By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
Nana Akufo-Addo must be smiling Up-North in London, UK, where he is widely reported to be spending some quiet time with his wife. Some National Democratic Congress (NDC) presidential staffers and propagandists, of course, prefer to envisage the country’s arguably most savvy living politician and statesman in the jaded icon of a relic. But in reality, it is the leadership of the NDC that has long exhausted itself of every bit of creative innovativeness and vision and ought to be promptly retired come Election 2016.
And while he had been conspicuously absent from the country, as well as from the 8th National Delegates’ Congress – or Congressional Primary – of the National Democratic Congress, held in Kumasi, the Asante regional capital, on Saturday, December 20, 2014, nonetheless, it was inescapably the liberal democratic agenda of the Presidential Candidate of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) that took center stage at the Baba Yara Stadium.
Led by Deputy Attorney-General Dominic Ayine, the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress announced that it was taking a giant leap ahead of its rival political role model, by exponentially increasing the number of delegates eligible to vote at the party’s congressional primaries from the current 4,000 to 250,000 come Election 2020. That means, of course, that come the year 2020, or six years from now, 62-and-half-times more delegates will be choosing the presidential candidate and other national and local representatives of the NDC.
Unfortunately, however, unlike Nana Akufo-Addo, President Mahama will not be graced with the chance of significantly “deepening” his credentials as a broadly chosen flagbearer of his party. To fully appreciate the resounding success of the Akufo-Addo-engineered demoncratic putsch, or coup, among the key operatives of the National Democratic Congress, it bears observing that in October this year, the three-time New Patriotic Party (NPP) Presidential Candidate was elected by a pool of 141,000 congressional delegates.
Now, what the preceding means is that going into Election 2016, roughly 35-and-a-quarter times more delegates voted to elect Nana Akufo-Addo than the number of delegates who unanimously “voted’ to elect an incumbent President Mahama for Election 2016. But that the NPP’s 2016 flagbearer has far more electoral legitimacy and authentic mandate of a scientifically sustainable cross-section of the Ghanaian electorate, may well have constituted the motivating factor for the NDC’s decision to up the number of eligible congressional voting delegates from a minuscule 4,000 to a humongous 250,000.
Indeed, it is highly unlikely that come Election 2020, the NDC would have a greater pool of electors or voting delegates at its congressional primaries than the NPP. For the current figure of NPP party delegates is likely to remarkably expand, even as the party of Danquah, Busia and Dombo exponentially increases the pool of its registered and dues-paying membership. But even if the NPP decides not to exceed the projected quarter-million eligible congressional primary voters of the NDC, it would still retain its enviable accolade and well-deserved credential as Ghana’s most democratic and liberal political party.
On the academic-policy front, as well, quite predictably, we also see the key operatives of the NDC shamelessly and frenetically tear pages out of the NPP playbook. President Mahama may be desperately scheming to trump his main political opponent come Election 2016. But it is highly unlikely that Ghanaian voters, across the ideological divide, would have even half-recovered from the traumatic punches recklessly delivered unto their pates in the name of President Mahama’s so-called Better-Ghana Agenda.