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Should it take a rocket scientist or a prophet to predict defeat for NPP in election 2024 if...?

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Thu, 16 Dec 2021 Source: Rockson Adofo

How I wish the NPP leadership would listen to the message herein contained for the good of themselves, the party and Ghanaians. However, as difficult, obstinate and blinded by the notion of being very learned (“book long”) and “all knowing” as most of them oftentimes appear, they may not listen but rather hasten to consign it to the skip.

Had there ever been a situation where a super-rich or most intelligent, extremely wise or highly educated, person, listened to, or considered, the advice or suggestion, offered by a poor person seen by society as a nobody?

Not as far as I know.

Nevertheless, I will have a story to tell to persuade those people who are often full of themselves that they never give room to listen and scrutinize the wise counsel by poor people. They may be poor or less educated but their advice may at that occasion be the best and only answer or solution to the problem we may have on our hands.

For NPP to make any sense of their agenda “Break the Eight”, leading to the materialisation of breaking the cyclical 8-year rotation in government between them and the NDC, they had better seriously adopt some of the strategies about to be spelt out in this publication.

1. They must have, or hire, a strategist. The role of a strategist is different from that of a Campaign Manager. Who then is a strategist? “A strategist is a person with responsibility for the formulation and implementation of a strategy. Strategy generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and mobilizing resources to execute the actions. ... It involves activities such as strategic planning and strategic thinking”. It is not anyone that has the expertise of a political strategist to help a particular political party to win general elections.

In advanced countries, one could often see the presidents or prime ministers enrolling a strategist or a political consultant to help them win elections or re-election. “Political consultants sometimes act as political strategists, a senior political consultant who promote the election of certain candidates or the interests of certain groups. This is achieved by planning campaign strategies, coordinating campaign staffers, and arranging events to publicize candidates or causes”.

Simply relying on, and making noise about your political achievements which although you are not effectively able to communicate to the public that is generally not politically savvy, unlike their counterparts in the advanced western world, will never garner you the needed winning votes during a general election. This is one of the reasons why the NPP must hire a strategist.

2. The political atmosphere in Ghana at the moment is such critical that the NPP must prove to the nation it is not the “Akanfo3” party as it has come to be stigmatised with following an untimely statement unfortunately made by then NPP flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo. That statement is constantly being exploited by the NDC against the NPP to cause them the disaffection of Ghanaians of the northern and non-Akan extraction.

Are the northerners not holding big positions in NPP? Since former President John Agyekum Kufuor’s government, the Vice Presidential position has been theirs, yet some people falsely claim or perceive NPP as being purely for the Akans. In order to prove the enemies or the rivals of NPP wrong, the time is ripe for a northerner to become its flagbearer. If it does, it will reassure the minority tribes in Ghana that NPP is not actually “Akanfo3” party but an all-inclusive party. By this, the NPP will be able to make more appreciable strides into the NDC strongholds in the north, if not in the Volta and Oti regions.

3. The NPP must bear in mind that they are not the lover of all Akans. If they were, with Akans voting for them massively along tribal lines same as the minority tribes vote for NDC, the NPP will forever be in power, winning all general elections. This is because the Akan tribe comprising the Ashantis, Akyems, Akuapems, Fantis, Bonos, Wassas, etc., constitutes the biggest tribe in Ghana. However, the Akans themselves see NPP as belonging to the Ashantis and out of hatred for Ashantis by some Akans, they at times decide to vote against NPP with the malicious intent of punishing the Ashantis. This is the reason why the Central region (Fanti land), old Brong-Ahafo region (Bonos) and Western region (Wassa) have often become swing regions.

It is only Ashanti and Eastern regions that the electorate always vote NPP in their numbers. Even in these two mentioned regions, the NDC are able to make shocking inroads, winning more votes than what NPP could win in the entire regions where the minorities dominate.

Therefore, it is wrong for anyone to suggest that without any votes from the minority tribes NPP can still win elections in the belief of being an “Akanfo3” party with Akans being the most populous tribe in Ghana. If it were so, why did NPP lose elections 2008 and 2012, without even considering those of 1992 and 1996 when dictator Jerry John Rawlings was in power and could have likely rigged the elections to favour him and his NDC party?

Subsequently, the view expressed by one Mr. Edward Michael Ennin, a former Member of Parliament for Obuasi East in the Ashanti region, in chastisement of Nana Obiri Yeboah, (NPP Deputy Secretary), may be injurious to NPP should they buy into it.

He was expressing disagreement with Nana Obiri Yeboah’s repeated determination to ensure that Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia wins the NPP flagbearer’s slot going into election 2024. Edward believes it should rather go to an Akan despite any misconception about NPP by the minority tribes that have tagged NPP as an “Akanfo3” party that will never allow anyone from the minority tribe to lead it. He expressed this view on Accra-based Okay FM while granting interview to the host of the programme, Kwame Nkrumah Tikese.

4. NPP must resource its communication teams, furnish them with facts and figures about their policies and programmes and dispatch them to the ground to disseminate the good news about the party and the government and how Ghanaians stand to benefit from them in the long run.

The bible has Jesus saying in Luke 11:33, “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light”. Therefore, without NPP devising a strategy to rigorously inform the Ghanaian public of their achievements, the NDC will use their propaganda to misinform the public about NPP to get their votes.

5. The leadership of NPP must desist from public display of opulence. They must also be seen by the party’s supporters and foot soldiers as friendly, fair and firm. They must be approachable while being professional when dealing with their supporters.

