This is the second critique and review of Nana Addo Adankwa Akufo-Addo's campaign team – 35 member strong - which was inaugurated in 2010. Broken down quarterly - 16 months, from June 2010 to December 2012- the first covered the period between inauguration day and September 2010; the grade earned, C+.
As in the first, Campaign team positions such as advisory with ex-leaders and president; automatic positions such as party chairman, general secretary, national organizer, Women and youth organizers would not be the focus. The main focus is the “Brain” of the campaign; those specifically handpicked for the Campaign based on expertise, technical know, experience etc such as campaign managers, strategists, communicators. Ultimately, these are the positions what who would held be responsible for the success or failure of the Campaign.
As disclaimed in the first, this critique is not scientific nor is it backed by inside knowledge of the campaign; it is not even meant to be an intellectual exercise or analysis. It is purely the observations of an outsider, based on news reports and religiously inspired by the love for and belief in the tenets and philosophy of UP – and not the Danquah Busia Dombo – Tradition and solely in the interest of the party and the elections.
This Critique also coincides with Prayer Session held over the weekend in the Western Region to officially announce the party's 2012 campaign.
Below is the Review- Grades come first
C+ – Campaign Manager, Boakye Agyarko: This grade more or less reflects the entire campaign at this point. The grade have been lower but for the campaign manager's own faux pas during the "Northern Region incident."The multiple versions of the incident brought to the fore the lack of coordination or disconnect between the campaign team, party and communication team. A perfect example is the Asempa Fm – Bobie Ansah's boycott and how it was initially mishandled. The boycott itself is morally justifiable but to the party's disadvantage practical-wise. The women and youth organizers seem to have been sidelined as if the positions were non-existent.
C-Manifesto Directorate, Yaw Twumasi: As stated in the first review, if the three major policy speeches by Nana is anything to by, the manifesto promises to be the best yet in our history. But it seems, its “delay” has cost us a little. In spite of Nana's speeches touching on educational funding, the Chronicle, for instance, in an Editorial and by two columnists still want to know how Nana is going to fund his Educational policy. And the Chronicle is good at due diligence. A reference point is simply missing it seems. Thus it is important for the party to release the manifesto as soon as possible.
C – “Campaign Strategist,” Dan Botwe: The outfit was redeemed by holding the prayer session to officially open the campaign in the Western Region. Until then every major event involving the Candidate had happened abroad or in Accra. The Candidate, for example had to come back to Accra to give a major policy speech while on the Listening Tour in the Western Region. This speech, regrettably, coincided with the day President Kufuor received an award abroad. This could have been avoided thereby giving maximum exposure to both events – had the speech been rescheduled. The Listening tour is going strong and has been very effective. Two tactical brilliance; the Listening Tour in the Volta Region while the P-ndc's parliamentary primaries were ongoing; and the postponement of the announcement of Vice Presidential Candidate in the midst of Woyome and the “gargantuan crime” of C920 billion. The grade is, in fact, for the ineffectiveness to define President John Evans Atta Mills politically and in the ethical sense so far. Otherwise the grade would have been lower. “Hypocrisy” does not qualify or disqualify politically. It is of no consequence in the political arena. It is even “Machiavellian,” a plus for some. Additionally, we have been on the defensive too much for an opposition party.
D – Conflict Resolution, Frema Osei: Adenta, Tema West and the phantom Kintampo and many others etc. The earlier something is done about these hotspots the better.
N/A – Research Directorate, Victor Newman: Still don't know what this position means.
A – Legal Team, Gloria Akuffo: No doubt, the decision - ethically right and constitutional-by party members and ex government employees not to appear before EOCO was clearly based on a collaborative advice by party's legal team and their counterparts. Great call!
N/A – Finance, Ken Ofori –Atta: Nothing on them. But this shout-out only means they are on our minds.
A - Election Affairs, Dr. Matthew Prempeh: He is the “busiest man in Show Business.” Combining his MP duties plus in opposition, he registers on the media radar quite often and positively so-certainly due to pro-activity. He is shown repeatedly that he is up the task.
B + – Communication Team, Nana Akomea: This time this outfit would be divided into two: The written/print and the Spokespersons -“Spox.” The Spox have done an outstanding job. The print/written on the other hand is very mediocre. Web presence/influence is below average. The premier radio stations – JoyFM, PeaceFM, CitiFM etc - with websites have now become influential in public opinion, in terms of writing their own news summaries and items on stations' flagship political programs such as Newsfile and Kokrokoo etc. Government Spox dominate these headlines on a weekly basis due to their inflammatory and sensational language. That is not our style nor would it ever be our style. However the downside is that their version – government's sensationalists- gets written to our disadvantage. Pro-activity through the writing and submission of party's own version to these sites would help tilt the balance, in the short and long term. The Greatest and biggest market place is now the web. Overall, the Communication Spox have done a fantastic job. The print/written department brought down the outfit's grade. If it happens but not gazetted, it is not history. Also effort must be made to get pro party newspapers to submit their work to the web- the most reliable archive/reference on earth.
F – Vice President: Gets the grade simply because it is still vacant. This has caused the faithful headaches with the impossible task of self-gagging and all. Nonetheless, at this stage, Dr. Bawumia is the best choice, followed by my pick, Islamic Scholar, Mustapha Hamid. Great tactic postponing the VP announcement in the middle of the Woyome case as pointed out earlier. Finally, A – The Candidate: He is a hit on the Listening Tour. His energy is still that of a forty year old man- he made some one's sweaty press meet look like child's play. The Candidate alone has held the campaign together up to this point. His undaunting personality and personal strength have withstood everything they have thrown at him. He was on top of his game in his final press conference last year. His vision is unsurpassed. But as it clearly known, his ultimate success would depend on the factors above- in the critique.
The final grade of Campaign Team in the second quarter grade is C; a slight improvement on first quarter grade of C+. As stated in the introduction, the campaign was officially launched in the Western Region less than a week ago. There is, as of yet, not enough campaign record to accurately judge the team. Every move or lack thereof until then can be considered as final preparation and fine tuning of the campaign team. Thus, like the first quarter grade, the performance of the team at this stage is expected. With the campaign officially launched, the running mate soon to be announced and the manifesto on its way, the faithful now expect things to move into high gear in the coming months. Complacency, lapses and avoidable mistakes can no longer be easily excused or overlooked going forward. But from the little we have seen, we are confident that the third quarter review would be as close to exactly what the faithful had expected.
Once again, this Critique is solely inspired by the love for and belief in the philosophy of the UP -and not the Danqauh Busia Dombo- Tradition and Property Owning Democracy.
Dedicated to Abena Pokua Akoto.
Akwasi A.Afrifa Akoto