Deconstructing NDC 2020 Agenda

The Daily Guide notes an absence of a political strategy document for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

It is the absence of this blueprint for achieving the party’s grand mission of winning the 2020 elections which is responsible for its costly gaffes.

We concede that a weak and very open system for political and security communications have led to the secret recordings of top party activists.

The exposure of such recordings has had dire consequences for one person, while the other has not attracted that much attention outside a few media houses.

The second one exposed one top NDC activist motivating party loyalists to bring the nation to a standstill among other exhortations.

At the legal front, the attempt to urge the Supreme Court to fight the compilation of the voters’ register has been very active. As one leading NPP political activist noted following the decision to focus only on one relief, the party was now resuscitating the issue of the legitimacy of the compilation through another legal challenge.

The other methods deployed at Parliament where the positions of the NDC leadership were changed the forcing of the process to go through the 21-day route, rather than the emergency corridor has been noted.

This delay and the failed attempt to even shut down Parliament due to COVID-19 related matters were also other poor attempts to make it impossible for the appropriate constitutional provision to be activated.

The worn-out ploy to focus on one or two opponents or arbiter in an election has been utilized. NDC activists and their surrogates have tried to use CHRAJ against the EC while at the same time calling for the response of this public official as a precursor for her impeachment. Other means have now been utilized by creating a single vehicle alliance among NDC and some other obscure political parties/entities to create a ‘crowd’ appearance.

A grouping consisting of some NGOs have also been ‘fighting’ the EC on the ‘voters’ register’. The latest group is the ‘Concerned Lecturers’, supposed to be university dons from some universities.

The party has displayed so much ineptitude in the way they have handled the media. While basking under the pro-NDC coverage of some media houses, journalists and organizations, they have failed woefully on the PR front, where they have at least in one case taken needless decisions on their panel member on Peace FM morning programme. To make the media relations gaffe even more serious, the Communications Director (more of a propaganda secretary) has clashed with one of the most influential presenters with such a large following and credibility.

It is stunning to observe these scenarios unfold when the party has more than enough PR experts who are capable of providing cutting-edge political communications and PR advice under the circumstances.

Some simple communications related issues have therefore emerged. What is NDC’s position on the voters’ register? At the anniversary celebrations of the party two messages to the public were unequivocal. ‘We shall not accept the results if in our wisdom the processes are flawed.’

Second, NDC loyalists should not participate in the compilation of the new register.

Daily Guide wishes to proffer some advice to the NDC which could serve as a formidable political cutting. The party should start behaving like a modern armed forces going to war. It is all about strategy hinged upon a modern system with functioning Council of Elders, patrons, National Executive Council (political, finance, communications, legal etc), a manifesto, IT, security and intelligence, among others. It should move away from an over-centralised bureaucracy where funding and activities must emanate from a strong monitoring and evaluation, audit and security teams from the national, regional to the district levels. An over-reliance on one source can have some serious disadvantages.

The sole utilization of the ‘intimidating’ posture or ‘fear and panic’ or even ‘shock’ and ‘awe’ methodology has only limited benefits and can be very counterproductive. The reliance on a Plan B or the coup d’état antecedents which will be unleashed on the country will only resonate among die-hard supporters and will not add value to the votes.

This is the party which has a large following but also needs the support of the so-called non-aligned members of the voting population. They should go and prepare adequately and strive to put up a good showing among the electorate.