances range from abandonment, lack of jobs and mistreatments by government appointees, particularly MMDCES among others. Some of them have also complained consistently about how they have been left out to their fate after sacrificing for the party.
Foot-soldier agitations characterized the early part of the late Mills administration and have since continued under the Mahama government, though in different aspect. During the early days of the Mills government these party activists out of frustration, seized toilet facilities and lorry stations among others.
Others used violence and aggression to lock out elected officials, party offices, and influenced the dismissal of political officeholders who, according to them, were not working to their expectation.
According to some of them, they felt slighted at the government’s inability to fulfill promises made to them particularly when persons they described as “strangers” are the once enjoying the fruit of their stiff labor.
Today, some of these foot-soldiers who are not going public over their frustrations but are silently brooding over their plights; have threatened not to vote at all, or may vote out the party as a sign of punishment.
Beneath the public show of love for the party and on the spur-of-the-moment yelling of “edey bee keke”, many NDC activists wail and gnash teeth over neglect and ill-treatment.
This, political commentators say, could breed apathy and work against the president’s targeted one-touch victory notwithstanding the much-touted unparalleled infrastructural developments and gargantuan achievements.
That, both the Mahama administration and NDC party communication machinery is unbefitting of a governing party poised to expose distortions and sometimes absolute lies churned-out on daily basis by its political adversaries in order to dislodge it from power, is a grave understatement
In many instances, government and party communicators allowed functionaries of the main opposition NPP to peddled untruths because they were either not adequately prepared or information on the said subject was not readily available.
In many instances too, it had to take NDC social media commentators to come to the rescue of government when it came under severe censure from the public due to deliberate distortions put out by NPP and its allies in the media, academia, clergy and civil society among others.
There were occasions the President himself was forced to respond to some of the spurious distortions put out by opponents of government. On one such occasion, the president, then in faraway Dakar attending ECOWAS meeting had to take to twitter to counter false reportage by the state owned Daily Graphic that government intended taxing pension funds. The president’s statement dispelling the dangerous rumor was subsequently widely circulated by NDC social media communicators.
NDC Founder and Wife
While the NDC is hoping to make history by winning the 2016 elections, its founder and former president, Jerry John Rawlings and wife, Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings are indifferent to the party’s victory.
Whereas the couple’s first daughter, Dr Zanetor Rawlings is contesting the Klottey Korle parliamentary seat on the ticket of the governing party, Nana Konadu has never cease describing the NDC as filthy corrupt and, has openly been urging Ghanaians to vote out the government.
On his part, Mr Rawlings, who for some time has not shown commitment to anything NDC, though he showed up at two recent NDC events has failed to openly endorse his party’s flag bearer, President Mahama. He will rather, to the amazement of many NDC folks, testify to his once fierce political enemy, Nana Akufo-Addo’s incorruptibility.
At the recent campaign launch of the party in Cape Coast, the founder, who was unsure of an NDC victory in the upcoming December polls, said he would tour the various regions to tell party supporters what they ought to have done to make the NDC more formidable after the elections.
“The task ahead of you won’t be an easy task. I will reserve what I have to say till after the elections when I will come round the country to share with you how I think we could restore the kind of strength that can take us well into the future. There are certain weaknesses that we need to deal with,” Mr Rawlings noted.
His wife, Konadu, has been persistent with her ‘senseless’ attacks on the NDC. She has described President Mahama and leaders of the party as incompetent and corrupt.
Nana Konadu has since been elected by her party, the National Democratic Party, to contest this year’s presidential election, and has been releasing videos to rundown his hubby’s party.
WHO WEARS THE CROWN?
Interestingly, while President Mahama was highly tipped to win this year’s election in the early days into his administration, the tables appear to be turning as the election draws nearer. Forecasts by rating organizations, renowned men of God and Seers so far seem to mostly favor President John Mahama’s main contender, Nana Akufo-Addo.
Two research reports released by London-based Economic Intelligence Unit have predicted slim margin win for the NPP flag bearer. The report said in parts that a stagnant economy was expected to feed into the NPP narrative that the governing party is not fit for re-election.
