Friends asked me where do I stand with regards to the ongoing internal politics in the NDC? And my response was and still is simple. As things stand today, Former President John Mahama is the strongest candidate that the NDC can’t equivocate, but ought to present in 2020.
The other aspirants are equally good materials and also have what it takes to lead the NDC but, the political barrow meter in the country now, timing, the strength of your opponent and, the mood of the masses as well as their desires must not be glossed over when doing such permutations.
In politics, personal desires are one thing, and honest and an empirical political calculation is another.
To me, in doing so, one must look at a certain five broad categories as follows that lead people to, emerge eventually as candidates in primaries of major political parties in Ghana or if you like, elsewhere at least in relation to our or their gubernatorial political structure and presidential elections. After which, one can be one’s own grand jury going into the 2020 titanic elections in Ghana.
These are the five basic requirements
1. Access to Finance
2. Effective Communication network
5. Efficient/effective grassroots and election winning mobilisation agenda.
In opposition, these are the critical areas that, every like-minded NDC’s party folks needs to focus on.
Nonetheless, as for people coming out to contest for the slot, it is normal and makes the internal political game interesting as will do away with the notion of regional or sectional gerrymander or allegations of de facto in one’s favour against others. But on the flip side too, the ultimate target of the party which is getting political power to implement its policies and programs should be the pivot where to all discerning party folks as well as wishers should revolve.
What we should be asking ourselves as we embark on our internal campaigns is ” if we should put our candidates in the market place etc, will Ghanaians know who he/she is”?
Intriguingly, I must humbly submit here and now that, the singular reason why Mr Jerry Rawlings in 1992 and 1996, Mr Kuffour in 2000 and 2004, Prof Mills in 2008, Mr John Mahama in 2012 and Akufo Addo in 2016 respectively was that they were viable for the Presidential elections they contested and won, was not just magical but was simply because Ghanaians knew them before that, they individually possessed an electoral assets in them because of name recall that was immensely difficult for new players to quickly gather: their party delegates as well as the voting public to know their names off hand. That is why American politics can seem to be like a dynasty or popularity driven.
Elsewhere, the political operatives are not interested in downright dangerous experimentation. That’s undeniably the reasons why in the US system, they routinely look for tried and tested surnames like Bush, Clinton, Obama etc. Yeah! Arguably, we had a few instances where unknown faces successfully get to the top. But note carefully, this phenomenon applies even more significantly and only in countries where citizens do not have access to the body of information that is usually necessary for making informed choices and not the one of our kind, ripped of media pluralism, embellishment, Gerry rigged civilized and discerning society. When they get disappointed and disenchanted, they typically have to employ shorthand made decisions if they think, that could be the ultimate to take them out of the mess they find themselves in, in a particular regime such as ours in recent times. And usually, the most important question that often comes to their minds can be this “Do we know who this person is”?.
It’s however curious to note that, this was the fundamental driver and accelerator behind the massive electoral margins that president; Mr Jerry Rawlings, Mr Kufour, Prof Mills, Mr John Mahama and Mr Akufo Addo racked in the country in the 1992 and 1996, 2000 and 2004 2008, 2012 and 2016 elections respectively in their favour. Not rocket scientist’s perspective but, their faces have appeared on the ballot paper for years, the people knew what they stood for and were familiar with their messages as well as their individual pedigree electorally. As a result, it was therefore easy for the verisimilitude Ghanaian electorates to vote for them.
It is even the more reason why political parties strategically present widows or widowers of popular politicians (MPs) as replacements or candidates should any bye-election is occasioned in an electoral area where s/he belongs. Most often than not, the people in the said constituency will vote for the replacement because of the ex-husband or wife’s popularity.
This is what John Mahama represents. Like it or hate it, John Mahama has become a political institution
not only in Ghana but in the “eagle’s eye” of the International community.
