NPP should break the Bawumia-Alan duopoly, Ben Ephson spoke wisdom

Tue, 4 May 2021 Source: Issifu Sulemana

No matter how much one hates Ben Ephson, one cannot take away his dexterity in political analysis and insights. He has built a brand for himself in political forecasting which have by and large, over the years, been credible.

It is on the basis of his pedigree that one cannot rule out what he says or treat whatever he says with a pinch of salt. No, to do that would be taking a path to licking one's own wounds. I'm therefore, as a political activist, treating his recent advice to the NPP with all the seriousness it deserves.

What was his advice? To be precise, Uncle Ben, as variously reported by the media, said: "Alan-Bawumia: NPP should pick a neutral flagbearer for 2024". Could this advice be misconceived? No! Why? Because since the inception of the fourth republic, no party has been able to win an election after presenting a candidate who served in government at the first instance.

So, I quote an analysis done by someone here "I perfectly agree with you, in 2000, NDC brought someone from the government and they lost, in 2008, NPP brought someone from the government and they lost, again in 2016, NDC brought someone from the government and they lost, so we need someone outside the government to break the 8".

It's sufficiently clear that history has always not been favourable to parties that present a known face who served within the incumbent government. Both Bawumia and Alan are within this net. To break the 8-year jinx is no mean task. It's a mountainous terrain that must be traversed with enormous efforts, sacrifice, tactics, and deep thinking.

This Alan-Bawumia duopoly presents a unique but dangerous dynamics that could rip the party apart and render it lame and incapable of winning the next election. We cannot play the ostrich here.

There's a deep-seated rivalry between Bawumia's camp on one side and Alan's camp on the other side - both pulling the party towards their standpoints with so much fury.

Each of these two camps claims a sense of entitlement - with the former thinking he has laboured so much for the party to win power and thus deserve to take the wheel, while the latter, feels he is next on the list to take the wheel.

Aside the historical evidence that makes the duo incapable of winning us the next election, the explosive sense of entitlement simmering within the two camps may detonate and cause irreparable damage should anyone of the two win the next flagbearer race.

These are glaring facts that cannot be overlooked if indeed, our ultimate goal is to break the 8-year jinx and win 2024. Uncle Ben has seen through the crystal ball and with his many years of election analysis, he could not help but to offer this valuable advice to the NPP on pro bono.

We need a formidable candidate whose appeal resonate across the political divide. Someone who has comported himself in the eyes of the public and has an unimpeachable integrity. That person should be able to offer the needed cohesion within the party for 2024. I find these qualities personified in Hon Francis Addai-Nimoh.

In spite of the deliberate neglect he has suffered for daring to contest to become flagbearer in 2014, he has stayed calm, supported the party in all ways possible, and has not misconducted himself in the least. He is a gentleman par excellence!

And so, when the political colossus, Uncle Ben, advised the NPP to present a neutral candidate, he wasn't hallucinating. He was only asking the NPP to look at trends in history and apply itself to the wisdom these historical trends present. He, Uncle Ben, had gauged the mood and know the explosion that can occur if the party doesn't transition from the Bawumia-Alan fixation.

Fortunately for us the NPP, unlike the NDC, we have someone who fits beautifully, the kind of person the analyst has proposed. Will we concede to our parochial interest at the expense of the party or will we eye the ultimate by doing what's necessary?

Time will surely tell!

Columnist: Issifu Sulemana
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