“There is little time for Mr Mahama and the NDC to turn the economy around before the November [December] 2016 Presidential and Legislative elections. The Economist Intelligence Unit therefore expects Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP to be victorious”
The EIU’s prediction was premised on the fact that “Mr. Mahama has endured a largely torrid time in office, presiding over a period of severe economic underperformance that has left many Ghanaians deeply unhappy with the situation.”
According to the EIU, whichever party wins the 2016 elections is expected to preside over an improving economic situation and that would bolster its support in 2020, making re-election the most likely outcome.
Confirming these reports, some men of God including founder and leader of Glorious Word Ministry International, Rev. Isaac Owusu Bempah, have prophesized that the NPP’s 2016 flag bearer could displace NDC’s John Mahama if he keeps faith with God.
Similarly, a renowned Muslim cleric, Sheikh Ustaz Sham-una Jibril, who is known globally for his accurate predictions on both local and international issues, has also forecasted a Nana Addo-win.
Ustaz Sham-una Jibril told the media that “I have already congratulated him [Nana Addo] in the Spiritual realm after the results were declared and even attended his Investiture,” he stated after claiming to have “hacked” the Electoral Commission's Database ahead of the polls.
The latest man of God to join the queue of forecasters is Founder of Ebenezer Miracle Worship Center, Rev Dr Ebenezer Adarkwa Yiadom Opambour.
He told an NPP delegation sent by Nana Akufo-Addo that their visit was not long overdue but noted that if they had come earlier than that maybe they wouldn’t have suffered defeats in the previous elections.
“In 2008, I heard that Nana Akufo-Addo was coming here and so we prepared the place very well to welcome him. Then I heard somebody called Nana and told him that he coming here will be of no use and so he should go to a different man of God. Truly, Nana did not come and so I told my congregation that apart from what I will say, whatever any minister of the word will say is his or her personal view and not from God. And so, if Nana wants, he should go to any pastor and they will prophesy to him but it will not come to pass”, he said.
He told the congregation that the reason why the NDC won the 2008 election was that the late Prof. John Evans Atta Mills made a bold decision and visited the Ebenezer Miracle Worship Center to commit himself and the party into God’s hands.
According to him “God has told me that the party that I [Prophet I] wants will win this year’s elections”
However, Kumasi-based renowned Muslim cleric, Sheikh Mallam Musa has long prophesied that Nana Akufo- Addo has not been spiritually destined to be president. “Unfortunately for the NPP, they selected Akufo Addo, who has no spiritual backing over Alan; if they had selected Alan Kyeremanten or even someone like Kennedy Agyepong they would have defeated the NDC,” he was quoted to have prophesized in the run-up to the 2012 elections.
Meanwhile, President Mahama seems unfazed by these predictions. According to him, his government’s track record will secure win for him and the party. He said the government had kept faith with the people as manifested in the massive development projects dotted across the country, and was confidence Ghanaians will reward him and the NDC by retaining them in power.
The Omanhene of Ajumako Bisease, Nana Okofo Kwakora, corroborated this assertion when he said “as for me and my people, we know what we are going to do. He should not worry, the 2016 elections won’t be a problem for him, God has already done it for him. So he should go to rest and forget about it, it is done. We are not going to give him a percentage but we know what do and so we will wait for him. He must not mind anybody, he should just continue working because his works will give him the votes. May God bless him for lifting the image of this community and may God bless the NDC and its officials here. ”
Also, Chief of Kukurantumi, Daasebre Boamah Darko, has also predicted that the president will secure his second term bid. He said “because of the increasing size of the national population, development must be spread across in bits and by the grace of God, the way this government is developing this country, I believe he will win the 2016 polls.”
Founder and flag bearer of the PPP, Dr Kwesi Nduom has also downplayed an Akufo-Addo victory. In a rather harsh tone, Dr Ndoum said ‘…who is leading NPP?, Nana Akufo-Addo. Since 2012, what has Nana Akufo-Addo been doing? Since 2012, he’s been saying: ‘I want to be president, I want to be president’, that is all he’s been going round doing. All he wants is to be president and not the development of the people , He may have done some wonderful things in the past but today what can we say he has done that we can see, take a look at, and vote for him?, he can’t win 2016.”
