It is an open secret that the Achilles Heel or the greatest weakness of the leadership of the Akufo-Addo-led ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is complacency, the rather naïve belief that hard work and a satisfactory job performance, somehow, would see the party smoothly sailing through to victory in the 2020 general election, because Ghanaian voters simply cannot fail to fully appreciate the fact that on the ground, the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) is absolutely no match for an unprecedently performing New Patriotic Party. Not so fast.
You see, politicians, especially ruling-party politicians, tend to see things from an angle and a perspective that is very different from that of the average citizen and the ordinary Ghanaian blue-collar worker. This was what renowned broadcast journalist Ms. Afia Pokuaa (Kantimpo) sought to point out to the headquarters denizens of the New Patriotic Party, recently, when she instructively, and constructively, warned that unless NPP leaders like Mr. John Boadu, the party’s General-Secretary, promptly awoke from their apparently deep slumber and took peremptory command of the party’s internal affairs, Team Akufo-Addo may very well be in for a seismic shocker come December 7, 2020 or thereabouts (See “Complacent and Power-Drunk NPP Will Be Shocked by 2020 Election Results – Vim Lady” MyNewsGh.com / Ghanaweb.com 1/30/20).
The truth may sound annoying sometimes; but taken with a good and realistic dosage of humility, sobriety and in stride, the truth could do a lot of wonders and even opportunely forestall a lot of headaches, heartaches and potential disappointments down the pike. First of all, Nana Afia Pokuaa, aka Vim Lady, is smack on target with her observation that voters generally tend to be apathetic when they perceive the hitherto prime alternative to a badly performing previous regime to be performing or to have performed almost equally unsatisfactorily. Put in plain and simple English, what Nana Afia Pokuaa is saying here is that the leadership of the New Patriotic Party appears to have become unwisely smug or self-satisfied or even self-infatuated with itself and its relatively better performance at the helm of the nation’s affairs.
Secondly, on the whole, according to the Vim Lady, so much more still needs to be done that there is absolutely no time for key operatives of the NPP, like Chairman Freddie Blay, to waste beaming with pride over whatever little achievement may already have been notched. You see, too much has gone wrong in government over the past 63 years of Ghana’s postcolonial existence for any individual president or political party to cavalierly presume to have made the sort of development dent or socioeconomic progress that calls for immediate and massive celebration. There is still more and more work to be done without cease. It is not yet Uhuru.
But, of course, what is most important to bear in mind here is the patently inescapable fact that relatively speaking, the New Patriotic Party lacks the sort of internal cohesion that the operatives of the National Democratic Congress may be aptly deemed to take for granted. There are still entrenched factions, at least two entrenched factions, the last time that yours truly checked, among the top hierarchy of the New Patriotic Party, although the massive 2016 victory of President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, coupled with the latter’s relatively remarkable performance, so far, seems to have muted these serious cracks and fissures among the party’s top hierarchy.
One of the most effective ways of solving this apparently politically congenital and intractable problem, according to the Vim Lady, is for the Kokomlemle party headquarters operatives to take more serious and professionally savvy charge vis-à-vis which candidates they choose to select to contest Election 2020, and how the Blay Group prepares to contest the same. The analogy to the about the complacency of the National Democratic Congress’ operatives, which the Vim Lady supposes led to the defeat of then Candidate Atta-Mills in 2000 and, again, in 2004 may also be worth looking into and learning something worthwhile from on the part of the Blay Group.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York