By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Friday, November 2, 2012
It is refreshing that three out of the Presidential Candidates to contest the December 7 elections are of Northern Ghana extraction. This is the first time in Ghana’s history that we have such an array of contestants from that part of the country for national elections.
The incumbent, John Dramani Mahama of the NDC, the People’s National Convention’s Hassan Ayariga, and the CPP’s Dr. Abu Sakara are lined up against others. Good job, folks!
That they are not put on the back-burner as Running Mates is commendable—and a challenge to those parties (especially the NPP) that consider such compatriots as good only when playing second fiddle to those in the “Yen Akanfuo” fraternity with a warped agenda of superiority complex.
I may be accused of doing tribal politics in this opinion piece, but that’s not my lookout. I’m just being pragmatic and straight-to-the-point on an issue that shouldn’t be lost sight of in our national politics. If former Vice President Aliu Mahama wasn’t good to lead them to the 2012 elections, where is the evidence that Mahamudu Bawumia—now being overworked as a beast of political labour—will ever be considered good to do so one day?
Obviously, our Northern Ghana compatriots have every right to be given this envious responsibility of leading their parties to the polls, having established themselves as forces to reckon with in every department of national life.
It gives me the occasion to celebrate the huge contributions of our Northern Ghana compatriots to Ghana’s development. They are not worthy of being perceived and used only as appendages to others—as is likely to be noticed in the addition of “Dombo” to the mainstream “Danquah-Busia” ideology as an afterthought for manipulation of unwitting folks.
From all indications, Mahama, Ayariga, and Sakara are leading political parties that endear themselves to Ghanaians in diverse ways and have the NPP as their main obstacle. And it is the NPP that is making the loudest noise about using a Northerner and a Muslim to give some presence to those segments of the citizenry. Chicanery at its best, you might call it.
All things being equal, though, the upcoming elections seem to be a direct “battle” between the incumbent (John Mahama) and the NPP (Akufo-Addo, the Al-Houdini promise-maker, alias Mr. FREEMAN).
In its current fractious state, the pro-Nkrumahist political camp can’t go it alone to win the elections. None of the splinter parties stands any chance either. Losing the elections will further undercut their support base; and they lack the substance to attract any large following in the near future. The only possibility is that they will continue to wane as their supporters drift away.
As the situation stands now—and particularly because of their inability to sink their narrow selfish interests to merge into one political party to uphold the Nkrumahist front—none of these parties will be worth supporting on its own merit.
That is why it is important to consider why it will be beneficial for these peripheral political parties to decide early enough how to position themselves. In all certainty, they stand to profit from the dynamics if they join forces with the NDC. They have more to gain from aligning with the NDC than remaining on their own, wasting resources yet going nowhere, or taking any politically suicidal action to align with their nemesis (the NPP). I will explain why.
There seems to be no compelling reason for the pro-Nkrumahist parties to turn against the NDC. Whatever factors existed in the past, mostly attributable to the Rawlings element, is no more at play. With its new ideology of Social Democracy, the NDC has a lot in common with the pro-Nkrumahist front.
The CPP is already well represented in the NDC, a factor that fuelled anger in the Rawlings faction which had accused the late President Mills of political engineering and incubating a CPP embryo within the ranks of the NDC at the seat of government, preparatory to defecting to the CPP to bloat its ranks.
The irony is that Rawlings himself had long lured CPP elements to his fold, using them for political activities that boosted the NDC’s own fortunes instead. We have a good number of those CPP adherents still functioning as NDC members. After all, apart from the underlying ideology of “Nkrumahism” that portrays the CPP in its own peculiar political light as a left-leaning party, there is no marked difference between it and the NDC.
Of course, the NDC also has its peculiar militaristic background, having resulted from the June 4 and PNDC military forays into national politics. The vibrancy that facilitated Nkrumah’s CPP is the same that propels Rawlings’ NDC. Both camps are bound by the common interest of development projects and uplifting a national character as the banner.
I don’t see any drastic difference between both; thus, it will not be strange for the weaker party (the CPP) to collapse into the stronger one (the NDC) to present a common front. So also should it be for the other pro-Nkrumahist splinter parties like the PNC, GCPP, or any other.
There is speculation that the PNC is friends with the NDC. The party has already indicated its support for the NDC Parliamentary Candidate in a part of Northern Ghana where it is not fielding its own candidate.
At a larger level, followers of these parties need not fear anything sinister by shifting toward the NDC whose flagbearer is one of their kind. Indeed, I will be more comfortable with a John Mahama presidency than an Akufo-Addo one. I have said it several times already that Ghana deserves better than an Akufo-Addo Presidency. No regrets or apologies for saying so.
That is why it is important for all these forces to come together to neutralize anything that might work in favour of the NPP and its Akufo-Addo. They can do so with a common front, guided by a common urge to have one of them as the formidable candidate. It is not as if without them the NDC will wobble or hobble at the elections. It can still stand on its own to rob Akufo-Addo of victory; but joining forces will make that victory sweeter, especially when indications are clear that neither the PNC nor the CPP can win the elections.
I reck very little of Paa Kwesi Nduom and his PPP’s chances and won’t bother my head where they go. Obviously, they can’t turn elsewhere but toward the NPP. Nduom threw away his Nkrumahist calling and worked with the CPP’s arch political rivals (the “Ma te me ho”) government of Kufuor.
Then again, ever since he broke away from the CPP, he has lost every mark of Nkrumahism. His true political coloration is amorphous and he commands little support for me to imagine that he can hold sway at the elections. He may be out there, deceiving himself that he is in the reckoning. I care less.
We can tell from proceedings at the Tuesday Presidential Debate organized by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) that the pro-Nkrumahist camp is virtually on the same with the NDC. What remains to consign the NPP to the political wilderness is a concerted effort to hit hard at it.
Thank Goodness, Akufo-Addo has already begun the downhill movement, exposing his underbelly to be punctured as he concentrates on hoodwinking the electorate with unremitting promises here and there.
My stance doesn’t in any way suggest that without these Nkrumahist parties teaming up with the NDC it can’t win the elections. The possibility exists for the NDC to win; but roping in these pro-Nkrumahist forces will completely unsettle the NPP out of this year’s elections and send the strong signal that a similar fate awaits it in 2016 and beyond. The elephant belongs to the bush, not the Osu Castle.
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