There are others who, though believe this year’s election won’t be a walk over for the NDC, but also doubt if Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP are indeed, well-equipped for the elections to be able to dislodge the ruling party.
Proponents of this view argue that what the NPP has perfected in doing since its defeat in the last elections is to persistently discredit the EC, thereby preparing the minds of their supporters to reject any result announced by the election management body which does not favor them.
Knowing this year’s election offer its candidate his possible last opportunity of realizing his childhood dream of becoming president like his late father, Sir Edward Akufo-Addo, some political analysts believe the NPP flag bearer and his men are only preparing themselves for power sharing in the event they lose the election for the third time.
The vile attacks on the EC, particularly its Chairperson, Madam Charlotte Osei and president Mahama, blatant lies about government and other undemocratic tendencies, according to many commentators, were all intended to draw support for their “power sharing agenda” when they roll it out.
This also goes to support suggestions that the much talked about “Plan B” of the NPP as revealed by Mr. Peter Mac Manu which includes disruption of the December 7 elections in order to create constitution crises by January 7, 2017
After several failed attempts to compel the EC to compile a new voter register for this year’s election, Mr Mac Manu at a news conference in January said the NPP had a ‘Plan B’ to ensure the will of the people is not subverted by the “inept and incompetent" Mahama-led NDC government.
Perhaps, emboldened by the party’s hidden agenda, the Akufo Addo campaign manager told a group of supporters in Takoradi in the Western that the party would defy every authority in the country including the Inspector General of Police and the EC to declare their own election results.
“In this election, the NPP will also declare our own results. The IGP cannot stop us. Whether you are the Electoral Commission, whether you are a peace or security officer, whether you are a polling agent, whether you are a chief, you cannot stop NPP from declaring results,” he bragged.
Having probably picked intelligence of what the NPP was capable of doing ahead of this year election, founder of the NDC, Mr Rawlings at the campaign launch warned the ruling party not to fight Nana Akufo-Addo and his men on their terms.
“The calculation I want to put before you is that, by virtue of who and what they are, their mannerisms, their character, will necessarily give rise to what you and I are in the NDC. In other words, by virtue of who we are; where we’ve come from, how we came about into being, I keep saying, we cannot afford to fight them on their terms.”
He admonished that; “It’s important that we fight them on our terms. What are those terms? In other words, let’s not mimic their behaviour. Let us reach into the principles and the values they emerged out of the circumstances that gave birth to us. And if we can hold onto those principles and those values, we will move way into the future and no one can ever defeat us. We will ride and override any obstacle as we did in the past. Mimic them as some of them are doing and we will run into problems. Let’s have a clean clear and stable election. I wish you all the best…,” the former President stated.
Giving all the impressive achievements of the Mahama government and the solid foundation it has laid for major economic takeoff next year as captured by the EIU in its report , analysts say it would be suicidal for the NDC to allow pettiness, inconsequential internal squabbles and avoidable gaffes to send it out of power.
Political pundits are predicting a calamitous future for the ruling party in the event it loses the December elections. Not only will the party find it difficult reorganizing, the NDC, they say could suffer the fate of Ghana’s first president, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s party, the CPP. It is feared an NDC out of power could be partitioned along the various interest groups in the party as happened to the CPP.
Similarly, many believe the current division in the NPP is most likely to worsen, and possibly break up should Nana Akufo Addo fail in his third and last attempt at the presidency. Analysts say the election of Nana Addo’s successor if he fails to win this year’s election would be acrimonious and may mark the end of the hitherto strong and united Danquah-Busia Dombo tradition.
A defeat for any of the two dominant political parties in the December 7 elections does not paint a good picture of their future.
Ghana must do it Again
…To ensure Sustainability!
As Ghana’s next general election draws closer, peace, during and after the election to elect the country’s next President has been the main concern of all peace loving and progressive Ghanaians countrywide.
Youth, Civil Society and Non-governmental organizations, artistes, traditional rulers among others, are clamoring for peace. A number of peace initiatives and messages are being churned out by various individuals, organizations and corporate bodies and so on.
