Insiders within the opposition New Patriotic Party say the decision by the National Executive Committee of the NDC to endorse President John Dramani Mahama the party's presidential candidate for the December election will have no effect on the NPP's campaign message.
“The value is the same,” a source in the NPP who spoke to the New Statesman said.
According to the source, the current President, who served as Vice President under the late President, John Evans Atta-Mills, is a well-known “commodity”, maintaining: “his choice as NDC flagbearer for the 2012 elections will not change the fact that Ghanaians are suffering and experiencing untold hardships coupled with high levels of unemployment under this NDC government.”
Similarly in answering a question posed by a reporter from TV3 after his visit to the Castle on Wednesday, the Presidential Candidate of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, stated that the party's message of restoring hope to the Ghanaian, which has been necessitated by the abysmal performance of the ruling National Democratic Congress in the last 3½ years, will not change.
When asked whether the possible nomination of John Mahama as NDC flagbearer would necessitate a change in the NPP's campaign strategy, Nana Addo acknowledged that the NPP would surely have to re-strategize by factoring the new President into the party's strategy plans.
“But the issues don't change very much. Whoever the candidate is, he is still the candidate of the ruling party. Whatever has happened with the ruling party in the last 3½ to 4 years will be the matters that we will be examining during the electoral debate,” Nana Addo said.
The NPP flagbearer continued, “It is the performance of the ruling party in office that we will lay before the Ghanaian people and the Ghanaian people will have to comment on whether it has been positive or negative.”
Nana Addo further maintained that it is still the NDC that is in office at the moment, albeit under a new leader, adding that “their record [in office] is what the Ghanaian people will have to comment on.”
Commenting on the death of President Mills, Nana Addo stated that he had known President Mills since their days in the University of Ghana, living in the same hall and playing in the same football team.
“I'm sorry a good friend has met such an untimely death and equally concerned for the Ghanaian nation as all of us are aware that this is the first time our national leader has died on the seat. It is a moment that will get all of us to reflect about the unity of our nation and make sure the democratic institutions continue to work.
“I was very happy to see the smoothness of the investiture and I believe it was an important signal to our people and to the rest of the world that Ghanaians are continuing on the democratic path and the path based on the rule of law,” Nana Addo said.