13.03.2021 Feature Article

2024 Election Will Be NPP's Election To Loose

2024 Election Will Be NPP's Election To Loose
13.03.2021 LISTEN

It is truly a simple but known fact that if elections are held freely in Ghana as it happened in the 2020 elections, when the actual voting process is free, fair and smooth and there are no counting infractions as well as no transmission manipulations, the NPP stands a better chance of winning every general elections if they put their house in order. If the NDC, after winning 10 out of the 16 regions in Ghana, Nana Akufo Addo could beat JDM with over half a million votesin 2020, that alone tells you that the elephant is a giant to reckon with in Ghana's electioneering matters. That notwithstanding, the NPP can loose 2024 if the party makes the costly mistake of not choosing the right candidates for both the presidential and parliamentary elections.

The question then is who is a right candidate and who is a wrong candidate? every potential candidate could be a good candidate but whether he or she would be the right candidate depends on a combination of factors paramount among which is the candidate's prowess or ability to endear to the hearts of the people that form the base of the party. The candidate of the people who will vote in the elections, but not a candidate of the delegates. This is where I see the NPP as having the serious challenge and depending on how the party handles it, 2024 will be theirs to give away or capture. This is where I recommend to NPP to swallow their pride and follow the NDC's example by opening up the election of candidates to all card bearing members of the party in a bid to choose the most popular candidate for 2024.

Unless one chooses to be dishonest to the facts or disingenuous, all will agree that the high performance of the NDC in the 2020 polls was least expected, and we can safely argue beyond a shred of doubt that the NDC party performed over and above expectation in the 2020 elections whilst the NPP performed below expectation. So what did the NDC do right that the NPP did not do in the 2020 polls? The NDC party, prior to their primaries, opened up their process to allow all card bearing members to vote in choosing their parliamentary candidates(PC) thereby ensuring that individuals who emerged as PCs were the peoples' choice and by so doing deflated all voter apathies that could have arisen from "we don't like him so we will not vote" syndrome. That also ensured that the party's front at the constituencies level were not divided because those who contested and lost accepted their fate and rallied behind the winners for the campaign. The base had no difficulty in going to the polls on the election day to vote for their candidate. The NPP on the other hand, chose the delegate tradition that selected and imposed candidates on the various constituencies which led to rifts here and there which saw the party trying to solve problems of disunity in so many constituencies one month or even in some cases two weeks to elections instead of spending that energy to campaign strongly. The resultant effect was that, the party's front at the various constituencies level were divided leading to voter apathy and in some cases the proverbial "skirt and blouse" voting. A typical example is that, in my own polling station where I voted in the Asante Akim North district, whilst I was in queue waiting for my turn to vote I observed about 5 voters who were ahead of me that refused to vote for the PC after voting in the presidential ballot simply because they did not want the party's choice and they could also not vote for the other candidates. This is the primary reason why NPP almost lost control of parliament whilst Nana Addo got more votes in so many constituencies than the PCs in those constituencies.

GOING FORWARD: The Alan- Bawumia factor.

The greatest hurdle that the NPP must surmount or succumb to in 2024, whether we like to discuss it now or not is the choice of the right presidential candidate for the 2024 pools. The right candidate, as I have already alluded to is the good candidate at the right time. Choosing between Alan and Bawumia has the potential of breaking or uniting the party's front for the battle ahead in 2024. NPP leaders should bear in mind that no serious army commander would want to prosecute a war with a disgruntled army and expect to win the war easily. Remember also that; in the words of Donald Rumsfeld, a country goes to war with the army she has and not the army she would want to have. A party that goes to an election with bruise candidate and a divided party base is unlikely to pull any magic to win that election. It is in this light that I urge NPP to tread cautiously to avoid breaking up the base. The party should in fact, take a cue from the 2020 elections and be always reminded that, if you cut your nose, you spike your own face.

When it comes to issues of party or national importance, individual egos and pride must be set aside for cool heads to prevail. My humble appeal to all NPP leaders and supporters is that, the party should as early as possible make effort to put Alan, Bawumia, JAK and Nana Addo together to dialogue seriously and come out with a consensus that will make one of the two giants, the presidential candidate and the other his running mate to avoid any potential division and antagonism that could derail the fortunes of the party come 2024. I am by no means suggesting that the party should not go to congress to elect its flag bearer, far from that, All that I am suggesting is that, behind the scenes consensus must be worked out to avoid dirty campaign in the primaries and also a signed agreement that whoever emerges winner from the congress picks the other as his running mate to unite the supporters of both potential candidates and to maximize the party's chance of winning 2024 and beyond in order to solidify the gains the nation is making now under NPP. As said earlier, 2024 is for NPP but they can give it away if they do not do things right like they almost gave away 2020.

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