By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Thursday, August 29, 2014
Folks, our politics continues to be watered down by personalities who should have known better than they have demonstrated so far. While happenings in the NPP are indeed troubling and indicative of the likelihood of an implosion unless cleverly handled and the tension defused to prepare the party for Election 2016, the problems being created by the Mahama-led administration as it continues to sag under the load of governance have continued to detract from its worth.
At least, considering the street demonstrations (even if politically motivated), the industrial actions by organized labour, persistent complaints against the high cost of living, and the unstoppable depreciation of the Cedi (with its attendant negative backlash to worsen the economy), we can say that the going is really tough. The electoral decisions to be made by the voters at Election 2016 will be informed by their experiences more than any other factor, even though internal happenings in the political parties or the nature of the Presidential candidates will also play a role.
Against this background, I consider it idiotic for the NDC's Kofi Adams to make the utterance attributed to him in news reports: "NDC prefer Akufo-Addo to Alan". According to him, Akufo-Addo “is very hard to defeat” but “it is our [NDC] wish to battle Nana Addo again in 2016."
Speaking on Adom FM, Thursday, Kofi Adams confessed publicly that, Nana Addo’s strong contender in the flagbearership contest, Alan Kwadwo Kyeremateng is a “danger” to the NDC. He said that the “NDC wants Nana Addo. If they [NPP delegates] vote for Alan Kyeremateng, it will be a big problem for us”.
I will use just one word to dismiss this idiotic statement as pure “gibberish”. I have already said that the circumstances preceding Elections 2008 and 2012 are different from what has been happening to date and that the voters have a lot to guide them as they move to the polling booth at Election 2016. In truth, the NDC will have an uphill task regaining voter confidence unless the government sits up to solve problems. There is much happening to negatively affect the party’s own activists, especially the footsoldiers known for doing the trench work that has won the NDC political power.
It is no exaggeration to say that these trench workers are demoralized, apparently because promises made to them regarding job openings and many others haven’t been fulfilled. They are angry to the core and won’t be easy to persuade back into the trench. The choice of national leaders will also go a long way to influence internal party life; and if nothing is done to improve the situation, the going will be tough as far as mobilization of support is concerned.
Furthermore, the government has already given a not-encouraging account of itself in many sectors, especially the spate of corruption that has armed the opposition with much to use against it. President Mahama is doing his best but he seems not to be impressing much, meaning that if he stands again, he won’t likely get the goodwill that earned him the Presidency at Election 2012. The question, then, becomes: Will the NDC replace him? And who will that choice be to claw back lost ground?
True, if Akufo-Addo is chosen by the NPP (as is certain to be), the NDC may see him as an easy target to undercut as has happened in the elections that he lost. He hasn’t done or said anything to persuade me that he has learnt any useful lessons from his defeat, meaning that he is the same old stuff known for whatever he is. Thus, it should be easy for mud to be flung at him again for political advantage. But will the electorate fall for such politicking when they are not convinced by the evidence of their eyes that the NDC administration is solving problems making it difficult for them to live decent lives?
Yes, Akufo-Addo has his frailties and foibles that don't make him attractive to someone like (and many others who don't wish that he would become Ghana's President in their lifetime). But given the option to choose between what they have seen and had from President Mahama and his team, segments of the electorate who continue to find fault with the government will look beyond those frailties and foibles to give him a chance to prove his mettle too. After all, he has been making promises and claiming to give Ghana a "first class leadership". He has made so much noise that may warrant voters deciding to "try" him too. And deciding to "try" him too will definitely work against the NDC's interests. It is simple and clear!!
The bottomline is that it is possible for Akufo-Addo to become the bull’s eye again when presented by the NPP at Election 2016; but given what has happened so far, I don’t think that he will be a pushover to warrant idiotic utterances of the sort coming from Kofi Adams and those thinking like him.
The Ghanaian voter will this time be daring to dismiss any campaign of calumny and conclude that if those claiming to be better than Akufo-Addo have been given political power but can’t use it to solve problems, why not try Akufo-Addo this time? That is where the issue lies> Thus, there is the possibility that voting for Akufo-Addo could become attractive this time. Some voters who otherwise might go for the NDC’s Presidential candidate may decide to go Akufo-Addo’s way “to try him too”, By default, then, he might pose a more serious challenge at Election 2016 than he did previously, thanks to changed circumstances under President Mahama’s watch.
The only way to diminish Akufo-Addo’s influence and make his choice a welcome relief for the NDC is for the government to work hard to solve the problems that the people are complaining about. Nothing else can warrant utterances coming from Kofi Adams and Co. I don’t want to think that Ghanaians will be so naïve as to fall for anything. That is why the government and the NDC must act decisively to do the right thing before their credibility problems worsen. Winning Election 2016 will take more than personality attacks or references to unbecoming streaks of character. Over to you, Mr. President!!
I shall return…
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