Election 2016 in Perspective: Will the Volta Region still be the nemesis of the NPP?
By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Folks, over the past 24 hours, a lot has appeared in the news media to suggest that much of what will determine the NPP's fate at Election 2016 hinges on the electoral decision to be made by voters in the Volta Region and other "minority" regions not traditionally friendly toward or supportive of the Danquah-Busia tradition.
Flimsy or whimsical though such publications may be, they leave me in no doubt as to why some kind of attention is being focused on the Volta Region at this time that the NPP is seeking to make a headway there.
It's not for its own sake. The Volta Region has been regarded as the "World Bank" of the NDC and feared by the NPP all these years in our 4th Republic. Having come across as the nemesis of the NPP, the general feeling among the NPP fold is that if its quantum of votes for the NDC is diminished, there should be little doubt for an NPP victory. Many other areas haven't been factored into such simplistic and pathetic assumptions, though.
I have had the occasion to view images of what transpired when the NPP's Akufo-Addo visited Anloga yesterday as part of his tour of the Volta Region and the impulsive conclusions being drawn by adherents of the NPP to create the impression that the Volta Region has fallen for the NPP. Or that the Voltarians are ready “to vote for a change”. Why should Anloga be the blanket for drawing that conclusion? (See http://www.myjoyonline.com/politics/2016/May-20th/you-have-nothing-to-fear-in-me-akufo-addo-assures-voltarians.php).
And he was in his usual boastful element to ask the people that they had nothing to fear in him? After tacitly supporting the urge by Kennedy Agyapong for Ewes and Gas to be eliminated?
Akufo-Addo's knee-jerk appeal to establish a "new relationship" with the Volta Region has been noted. What about the "old relationship" still remaining nettlesome is left to him to contend with. But it is clear that the NPP is aiming to exhaust itself in all circumstances in a struggle for the Volta Region. No more talk of Togolese infiltrating the region or of Ewes as non-Ghanaians eligible to choose a leader for Ghana?
The truth, though, is that the quantum of votes from the Volta Region is nothing measurable to what comes from more populous regions as the Ashanti and Eastern Regions. Is the NPP so confident of grabbing votes from those areas, regarded as its traditional strongholds, as to seek support from the Volta Region to seal its fate at Election 2016? Well nigh up in the skies!!
Maybe, some bragging rights are at stake here, which explains why so much rhetorical capital is being made of the reception given Akufo-Addo at Anloga.
But history pricks. For the 2008 elections, the same people in that part of the Volta Region converged to hear the late Courage Quashigah speak at an NPP rally in the area. Seeing the multitude, Quashigah wept, convinced that the NPP had a sway in the area. The outcome of the elections, however, proved him wrong.
I don't know if the same scenario will be re-enacted at Election 2016, following what happened to Akufo-Adsdo at Anloga. But I can stick my neck out to say that anybody wishfully celebrating the media hype of Akufo-Addo's interaction with the people may end up dumbstruck. Appearances are always deceptive!! Or....?
There is ample evidence to confirm that although the Mahama-led administration has stretched itself to solve problems, it hasn't succeeded in its efforts at improving living standards. Will that be the jackpot cause for its being totally rejected at Election 2016 by the voters in the Volta Region or elsewhere in Ghana?
I don't know about that aspect of the Ghanaian mentality; but what I know is that there is more to Election 2016 than what the superficial cosmetic approaches by opponents of President Mahama are using to undermine him.
The cost of living may be high (in terms of utility services, etc.) but it doesn't spell the end of the road for the incumbent. The government has levelled with the people as to why it has adopted harsh measures to solve problems that its predecessors couldn't or what its opponents are merely criticizing but cannot set aside or provide cogent alternative solutions for.
What these opponents are preaching isn't the solution, at least, given the fact that they are not offering anything concrete and substantial as a palliative. So, what choices do the people have to make for the future? Bot to go for the deep unknown!! Trodden paths are always easier to navigate (translated as the devil you know is better than the angel you don't know).
If the NPP people think that winning votes from the Volta Region will boost its chances, it will be deceived. There are many other areas that it has to work on, especially in terms of what it has sowed to harm itself.
I don't believe that Ghanaians vote on the basis of a herd mentality (contrary to the derisive mischief by the NPP elements packing the Ewes into one big block of electoral homogeneity would want us to believe). As such, I find it difficult to accept the kind of narrow politics being done with this "Ewe" bovine allegiance to the NDC.
The people know what is good for them and will go for it at the polls. That is why it behooves the politicians to know what is good for the people and to provide to win their thumbs. Anything short of that leads to disaster. Only those who don't know what wins votes will play the ethnic card. Ethnicity isn't a sure banker at the polls!!
In the particular case of Akufo-Addo's impulsive desire to forge a "new relationship" with the people of the Volta Region, where has he placed the damaging self-serving and ill-motivated campaign of lies against Ewes as spearheaded by his running mate (Dr. Bawumia) in the shoddy analysis of the electoral role of Togo and Ghana by which the NPP concluded that more than 76,000 people of the Volta Region on the Ghanaian voters' register were Togolese? Has Akufo-Addo reconciled the truth with the NPP's falsehood to warrant his wanting to rebuild his relationship with the Ewes?
And what has happened to the rest of the people of other ethnic extractions that the NPP claimed were non-Ghanaians on the voters roll to be investigated and exposed as undesirables contributing to the NPP's electoral woes? Nothing done so far. The end of the road, according to the NPP's diabolical anti-Volta Region scheme? Only a calculated attempt to vilify the Ewes? Yet, Akufo-Addo is touring the Volta Region to beg for votes?
Surely, Victor Owusu must be churning in his grave!! Ewes are not as inward-looking as he might want the world to believe. If they were, they would hold nothing in their electoral coffers for the political party touting the political ideology of the separatists that the NPP represents in our time; that the Danquah-Busia Asante-Akyem cabal is. Forget about the "Dombo" afterthought because it is non-existent. If you think otherwise, you are lost.
On that score, what is exactly the missing link in the NPP's political mobilization drive shouldn't be difficult to fathom. It is not a matter of ethnicity or the morbid hatred for Akufo-Addo. It is a plain fact that the NPP isn't attractive because it is a chip of the old block that Ghanaians rejected in the pre-independence era and brushed aside for 30 years thereafter before tolerating it in power between January 2001 and 2009 when they tried Kufuor.
He did his best but that best fell far short of what was expected; hence, the decision not to return the NPP to power on the wings of Akufo-Addo. What Akufo-Addo has been doing all this while is an unfounded exercise in futility. Such an exercise merely saps energy. Reaching out to the Volta Region with pretentious civility and stoic duplicity won't help him change his spots. Once established as a leopard, always will he be regarded as a leopard to be feared from afar and kept at bay!!
Folks, you can interpret from the comments made by Akufo-Addo that he really has no respect for the people of the Volta Region. How does he think that vigilance on the part of the NPP will cut down the NDC's votes in the Volta Region and not do so for the NPP in its strongholds (Ashanti and Eastern Regions)?: (See http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Vigilance-will-win-us-Volta-NPP-440309). The more this wisp of a wimp opens his mouth, the more he alienates voters.
I shall return…
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