Fact, not fiction, there isn’t a single day that gone passed by that, his name would not be mentioned on our airwaves or in the International media especially for election-related matters in the subregion and beyond. John Mahama is the biggest threat to the incumbent government now.
Mr John Dramani Mahama’s achievements just three(3) and a half years only as a visionary leader are too visible that not be ignored and the masses mention his name daily when assessing the performance of the current under the “misled”, cover up, inept, nepotistic, corrupt, business(banks) collapsing in a mysterious circumstances, massive unemployment, layoffs of workers and replacement of same with only NPP party folks, maladministration, selective application of justice, insecurity, over bloated government, cronyism, shady deals, thievery, highest rent rate, highest electricity tariffs, and low incomes of families, in the Akufo Addo/Bawumia’s led government. Isn’t this factual?
ACCESS TO FINANCE
If you think this only applies to startups and businesses looking to expand, then you haven’t been paying enough attention to the politics of Ghana in recent times.
Access to finance is distinct from personal wealth. The critical masses of the people, institutions, businesses persons, international organizations, head of states etc are always ready to pool the resources together needed to support a candidate win an election if they know his/her capabilities. If they know he/she can achieve that target set. They will take that bold step if they know the candidate is popular like John Mahama and has the urge. No serious organization or business savvy person will invest in a campaign of a start-up or a candidate who is not known. Isn’t it impossible that there is a chance in heaven or hell that you are able to win an election in any part of this country without adequate financial resources? Eg. Assembly, party branch executive, constituency, regional, national, parliamentary primaries, presidential primaries, and general elections are all test cases where money has an influence and, anyone who, so decides to ignore this isn’t in to win an election here in Ghana. You may disagree with me. Yet, I’m still entitled to my own opinions if not my own facts.
While hypocrisy can lead people into viewing this as essentially negative, me, not a panacea though however, the NPP’s national chairman(Freddie Blay) has shown us that, it has now become part of our politics. Take it or leave it and if you have any reservations or problems with him, he calls you and anyone who dares, a “palm wine tapper”. Yeah! He did.
Party organisation, sponsoring of weak candidates, supporting the grassroots base, drafting of manifesto etc all is money involving. By the very nature of democracy today, it is inevitable that it will be expensive. And this can not be said without even referring to the $1.2 billion or thereabouts Hilary Clinton was said to have spent on her 2016’s campaign or the $1.12 billion or thereabouts Barack Obama was alleged to have spent in his 2012’s campaign respectively. I have not even factored in the planning and hosting of events you will have to do repeatedly across the country, campaign buses(Freddie Blay) in mind, campaign trills or reorganised party offices, road shows, TV and radio shows, newspaper and online publications et cetera.
There are reasons why politics is called the art of selling one’s self and one’s ideas. So if there are people who think that financial resources in elections only come down to buying party forms, “bribing delegates” and distributing phones and television sets to delegates, they might be talking about incidental costs rather than an actual cost of sale of party forms. It must be made clear that without financial resources or the ability to get those who have those resources to part with such resources, you are a nonstarter. Hope we all heard what Founder Rawlings said about how the NDC gathered resources for its 2004/2008 campaign and how some foreigners,(allegedly) supported those campaigns. They probably did that because of Rawlings and Mills at the time as well as the Party(mildly). By then, Rawlings had just left office yet, was still connected to some foreign leaders and organisations. That is the advantage Mahama is bringing on board based on his current International and diplomatic exposure across African and beyond.
Now, looking at the mess being perpetrated on Ghanaians by this clueless, inept, nepotistic, cronyism, corrupt, super incompetent, cover up, massive unemployment, belligerent, thievery, shady deals, selective application of justice, insecurity, misled, overblown government, and business(banks) collapsing President Nana Addo/Bawumia’s led maladministration,
I wouldn’t be surprised if some leaders on the continent come together to support John Mahama’s comeback dream knowing pretty well, his quality leadership, dexterity, tolerance, magnanimity, calm demeanor, flair, mental toughness, accommodating of divergent views and above all, his communication oriented capabilities.
