MANASSEH AZURE AWUNI writes: How the NPP is conceding defeat ahead of the 2016 polls
The campaign manager of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr. Peter Mac Manu, has said the NPP could declare the winner of the 2016 elections. He is reported to have said in the Western Region that not even the IGP can stop them.
“We cannot sit down and repeat the same mistake in 2016,” he said.
Every level-headed human being in this country knows who is supposed to declare election results in this Ghana. The Chairman of the Electoral Commission is the Returning Officer for the Presidential Election.
It is safe to conclude that the NPP will not declare the National Democratic Congress (NDC) winner of the election. With this latest comment and other similar ones by some top party members, what the party is suggesting that if the NPP does not win the election, the party will not accept the verdict. If this is what the NPP wants to do, then it should go ahead and conduct its own elections. You don’t take part in a competition when you do not follow the rules.
The NPP, which prides itself as a believer of the rule of law, has in recent times eroded what used to separate the party from its main opponents. Mr. Mac Manu’s statement is inciteful and irresponsible, to put it mildly. But beyond its irresponsibility, this latest statement portrays the insecurity the NPP has communicated through its actions and utterances.
This insecurity is unfounded. If there is any foundation the insecurity at all, then it was laid by the NPP. Governance in the past eight years has fallen below average. The hardship in the country now can be seen, felt, touched and smelled. Any political party of the caliber of the NPP should have taken advantage of this and told the voters why there should be a change.
When you shout for change, you should give us the reason for the change. I have said before that the failure of the NDC should not be a good reason to vote the NPP. I still stand by it. We cannot develop when opposition political parties do not give us concrete plans for developing this nation instead of counting on the misdeeds of the incumbent to win elections. We cannot, in this mess, be queuing every four years to choose between the lesser of two evils.
The NPP should tell us something different. They should tell us what they will do differently. We are complaining about corruption, but the stealing will not stop if Akufo-Addo becomes President tomorrow. Even if Akufo-Addo is not a thief, there will be thieves in his administration. Or is there anybody out there who thinks our money will not be stolen if the NPP wins? The party should tell us what they will do to stop the stealing. That should be the message.
It is true that the Kufuor administration did good things that the NPP can make reference to, but no matter how tall your grandfather was, you must do your own growing. We should know what the NPP has for us. Interestingly, Mr. Mac Manu also said the NPP would not release its manifesto now because the party is afraid the NDC would plagiarise its manifesto. That’s lame. Very lame. It is five months to the election. No political party is out with its manifesto. When are you going to release it, communicate its content to the voter before the election?
I think the 2016 election is an open race. If the NPP works hard, it can win. Nobody gave the NDC a chance in 2008. But the NDC can also win. The NPP does not need to steal to win. The NDC does not need to steal to win. Either party can win. Fairly!
The NPP’s posture, however, seems to suggest some high level of insecurity. It seems the party has conceded defeat and is psyching its members up not to accept the election results.
NPP’s former Chairman, Peter Mac Manu presented a very comprehensive position from the NPP
NPP’s 2016 Campaign Manager, Peter Mac Manu presented a very comprehensive position from the NPP
When the NPP could no longer find any creative ways of destroying itself through internal wrangling, it decided to fight the Electoral Commission. The party said the electoral register was ridden with names of foreigners. Then it fought the EC for a new register. When it failed, it revisited the STL propaganda with vigour. Then the party pushed for validation. The deletion of voters who registered with the National Health Insurance cards is yet to be concluded after the Supreme Court ruling. And here you have Peter Mac Manu saying the NPP could declare their own results.
You can go ahead and declare. We know you will not declare the NDC winner of the election. We know you are going to declare Akufo-Addo winner. It is possible your verdict may be the same as the Electoral Commission. It is also possible that President John Mahama will win. When that happens you will be declaring chaos.
What your posture is saying is that if Mahama wins, you will not accept the verdict. After the 2012 elections, you went to court. But these utterances suggest you have something more sinister up your sleeves. And you must rethink because Ghana is bigger than any individual or political party.
The truth is that both the NPP and NDC are not clean as far as this election is concerned. All of us need to be eternally vigilant to ensure that the EC’s verdict will reflect the true decision of the Ghanaians in the 2016 elections. But that should not be the main message of the NPP.
Dr. Bawmumia is doing well. But his message of hope is drowned by the aggressive posturing of the party. This is not good.
Instead of the fighting the EC and suggesting to your supporters not to accept any result that favours the NDC, tell them why they should vote for you. The election is also a mind game. But play a positive mind game with your supporters, not a negatively aggressive one. Tell them why you are winning the elections. Give them hope. Inspire them to go out in their numbers and vote. The elections are won on Election Day. And at the polling stations. Tell them to spread your message to the grassroots.
Take advantage of the conditions we find ourselves in — the corruption, the joblessness, the mismanagement of the economy and the rest you can think of. That is how to win elections. Your current actions are like conceding defeat to the NDC and telling your supporters to prepare for a fight after that. That’s the meaning of your posture. And it’s dangerous.
If the NDC could win the 2008 election, then the NPP can win the 2016 elections. Work hard and stop preparing people psychologically for violence. You may have nothing to lose. You may also have everything to lose.
The effect of violence is like rain. It does not fall on one roof. They that have ears…
The writer, Manasseh Azure Awuni, is a senior broadcast journalist with Joy 99.7FM.
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