Opinions Tue, 1 Nov 2016
By Dr. Michael J.K. BokorMonday, Oct. 31, 2016
Folks, permit me to take on the NPP armada on what I see as its futile campaign of desperation to win Election 2016. Many utterances from its leading officials and their lackeys all over the place maker me wonder whether they know what is at stake and how to go for it. So, what exactly is the NPP assuring Ghanaians of doing for which they must put it in power?
They continue to inundate our ears with nothing but the hackneyed allegations of incompetence, corruption, and direct personal attacks on President Mahama and any NDC member they regard as a threat.
They have even gone into overdrive, heightening their threats to destabilize Ghana, as is evident in the noise coming from Peter Mac Manu that President Mahama should concede defeat or plunge Ghana into chaos. What sort of nonsense is that?
Then, Akufo-Addo himself is leading the pack with effusions that don't inspire anybody but his hirelings. He is reported as telling President Mahama that he has served Ghana and must be ready for a "good-bye" from Ghanaians. What is that shallowness?
If Ghanaians know that President Mahama has served them, why will they bid him bye-bye at Election 2016 instead of retaining him to continue serving them and the country? Why will they go for an Akufo-Addo who failed to serve them when Kufuor gave him two important portfolios to manage?
Now, here comes a Samira Bawumia too; a nonentity carrying a moral baggage to be despised for all that she is. Have we not heard rumours about her infidelity to the Master Liar (Dr. Bawumia) and how their marriage nearly broke up but for the timely intervention of peace-makers? Here she comes, repeating the trite nonsense: "We see you but we see incompetence and corruption". What has this Samira ever been able to accomplish in life?
There are many others in the "Concert party" squad whose utterances make me wonder whether they really know how to sell their party and its jaded flagbearer to the electorate.
Having launched their manifesto, shouldn't they be more invested in telling Ghanaians what their agenda for national development is? One expects that they will explain the contents of the manifesto and harp on those aspects that are likely to win hearts, minds, and the right thumb on Election Day. Unfortunately, they are not campaigning on any strength as far as that manifesto is concerned. They have rather chosen the cheapest means to appeal to emotions/sentiments instead of reality.
Here comes their woe, then. By using Dr. Bawumia to talk all over the place about GDP, inflation, etc., quoting strings of weird statistics in high falutin English, he may come across to the NPP camp as "brainy" but to the vast majority of voters as an irritant.
Here is a clear instance. All the chiefs and people in communities now provided with development projects that have been denied them since independence are showing maximum appreciation to President Mahama and insisting on supporting him to remain in office (because they expect more from him).
Others angry at not being served yet have made their sentiments clear (I have in mind utterances from the chiefs of the Krachi, Dambai, etc. areas who are lamenting that their communities haven't benefited from President Mahama's agenda on "Changing Lives, Transforming Ghana"). They have told Akufo-Addo to provide development projects to them if he is elected into office, meaning that development projects matter to the people.
Take, for instance, the enthusiasm of the beneficiaries. Do they really care about Dr. Bawumia's statics on GDP, etc.? No!! For people who can now boast of state-of-the-art schools, hospitals, markets, roads, communication facilities, etc., bombastic utterances on economic theories annoy rather than woo.
They now have what they need and shouldn't be expected to throw away the one providing those facilities to go for the one at the sideline making the loudest, ugliest noise on promises to do the very thing that the incumbent President is known for doing.
Do these NPP people really know how to do modern-day politics? If they do, then, they should go for the bait that will easily attract the electorate and not repel them. If their manifesto has such a bait, that is what they must dangle before the electorate, not the stale anti-Mahama verbiage.
The truth is that those served by the Mahama administration know the difference between him and those non-achievers parading themselves as redeemers, shouting themselves hoarse, and choking on the inconsequential refrain of "incompetence" and "corruption". That is why President Mahama and his team are campaigning on the basis of their accomplishments.
At least, the voters know that an incompetent President couldn't have succeeded in keeping Ghana united and stable all these years despite the challenges (while a competent Akufo-Addo has succeeded in tearing his own party apart); he couldn't have won the confidence of the international community for support to provide the huge infrastructure that dots almost every part of the country in less than 4 years in power; he couldn't have managed affairs to make Ghana an attraction for foreigners seeking investment opportunities (at least as we've been told by the World Bank). What more?
Let the NPP and its Akufo-Addo concentrate on the politics of sentiments while the voters point to practical accomplishments by President Mahama to ginger them toward Election 2016. The Akwamu chiefs have summed everything up that Akufo-Addo needs to know and prepare himself for.
By the end of the 72 hours after voting on December 7 when the EC announces the outcome of the polls, Ghanaians hope that it will be Akufo-Addo who will concede defeat and not President Mahama. His own campaign manager's challenge will hit him hard in the face. Then, we shall all see who will pull the plugs!!
Can Akufo-Addo himself recognize his inadequacies as far as consistency in political mobilization is concerned? For Election 2012, his impulsive recourse to the "Free Senior High School education" refrain gave him some fillip that, however, vanished when he failed to substantiate that noise with convincing arguments. Let us be honest to say that that promise really caught on well with the electorate and would have singularly contributed to his electoral victory but for the numerous negatives characterizing him.
He folded up when President Mahama and his campaign team emerged strongly with evidence that they were better placed to accomplish that feat. And with the provision of the senior secondary schools and many others associated with that Akufo-Addo promise, his house of promises collapsed and he lost the elections. For Election 2016, nothing about free senior high school education has so far been mentioned. President Mahama effectively took the wind out of his sail. A pitiable soul, then, he is now!
How to wriggle out of the tight corner is his problem. How does he do so? Another impulsive string of promises anchored on "One District, One dam; One District, One factory" and what his running mate (the celebrated liar called Dr. Bawumia) has added: "One District/Constituency, One million Dollars). What is that? All happening when an Akufo-Addo government will eliminate all taxes, abrogate agreements with the IMF, and what-not?
Folks, you can see why the NPP is more focused on the politics of sentimentalism (highlighting superficial issues centred on lack of food on the table) instead of one of substance about Ghana's long-time development prospects.
Ghana has never been a paradise and will not be under Akufo-Addo (72 years old now and uncertain what his next few years will be). Tweeeeeeeeeeeeeaaa!!
I shall return…
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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.