See me as a Mr. Nobody to treat my advice herein contained with disdain at your own political cost. Look at the following two stories to see how the views of those initially considered as nobodies became the vital solutions to the problems on hand.

Once in Kumawu, my place of birth, the eminent citizens, all very rich people, met to discuss how best they could solve a certain worrisome problem to help move Kumawu forward. It happened that there was one poor old man among them, the uncle to one of the rich men. How he came to be in their meeting, I cannot tell. During the deliberations, this old man suggested a solution. Straightaway, his nephew shouted at him to sit down and keep quiet. He said, “Sit down. If rich people have met to discuss a topic, how dare you poor person to open your mouth?

Barely had the nephew spoken harshly to his uncle when the other rich people started condemning him by saying, the answer to the problem really lies in the suggestion proposed by the old man so he must be allowed to talk. In the end, the advice by the poor old man was unanimously adopted.

All the rich men and the old man that had gathered in the meeting are dead many years ago. I can mention their names and the one who spoke derogatorily about the old man but for some reasons, I shall not.

The next one is a Ghanaian folklore. No matter how high or low esteem one is, as long as you want to help, you will be able to, in your own little but most dynamic way. Is it not said, “Where there's a will, there's a way” or “To him that will, ways are not wanting?” Be aware of the fact that wisdom is not the prerogative of only the rich or the most educated. Depending on the direness of the situation or circumstance, even the most declared fool deemed to be devoid of any intelligence or wisdom can be of great value or help.

Is there not an analogical lesson to be learnt from a Ghanaian fairy tale that talks about a certain widely-declared fool in a village but was able to save his mum from kidnap by a dwarf after all the efforts by the wise and the intelligent villagers prevailed upon the dwarf had failed? The mum had three children, all males. One was a rich man. The other was like a fountain overflowing with wisdom; he was extremely wise. The last son was publicly acknowledged as a complete fool.

The mum in the story was said to have shaved off or trimmed the hairs on a baby-dwarf. She had come to conclude how ugly and disgusting the overly hairy the baby dwarf appears hence her decision. The parent dwarf got annoyed when he came to discover what the woman had done to his child. He insisted on the woman putting the hairs back on the baby-dwarf same as they were before.

How could the hairs be glued back onto the baby-dwarf as they naturally were, once shaved off? It was impossible. The woman and other people in the village pleaded with the parent-dwarf to pardon her for the irreversible mistake committed. The dwarf would not accept any of their pleas for an answer but decided to take the woman away in the event of she not being able to stick the hairs back onto his child same as they originally were.

The rich son of the woman offered to pay the parent dwarf any sum of money he would demand in order to renege on his avowed intent to take his mum away, in the likely event of her inability to accomplish the task of fixing back the hairs. He refused. All he wanted was to have his son’s hairs back on his body same as they were before.

The wise son when he heard about it, laughed it off. He said to himself, this is no job at all. This is nothing to me as wise and intelligent as I am, and widely known for that matter. He decided to glue the hairs back. He went into the bush to collect some resin (a thick, sticky substance that is produced by some particular trees) with the motive of using it to glue the hairs back onto the baby dwarf. Tried as he did, the trick never worked out successfully as expected. The hairs could still easily be pulled out by hand after gluing them back onto the body of the baby-dwarf, after employing all his touted wisdom.

As evening was drawing near with the dwarf getting more furious, the woman pleaded with him to allow her to go and bid farewell to her other remaining son before the dwarf took her away. This son, declared a fool by the entire community, lived on the outskirts of the village playing on his swinging see-saw hanging down from a tall tree, all day long.

He has dug out the soil surrounding his playground to about twenty metres circumference from the centre where stood the tree; filled it with sand and levelled it out aesthetically evenly. There were not the slightest marks to be seen on the soil and one wonders how he could manage that for all the time he spent on his swinging see-saw.

When the dwarf and the mum arrived at his playground, the mum started crying amid the narration of her momentous fate at the hands of the dwarf. The son said to the mum, “poor woman, take heart for all is not lost yet”. He asked the dwarf to approach him to tell him exactly what has happened as he could not hear him properly from the distance he was standing talking to him.

After the dwarf had recounted his story and his avowed intention to take the mum away in the event of her failing to put back the hairs on his son same as they naturally were, the supposedly foolish son pleaded with him to let go his mum. Pleaded as he did, he was not making any inroads. The dwarf was adamantly sticking to his guns. When the son concluded that his efforts were yielding no fruits, he agreed that the dwarf take his mum away but on one condition.

He told the dwarf to take his mum away but must first make sure he left no footprints or handprints on his aesthetically sand-levelled playground. As dwarfs have their feet turned backwards, according to fairy tales, tried as he did for several hours, he could not level the playground as beautifully-evenly as he came to find it without leaving his footprints on the soil regardless of whichever way he went. Finally, the dwarf had to give up and said, I can’t, so take your mum. The dwarf left the woman and sorrowfully went away.

What all the rich, highly-educated, wise and intelligent townsmen or village folk could not achieve with all their pleadings with the dwarf, the publicly classified fool, thus, the son of the woman in trouble, was able to achieve it without much sweat.

As Mr. Nobody as I may be, I will suggest to the NPP delegates to vote massively to elect Dr. Bawumia for the NPP flagbearer’s slot if they really seriously want to realise their dream of “breaking the eight”. Alan Cash must become his Vice Presidential-candidate.

Should the NPP fail to adopt proper strategies, then they must see their “break the eight” as a complete joke with defeat staring them in the face come election 2024.

Columnist: Rockson Adofo
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