The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress, John Dramani Mahama, had proven throughout his campaign to retake the NDC flagbearer slot, ahead of the party’s congress, that he had no respect for processes.
Beginning with the party’s so-called Unity Walk, which he personally funded, ahead of an official whistle from the party to commence a fair contest, through initiating of the processes for regional, constituency and branch elections to the national congress, he had held the hammer and the nail, technically electing himself flagbearer of the NDC.
Little wonder that party chiefs, led by the almighty chieftain Ato Ahwoi, had to admit that the party had ceded authority to the flagbearer to engineer his campaign, explore strategies and initiate his own debate, even if they were outlandish and pedestrian.
Unfortunately, John Mahama carried that ego onto the larger political space, invading terrain and turf which were outside his privileges and mandate. That included the decision by the law courts to probe Charlotte Osei and subject her to the rigours of the laws guiding her position and activities as Electoral Commissioner as well as the decision by the new chair of the EC to carry out a constitutional mandate of producing a new voters’ register.
Full of himself, on account of those powers ceded to him by a wobbly structured party, he continues to muddy the space as if the turf is entirely an NDC one, without regulations.
What we are seeing is that even where experts must wade in to guide debate or offer alternatives, vehemence and propaganda mixed with heat and poison appear to take centre stage owing to the looming fear among his lieutenants that being objective amounts to being defeated in the argument.
Instead of using argument as a force, Mahama and NDC chief executive Johnson Asiedu Nketia drag the ignorant bunch along, spewing pedestrian, irrelevant debate that helps no one or enriches the information available to the electorate to take crucial decisions.
Playing to the gallery
So that the NDC can achieve its goal of muddying the waters, it delayed its Manifesto launch, after initially giving the false impression that it had a “rescue mission” message, which it can conveniently convey to the electorate without a manifesto.
The leadership and members of the party were too ashamed to admit that they could not craft anything decent and credible beyond what the NPP engineered in 2016 and delivered or other additions that would conveniently enhance a 2020 campaign and ultimate victory.
It therefore turned out that the “rescue mission” message was just putting together half-baked graduates to make noise all the airwaves, and shoot down the clear, unmistakable evidence of remarkable accomplishments scored by the Akufo-Addo administration.
COVID-19 election management
Bruised and battered, the NDC further decided to denigrate government’s effective management of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the effort on the part of the Electoral Commission to roll out the new voters’ register in record time and in a credible manner.
Apparently angered by the dogged successes being recorded at every stage by the ruling NPP, all the cards the NDC is left to play are the Jacks (clowns), without queens, kings and aces, and now behaving like drunks drenched in torrential rains groping desperately in the dark.
Still ideas and nothing
We believe that is why it is important and pertinent on the part of the Vice- President Mahamudu Bawumia to remind the NDC that the 2020 election is still a contest of ideas, and not anarchy and threats to national peace and stability.
If the NDC means well, it must stay in the middle and prosecute the campaign lawfully, and not flee onto the fringes and drop below-the-belt punches, while the months freeze into days and ultimately Judgment Day on December 7, 2020.
Unfortunately, Dr Bawumia’s admonishing is not what they would want to hear because they know who they are, and what their abilities allow them to do: they cannot win in any contest of ideas with the governing NPP.
That is why the electorate should appreciate the fact that the alternative they offer to what the Akufo-Addo government is providing remains scary, and that it would be in their own interest and that of their children and children’s children not to think of making the mistake of returning Mahama to power.