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My Message to the NPP Delegates

Thu, 24 Apr 2014 Source: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku

Fellow Delegates,

Permit me to share with you the stance I've taken in my political career with the

view to getting my beloved political party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) into power

in 2016. As you all know, this journey started right after the NPP lost power in

Election 2008. I, together with many patriots, have never taken a rest since then,

and it would be even difficult for me to quantify in monetary terms, the resources I

have wasted on the party. I lost my job in the United Kingdom (UK) after

participating in Election 2012, but that could not shake my loyalty to the NPP. I

did all these with one common goal, to get the NPP under Nana Addo Danquah Addo into

power.

However, for two successive elections, this goal has not been materialised.

Personally, I've taken the trouble to find out why the Ghanaian voter population

keep rejecting the most marketed, popular, visionary, and one of the finest

politicians of our time, Nana Akufo-Addo during national elections. I was actively

involved in the NPP's internal elections, especially the polling station,

constituency, and regional elections. I have monitored the campaigns and the results

of the recently-held national executive elections in Tamale. I have also interacted

with a wide range of people within and outside the NPP, including what is referred

to in political circles as 'floating voters'.

And, if I should stand here and say that Nana Akufo-Addo is not popular, then I'll

be deceiving myself. Admittedly, Nana Addo is popular, but realistically, his

popularity is limited to the NPP delegates. This is as a result of the manipulation

of the NPP Electoral College by the Jake-led NPP leadership. A couple of months ago,

I did an article on the NPP Electoral College and described it as a "democratically

undemocratic". The cancellation of 16 constituency and other polling station results

was a clear vindication of what I wrote. Thus, Nana Addo's popularity among the NPP

delegates is something not surprising to me.

It is however, interesting to note that Nana Akufo-Addo's popularity started when I

was in the kindergarten. How has Nana's popularity benefitted the NPP as a party?

Has Nana's popularity translated into electoral victories for the NPP? If the answer

to the above two questions is a big NO, then it is imperative for us as delegates

and party members to change our perception about Nana Addo and map up better

strategies to capture political power. We need to move from traditional to

transitional; emotional to rational; and selfishness to selflessness. We need to

understand that elections are not won on righteousness and popularity, especially in

Africa.

Since the inception of the 4th Republic, our electoral contests have always centred

on personalities and not programmes of political parties, else the free maternal

care and NHIS alone could have kept the NPP in power. For example, Rawlings's

charisma was enough to beat both Prof. Adu Boahen and Kufuor in Election 1992 and

Election 1996 respectively. Also, Kufuor's physique, coupled with his composure and

temperament accounted to a very large extent, for his victories against Prof. Atta

Mills in Elections 2000 and 2004. On the other hand, Prof. Mills's humility,

composure, and symbolism as a man of peace matched him straight to the Castle at the

expense of Nana Akufo-Addo in 2008. In Election 2012, when the odds were in favour

of Nana Addo as a result of Mills's untimely death, and 'Woyomism', John Mahama came

from nowhere to beat Nana Addo by more than 300, 000 votes. How many of you could

therefore say that, Mahama's victory in the last elections was due to the NDC's

performance in government?

Folks, this is the more reasons why I expect all patriots to think outside the box.

It is a fact that Nana Addo's popular votes keep dwindling in all elections; the NPP

has lost grip of all the Akan Regions; and it seems the party has been hijacked by a

section of people creating unnecessary tension within the party. We therefore do not

need a rocket scientist to tell us that Nana Akufo-Addo does not suit the taste and

preference of the Ghanaian voter population. How could a 72 year-old Nana Addo

overturn an incumbent president, John Mahama's over 300,000 votes? This is not as

easy as we could all imagine.

Brethren, as we match to Election 2016, the preoccupation of the NPP is to win

political power. Anything else is secondary, for no good politician can develop

Ghana from the opposition's bench. It is thus the responsibility of all NPP members

to look beyond the confines of the party and get suitable candidate who can win

extra votes outside the NPP's boundary. A candidate whose attributes could match

those of President Mahama. Such attributes include humility, affability, physique,

composure, giant and gentility, temperament, beauty, and youthful exuberance.

Somebody who bears the name John and appeals to the masses. I know somebody would

mount a challenge to these attributes, but these are the taste and preferences of

the Ghanaian voter and not Katakyie. Any layman agrees that the first principle of

any good political strategy is to examine the voters' choices and preferences, and

to tailor the party's activities to suit them. In our villages, the illiterate woman

who sells "maasa" with her porridge and realises that her customers don't patronise

the "maasa" would quickly replace them with "koose". If these "illiterates"

understand this basic marketing principle, why are our intellectuals in the NPP

fumbling?

Personally, I think a lot of people in the NPP have what it takes to beat John

Mahama and his NDC. But, one man who stands tall among the rest is no other person

than Hon. John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen. Seriously, Alan is cast in the mode of former

president Kufuor. He is gentle and giant. He has the charisma, and his good looks

attract even non-NPP members. He speaks gently and his humility is unquestionable.

His mother is from the Central Region and father from the Ashanti Region. If such an

asset is found in the NPP, why can't we take advantage of that and win power first?

As Dr. Kwame Nkrumah once said; "See ye first political power, and all other things

shall be added unto you".

Fellow delegates and NPP members, you all know how principled I am and how loyal I

have been to the NPP and Nana Addo. But, the time is ripe for us to do a

dispassionate analysis on issues. Honestly, Nana Addo's age will not help the NPP,

as our "illiterate voter population" would still be swayed by the NDC's propaganda

machinery. We'll have to use so much energy and time to defend and explain to the

Ghanaian voter why old age does not matter in elections. This will be at the expense

of selling our campaign message. Indeed, Nana Addo could be a potential good

president, but not all potential good presidents were able to become presidents due

to nature. For instance, Dr. J.B. Danquah, Prof. Adu Boahen, John Kerry, Hilary

Clinton, Chief Abiola etc missed the opportunities, but life went on as usual. I

expect Nana Addo to take a rest from active politics and throw his weight behind Dr.

Bawumia and Alan, if indeed he has the NPP at heart. If Alan Cash is given the nod

as the flagbearer, and either Dr. Bawumia or somebody else is chosen from the

Brong-Ahafo Region, and we police the ballot well, I don't see why NPP cannot

wrestle power from the NDC in 2016. The changes that occurred in the NPP Regional

and National Executive Elections have served as an eye opener to all of us. Let's do

one more change in the Flagbearership, and I can assure you that Election 2016 would

be ours.

God bless Ghana! God bless the NPP!! God bless Kufuor!!!

Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Asante Bekwai-Asakyiri

(Free SHS Ambassador)

Official blog: www.katakyienpp@yahoo.co.uk

0202471070 : 0264931361

Columnist: Agyemang, Katakyie Kwame Opoku