The truth is that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) failed and continues to fail as far as communication theory is concerned. Constituency, Regional and National Communication officers just talk without communicating.
My old and dusty Webster's' Dictionary of Contemporary English defines Communication Theory as the discipline that studies the principle of transmitting information and the method by which it is delivered (as print, radio, television etc).
If we are to go by this definition, then one is right when he says the NPP communicators woefully failed the party in the run-up to the 2020 general election and after the success of the party.
NPP Parliamentary Candidates and their respective Constituency Communication teams could not differentiate between the President's campaign messages and those of the Parliamentary candidates in the run-up to the 2020 general election. Take the issue of Free Senior High School, Teacher Trainees and Nursing Trainees allowances for example. This particular issue was the brainchild of the President but sadly wherever you went during the campaigning period, all what you hear from Constituency Communication Officers, their Parliamentary candidates and Regions Communication Officers were the introduction of Free SHS, Teacher Trainee Allowances and Nursing Trainee Allowances. They never mentioned what their Parliamentary candidate did or will do when voted to power.
That to me was a misplaced priority. That was the more reason why many of them lost their seats. People asked: Yes it is true the President has introduced free SHS and given allowances to Teacher trainees and Nursing trainees. What did you also do or bringing on board? And these were genuine questions.
Barely five months into the second term of the President the communicators have gone quiet at the issues again. Instead of taking the battle to their opponents, they are silent and if they speak they speak on issues that have already been settled. Who in Ghana, including the NDC supporters can say the free SHS has not been a success story? Who is not aware that the President has kept almost all the promises he made to Ghanaians? In fact, who can put his or her hand in the fire and say Ghana under Nana Akufo Addo is not rated among the comity of nations moving towards the right direction in the combat against Covid-19?
The sages say no matter how well the hen dances it cannot please the hawk. So you have to expect the loser who is standing small to continue to bastardize whatever success chalked by the President and his team. After all, the devil finds work for the idle hands. And should NPP communicators too stay idle when there is a job to be done like informing the people on a regular basis?
What is left for the Constituency, Regional and National Communication Officers is to gird up their loins and work according to the Communication theory. If they sit down and start making ugly noises a few months to election 2024, no one will take them serious as they did the last time. The One District One Factory is sprouting like mushroom on an ant hill in some districts but sadly we do not see them on our television screens. Constituency Communicators should lobby for well-meaning and well to do party members to pay for air time to show off these factories. You don't wait for the government to bring money before you show Ghanaians what is happening in your constituency and you don't wait for election to come knocking on our doors before you begin to brag.
The last time I visited the two northern regions recently I was very much surprised at the rate at which dams were built in some villages. Those sitting in Accra and other big cities do not know what is happening there and I do not blame them. The government should as a matter of urgency commission the GTV to go round these villages where dams are being built and others completed and show them to Ghanaians. If the Ministry of Information thinks sitting in Accra and organizing press conferences are the only way of informing the populace then I am sorry they have hit a rock and they will surely dislodge boulders. Times have changed and they must move with time. People want to see but not to hear because they have heard enough.
When the free SHS was introduced and enrollments in schools astronomically increased, the government in her own wisdom introduced the Double Track system to solve the high intake for the meantime. Candidate John Mahama teasingly referred to the system as traffic light system of education and mocked at the President wherever he went to campaign. Today, many schools are no more practicing the Double Track system because MMDAs have built classroom blocks and dormitories to accommodate students. The NDC evil-minded communicators are still using the issue as if nothing is being done and the NPP communicators are not talking of the issue, giving the NDC communicators license to fool around. And yet they call themselves NPP Constituency, Regional and National Communication Officers. Apuu! As for me I will continue to use this column to propagate the Gospel According to St. Nana Addo and Prophet Dr. Bawumia. Those of you who decide to keep silent have the liberty to do so. I only need a stick of Joya de Nicaragua Antano cigar to sooth my soul whiles I write my epistles.
By Eric Bawah