Propaganda and dirty politics won't send NDC to power in 2020

John Mahama Black Former President John Mahama

Mon, 20 Aug 2018 Source: Stephen Atta Owusu

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo tried on three occasions to become president of Ghana but succeeded the third time. During the last elections of December 2016, the NDC party felt confident as they assured their members that their party was in a comfortable lead. At the end of it all, Nana Addo and the NPP party won a landslide victory with a whopping 53% of the votes cast.

Nana Addo's victory demonstrated majority acceptance and approval by Ghanaians and the celebration that followed at a time when Mahama and the NDC, had obtained only 43%. In fact, jubilation and excitement were irrepressible! Since they have no hope of winning the 2020 general elections, they have resorted to propaganda and dirty politics.

Both the executives and some influential members of the NDC turned against Rawlings and some of them at a point claimed Rawlings was not the founder of NDC, and that he was invited from the military barracks to become the presidential candidate when NDC had already been founded by the executives of the party. This did not stop there.

The party executives, after being criticized by Rawlings for corruption, decided to avoid him. They held national party meetings without inviting Rawlings.

I am gradually explaining why NDC have resorted to propaganda politics. In 2008, Rawlings took part in an intensive house to house campaign process which helped the NDC to win power in 2008 and 2012. It is believed that the NDC won because Rawlings took part in the campaign. The NDC lost the 2016 elections because Rawlings, after condemning them for corruption and poor governance, refused to join in the campaign. No wonder the NDC lost power.

They are painfully aware that without Rawlings' full support, commitment and active involvement, there is no way they will be able to wrench power from the NPP. Despite the persistent apologies rendered by the executives of the NDC to Rawlings and the latest appeal for forgiveness coming from Anita De Soosoo. She made this appeal publicly in the presence of Rawlings. It is hard to tell whether Rawlings accepted these apologies or not.

The NDC is confronted with the difficulty of winning the 2020 election without Rawlings taking part in the campaign process. The party is determined to win the 2020 election by any means necessary with or without Rawlings, through the tactics of vilifying the policies, projects and all the good intentions of the NPP, with the belief and conviction that such dirty politics and propaganda will arouse electoral hatred and anger for the ruling party.

Will such propaganda and dirty politics click for the NDC to snatch power from the NPP?

During the regime of former president Rawlings, a military agreement was reached between Ghana and the USA. In the agreement, the American soldiers were supposed to help their Ghanaian counterparts with training and techniques of warfare. The agreement was signed behind closed doors. No one heard about it. Before they left Ghana they donated different kinds of ammunition to the Ghanaian Army. A similar agreement was signed by president Mahama without referring to parliament. However, under President Nana Addo's rule, the military cooperation agreement came up again.

The president decided not to do like his predecessors but rather, in a more democratic stance, he took it to parliament for discussion and approval before he appended his signature to it. When the news of the U.S military cooperation agreement reached parliament, heaven broke loose among the NDC members in parliament. They accused NPP of accepting 20 million dollars to allow the Americans to build a military base in Ghana.

This deliberate propaganda seemed to be working as the deal struck a nerve in Ghana but Nana Addo consistently explained that if the Americans did not build a base in Ghana during NDC rule, Ghanaians must be assured that he, Nana Addo, will not be the one to allow the Americans to build a military base in Ghana. Nana Addo's genuine assurance was ignored and the NDC members were still eager to pursue propaganda and dirty politics by organizing a demonstration of more than 3000 people who took over the streets of Accra to protest against the agreement. It is very absurd that both presidents Mahama and Rawlings are refusing to inform their members of the benefits of the Ghana-US military cooperation agreement; an agreement which they themselves signed during their time, all because of propaganda and dirty politics.

Not long ago, some top executives of the NDC, including former president John Mahama, organized what they called, "unity walk." During the walk, conspicuously seen were about a hundred participants wearing NPP T-shirts. The NDC was immediately accused of printing NPP T-shirts for propaganda. They announced throughout the walk that many NPP members were soon going to defect to NDC.

Interestingly, they took these "defectors" to every region and at every point of the peace walk, they were shown to the curious crowd as general mosquito described them as gallant and wise men who have fled to the right party. A very interesting thing happened: one onlooker identified five of the "defectors" as strong card-bearing members of the NDC since 1990. When he raised alarm and began to mention their names, he was chased by some NDC members and he was compelled to run for his life. His action helped to open the floodgates of suspicion which opened the eyes of many that the defectors were fake.

The NDC has consistently depended on lies, falsehood and propaganda. The Electoral Commissioner was dismissed by president Nana Akufo-Addo in consultation with a committee set up to investigate embezzlement and corrupt deals that had gone on at the commission. It was mind-boggling and massive!

The Electoral Commissioner, together with her two deputies, was dismissed from office. When the news of her dismissal hit the headlines, the NDC propaganda machine set to work immediately, blaming the dismissal of the Commissioner as deliberate and ill-intentioned. According to NDC, Nana Addo is removing her in order to replace her with someone who will work in NPP’s favour and assure an easy win for them in 2020. The NDC must stop this propaganda and dirty politics and cast their minds back to 2016 and recall that Nana Addo won an overwhelming victory with Charlotte Osei as the boss of EC. Who will kill the hen that lays the golden egg? Nana Addo is a principled and no-nonsense president. He will dismiss even a corrupt minister. Mahama would settle a corrupt Minister at the presidency rather than sack him.

Before Nana Akufo Addo came to power, the NDC were quick to capitalize on what Nana said: All die be die. The NDC claimed that if Nana came to power, he would bring war to Ghana because he was violent as the words that came from his mouth showed that. However, Ghanaians did not listen to the NDC propaganda because they saw in Nana astuteness, non-corruption, humility, strong and determined will to take Ghana forward. They, therefore, voted massively for him, thus killing NDC "all die be die" propaganda before it could gain any roots.

Nana Addo came to power with great projects in his mind. Within a record time, he announced free education in all government approved Senior High schools. There have been a few initial problems of implementation but all efforts are being made to correct all problems. Since its implementation enrolment has gone up close to 40%. As many Ghanaians jubilated over the free SHS, the NDC were bent on spreading false propaganda that the policy will fail.

However, Abdul Malik Kwaku Baako, Managing editor of Crusading Guide has cautioned the NDC to be careful about how they criticize the free SHS policy because those who will benefit from the policy are Ghanaians. Nana Addo assured Ghanaians that he was not going to give in to lies and propaganda and even though there may be initial problems he assured all Ghanaians that he was determined to make the policy an attractive one.

Interestingly, the members of the NDC are also enjoying all the good things Nana Addo has done including free SHS. NDC propagandists must bow their heads in shame and have it in their minds that propaganda and dirty politics will not send NDC to power in 2020.

Columnist: Stephen Atta Owusu