This comes on the back of reckless statements and threats of violence being issued by some politicians and activists.
Ghana’s decades long wondering in the political wilderness ended in 1992 with the promulgation of the Fourth Republican Constitution heralding a new dawn of democratic governance in the once world leading cocoa producing West African country.
Since 1992, Ghana has witnessed peaceful and successful transfer of political power from one government to the other, making her a beacon of light in Africa underpinned by her acquired image as the most peaceful country on the continent.
Ghana has derived a lot of benefits from her enviable democratic credentials in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows from the US, China, UK among others. It therefore behooves all Ghanaians to endeavor to keep, maintain and sustain the peace in the national interest.
Once again, Ghana is on the radar of international spotlight and all eyes are set on the nation. There are high hopes from within and without that she would once again demonstrate to the world that the country has come of age so far as democratic governance is concerned.
Issue of Sustainability
For Ghana’s democratic credentials, security and peace to be sustainable and guaranteed, much would be expected of every incumbent government whose effort should be complemented by a much more responsible and mature opposition parties that places national interest above partisan political interest.
Both incumbent and opposition parties are to see to it that no singular act of theirs should jeopardize and compromise national cohesion, integration, peace and security. Standing up for each other when need arises in the supreme interest of the nation, rather than adopting unreasonable adversarial stance against each other and deliberately trying to undo each other must be their guiding principle.
To all reasonable Ghanaians, the relations between the incumbent NDC and the opposition NPP since 2009, has not been the best for the country. Sadly, it is based on politics of acrimony, hate, mischief and pull your political opponent down and get power irrespective of whether it is to the detriment of Ghana or not.
For Ghana to be able to sustain the current peace and political stability that has since become her competitive edge over other African countries, there are a number of risk factors she would must be wary of .The nation must confront them head on. Anything short of this could lead to problems even if not in the immediate, but in the medium to long term.
Political and National Security Risk Factors
Pro-Violence Psychosis of Opposition NPP
Despite the divisive and infamous “All die be die” speech of the flag bearer of the NPP prior to the 2012 elections which efforts were made later to erase because of the backlash, some of Nana Addo’s lieutenants, are still adamant when it comes to reckless talks even in an election year.
In June this year, about five months to the elections, an NPP Member of Parliament, Kennedy Agyapong, re-echoed the same 2012 violence inciting speech of his party’s flag bearer without any feeling of guilt and consideration of the implications of his words for national security and peace.
“If Charlote declares Mahama winner that day make nobody make a mistake ,Liberians were peaceful, Sierra Leoneans were peaceful but when they got to that point…all die be die” ‘If she attempts to steal the vote, if they haven’t thought of it, they should”
“If the pink sheet suggests that Nana Addo has won and they try to declare Mahama winner, it will never happen. That day if you are pastor stay at home, if you are a mate stay at home. We will fight to defend the country. I am confident Ghanaians will vote for the NPP but the electoral commission has decided to cheat us. As the judges said, we will not allow them to plunge this country into chaos, Ken Agyapong stated
Prior to this, the party’s Acting Chairman, Freddie Blay earlier in April this year was found to be unnecessarily crying wolf and threatening violence without justifiable cause. “There ought to be a level playing field, if you don’t do so, you give me an impression that you are cheating me, twisting my arms, to even deny me what I have won, lots of things can happen.
"I cannot guarantee what will happen, the party cannot guarantee, we the executives, we who are at the top, the Presidential candidate cannot guarantee, if the ordinary people get angry, God forbid if they decide that they won’t agree to what is happening, and some people take the law into their own hands, what can we do?… Don’t rule out things could generate into something that we all don’t want,” Freddie Blay told Kumasi-based Ultimate FM in an interview.
The foregoing words of the two people make it vividly clear that, the Nana Addo-led opposition NPP has already declared the results of the election in its favor even though it is yet to be conducted. To them, anything short of victory in this year’s election means the election was rigged.
