By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Folks, there is a lot happening to suggest that the high hopes inflating the NPP camp of an electoral victory in the next few days are mere sand castles—mere gigantic castles in the air. Those building them refuse to see things beyond their noses even as they dig deep into the coffers for more resources to top up the gigantic colonnade.
They won’t acknowledge their impending doom. And they expend every resource, building those sand castles only to be swept off their feet when reality sinks. Sand castles don’t last. In political terms, they easily come across as a wasted effort.
The NPP camp is seriously building a sand castle that will soon crumble at the poke of a finger. It had done so at Election 1979, 1992, 1996, 2008, and 2012. What it is doing now for Election 2016 has a lot added to it to make it too much top-heavy to stand on its base. Collapse, it will. And what a mighty fall that will be!!
Primarily, the NPP’s sand castle is premised on the results of so-called polls conducted by institutions that it has ardently supported to do what will please it. In truth, Akufo-Addo’s ears have long been stopped to anything but victory at Election 2016. What he went through after losing Elections 2008 and 2012 won’t allow him to have anything other than victory at Election 2016, which is the music being sung by the surrogates doing the opinion polls singing his praise.
I have chosen not to believe anything coming from so-called pollsters as far as predictions for the outcome of general elections are concerned. I haven’t looked up to any opinion poll to help me know who will win or lose general elections, especially in our Ghanaian (African) context. I know why. You may have your own inclinations to stick to. That’s your own cup of tea.
But I have been fascinated by the work of pollsters in general elections this year, beginning with those in the US who spent much energy and resources to predict a win for Mrs. Hillary Clinton at the November 8 polls only to eat back their own vomit when reality sank.
So also has it been in the Ghanaian situation, where all kinds of opinion polling has been going on since pollsters found their niche in such manouevres to gain public attention. No need for me to focus on any of them; but what fascinates me most is that the two main contenders for the Presidential seat and Parliamentary majority (NDC and NPP) seem to have been so politically (and emotionally) invested in such polls as to bank their hopes on them.
They have even roped in so-called prophecies by the charlatans parading as “Men-of-God” who are unceasingly fouling our air with their predictions. Be that as it may, new things are happening for us to see the true colours of which these political fronts are made.
Here is the nub. The results of polls conducted by all kinds of institutions (be they self-styled or not) that predicted an Akufo-Addo victory at Election 2016 were roundly welcomed by Akufo-Addo and his followers as a bolster. Whether from the Economic Intelligence Unit, the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, Legon, or civil society groupings, the polls feeding the NPP’s optimism have been welcomed by Akufo-Addo and his cabal. Much chest-thumping is going on in that light.
Out of the blues, though, Ben Ephson has come out with his own findings that don’t favour the NPP; and lo and behold, he is being attacked as if he has killed the goose laying the NPP’s golden eggs (if ever there has been anything like that). Since he published his findings that reduced other poll results to absurdity, he has been the target of all kinds of insults. He has stood his ground and even added more to frighten the NPP camp.
He says that “a total of 9.4 per cent Ghanaians voters have cast doubt over the New Patriotic Party’s ability to fulfill its 2016 electoral promises” (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/9-4-of-voters-doubt-NPP-would-fulfil-campaign-promises-Poll-reveals-490789).This revelation irks the NPP camp; and I know how they will react to it.
In earlier reactions to Ephson’s “prophecy of doom” for them, they registered the following:
1. “The New Patriotic Party (NPP) will place much premium on election polls done by “credible” institutions such as the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and the like than polls done by individuals like the Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch newspaper, Ben Ephson, Communications Director of the NPP, Nana Akomea has said.
This follows Mr Ephson’s prediction that President John Mahama and the governing NDC will win the 7 December election with 52.4 percent while the NPP’s three-time presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, will garner 45.9 percent and the five other presidential candidates collectively bagging 1.7 percent of the total votes cast. (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/NPP-believes-CDD-IEA-EIU-polls-than-Ephson-s-Akomea-490612).
2. Pollster and managing editor of Daily Dispatch, Ben Ephson, would be better served writing about nutrition than engaging in election surveys because his poll analyses are politically motivated, Yaw Adomako Baafi, a private legal practitioner and a deputy communications officer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has said.(See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Ben-Ephson-better-off-writing-about-nutrition-NPP-490665).
Oyiwa!! When Ephson released his findings that showed that some NDC Parliamentary candidates would lose their seats to the NPP contestants, none in the NPP camp jumped on him. Why are they doing so now that he has touched on the most vital element in the general elections—the Presidential slot—to tell them that their Akufo-Addo is not positioned to outdo the incumbent? Should the y be castigating him instead of doing a sober analysis of his findings so they can make amends in the few days left for the polls?
I am more than convinced that the NPP camp is already gratified of an Akufo-Addo victory and won’t accept anything to the contrary coming from those polling opinions from voters. Is that a good political position to take? No!! There is already a premonition that the NPP’s Akufo-Addo and his camp already see themselves as winners of the elections and will not accept anything to the contrary.
Interestingly, both President Mahama and Vice President K.B. Amissah-Arthur have repeatedly stated and reiterated their stance to accept the outcome of the polls. Akufo-Addo hasn’t done so yet. Instead, he is counting on militancy to pave the way for him. I have no doubt that when reality strikes him and Bawumia, they will do what desperate people do. That is where the danger for the country lies. But they will not have it easy-going. Still waters, they say, run deep. No more!!
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