The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has just succeeded in denying themselves all the feedback needed for introspection and a better comeback against an NDC that will definitely be much stronger in 2016.
They deny themselves feedback because many of us have to limit what we say as it will amount to adding salt to injury. Permit me to share this with the party I once loved who are beginning to carve for themselves a niche for being bad losers.
Magnanimity in defeat
NPP's leadership especially, continue to live in self-denial and have on two (2) consecutive occasions refused to be magnanimous in defeat, a history that is culminating into dwindling fortunes for this great party.
In 2008, the NPP lost the RUNOFF with about 49%, in 2012 it lost a FIRST ROUND with about 47%, but for me, obtaining about 47% against a bullet ridden NDC (Woyome,4-Months Campaign, Absence of figurehead Rawlings etc..) means 45% in reality... especially so, when you had the complement of your admirable award-winning ex-president John Agyekum Kuffuor and free SHS going for you,I dare say that magnanimity in defeat is crucial to winning future elections.
This contributed to Kuffuor’s success in the 2000 elections after graciously loosing 1996 election. Same can be said for the late Professor J.E.A Mills who still featured prominently in state functions even after consecutive defeats.
What went wrong
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo (NADAA) mainly appeals to Die Hard NPP Supporters.
On many occasions i have told my friends in NPP that if your candidate makes comments that only his “die hards” can identify with, He is on the wrong path because the “die hards” don't win elections in Ghana. There was no way you and I (peaceful and well-meaning Ghanaians) were going to identify with “all die be die” even with the Atsiwa antecedent. The result is what we saw in 2012 elections with NPP winning only Eastern and Ashanti Regions-where most of its die hard supporters reside- two out of the ten regions in Ghana.
As if that was not enough, a party gifted with huge intellectual resources including THINK TANKS, chose to resort to massing up crowds and threatening mayhem as a way of policing results in an electoral system that is foolproof, transparent and manual. MOST displeasing to their followers, their leaders claimed to have correct results but were busy doing useless propaganda with it instead using it to crosscheck what was coming in from EC-carried on TV (Joy,TV3,GTV etc), online (EC, Joy FM, Peace FM, Graphic Corporation, etc) and on radio (Joy & over 10 English and TWI speaking radio stations).
They waited until over 262 constituencies were declared and election projected for JM before sounding an alarm. Even that, it took the brilliance of a young female Lawyer and MP for Dome Kwabenya to detect alleged anomalies.
If you invested over GH¢15 million in a campaign, will you do this?
What were their party agents doing appending signatures at constituency level, regional level, then national level before handing over to Dr. Afari-Gyan -the final signatory?
Correctness of the 2012 verdict
There is no doubt in my mind that JM won 2012 elections. However, pursuing the integrity of the results is a good thing to do, but it will not change the verdict that majority of Ghanaians subscribe to JM.
He is the president who holds Unity & Nationhood in high esteem, way above political affiliation, and a believer that the Nation is much bigger than any one individual or political party. His decision to move to Flag-Staff house-a difficult turnaround from party stance- and his participation in IEA debates were typical demonstration of this. Here was a president whose predecessors made us aware that it was a disadvantage for a sitting president to participate in IEA debate but his participation made it seem like he was unduly advantaged by his unique understanding of operation of Government. At the IEA debate, he came across as a modern manager/commander using relevant information very well and his performance at the IEA could have been a plus.
For the verdict, Pollster Ben Ephson predicted it. Ben continues to be Ghana’s most trusted pollster with minimal error margins. I take him seriously all the time; you ignore him at your own peril. If you are serious, you will listen to the reasons behind his polls and use it to influence results in your favour.
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) confirms that their Parallel Voter Tabulation (PVT) sampling from polling station level affirms JM as president elect.
NDC has majority in parliament. Since the inception of the forth republic with six elections, the party with majority in parliament gets the presidency. 2012 has not deviated from this trend.
NDC won 8 out of 10 regions in Ghana including all four swing regions. This is also in agreement with Dr. Arthur Kennedy’s litmus test. “When I wake up at 2:00 am, I will ask who is winning Accra and Central? If it is the same person, I will conclude that that person has won the election”.
Dr. Arthur Kennedy – a forthright and intelligent member of NPP. To ascertain further whether His Excellency John Mahama truly won the December 2012 elections, I suggest we find out which candidate won in the special voting carried out by the security forces on December 5,2012. It’s my firm believe that for the six (6) elections Ghana has conducted in the fourth Republic, whoever wins within the security forces, goes ahead to win the general elections.
This is NDC’s second term and this is perfectly in sync with history that Ghanaians usually give each party two terms – the election in-between these two terms is just a safety valve in case you are messing up “big time”, we don’t have to wait for 8 years to vote you out. 2012 results supported the two term trend.
With the above, you can understand why NPP has to be admonished to respect the people’s verdict, be gracious in defeat and join in the continuous forward match of our Great Nation.
What does the future hold for NPP
With the antagonistic path the NPP is taking, it is not looking good for them. Hopefully, they will recover from their trauma in time to correct the wrongs and pick shape.
I have always maintained that it is easier for NPP to win an Election in Ghana than the NDC. This is because, whereas NDC needs all four swing regions to scrape through, NPP can make it with one swing region. NPPs core support could account for over 46% percent; these 46% will vote for NPP most of the time.
Will the Great Party once led by gentle giant Kuffuor with some good records to show, still field NADAA in 2016 or risk putting up a new face? 2016 for NADAA may be difficult, 2020 may be better…after JM.
They are more likely to field a new candidate who can graciously accept defeat in 2016 -if it happens and repeat same candidate for 2020 after JM’s likely two terms; NPP is likely to win that one-2020. Hope the damage they do to themselves now, does not cost them a long stay in the political wilderness. From what I see, I wish it does... so all political parties know they can't take the peace of this great nation for granted.
Also, is there a case of NADAA and his cronies wanting to put the party in a state of disrepair as payback for not supporting his presidential ambition well enough?… thus making it difficult for future aspirants to win elections. As Emmanuel Bombande (WANEP) rightly said, the discerning voices in the party should speak up or risk being bundled up as being part of this shame.
The future looks bright for the NPP with people such as Dr. Frimpong Boateng & Alan Kyeremanteng; hopefully they'll better accepting defeat for future glory.