He commands high respect globally and has become a first sought-after(primus inter Paris)
resource person for most major global institutions including the world bank, transparency international, the IMF, AU, ECOWAS, the Commonwealth, UNO etc.
Hence, the crave for his return could easily be seen on faces of world leaders, heads of international financial institutions etc whenever/whenever he meets them.
Most of the decisions come from the gut, and perception and perception drove mostly coloured by location, experience, interest and strong relationship.
In essence, many of these decisions are narrow and parochial. They are not well thought out and don’t exist based on variable facts. So at times you read and will continue to read articles attacking John Mahama, our best bet. Some of the attackers have still not been able to convince their readers and listenership why delegates must ignore John Mahama and the 2020 dream. They ask unthinkable questions such as what is the guarantee that Mahama will win the Presidential elections even if he wins the flag bearer slot? He is only going for, should he even wins the presidency, just one(1) tenure. Awwwwww! And I still ask, are these questioners dumb? Have they asked same questions about their preferred contenders of John Mahama and gotten watertight answers that are better than the ones known about him(John Mahama)? They are or might just be fighting only for their parochial interest so, have no time for good reasoning and perfect analysis (advisedly) of the situation at hand. They are not even aware that the NPP folks, including the President (Nana Addo) see JM as the only threat to their 2020 dream so are doing everything possible under the Sun to quench the ever blazing JM’S fire.
We also have some big guns who have a huge influence on some supporters. Unfortunately, whether these are the brightest or not, they are part of those who determine affairs in the matter.
The south -North, South-South permutations, the kind of running mate needed to augment the main candidate etc are all part of the consensus building and establishment processes. In spite of the few internal challenges, most of these principal forces in the party support Mahama’s comeback. Some have started their personal moves to get the man on the steer. Eg. the 94 NDC MPs in recent times are a solid case in point. These powers that be have come together to support the Mahama agenda. To them, he is the best bet to unify the NDC and they are doing just that without alienating any group or persons. Their conclusion is that having Mahama as the candidate will help suppress the north-south permutations and he will have the experience to run the office and run the country simply by the fact of having been there before. They have looked around and have not found anybody else who can fill that position now. Nobody else whose name a supporter can shout intimidated on the main road of Kejetia market, Nkrumah circle, Ho market, Aboabo(Tamale) market, Kotokoraba market, Takoradi market, Kwaho mountain, Wa market, Bolga market etc and randomly, people will know his name.
John Mahama is the most formidable and more formidable than even the sitting President (Akufo Addo) and loved across the divide.
After the primaries, the Party ought to and must come together for the main task hence the need to elect a consensus builder like the trailblazing John Mahama.
The delegates and party folks will ever prepare to, and always bet their last penny on Mahama when it comes to humility, consensus building/establishment, and designing of effective strategies.
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION NETWORK
In opposition, one crucial area to look at is the communication angle. The NDC needs a good communicator and not a talebearer who have communication dynamics and with all the mental toughness to disseminate as well as counter the packed or cooked lies that the “misled President” and his party has prepared and continually been prepared for the savviest and discerning Ghanaians.
The policies and programmes Mr Mahama’s team has/will put together are going to make things difficult for the “misled incumbent”. Communication is not just about the usual give and takes on our radio and televisions, but psychological, cutting edge, refined, facts and figures not fiction, civil, and honest with dexterity style of communication with those who matter(election determinants) on the ground et cetera.
The open secret is that NPP then in opposition hired the services of communication experts from some Eastern European countries to support their communication’s team. Most parties including Uhuru’s party in Kenya, Buhari’s party in neighbouring Nigeria etc all were alleged to have hired the services of these experts. Even by then and now still, so far, the former president has comported and continued to comport himself excellently. His communication has been excellent and relates well with all party folks, admirers, including his adversaries from within or without. Hence, he doesn’t need to also go hiring these so-called communication experts since he himself is a clever-Dick in communication.
