The NPP can’t win elections with an old tune!

Fri, 4 May 2012 Source: Bokor, Michael J. K.

By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The NPP’s strategy of exposing Bawumia is on course to catapult him into the limelight. That’s why he seems to be playing a frontline role these days and receiving media attention for it. In principle, that strategy is politically viable; but in reality, it doesn’t seem to be the solution the NPP needs to reap the benefits of a Bawumia Running-Mate candidacy.

I say so with hindsight—Bawumia couldn’t get the NPP the Northern votes that it had anticipated in the 2008 elections. Thus, by retaining him for the 2012 elections, whatever might have contributed to his inability to woo voters needs to be neutralized. That’s why the publicity stunt is all about him these days.

But he has joined the “Yen Akanfuo” choir to sing himself hoarse with an old tune that will not help the NPP win the elections. The cacophony grates on the ears—and it hurts too!!

The reality of Bawumia’s non-starter effort is clear already. He has also quickly fallen prey to the worn-out politics of empty fault-finding with the incumbent administration, repeating the stale old tales of the Mills government’s inability to fulfill its 2008 electioneering campaign promises and destroying the economy.

There is nothing new in this approach to politicking. Ghanaians already know what these issues are. In fact, they have known these problems since the first Republic when governance took a turn for the worse after independence. They won’t root for Bawumia and the NPP just because this self-same story is being told and re-told by the political neophyte that Bawumia is.

Ghanaians want to know what the NPP’s solutions are. So far, nothing new has been told them. It’s all about destructive criticism topped with empty promises. As if that is not irritating enough, Kennedy Agyapong’s hate speech has added a new complexion to the matter.

Although Kufuor may claim that the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia ticket is “heaven-sent” and the best to have happened to the NPP in its bid to recapture power, there is nothing really substantial about the NPP’s politicking. In 2008, was it not the same pair who fought and lost the elections? Were they from hell, then?

As is already obvious, Bawumia himself doesn’t seem to know the drift of Ghanaian politics and is faltering already. His claim that the NPP will win all the North (the Northern, Upper East, and Upper West Regions) because of his “Northern roots” is more ridiculous than Odoi Sykes’ promise to our Northern Ghana compatriots that an NPP government would extend the railway system to the North.

As someone rightly asked, is it now that Bawumia has developed his “Northern roots” to cite as an electoral asset? Were there no “Northern roots” for him when he paired with Akufo-Addo for the 2008 elections and lost?

You see, when political neophytes are given the limelight, they don’t take too long to expose their immaturity.

I have said it several times already but will repeat it for purposes of reinforcing my stance that although Ghanaians are complaining about living conditions and political opponents are jumping on President Mills, criticizing him over his leadership style, it doesn’t mean that they see Akufo-Addo and his NPP as the automatic replacement or as Ghana’s saviour. Many factors are at play and the NPP should not deceive itself that victory for it at the polls is a done deal.

Probably, having already conditioned their followers for victory, the party’s leaders have no other option but to turn to plan “B,” which is encapsulated in the “Yen Akanfuo” and “All-die-be-die” war cry by Akufo-Addo. Then again, that is why Kennedy Agyapong has declared war on the ethnic groups that he and those in the NPP fostering the ”All-die-be-die” war machinery perceive as the match spoilers.

Having thus exposed their inner selves, they will not rest until the mayhem that they are hatching is unleashed and pursued to serve their political purposes. But they are deceived. From the barrage of condemnation coming from the major segments of the Ghanaian society—except the NPP itself—it must be clear to those in the NPP banking hopes on mayhem as a strategy to win power that the going will be really tough for them.

The best option is not to intimidate or blackmail the voters—or to attempt establishing any paramilitary force to fight their cause. They have every opportunity to present their ideas on national development to Ghanaians for them to make their electoral decisions on why they should replace the incumbent with Akufo-Addo and his NPP. But they are not doing so. Where are the ideas for national development?

So far, there is nothing concrete to prove that an Akufo-Addo government will be any different from those we have had so far and complained bitterly about. I am apprehensive because I don’t see anything that the NPP has (apart from so-called transient social interventionist programmes that will further tighten the grips on the national coffers) to drastically overhaul the system to ensure that the democratization process will move to a higher and better level to give Ghanaians the benefits they deserve.

Not until anything emerges to prove that an Akufo-Addo government will do other than what has persistently kept our country on its knees, any noise that Akufo-Addo and Bawumia make will come across as mere self-righteous rhetoric. Ghanaians won’t vote for self-righteous braggarts just because of their high-sounding but empty political rhetoric.

Now, back to Bawumia. From what he has given us to know, there is nothing to enthuse over about his resourcefulness and, therefore, ability to reverse the country’s economic downturn. I laugh to scorn the claim that having been the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Bawumia knows the root causes of our economic problems and will team up with Akufo-Addo to solve them.

What haven’t we had before him only to realize the folly of relying on such hollow claims to our disadvantage? For those who don’t know it, previous governments had former Governors of the Bank of Ghana and so-called renowned economists to work for them but the economic recovery never happened. Do you remember Dr. Robert Gardner, Mrs. Gloria Nikoi, and Dr. G.K. Agama?

And now Dr. Kwabena Duffuor who is the Minister of Finance but under whose watch the tide has refused to flow?

The point must be made clear here that if the NPP should win the elections, it will be because of many factors other than this fawning over Bawumia, who still has no constituency from which to draw votes. Such a victory will likely result from disenchantment with the incumbent government’s performance just as Akufo-Addo’s own defeat in 2008 was contingent on Kufuor’s failure to satisfy the electorate.

Such a cycle is already in motion and will determine Akufo-Addo’s own fate at the end of a first term of his being in office, assuming that he ever wins the elections. It is a Ghanaian thing!!

For Bawumia, the writing must be on the wall for him to read and use to guide himself. Ghanaians already know the forces at work in his choice as a Running Mate—the irresistible tendency to play the “Northern Ghana” and Muslim cards to help the “Yen Akanfuo” return to power—which reduces our politics to a predictable game of treachery and chicanery. A mere game of musical chairs that should alarm Ghanaians!

Bawumia shouldn’t go far to see the reality of his being used as a pawn in the “Yen Akanfuo” game of political chess. Will he not reflect on what happened to Aliu Mahama for all the 8 years that he served under Kufuor and got relegated to the backwoods of the “Yen Akanfuo” politics? Or how he was humiliated when he attempted becoming the flagbearer of a “Yen Akanfuo” political cabal?

If he does, he should pause to think deeply before shooting his mouth. Gradually, he is fitting into the pattern and will be wise only after the fact. Not until he and his handlers in the NPP give Ghanaians anything new to suggest how they will solve the country’s problems, they should hasten slowly.

We are already aware of and fed up with all the tired issues that they keep harping on. Isn’t that enough of a needless bother already? We need something new to engage us as we move toward Election 2012.

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Columnist: Bokor, Michael J. K.