Change is so essential that the NPP fraternity, apart from changing the entire leadership from the Polling Station level to the National level, are calling for a change at Ghana’s presidency in 2016. If readers would recall, the late Prof. Albert Adu Boahen led the New Patriotic Party (NPP) into the 1992 general elections, but lost to Flt. Lt. Rawlings. The NPP wrote a “Stolen Verdict” to show the World that the 1992 Elections were not free and fair. Consequently, the Parliamentary Elections were boycotted by the party.
This scenario led to several changed in the electoral system in 1996. The changes included the introduction of Voter ID Card, Polling Agents, and transparent ballot boxes. Having advocated for such changes, one would have thought that the NPP delegates would maintain Prof. Adu Boahen for Election 1996 because, if not due to such electoral malpractices, Prof. Adu Boahen would have won the 1992 Elections. Surprisingly, the NPP delegates opted for a new candidate in the person of Mr. J.A. Kufuor. Unfortunately, Kufuor also lost to Rawlings in 1996, thus making the change of Prof. Adu Boahen for Kufuor ‘useless’, according to the supporters of the late professor.
It was as a result of this that Nana Akufo-Addo capitalized on Kufuor’s defeat to Rawlings in 1996 and equally demanded a change of flag-bearership. To him, it was morally wrong for the NPP delegates to retain Kufuor because, Prof. Adu Boahen was never given a second chance in spite of the electoral reforms.
Below are some of the statements Nana Addo made at the NPP Congress at Sunyani in 1998 that were captured in the electronic and print media:
• “I am aware that there are some of you who are nervous about the prospects of change in our leadership. We changed leader in 1996 and again this year, some of us are canvassing for another change for 2000. I have been through these matters with you at your homes. Change in 1996 improved our performance – the vote of our candidate more than doubled from 1.2 million in 1992 to 2.8 million in 1996; our percentage of vote went from 30% in 1992 to 40% in 1996; the number of constituencies in which we had majorities increased from 43 in 1992 to 62 in 1996. So on all fronts, we improved our performance. It is not true then that change hurts. On the contrary it improves our standing.”
Nana Addo continues;
• “I call on members of the party to embrace change in leadership of the party. Such changes are far from harming the fortunes of the party”.
• “Change improves the chances of political parties as a new face eventually means new ideas, new methods and new strategies”.
He further asserts;
• “Any candidate elected as the NPP’s flag-bearer has already secured 30% of the total valid votes. Failure to garner the remaining 20% plus 1 means the candidate has failed, and therefore must be changed.”
On his view on floating voters, Nana Addo said;
• “The NPP must elect a leader who has appeal outside the party and could reach out to the larger electorate and that if it fails to do this, power could once again elude it” – DAILY GRAPHIC, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8,1998. Page 11.
• “Whereas political parties have been known to have succeeded in winning power through changes of their leaders, there has been no instance in the history of democratic politics where a leader failed to win power at the first attempt, succeeds when presented the second time in succession”
Fellow delegates, we are in 2014 preparing for another NPP Congress and general elections. The same Nana Addo, who had opposed Kufuor’s second attempt at the flag-bearership in 1998, led the NPP in Election 2008. This was after Alan Kyerematen had stepped down for him in 2007. In his Acceptance Speech, Nana Addo had this to say; “I have to begin by thanking all my colleagues in this epic contest. I am humbled that among this formidable array of political and intellectual talent that has been before you, you have decided to confer the mandate on my modest person. I am grateful to you and want to let you know I will do anything within my power not to let you down, so that the decision you have made here will bare fruits for us next year. For my younger brother, Alan, you have given me a good run for my money. Let me assure you that the NPP leadership has always been in succession. I will hand over the button to you in 2016 after my presidency”.
Folks, the NPP was in power during the 2008 elections, and in spite of the incumbency advantage, and solid economic record, Nana Addo lost to a ‘weaker’ candidate like Prof. Mills. In addition, he reduced the NPP’s winnable regions from six (6) to two (2), with a percentage vote of 49.13%. Yet, this painful electoral defeat did not even push the party’s delegates to refuse Nana Addo a second chance in 2010 as he had earlier on advocated. In his Acceptance Speech, Nana Addo remarked; “I shall deliver the Presidency unto this great political party of ours and I promise you all, this time I shall not disappoint”. The 2012 elections came to pass and as usual, Nana Addo failed to fulfill his promise of taking the NPP into the Flagstaff House. His percentage votes decreased from 49.13% to 47.74% with a struggling two (2) regions.
Fellow Kukrudites, we are preparing for another flag-bearership contest and the twice-defeated presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, instead of apologizing to the fraternity for his failure, and bowing out of politics had this to say at his campaign launch; “Let’s think about the future of our party, let’s think victory 2016. The NPP cannot afford to lose the 2016 elections. Give me one more chance”.
Now, let’s do away with emotions and question Akufo-Addo’s honesty. Is the man trustworthy at all? Is he capable of winning presidential elections? Does he have the capacity to attract floating votes? What is he going to do differently to convince the Ghanaian electorate to vote for him in 2016? Is it due to the so-called massive endorsements by the top hierarchy of the party? Are those endorsing Nana Addo new Ghanaian voters? How do we win general elections with the same crowd, same message, same running-mate, and same candidate? How do you win elections without giving any recognition to the floating voter? If the floating voter is non-existent, what will be the basis for Akufo-Addo’s campaign? Is he going to sell his message to ghosts or trees since the rest of the voters belong to either the NDC, CPP, PNC, or PPP? Assuming he succeeds in even convincing a member of the NDC to vote for the NPP, how would Akufo-Addo describe such vote?
From the above, it is obvious Nana Addo has woefully failed the NPP and thus, must not be given a third time chance. The signs are clear on the walls that he would lose to president Mahama in 2016. Let’s avoid this imminent defeat by presenting Alan Kyerenaten in 2016. His attributes – vision, achievements, humility, posture, physique, charisma etc far outweigh those of John Mahama.
God bless Ghana! God bless the NPP!! God bless Kufuor!!!
Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang, Asante Bekwai-Asakyiri. Email: email@example.com
Mobile: 0547851100 : 0264931361 : 0202471070