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Opinion: Haruna Iddrisu should find a way to build a solid base in NR

Fri, 27 Jan 2023 Source: Mumuni Yunus

... Of the Adabraka Coup in Parliament; my take.

A lot has been said since the famous or infamous (depending on how you see it) decision of the NDC to remove its leadership in Parliament, some raising some critical and valuable points to either support or disapprove the decision taken.

I, an outsider, whose only interest in this matter is borne out of the fact that it bothers on an individual who is so influential in the region we come from; Yes, Haruna Iddrisu is by far the most influential politician in the Northern Region and probably in the entire Dagbon State. In fact, his influence transcends the boundaries of Dagbon and even Northern Ghana. Therefore, decisions supposedly taken against him will obviously be met with this kind of rage and anger we're seeing now.

With this influence of the venerable Haruna Iddrisu, we have in the past heard from the grapevine, how he has allegedly used it to knock down politicians within his party, who openly challenge him or disagree with his decisions and allegedly, literally decides who can go to Parliament and otherwise, earning him the nickname 'Kuɣu Naa' (the King Maker). These claims, although have never been backed with concrete evidence, were given weight during the last Northern Regional Delegates Congress of the party where some defeated candidates heavily accused him of causing their defeat.

Prior to the 2016 election, then MP for Nanton, Ibrahim Mohammed Murtala was heavily critical of Mr Iddrisu, going live on radio to accuse him of wanting to cause his defeat in the Parliamentary Elections- he eventually did lose his seat, before returning to Tamale Central, fixed his relationship with the Tamale South MP and subsequently won the 2020 Tamale Central Constituency seat to return to parliament. He has since been an ardent supporter of Mr Iddrisu.

Really, it is not only Mr Murtala who has stayed so strong behind Mr Iddrisu especially in this time of his 'coup d'etat'. And this is where my write up will focus on.

Since the decision was made on Tuesday, Mr Iddrisu has enjoyed unparalleled support, love and solidarity from his Northern colleagues in both the NDC and NPP.

The Tamale Central, Gushegu (NPP MP) and Tamale North MPs are among those who have openly thrown their support for the deposed Minority Leader.

Indeed, many other MPs from the Northern Region, including those many alleged were not in the good books of Haruna Iddrisu have gone against their party’s decision, just to show their love and support to the Tamale South MP.

This, I believe is an indication that his empire has not entirely fallen as it's being suggested, although admittedly, many at the grassroot level do not support him again because they believe he may have stepped on too many toes in recent times.

Observantly, the base of the NDC in the Northern Region who hitherto would have been united in supporting the outgoing Minority Leader are now sharply divided, with as much against him as those who support him, that is not good for Mr Iddrisu. He needs to ensure his empire is as strong as the ancient Dagbon Empire was and he must take steps to jealously achieve it.

He should do so by adopting a number of strategies, including embarking on a well calculated Public Relations campaign to change the perceptions of people that he works against his colleagues who openly disagree with him. He also needs to find a way to build a solid base in his home region, to ensure that, even if there will still be people who would be against him, it would not be near a quarter of his admirers. Mr Iddrisu should know that, he would be more powerful when he has at least 90percent of the NDC base in the region, although that will be a very difficult task because of obvious reasons. He has to be in the good books of the media in the region as well, as many industry players believe he doesn't value the media in the region and do not give him much attention either.

Powerful politicians remain powerful when they have the full support of their people. Your political enemies easily take you on, when they know your enemies in your own region or state are as much as your admirers.

©Mumuni Yunus, a student of Political Communication.

Source: Mumuni Yunus