In the NPP’s arrogance, it always thinks for Ghanaians; dictate to them what it thinks is best for them and not what they can decipher for themselves. Even when some Ghanaians have at least seen some gains made by the incumbent, they still say it hasn’t done anything for them. Indeed, this persistent and extreme insult of the intelligence of Ghanaians has almost become a tradition of the NPP. This attitude makes it looks as if except them, all other Ghanaians are like robots or “idiots” and cannot even think for themselves and would always have to rely on the NPP to think, reason and make decisions for them.
Concept of Party Militias
The idea of political parties notably, the NPP, having its own militia wings such as the so-called ‘Invincible Forces” with their own weaponry and, to the extent that foreign security experts are even hired to come and train them secretly in a secret location is unacceptable.
This shouldn’t be tolerated and encouraged for the sake of national interest. That singular act alone constitutes the greatest security risk to the country. Why should any political party just for the satisfaction of partisan political agenda go to that extent? Yet this had been ignored in the usual Ghanaian hypocritical fashion and focus rather shifted on worthless noise making about Guatemala Bay detainees whose presence in Ghana and other countries alike do not constitute any security risk.
What is amazing is that some of our so-called men of God, civil society organizations, human rights groups and traditional rulers whose postures suggest because of their pro-NPP stance they are always tight lipped over the reckless utterances and undesirable acts of some elements in the NPP. They would only speak when what they are to say what goes against the government and out of which the NPP could make some cheap political gains.
This hypocrisy on the part of our supposed men of God is also a political and security risk factor, the nation ought to take cognizance of. Their submissions with regards to corruption under the NDC administration are funny. Why didn’t they make the same noise during the NPP era when its looting brigade swung into action? Was it that they were beneficiaries or only today, they are merely showing their misguided ethnic and political solidarity, which is wrongly? Corruption is corruption no matter which parties are found to be involved in it and all culprits must be equally punished for it when proven guilty without anyone appearing to be an exception to the laws of the land.
Vile Propaganda Opposition NPP
Just to make the incumbent government unpopular and snatch power from it, the Nana Akufo Addo-led opposition NPP goes to the extent of using vile propaganda and over exaggerates every challenge encountered by the government including monetary and fiscal policies. Sometimes there are even deliberate attempts to paint a picture of insecurity of the country under the Mahama-led NDC administration just to make it unpopular.
Despite the massive infrastructure projects executed across the various sectors of the Ghanaian economy, the NPP has not been able, even for once; to demonstrate political maturity by acknowledging a single one out of them.
Yet, they are bent on coming to power. So in the unlikely event that they find themselves in power, would they expect the NDC to do same in return or rather be nice to them and give them peace to govern the country? All intelligent and levelheaded Ghanaians can compare and contrast the difference between the NDC in opposition from 2000-2008 and an NPP in opposition from 2009-2016.
The whole country bares testimony to the NPP’s gross intolerance and mischievous attitude towards the boss of the Electoral Commission .They have consistently tried at all cost to put the competence and credibility of the EC under her care into question. The claim that she intends rigging the elections for President Mahama, and their threat of violence is ludicrous and sickening. Every reasonable person knows that technically, it is not possible for the EC to rig the election for anyone.
In 2000 when the ex-EC Boss, Dr. Afari Djan declared the NPP winner, they didn’t say he rigged the for them but when the same person decaled the NDC winner in 2012, they bandied the same spurious claim around that he manipulated the election for then President-elect, John Dramani Mahama.
The numerous wanton displays of political chess with important national issues by the NPP in particular leave one wondering. Staying out of the National Economic Forum in 2014 aimed at building national consensus for coming out with a Medium to Long Term National Development Plan put to question the sincerity of a party that professes patriotism. Intimidating the BNI through blatant falsehood that it had published a survey that forecasted a win for Nana Akufo Addo over Mahama was also below the belt.
Irresponsible Use of the Media Throwing the noble values enshrined in the code of ethics of the profession of Journalism as a number of media houses have demonstrated over the years constitutes yet another security risk factor. The dignified position of the Media as the 4th Estate of Governance has now been sacrificed on the corrupt alters of mediocrity, divisive and nation wrecking Journalism. The anti-Northern and hate speeches carried out through the media under a sitting President who hails from the North is indeed very sad.
