Finally, the NPP's agenda is revealed (Part I)

Bawumia Npp Mahamudu Bawumia

Thu, 9 Jun 2016 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

Folks, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) is still focused on condemning the Mahama-led administration but is unable to give Ghanaians any clear indication of how it will solve the country’s challenges of development. There are hints that the party is unsure how or when to present its manifesto to Ghanaians.

The reason? Listen to Peter Mac Manu, campaign manager for Akufo-Addo:"The party has decided to delay the release of its manifesto to avoid its being plagiarized by the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC)”.

Your reaction is as good as mine.

A sneak peek into that “hidden manifesto" reveals two main items to tell us what the NPP has up its sleeves:

1. A Nana Akufo-Addo government will formalise the economy by expanding the tax and production base for all to share its burden and bounties. According to Dr. Bawumia, in the first year of Akufo-Addo’s presidency, every Ghanaian would be issued a National Identity Card to kick-start the process. He said as a matter of policy, "We will give businesses who employ fresh graduates tax breaks and create an enabling environment for the private sector to flourish by abolishing killer taxes." (See https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/NPP-will-formalize-the-economy-for-all-Bawumia-444932).

2. Akufo-Addo said elsewhere that “a Nana Akufo-Addo government from 2017 would focus on expanding industry and modernising Ghana’s agriculture”, adding that: “These are going to be the main themes for the next four years.”

According to him, this twin-track of rapid industrial expansion and increase of agricultural productivity is what will generate the hundreds of thousands of jobs that the teeming masses of unemployed Ghanaian youth need.(See https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Work-hard-to-change-this-gov-t-Nana-Addo-to-supporters-444961).

Folks, that is the framework of the NPP’s agenda for developing Ghana if its plea for the voting down of the John Mahama-led administration is heeded by the electorate on November 7. Anything new for Ghanaians to enthuse over? I don’t see it. Maybe, the impulsive urge to restore allowances (for teacher and nursing trainees) or to not impose taxes on pensions and allowances, or any other aspect?

We will discuss these agenda later, but for now, we turn attention to what we consider as the roadblock that the NPP is erecting for itself: In the past two days, two of its prominent members have given us cause to wonder whether all is well with that political camp; or whether they are still wrapped around their “all-die-be-die” agenda to use scaremongering as their main political tool. They are refusing to turn a new leaf to use decent methods for politicking and continue to invoke violence instead. Here are two new instances:

1. Operation Let-The-Blood Flow

Maxwell Kofi Jumah has declared an “operation let-the-blood-flow” as part of mechanisms to prevent rigging in the upcoming presidential elections. He is therefore advising the opposition NPP to forget about campaigning; printing of T-shirts and be vigilant by employing violent tactics to prevent the ruling government from rigging the elections.

In an interview with Kwame Tutu (the “Morning Show” host on Rainbow Radio 87.5FM), Jumah said, it will be a waste of time for the NPP to embark on serious campaigns when the NDC and the EC are planning to hand over victory to President Mahama on a silver platter. According to him, “the NPP is winning the elections at all cost; therefore, they will employ all means possible to protect the ballot”. (See https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/2016-polls-Jumah-hints-of-operation-let-the-blood-flow-445222).

Certainly, a huge cloud of paranoia is hanging over this NPP camp, which is making it difficult for it to do proper political mobilization and win the goodwill of the electorate. Jumah’s choice of militancy, when there is no need for it, is a clear manifestation of the doom-gloom atmosphere.

If he and those blowing this useless hot air think that they can roll up their sleeves to cause trouble, they should know that they are nothing but pesky bugs to be squashed. Doing so within the confines of the law is simple. No elaboration here.

2. NPP To Declare Election Results

Peter Mac Manu, the NPP’s campaign manager, is reported to have said that the NPP will establish its own election-monitoring enclave with the sole purpose of announcing election results ahead of the official declaration by the Electoral Commission. As such, the NPP is poised to do as it likes because it is certain that Election 2016 is a done deal for Akufo-Addo. (See https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/NPP-will-declare-2016-election-results-Mac-Manu-445397).

In a rather bizarre about-turn, this Mac Manu is now saying that he instead said his party was going to collate their results in along with the EC. In an interview with Citi News, he clarified his statements in Takoradi saying, “We are going to collate our own parallel results, what we call parallel vote tabulation.” (See https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/I-said-we-ll-collate-results-alongside-EC-Mac-Manu-445480).

As we have already seen from our monitoring of the rhetoric on Election 2016, the NPP has widely and wildly taken to social media and the mass media in Ghana to present itself as a better alternative for the incumbent. As it did before Election 2012—taking a two-year head-start advantage in campaigning but ending up reaping the whirlwind it had sown all along—so is it doing now.

Its energy is being dissipated more on arm-twisting tactics, threatening to cause mayhem and harping on issues that don’t add value to itself; issues that scare the electorate and set the stage for a repetition of its Election 2012 woes.

Rather interestingly, its Akufo-Addo is jumping from one spot to the other in the international arena where Ghanaians are accentuating his hatred for the Mahama-led administration without telling Ghanaians what he has to solve problems that he is effusively criticizing as evidence of the incumbent’s failures.

Ghanaians may be complaining about hardships but they won’t tolerate violence as a means to put Akufo-Addo in power. That is why all the threatening going on will not work well for the NPP.

It is clear that the NPP camp has lost its bearing, which explains why just anybody at all therein can make any pronouncement at all without regard to law and order. Such rogue politics won’t put Akufo-Addo in power.

• E-mail: mjbokor@yahoo.com

Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.