Nana Akufo-Addo use of ‘Charm’ to secure his electoral victory in 2020 general elections

Fri, 11 Dec 2020 Source: John Abbam Nyarko <

Birds are taken with pipes that imitate their own voices, men with those sayings that are most agreeable to their own opinions ~ Samuel Butler.

Elections are no jokes and whether as an incumbent or opposition, it is funny and childish to think you have won the contest without whipping your support bases to go out massively to cast their ballots, appointing people who are well versed in elections as agents at the various levels of collating the results, and tailoring policies that tend to align with the needs and interests of the electorates.

The electoral victory of Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party in the just ended 2020 General Elections can be attributed to six major reasons and factors and these factors and reasons are explained as follows:

First and foremost, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) made their targets the centre of attention — the electorates. The NPP Presidential Candidate and his party ensured the electorates became the subject of their interest. The party focused on its strengths and more importantly, their weaknesses. The party individualized its attention as well as appealed to the specific desires and needs of the electorates— giving freebies in the midst of the pandemic to the most vulnerable. These freebies were given to lessen the insecurities of the electorates. The New Patriotic Party and its Presidential Candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo decided to adapt to the spirits of the electorates while empathizing with their woes. This gesture made the electorates feel that the New Patriotic Party and the Akufo-Addo's administration think of them and have their interests at heart as this validated their sense of self worth. The NPP and Nana Akuffo-Addo's COVID-19 gestures sent a clear message to most electorates that the present administration share their pains and is doing everything in their power to align with their interests.

Secondly, Nana Akufo-Addo was a source of pleasure. The NPP Presidential Candidate listened to the electorates' complaints and more importantly gave things that distract most electorates from their problems by giving them pleasure. Examples are the GH¢600M that was given to businesses to lessen their woes due to the pandemic and the extension of free water from April till the end of the year and free electricity to all for three months and for 9 months for those on life lines. The NPP and its Presidential Candidate provided the electorates with illusion and myth rather than reality and a classic example is the running to the electorates that a review of the Double Track of the Free SHS meant a total cancellation of the policy by the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The party focused on grand moral issues such as peddling falsehoods to the most vulnerable that a vote for the National Democratic Congress means siphoning State resources into the accounts of "Slay Queens". These appeals made people feel that they were in danger thus translating into votes and the attainment of the ultimate goal, POWER.

Furthermore, The Presidential Candidate of the NPP, Nana Akuffo-Addo brought antagonism into harmony. The candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo undoubtedly knows how to smooth out conflicts. In the face of aggressiveness from the opposition in certain situations and decisions, he retreated and let them have their little victories. His sometimes yielding posture and indulgence were magical and advantageous to him as a candidate. His diplomatic skills and sometimes his refusal to respond to allegations caused people especially the Opposition Party, National Democratic Congress (NDC) not to notice his style was growing his power — how the electorates see him as against the National Democratic Congress' John Dramani Mahama when he was President from 2012-2016.

Moreover, Nana Akufo-Addo's calmness and self-possession in the face of adversity provided the perfect setting for this "charm". His consistent calmness and failing to show ill-temper proved his leadership abilities. Even when the Opposition Party called him all manner of names, he never whined, he never complained and he never tried to justify himself when the public criticised certain moves of his administration such as PDS Scandal, The Ameri Scandal, The PPA Scandal and the Agyapa Deal. Although this could be attributable to the fact that he wasn't much accessible to the media for clarification as against the openness of the erstwhile Mahama administration to the Media.

In addition to the above-mentioned factors and reasons, H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo made himself useful to the majority of the electorates. The President's bold step in introducing the "Extensive Free SHS" in his first year showed he was determined to enhance the lives of the masses. This act sent a clear message to the populace that he was a man one could trust as majority of the population have been complaining about the financial difficulties they face to further the education of their wards as well as telling the people that he was acting deliberately in the interests of the people. His approach to industrialization— PPP approach influenced and made people feel that he was ready to make their lives easier. The President's following through with key things that interest his administration was a key influential factor as this made him more friends than enemies in the private sector.

Finally, his economic track record played a major role in his Victory in the 2020 General Elections. His administration has proven to be better managers of the economy against the major opposition leader, John Dramani Mahama when the indicators are assessed; although his administration has saddled the country with huge borrowings of over $27 billion in almost 4 years.

Columnist: John Abbam Nyarko