The 10th NDC Delegates Congress-The Lessons

Features The 10th NDC Delegates Congress-The Lessons
DEC 19, 2022 LISTEN

Political campaign and organisation have always been an interesting spectacle in the African context. Unlike developed countries where predictions by pollsters and organised groups are closely related to the outcome of the elections, Africa and Ghana for that matter has always put polls out of gear.

The dynamics and determinants of electoral results in Ghana are so many and unpredictable that, the works of pollsters like Ben Ephson have completely been thrown out of gear. With many false predictions, many people no longer trust polls as an effective predictor of election results in Ghana.

An interesting one is the just ended 10th delegates congress of the NDC Headquarters. The results though not so surprising, the votes obtained by some candidates in the elections begs answers to the question as to whether the various candidates have really assessed themselves in terms of their popularity with the delegates before putting themselves out for the elections.

The amiable nature of chairman Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo was so appealing to many that they doubted if the competence and tenacity of Hon. Asiedu Nketia was enough to get him elected as the chairman of the party. Indeed, whilst many felt that with his experience and history with the NDC, the general secretary (former) will be in a better position to win the elections, the campaign, rhetoric's and at a point, frustration by the general secretary seen in his outburst on internal party matters make observers think that the election was too close to call. Indeed, many were of the view that even if the general will win at all, it will be by a slim margin and not the landslide victory seen on Saturday. Well, if wishes were horses, ....

One of the fundamental issues in politics is not how you see yourself but how people see you. Whilst you might deem yourself fit for purpose, the electorates may hold a different opinion of you and until you effectively synchronise the two and sell yourself on the latter (how the electorate see you) you might be in for the biggest surprise like chairman Ofosu Ampofo had on Saturday.

Political marketing is an effective tool to sell yourself to electorates and delegates. In the developed countries, individuals and groups are hired by top notch politicians to sell, brand and rebrand their public image thus making them stand out and most often help in improving their political fortunes. Unfortunately, in Ghana, apart from resorting to unscientific methods like employing party foot soldiers to denigrate, insult and attack opponents, our politicians fail to engage people to sell their virtues and values to enhance their public image in the eyes of the electorates. They waste resources, bribing young men who have no idea of Political strategy to go on social media to attack opponents. Unfortunately, the more they do this, the more they harm themselves, improving rather the image in most circumstances of their opponents.

When you are contesting someone like general mosquito, who by virtue of competence, experience and longevity is popular not only in the NDC but Ghana as a whole, it cannot be business as usual. You will need a comprehensive plan and strategy to make an impact. Indeed, a simple opinion poll by the camp of chairman Ofosu Ampofo would have alerted him that the general is a formidable opponent, and it will take more than mere rhetoric to defeat him. Chairman Ofosu Ampofu failed woefully in this regard and it's no doubt that he was surprised by the margin of his defeat.

Benjamin Kwame Amankwa
In the year of our Lord
19th December 2022