By Dr. Michael J.K. Bokor
Monday, August 1, 2016
Folks, having analyzed the reaction of the NPP to all that has been happening as far as preparations for Election 2016 are concerned, I wonder if the NPP under Akufo-Addo is really prepared for Election 2016. If it is not, why not? There is so much water passing under the bridge to portray the NPP as still giddy and uncertain of its approaches toward winning the thumbs of the electorate to put Akufo-Addo in power.
Many happenings suggest that the NPP is more interested in rabble-rousing (using its lackeys in the mass media, the clergy, civil and public service, etc.) to cause needless tension than in reaching out to the electorate with reasonable messages to win their trust and confidence. All those lackeys shooting their mouths to predict an electoral victory for Akufo-Addo (for instance, the Economic Intelligence Unit, so-called “Men-of-God” of Owusu Bempah’s type, civil society groupings, or traditional leaders, etc.) may have a field day in their “Concert Party” performances; but not until the NPP secures the will of the voters, all that running of a fool’s errand will shock Akufo-Addo into a political coma from which he won’t recover to see Ghana beyond his 72 years on this earth.
Having monitored happenings so far, I want to stick my neck out to say that the NPP under Akufo-Addo is lost. There is ample evidence to support my stance. I believe strongly that a political party that wants to win power will go beyond the level that the NPP has struck for itself. All the protestations about everything happening in the country for the running of Election 2016 prove to me that Akufo-Addo and his NPP haven’t learnt any useful lesson from previous electoral disasters to gain anything useful. I wonder if the NPP is really ready for Election 2016 and its outcome. More importantly, why does the NPP think that general elections in Ghana must be held on terms prescribed by it and favourable to it only? Many instances exist, but here are a few to confirm my stance.
- DEMEANING OF CHAIR OF THE EC (DR. KWADWO AFARI GYAN)
This former Chair of the EC remains a formidable force in our democratic dispensation, having overseen general elections (including the district-level ones) since 1992. Now in retirement, he deserves every bit of praise for all that he contributed to efforts at growing and sustaining our democracy. Only those who have lost the bid will demonize him and wish him dead. He remains a huge national icon to be commended at all times.
The NPP sees him differently, especially after the Election 2012 fiasco, blaming him for nothing. That is a rich history to be told one day; but for now, we want to scratch the surface in our attempt at discussing why the NPP is muddying the waters for purposes known to its handlers.
When the NPP lost Elections 1992, 1996, and 2008, it didn’t finger the EC or its Chair (Dr. Afari Gyan) as the cause of its woes. Indeed, the entire NPP machine focused attention on the main political opponent and took on Rawlings and the NDC for orchestrating their defeat by rigging the elections but provided no proof to that effect. No accusing finger was pointed at the EC or its Chair as the brain behind the catastrophe.
When Kufuor took the 2000 elections to the run-off stage, the NPP didn’t blame the EC for not smoothing his path to a cozy first-round victory. Instead, it approached the run-off with high expectations and wooed the mushroom political parties to win the day for Kufuor. His winning Election 2004 angered Rawlings and the NDC camp that raised concerns about electoral malpractices, but he remained in office.
Come Election 2008 when Akufo-Addo had a slight edge over Atta Mills, forcing the contest into a run-off that the voters in the Tain constituency decided in favour of the Good Old Professor and the NPP went ballistic. Atta Akyea and some hot-headed elements sought to use the Judiciary to discount the validity of the electoral results only to be restrained by the voices of reason (B.J. da Rocha and ex-President Kufuor). And the NPP resigned itself to that sad fate of electoral defeat.
As if polishing skills for political mischief thereafter, the NPP under Akufo-Addo did nothing new to win voter support for Election 2012. But wrapped up in themselves, the Akufo-Addo camp couldn’t do anything better at Election 2012 to turn the table in his favour, which was why it would spend 8 months fighting against reality at the Supreme Court. The outcome of the hearing stung them but they failed to learn useful lessons for future moments. Those moments are with us now.
- DISRESPECT FOR CHAIR OF THE EC (MRS. CHARLOTTE OSEI)
The vitriol spicing the NPP’s narrow politics regarding the appointment of a new EC Chair is commonplace and needs no reiteration. The threats issued are also known; but in the end, when President Mahama settled on Mrs. Osei, the NPP commended his choice and pledged to work with her. Was that stance poisoned with misgivings? Yes!! Why so? Because the NPP quickly turned round to create the negative impression that she was a bed-fellow of President Mahama and the NDC. Public utterances by NPP functionaries aimed at denigrating her (claims that she was a Nigerian and not a Ghanaian; that she had sold her conscience to the NDC; that she had wagged her tail to win the appointment, as the foul-mouthed semi-literate Kennedy Agyapong would have the whole world believe; and many more) spoke volumes.
The purpose? To undermine her credibility and target her for whatever diabolical intents and purposes the NPP has for Election 2016. Mrs. Osei has soaked it all up and is still managing the EC to do its constitutionally mandated assignments. So far, the NPP has constructed and targeted her as the bull’s eye for the archery that Akufo-Addo is sponsoring. In doing so, Akufo-Addo and his gang cannot bring themselves to know that they are violating a lot, which isn’t good for our democracy. Yet, they claim to be fighting for this very democracy whose seed they refused to participate in sowing as they boycotted the Consultative Committee that drew up the 1992 Constitution and many other national engagements.
In the NPP’s orchestration, Mrs. Osei is a replica of the Afari Gyan who didn’t put Akufo-Addo in power at Election 2012. How misguided can’t these people be? So much for this part on the place and role of the EC Chair.
- CREATION OF NEW CONSTITUENCIES
The NPP cried wolf over the creation of new constituencies to put the total at 275 but was quick to praise itself for winning much of what was introduced. Hypocrisy at its best. As to whether those new constit5uencies have added anything new to our democracy, I don’t know; but what I know is that the initial cries by the NPP against the new constituencies have fizzled out.
- CHANGE IN DATE FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS
The NPP made loud noises about the setting of December 7 as the date for general elections, citing the chaos that surrounded the handing over of governance by Rawlings to Kufuor on January 7 as a serious limitation to avoid in future circumstances. Thus, the EC moved to bring forward Election Day, suggesting November 7. What happened? The very NPP that one might expect to support the move kicked against the shift, claiming that the EC hadn’t demonstrated enough good faith that it had put in place measures for successfully holding Election 2016. Thus, the old order remains.
I shall return…
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