The 2020 presidential election could go into overtime.
This can only be possible if we repeat the 2016 candidates for the two main political parties. If there is anyone who can threaten the second term bid of president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, that person is ex-president John Dramani Mahama.
Statistics of the last poll point to this possibility.
If the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is to make a successful comeback in 2020, that would only be possible through Mahama as its presidential candidate. No more, no less! The other candidates aspiring for the NDC flagbearer position won’t be a match for Akufo-Addo on many fronts.
First, as the president of the country, he’s more experienced and popular than any present and past public officer. Second, it won’t take an expensive political campaign to market Akufo-Addo to the electorate as was the situation in the past. But it would take years and more of same to endear the other NDC candidates to Ghanaians.
Mahama has equal if not more of what makes Akufo-Addo a little better than the other NDC flagbearer aspirants. The two have had some of their appointees accused of corrupt practices.
Fact is, if corruption was said to be rife in Mahama’s regime, one can confidently say that it has gained notoriety more than ever in Akufo-Addo’s government.
Shady practices of appointees in the government of yesterday are taking place with fanfare in the regime of today. Nothing much has changed.
The only visible change in the country is that more of our unemployed graduates are today trekking from office to office hopelessly in search of jobs. At least this I know that the jobs are not coming but the promises to change the situation of Ghanaians keep coming. Exactly how this is possible, I can’t tell.
But like Mahama, one can say that Akufo-Addo is ninety percent away from fulfilling his highfalutin promises made to Ghanaians in 2016.
The one-district-one-factory (1-D, 1-F), one-village-one-dam (1-V, 1-D) and the $1million to every constituency promised among others have not seen the light of day, with less than two years to the next poll.
I can’t tell when these promises would be accomplished but I can say that the dream of an NDC comeback in 2020 is very possible. And it can only be achieved when it rallies its strength and numbers across the country behind Mahama.
This, unassailable, was a challenge in 2016, resulting in the astounding defeat of Mahama to Akufo-Addo.
I have said in many quarters that Mahama lost to Akufo-Addo in the last poll, not because of the then NPP candidate’s many promises. It was because the abandoned NDC supporters chose to abandon their candidate.
The story in many NDC strongholds after the poll was the same: poor voter turnout. Analysis of the results showed that although Mahama’s 2012 votes dwindled in the last poll, they didn’t go to Akufo-Addo either. In many of those constituencies, Akufo-Addo didn’t get the votes lost by the NDC presidential candidate. This begged the question: where did the votes go?
Read my analysis of the 2016 poll results here: Live from the Woods: Akufo-Addo’s ‘dirty little secret’ that got him president
The answer could be found in Samuel Butler’s Erewhon. It’s a three-syllable word pronounced as E-re-whon.
If the votes went nowhere (the meaning of Erewhon) in 2016, they could then be redirected somewhere in 2020 if the NDC gets its supporters behind Mahama.
The chances of winning the next poll with an unknown candidate are significantly slim, dangerous and impossible.
The NDC can go for any of the new candidates if the aim is to win the 2024 general election and not the immediate one. That would be the best option in that circumstances.
But if the big picture is to win the 2020 presidential poll, I don’t see how a new candidate can unseat Akufo-Addo.
That’s patently impossible.
You can’t put your wrong foot forward in a game of chance when you can confidently stand on the right one.
Kwabena Brakopowers is a journalist, novelist, and essayist whose works focus on politics, migration, social situation, economic and environmental issues. He spends his time writing either in Accra or Monrovia, where he calls his second home. He could be reached at Brakomen@outlook.com or visit www.brakopowers.com to read about him