New Patriotic Party (NPP) – Break The 8
In 2024, Ghana would have had a combined 32 years of democratic governance between the two major political parties in the fourth republic. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) like the National Democratic Congress (NDC) would have each done 16 years of two consecutive terms of an eight-year administration under various presidents. Unlike the NDC that has provided three presidents in16 years, the NPP under Nana Addo in 2024 would have provided two presidents.
As such, the electorates and constituents would have an inflection point to decide between the performance of NDC Administrations (1993 to 2000 and 2009 to 2016) and NPP Administrations (2001 to 2008 and 2017 to 2024). Consequently, 2024 is a focal point for NPP to break the eight-year rule by any Political Party; thus, setting a record of a 12-year NPP administration culminating in a combined 20 years of political power in the fourth republic. A feat that would be the first of its kind, and unique to any political party in our history as a country.
But until that is done and given the historically trend, is natural for any political observer to forecast a defeat for an NPP administration in the 2024 Presidential General Election; however, NPP could turn the table to break the eight-year rule, set a record, hand over to itself and continue the transformational agenda beyond 2024. As such, the 2024 election is as important as the 2008, where NPP and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo were surprisingly disappointed with ‘avoidable’ defeat if the ruling NPP Government and Party Machinery were careful with their politicking.
The ‘Break the 8’ is not only a message on a flyer to share or mere talk but also an actionable message that requires intended efforts to achieve. In my humble opinion, these are some of the actions that would help the NPP Government and Party to retain power in 2024 and beyond:
- Bottom-Top Leadership: First and foremost, to regain power in the 2024 election, it must begin in our own house (Party). The defeat of many NPP Parliamentary Candidates in the just ended 2020 general election was attributed partly to the "imposed" candidates on constituencies which might have resulted in a “skirt and blouse” result though unscientifically supported. The Party should eliminate any national and regional "imposed" directives without prior consultation with the stakeholders of the constituencies while providing the opportunities to expressed concerns. The National Executives should begin to lead from the grassroots and constituencies to the national level that ensures that they address minor concerns and long ‘unattended’ issues at their early stages to avoid uncontrollable grievances. We must be reminded that Politics is about numbers and our followers need to be listened to in addition to making informed decisions that impact their interests.
Moreover, given that there were many volunteer groups that supported various initiatives to trumpet the NPP Government achievements through several mediums such as grassroots and sympathizers who directly and indirectly collaborated with constituencies, regional and national executives, the Party needs to reconsider the rampant small breakout of these groups to foster unified organization to support the government agenda.
Additionally, the National and Regional Executives must begin to repair broken relationships with Constituency and Polling Station Executives, and with grassroots, volunteer groups and abandoned Party faithful (i.e., former MMDCEs, PCs, Gov’t Appointees etc.). For NPP to retain power in 2024, their house needs to be in order and pull everyone into the vision of ‘Break the 8’.
- Selfless Leadership & Opportunities: It is sad to see a single Party leader seeking lucrative government position or contracts to himself or herself and abandoned Party faithful who have given all to ensure the retention of power. There is nothing wrong to seek an opportunity for yourself as a Party leader; however, such a leader should advocate for his/her followers and ensure that any opportunity is sought after for his/her constituents. Unfortunately, Party Executives are the ones hungrily seeking for government appointments. To retain power in 2024, NPP needs selfless leaders who would be passionate on the agenda to break the eight and ensure continuation of the NPP government to execute the Party’s motto “Development in Freedom” for Ghana.
Meanwhile, for the 2022-2026 (year of tenure of new leaders) leadership at any level, the Party needs men and women who are selfless in discharging their roles and responsibilities without any favor, and with the apex objective to unify the grassroots and retain power for the NPP government. Furthermore, the emerging 2024 Presidential Candidate would be another focal point to "break the 8". The candidature should be based on competency, not on wealthiness (‘buying delegates’) and popularity (‘well known’ in the Party). As such, whoever leads the Party as the Flagbearer should uphold the unity among the Party leadership and grassroot supporters.
- Open Playing Field: Consequently, to win the 2024, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo should avoid all temptations to endorse a candidate openly or secretly for the Party to succeed him. The Government machinery should not favor any preferred candidate which would create a vacuum of failure. The President and Party leadership should create a free and fair electoral process to elect the 2024 Flagbearer. The ‘Break the 8’ is pivotal on the process to elect the next President of the Republic and unify the Party base.
It is hoped that the invisible kingmakers of the Party should not abuse their influence to intimidate potential candidates to exit from the race or talk-out interested aspirants based on experience and/or preferential ethnicity. Let the Party and Government provide an open playing field and allow a free and fair environment for those willing to lead the Party as this will enhance the NPP's prospects to cross the eight-year limit and again deliver meritorious government to the Ghanaian people.
- Complete 70% Government Promises: The people of Ghana heard the 2020 promises of the NPP government and would hold the government accountable come 2024. The performance of the NPP Government would equally weigh on the sixteen-year regime versus the NDC; Ghanaian electorates should not be taken for granted. The 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary results should serve as a wake-up call for the NPP Party if they are determined to retain power in 2024. By the end of 2024, the Nana Akufo-Addo government should have completed and/or completing at least seventy percent (70%) of their promises to gain the public’s confidence to continue serving Ghanaians 2025 and beyond. Among the achievements to convince Ghanaians would be among others, but just to mention a few, such as massive road constructions, job creations and employment, including quality education and healthcare, which should be evidential in the government delivery to the people.
The seventy percent (70%) achievement of promises may be attainable, and the COVID-19 era economic pressure may not be used as an excuse for failed achievement; thus, Ghanaians will not forgive the government on "promise and fail" in the 2024 General Election.
Meanwhile, it must be noted that the ‘Break the 8’ starts on the day His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo was sworn-in as a President and the reality of “#4More2DoMore”. Ghanaians are looking onto NPP and its leadership to keep up the continuation of the governmental initiatives and move Ghana further in development. The country cannot afford to go backwards in development and halt all the ongoing projects of the previous administration if there is a paradigm shift of the Party in power other than the NPP. The President should preserve his legacy and consolidate the gains for the eight years in power by ensuring smooth operations of the Party structures and successful processes of electing the next Presidential and Parliamentary candidates for the 2024 General Elections. It takes time, resources, and efforts to break the 8-year rule and keep transforming Ghana for all under the NPP Government. As a reminder, during the 2019 National Annual Delegates Conference, former President John A. Kufuor warned the NPP, “We have had bitter lessons in the past to learn from on this score and we should not let this sad history repeat itself”.
To this end, any interested aspirants for Party leadership including flagbearership must have intents and goals in pursuing any role in the Party focused on fostering unity and retaining power in the 2024 elections. To the Party grassroots and disenfranchised individuals/groups, it is time to forgive and let go of all grievances and embrace unity to work together to make history on ruling beyond eight (8) years consecutively a dream come true. As such let us take inspirations and lessons from the 2008 Obama campaign slogan: YES, WE CAN!, and an excerpt from the NPP anthem, “The Elephant is, Our Winning Symbol, We have won to save Ghana”!
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