The role of reckless and irresponsible Journalism in the ill-famed Rwandan genocide is known by all. Why some Ghanaians are deliberately trying to experiment that is amazing. Kennedy Agyapong noted for his pro-violence psychosis have also acquired ownership of a media house, Oman FM through which he carries out his stock in trade.
Through Kennedy Agyapong’s Oman FM, he once upon a time declared war on all Ewes living in the Ashanti region asking NPP activists in the region to attack Ewes with machete and cutlasses. He warned that all security personnel who will try to keep the peace in the region will be lynched. Was he that oblivious to the fact that, we have Akan residents in the Volta and Greater Accra regions who could suffer reprisal attacks in event that his senseless orders were carried out by people like him?
Kennedy Agyapong is on record to have also attacked the Security Co-coordinator and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), warning that they should not dare send their men to keep any peace in the Ashanti region.
“Today I declare war in this country, Gbevlo-Lartey and his people, IGP should know this. Voltarians in the Ashanti Region will not be spared. If anyone touches you, butcher him with a cutlass…” Kennedy Ohene Agyapong said.
The late President John Mills wasn’t spared. Kennedy Agyapong, accused him of being a thief who is hiding under the guise of ‘father-for-all’ mantra. “ President Mills is going round claiming he is father for all- father for all; it’s a lie, he is a thief. “His father for all is for himself and no one else, he and the NDC people are thieves, Kennedy Agyapong added. So it is clear to every reasonable Ghanaian the intent and purpose for the acquisition of the FM station by a Ghanaian Legislator.
Tribalism and Selected Justice
The notion that some Ghanaians are more Ghanaian than others simply by virtue of their ethnic and geographical area of origin must be watched .Some Ghanaian Akan tribalists entertain the evil notion that Northerners are not fit to rule Ghana and that it is only Akans alone who are born to rule Ghana. For them, Akans are untouchables and are virtually above the laws of Ghana.
Personal utterances from some NPP elements and even statements captured on placards during an NPP demonstration in Kumasi depicted the issue of the qualification of Northerners to govern Ghana. However, in the usual Ghanaian hypocrisy, this issue was never put into the public domain for discussion. We generally pretend there is nothing like this in the country but deep down, it is a known fact some Akans look down on other non-Akan Ghanaians.
Not only is current President Mahama a victim of verbal attacks by some Akan extremists on radio simply because of his ethnic background, the late first Northern President Dr.Hilla Liman suffered same fate. Some Akan extremists within his own party gave him headache while those outside his government were publicly heard expressing their indignation about the idea of a Northerner becoming President of Ghana This contributed to his final exit from political office.
It would be recalled that under the same regime, the late Alhaji Munmuni Bawumia, the father of the running mate of the NPP, Dr. Mamudu Bawumia, suffered threats of death from extremist Akan tribalists through phone calls to resign his post as a Minister for Cocoa Affairs. His crime was that he was a Northerner and didn’t deserve that post since cocoa wasn’t grown in the North.
Against this background, it was therefore not surprising that that from 2000-2008, the Kufour-led NPP administration set precedent for selective justice with Northerners and other minority tribes falling victim to their scheme. During the said period, the likes of Mallam Issa of the PNC, the late Ibrahim Adam and Victor Salormey and Tsatsu Tsikata, all of the NDC, were jailed for causing financial loss to the state.
Holding the Bull by the
Horn: The way forward
Ghanaians need to be up and doing when it comes to sustaining the peace of this country. The maintenance of peace before, during and after the 2016 elections would depend on the attitude of the Nana Addo-led opposition NPP and nothing else.
The party has already declared itself the winner even before the first ballot box is cast. This is wake-up call for our national security.
Ghanaians must not think the peace they are currently enjoying can be sustained over the next coming decade through wishful thinking and not truly working for it.
The country need true, courageous and proactive men of God, Human Rights Activists and Civil Society Organizations, traditional rulers and the citizenry in general, to speak out fearlessly against the excesses of extremist politicians and their activists no matter which party they represent.
The collective voice of Ghana is what can tame politicians and their political parties with the penchant of using unorthodox and Machiavellian tactics in seeking political power instead of exercising civility in its electioneering campaign.
Source: The Al-Hajj
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