Folks, in commenting on happenings in the NDC vis-a-vis the jostling for attention by those interested in leading the party to Election 2020, I hinted that I don’t see ex-President Mahama as the one to redeem the party and restore it to power. I said that I would give my reasons in follow-up opinion pieces.
Having assessed happenings thus far, I am more than persuaded that the NDC will not cut butter at Election 2020 unless a miracle happens. And miracles don’t just happen because desperate people wish it so.
I am out now to say what I have harboured all along, especially within the context of what caused the NDC’s defeat at Election 2016 despite the massive advantages of incumbency. There was too much running around in circles. And Akufo-Addo is poised to use his Office of Special prosecutor to cause more credibility problems—all in the bid to make the NDC unattractive.
Interestingly, he has managed to win over the Rawlingses to throw away their own baby (NDC) with the bath water that they themselves have muddied. Too bad for the NDC, especially when its leaders at all the local, regional, and national levels will now be looking for ways to save their own necks from entering the noose.
Those of us writing to support the NDC’s bid for retention did so with a clean conscience and don’t regret in any way about the outcome. Those in government at the time and in charge of the party’s affairs should rather regret for the negative turn of events, which has consigned the party to an opposition that it may not easily leave.
Informed people can easily tell why the NDC lost Election 2016 and why the knee-jerk manouevre to use the Kwesi Botchwey Committee as a cover-up. Why aren’t they bold enough to publish the findings of this committee?
I don’t think that doing so will spell more doom for the NDC than expected. Instead, it will reveal the nagging problems that the rank and file of the NDC could learn useful lessons from to prepare for the future. Those kicking against the publicizing of the findings are only fighting the wind to keep the skeletons in their cupboards from being exposed. I laugh them to scorn.
Interestingly, the jockeying for attention in the ranks of the NDC has assumed ridiculous dimensions with the emergence of forces opposed to ex-President Mahama voicing their long-held aspersions. So far, we have heard from such interested parties for the party’s flagbearership slot as Joshua Alabi, Sylvester Mensah, Alban Bagbin, and who else.
Ex-President Mahama is in contention, even as he manipulates sentiments to appear as either equivocal or whatever else. He says in one breath that the choice of the Presidential Candidate for Election 2020 isn’t necessary now when party building should be the priority. Yet, he looms large at the party’s “Unity Walks” all over the place to the chagrin of his sidelined internal critics and interested aspirants for the slot to lead the NDC to the polls. What is happening?
Let’s cut the chase here to say that the factors that caused the NDC’s defeat at Election 2016 can’t be easily written off. The Akufo-Addo administration is creepily exploiting them to ingratiate itself to the people. We can tell from all the propaganda going on—and all the measures being put in place—that everything is fashioned to dim the NDC’s light.
Is it about the free SHS education?
The claim to have ended “Dumsor” (even when it was the Mahama-administration’s investments in the energy sector that settled it all for which Akufo-Addo is claiming credit)? The so-called self-adulatory claim of implement ting “prudent measures” to turn around the Ghanaian economy (even though the IMF and World Bank think otherwise)? Or what else?
Truth be told, the cost of living in Ghana is still abhorrently high and damaging. A tacit manipulation of the media scene favours Akufo-Addo to the disadvantage of the NDC, which continues to be disparaged.
In this context, a resurgence of the NDC needs more than what is unfolding. It is at this point that clear-headed elements in the NDC camp should make their voices heard. Impulsive moves to rubber-stamp Mahama as the de facto flagbearer for the 2020 Elections have already backfired.
Whatever caused Mahama’s defeat is still in the horizon. Not until Ghanaians feel dissatisfied with Akufo-Addo’s approach to handling the affairs of state, nothing about Mahama will appeal to them. Enough damage has been done to Mahama by his political opponents and his own traitors in the NDC camp to create the impression that he isn’t a problem solver.
All the politically motivated moves by Akufo-Addo to tackle corruption are aimed at further undercutting him. As soon as the Office of the Special prosecutor is established for functionaries of his administration to be hauled before it and disgraced, the mudslinging will intensify. It’s all aimed at preventing him from launching a comeback.
Of course, he did his best and will be remembered for it. But given the kind of enmity, rancour, and bitterness that characterizes politics in this phase of the 4th republic when those who avidly sought political power and spent so much money seeking it and failed are now in power, there is little doubt that they will do all in their power to entrench themselves.
Doing so means a lot to them, regardless of the impact on the country. Once they are determined to maintain their grip on power, they will do anything to that effect. They have already established structures to sustain that move.
That is why it will be sensible for the NDC camp to know how to play whatever cards it has in hand. Merely isolating issues and hooting at the NPP administration (as is happening in the case of the 2017 and 2018 budget and fiscal policies) will not win the hearts and minds of voters preparing for Election 2020.
As of now, what I see coming from the NDC camp is dismissible as a mere child’s play thing. No wonder that the chief ventriloquist in the media touting the NPP’s goodwill (Kweku Baako) has said that the NDC cannot win Election 2020.
Where, then, should the NDC turn for traction?
A careful assessment and re-assessment of the findings of the Kwesi Botchwey Committee’s report and a genuine self-appraisal to face facts. I don’t think that the party has anything to lose if it shares such findings with its rank and file (or Ghanaians, generally) as a means of re-engineering itself.
After all, the findings suggest that something drastically bad happened, which must not happen again. What is wrong about sharing such a perspective with the party’s followers and Ghanaians (some of whom might have been misled to put Akufo-Addo in power)?
Folks, much more to share with you. For now, enough said. Good day.
I shall return…
By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Thursday, November 16, 2017
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