The New Patriotic Party is repeating the same mistakes National Democratic Congress did in 2016. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia became the nemesis of the National Democratic Congress during the 2016 electioneering campaign. The flagbearer was virtually free going about his campaign. I remember very well how the then Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Mr. Koku Anyidoho wasted an excellent opportunity to convince huge crowds in Kumasi why they should vote for his party.
Koku Anyidoho went on the campaign platform and told the crowd to repeat after him that Dr. Bawumia is a “Mutum banza”, a Hausa word for worthless man. They made DR. Mahamudu Bawumia their focus for the election. The then-president John Dramani Mahama, on several platforms, responded to some claims Dr. Bawumia had been making.
Running mate Bawumia too embarked on his public lectures on how the NDC government was managing the economy at a very crucial moment of the campaign period. He used to set an agenda for the ruling government and in the media. They always had to respond to Bawumia, and the press was also always discussing Bawumia. The Presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Ado Danquah Akufo- Addo, had the opportunity to push his Free Senior High School promise, 1D17, 1V1D, among many others across with little resistance. What the NDC missed then was that they were wasting so much time on a person whose face would not be on the ballot paper.
Fast forward in 2020, the New Patriotic Party is set to tow on the same line as the NDC did 4 years ago. Five days after the flagbearer of the largest opposition party in Ghana appointed his running mate, Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, the communication machinery of the New Patriotic Party has skewed their focus on her instead of the flagbearer himself. For a very first time a very long while, a week has passed without any NPP member attacking their favourite man ‘The Incompetent One John Dramani Mahama’. This has been the most decisive choice John Mahama has made. He realized the attacks on him was too much to bear, and he needed someone with less baggage to safeguard him into victory.
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Immediately the appointment was made, the National Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party organized a press conference to discredit the running mate who happens to be the immediate past Minister for Education. In the press conference, he raised so many issues they have always blamed Mahama with in the past on her. They accused her the cancellation of allowance, a policy decision taken and defended by John Mahama both in government and in opposition. They blamed her for failing to provide students with chalks. The chalk statement was actually made by the former first lady, Her Excellency Matilda Amissah Arthur when she visited some school. But the New Patriotic Party is desperately blaming her with all those decisions in an attempt to discredit her. What they don’t know is it will cost the NDC more when they rather attack John Dramani Mahama than her.
Two of NPP regional Chairmen have misfired the running mate. Instead of them to attack her as a former minister, they attacked her as female or woman, which is earning her some sympathy already. The line between a female public servant and her gender is very thin, and the least mistake you do you would be inviting a gender fight for yourself.
If the NPP goes on like this, they will help John Mahama to achieve his aim of making the appointment. He made the appointment as a trap and also to escape attacks. He wants the NPP to be scoring own goals and be fighting gender activists. If the New Patriotic Party wants to focus on their campaign this year, they should ignore the running mate of John Mahama who really possesses less threats and focus on John the Mahama himself.
John Mahama is the man with his face on the ballot box and not Professor Naana Jane Opoku –Agyemang. They will have more bad things to say about John Dramani Mahama than his vice – Presidential candidate.
But for now, John Mahama is walking free and strategizing on his next move while the New Patriotic Party is busy attacking his running mate which ends up attracting sympathy votes for the NDC.
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