EFFICIENT/EFFECTIVE MOBILIZATION AGENDA
The last time I discussed this concerning the party’s future with party’s folks, the former president featured prominently in our discussions as well as the party’s reorganization process also came top of the discussion. It was noticed that his(John Mahama’s) interest is in the party’s reorganization and how to mobilize the grassroots were his main concern. We observed. At a palpable reality if not a distant echo, one can even observe that to him, Mr John Mahama’s Paramount concern is for the youth in the country to own the party now is a phenomenon we must also accept and work with. In all his rounds, he often said, whoever emerges the Presidential candidate of NDC must work assiduously and seriously on these two crucial issues. This was why his outfit designed and will be continued to design a comprehensive programme in collaboration with like-minded party folks to support the Party revamps the grassroots base. These programmes and policies include how the party and the next NDC administration under his watch and after him, will handle matters concerning the youth. Among the core ideas are how to support them(the youth) further their education, support the business inclined to establish viable businesses, employment including the establishment of mechanized farms, more accessible, reliable, and universally cheap education to all Ghanaians etc.
To achieve such powerful goals, we need a leader who has the ability, gut, temerity, experience, competence and the intellectual capacity to organise the resources needed to realize them.
The interesting point is, the youth have now more than before, taken over the Mahama’s agenda and brand. They have made their stance clear. They are not ready for any experiment and cannot wait till 2024 before they kick out this wicked and super incompetent administration under the “misled Akufo Addo/Bawumia”.
Just after the 2016 elections, we heard all kinds of allegations and agitations because of the shock the defeat brought to unsuspecting Ghanaians. The people who out of pain and disappointment persistently chastised the former president and his appointees are the very people calling for his comeback and leading his comeback agenda across the length and breadth of the country. They have done their ‘wisdomic’ assessments of why the NDC lost the elections and the strength they now have going into the 2020 with Mahama in charge.
Ghanaians who voted NPP into power are seriously bleeding now but can’t complain. The only left for them is mobilize and galvanized themselves to vote this misled super incompetent president government out of power come 2020 and bring back the NDC and John Mahama after his “sabbatical leave” he’s currently enjoying to continue in 2021 etc. Lol.
I personally have watched a lot of videos especially on Facebook where some credible websites and online media outlets have gone to the streets of Ghana including the strongholds of the ruling party(NPP) to get the opinions of the masses on the performance of the “misled” Akufo Addo’s government. Of course, you should know that all their responses were and are still negative with some die-hard supporters of the President calling for his impeachment. Yeah! Some did!
Many of the people interviewed by these online websites were more eager to know whether John Mahama will come back “will Mahama come back to contest in 2020?” was the common question interviewees demanded to know.
The “misled” President Nana Akufo Addo and his party(NPP) are preparing for John Mahama but no one else. They see him as the main threat to their survival and know deep within them that if John Mahama decides to contest the 2020 elections, Ghanaians will be liberated from corruption inferno, harsh economic conditions, nepotism, arrogance, political application of selective justice, shady deals, corruption, divide and rule governance, massive unemployment, high tariffs of almost every consumable items, high rent charges, high fuel prices, collapsing of business (banks) etc.
Hence, I submit Mr John Dramani Mahama, as the Messiah for the great NDC’s 2020 and beyond the dream to you, verisimilitude Ghanaians.
With Mr John Dramani Mahama, the 2020 Battle and beyond dream is WON if not the War!
WISDOM IS NOT THE PREROGATIVE OF AN INDIVIDUAL BUT, A DEMOCRATIC VIRTUE BY ANYONE WHO CAN DARES, ADVENTUROUSLY EVEN IF, JANNAH OR HEAVEN FALLS
The writer…..Abiiro A. Moses(aka Fact Evidence Law) is a citizen of Ghana by birth and law, from MIRIGU-Achobisi in the Kassena-Nankana West District UE/R, a generational thinker, communication expert, speech writer, a tyro at law.