Editor’s Note: The full article is published unedited
THE 2020 ELECTIONS AND THE VITAL LESSONS FOR THE 2024 ELECTIONS. Part 1
By: E. G. Buckman.
The 2020 elections were elections many NPP members and supporters wouldn’t want to remember.
Both the presidential and parliamentary elections results really came as a shocker to many. Many supporters of the party anticipated both the presidential and parliamentary elections to be a walk in the field for the party.
There were many who even predicted that the NDC was going to be completely annihilated in the presidential election and that they would barely make 40% of the ballots.
My prediction, 52%-47% in favor of the NPP, which was greatly doubted and criticized by many party supporters and members, turned out to be more realistic.
To be fair with those who made such wild predictions, their predictions were based on the 2016 results and the performance of Nana-Bawumia administration as they perceived it.
For the first time Ghanaians were made to enjoy nationwide free SHS education.
Again, for the first time in this current Republic, Ghanaians were made to enjoy free water for nine months prior to the election and, in certain places, free or subsidized electricity.
Nurses and teachers’ trainee allowances which were cancelled by John Mahama were restored.
The NPP government did what would have given any of its supporters the confidence of landslide victory to the extent that the party’s National Executives even decided to disqualify some aspirants and be rude to aggrieved aspirants who felt unfairly treated. After all, landslide victory was on the way coming so they could afford to be rude and arrogant to their own party members.
ISSUES AND ALLEGATIONS THAT HURT THE NPP IN 2020:
However, there were certain issues and allegations that came together so strongly against all the good things the Nana-Bawumia administration had done, thereby significantly reducing the expected impact of all the good things on the election.
Unfortunately, the party mistakenly thought enough had been done by its communicators to explain and defend the issues and allegations respectively.
The NPP thought the good people of Ghana were going to treat those allegations as groundless, but they were wrong.
You see, one thing the NDC has mastered in doing more than any other party in this country is propaganda.
They know where to direct their propaganda-coated messages to get right result.
They have come to understand that in the Ghanaian political market, bad news sells faster and better than good news.
They dexterously placed the issues and allegations in their propaganda mill and rolled them out one after the other to feed their base and a significant segment of the floating voters.
Were they successful?
Well, their shocking performance in the elections answers the question.
And, has the NPP committed any expensive “mistakes” in the second term that the NDC can capitalize on?
To be objective, certainly!
Will the NDC be churning out more allegations through their propaganda mill in the 2024 elections?
The answer can only be a big yes. Since they don’t really have any convincing message for Ghanaians, they would want to employ the same tactics they successfully used in the 2020 election.
They would wait for the NPP to make more serious mistakes so they can capitalize on them to their advantage.
POLITICALLY UNWISE TO BRING DR. BAWUMIA:
This is where it becomes politically unwise to present Dr. Bawumia, who is perceived by many to be an apron string of the so-called Akyem Mafia, as the presidential candidate for 2024.
Per the results of the last election, one could rightly conclude that Ghanaians almost rejected the Nana-Bawumia ticket.
No matter how one looks at it, the NPP’s nose-dive performance in the elections cannot be said to be an overwhelming endorsement of good work done.
The massive surprise votes John-Jane ticket had included a significant number of protest votes against the Nana-Bawumia ticket.
Does it really make sense that Mahama who performed so badly in the 2016 elections would pull up the kind of surprise votes he had when he did not have any convincing message?
There could be only one explanation for this.
Some Ghanaians who had voted for the NPP in 2016 were simply unimpressed with Nana-Bawumia performance in spite of free SHS and some other good stuffs they had done.
Obviously, significant number of electorates paid more attention to the negatives than the positives, hence the NPP’s unexpected nose-dive performance that got many on tenterhooks.
If truth be told, it would be politically disaster for NPP to present a candidate who was part of a ticket that nearly got rejected in the 2020 election, especially where no party has won three straight terms so far.
The party would need fresh faces on their presidential posters.
The party would need a credible and popular brand that Ghanaians, especially the youth, women and floating voters, can easily fall in love with and forget or forgive the mistakes of the past.
The party would need a candidate whose vision and message can give hope to the teeming unemployed youth in the country.
Without doubt, should Dr. Bawumia be presented as a candidate, a host of factors would work against him and, for that matter, the party.
The same old issues and allegations that nearly cost the party its political power plus new ones in the second term would be brought up against him and you can trust NDC on that, as they would make sure the issues and allegations stick on him since he is the Vice President and, for that matter, the leader of the Economic Management Team (EMT) when all those alleged corrupt practices took place.
Besides, certain comments and promises made in the past by Dr. Bawumia have currently come back to haunt and hurt his credibility.
I know the PR efforts being made to ameliorate the damage those comments and promises have done to his person and credibility. However, the damage seems to have become indelible.
You see, when what is drowning you are your own words, words of others cannot save you.
Many in the party believe that but for those needless comments and wild promises of his, which have now become reference points, Ghanaians wouldn’t have been so hard on the government like they have now.
Should someone like Bawumia be presented as a candidate, the party would be put in a constant defense mode, something which is not good for a political party in an election year.
I dare to ask, why would the party want to take such needless high risk when there are relatively low risk candidates who could be more marketable?
I have always wondered where Dr. Bawumia would get the needed massive votes from to win the 2024 election, should the party mistakenly present him.
Both arithmetic and market analysis don’t favor him.
Let’s do some basic analysis here.
Bawumia can’t win the North & Zongos against the NDC;
His own backyard, which is the North and the Zongos are completely bought and paid for by the NDC since 1992 because of Rawlings’ indelible assistance to the North and the Zongos.
Truth be told, the NDC would always get the numbers from it’s strongholds, namely the North, the Volta and Oti regions.
Bawumia can’t win Ashanti Region for NPP;
However, the NPP risks losing massive votes in the Ashanti Region should the party mistakenly chooses a wrong candidate.
And, I dare to say that it is really frightening to think of the NPP without a massive votes from that region.
As my sister would always say “In the last election, the Ashanti Region cut short my diarrhea”.
Bawumia can’t win the Christian Votes for NPP;
Again, the party risks losing some significant votes from the Christian Community which has been a good “friend” of the party over the years, should they present the Alhaji.
Some warnings and signals have come forth already from that community that constitutes 71.2% of the country’s population. No need for self-deception; the risk is real and huge.Watch out for Part 2…!