In an earlier piece on HE, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, I observed among other things that “DMB has shaken the frontiers of political engagement in the country. Even in his humorous best he essentially ensures that campaigns and debates are issues-based.
He has often found simple and witty ways to repel the mischief and propaganda of the NDC. His ‘chalie wote to boot’ response to President Mahama’s boot to boot campaign was one of the many subtle punches that kept a vicious opposition at bay, and also endeared him to many neutrals and technocrats. The NPP should do well to leverage on the benefits of this influence. It is to their advantage to try to sway the Ghanaian voter to concentrate on the many issues that require attention, which happily the party is addressing.
But that is not the topic for today even though the connection is too obvious to ignore.
As the internal NPP Presidential Primaries approach, the actions of a few rabble rousers simply become harder to contain. Harder not because they have any statistical chance to emerge victorious in the internal contest, but harder because it will not require any deep thinking from a Nursery Two child to understand that the needless effusions by the few untamed ‘party’ people are clear signposts on the road to self-destruction. You get a little bit deeper, and concerns about doing the NDC’s bidding begins to make sense to you. It is all the more surprising that a reasonable adult, will unleash their worst form of virulent attacks, some frankly bothering on the most reckless insults, on the party’s best bet in an election that will define the future of your party.
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The NDC has always tried, sometimes unsuccessfully, to place an ethnic tag on the New Patriotic Party. The NPP has been able to douse this flame by producing two Vice-Presidents of Northern-Moslem descent in succession. But this did little to disarm the ever-toxic NDC. They quickly shifted the goal post, charging the NPP to put a Northerner as a flagbearer, if the party claims to be inclusive.
In a previous article, I dismissed any arguments grounded on geography and religion, and insisted that DMB comes to the contest solely on his credentials and solid records as the most visible, relevant, engaged, and productive Veep since the advent of the 4th Republic. But there is no denying the fact that DMB has flipped the Zongo and Northern support for the NPP, leaving the NDC both bewildered and angry. However, recent pronouncements from some aspirants and their hired assassins seem to me that, these people are very eager to ignore the lessons of history, and also keen to undo all that has been done to present the NPP as a truly inclusive national party. A party delegate at Kawokudi is less than charitable, and according to him, these people are paid agents of the NDC, and interested in damaging the party beyond repairs, post primaries.
Some of them, we know, actually hatched deadlier plots in 2016.
The party delegate at Kawokudi is a true party man who understands that whoever wins the internal contest, the NPP has another big election to win, against an opponent that lurks dangerously to reverse all gains made over the past seven years, despite the difficult challenges imposed by global events and shocks. It requires that every party person who subscribes to the ideals of our forebears rises up to defend the record of the NPP in government. DMB has never shied away from that, but it is understandable, given that he has both the depth of knowledge to talk about our successes, and the loyalty to stand by the party’s record, no matter the circumstances. He is not the fair-weather party person with a consistent holier than thou know it all attitude, plus an annoying sense of entitlement, who tries to run away from the record of the party he seeks to lead. He is not also the party man, who, as a sitting MP, was entrusted with an enormous opportunity to lead communication efforts of the party, but who returned grotesque results in a manner that will make the word incompetent a compliment. And indeed, DMB is not the party man who has since 2017 continuously denigrated the government and distanced himself from the party’s tireless pioneering efforts to transform our nation. More recently, one of the rabble rousers insulted opponents and cast ethnic slurs in his quest to become a flagbearer. In all these, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the man of the moment, looks forward to a truly inclusive NPP that will deliver prosperity to a united Ghana.
Against this background, it appears those doing the NDC’s bidding from within whilst pretending to be contesting in the internal race have nothing to lose. However, it is refreshing to hear the rising voices of party delegates, sending clear messages of caution to aspirants that no matter the outcome of the internal contest, we shall need a united party going into the 2024 elections, and many others to come. We cannot allow the greed, ill-conceived and uncoordinated thoughts of a few party people, with questionable loyalty and competence, to derail the greater good. DMB represents the mood of the party; a mood that has emerged following DMB’s unparalleled sense of commitment, vision, pioneering engagement, competence and loyalty. DMB has consistently shown respect to his boss, The President, showing that the greatest compliment one can pay to his leader is to do your very best in effecting their vision. We have seen DMB do this with panache, enthusiasm, and a commitment never seen in Ghanaian politics, in countless ground-breaking development initiatives over the last 7 years.
The NDC has its candidate. Common sense tells them that the main opponent is DMB. It is only a fool who will not recognise the one that can floor him in a wrestling bout. It is trite that the NPP candidate the NDC most feared facing is DMB. The NDC knows that the man who can floor its candidate is DMB, and so to the party, from day one, it has been a strategy to utterly discredit DMB, and It is sad to note that they have allies in the NPP in this process. NDC people do not care about the other candidates because they know no threat resides in any of them. In a bizarre twist, the NDC even supports the bids of the other pretenders.
The NDC’s strategy to handling DBM is to support a weaker candidate in the NPP. But isn’t it surprising that these internal rabble rousers do not foresee what threats lie ahead of them in the unlikely event of a Mahama victory? They will be the biggest losers, casualties, if you would!
All in all, whilst HE Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu is focused on the big picture by telling the NPP’s story and how that translates into prosperity for all Ghanaians, some of his brothers in the internal contest are fixated on trivia, unearned sense of entitlement, and a race down to the bottom to dismember a party they profess to love. I cannot help but quote from DMB’s speech after filing his nomination papers. “Having implemented these transformational policy initiatives, it is very important that we don’t go backwards as a country. We cannot put the country back in the hands of people who don’t have an understanding of and belief in the vision. That is why it is important for us to break the eight. There is still much more to do.” And I dare add, indeed, there is much more to do, and we are looking at 2024 right now and the stakes are much higher. An opportunity is offered in DMB, who has everything working in his favor and for the benefit of the party’s electoral fortunes: competence, humility, diversity, loyalty and belief. The signal is strong and getting stronger. It is possible, and we can’t screw this up!
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