The political dynamics of Ghana under the 4th Republican constitution keep changing partly due to the increasing level of education and change of needs of the electorates.
What the average voter considered before voting overwhelmingly for Jerry John Rawlings in 1992 and 1996 may be sharply different from what they considered in giving their nod to former president John Agyekum Kuffour two consecutive times.
This article seeks to discuss the political chances of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2024. People may argue that it is too early to settle on who leads the Party ahead of the 2024 general elections because we just finished with an election, that may be true for those who are not very politically alert. The truth of the matter is that, in Ghana, the next election begins right after the previous one ends. And all practicing politicians know this fact that is why supporters of aspiring candidates have started a subtle campaign that early.
The 2024 general elections will be very difficult for the NPP than the NDC from where I sit. Therefore it is the NPP that has more to do than their opponents, and their failure is the success of the NDC.
The just ended 2020 presidential election took the form and shape of the 2012 general elections which were both contested by John Dramani Mahama and Nana Addo Danquah AKufo Addo It is important to note that both elections ended up in the Supreme court and their outcomes may not vary. The 2024 elections is likely to take the shape and form of the 2008 general elections which were contested between the late John Evans Atta Mills who was then running for his third time and president Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo who was running for his first time. It is worth noting that the failure of the then-candidate Akufo Addo was not due to how vibrant his close competitor, John Evans Atta Mills was but rather due to how his own party men betrayed him. Forces within a party that fight against their own member is what I call “INTERNAL YAANOM”. Internal Yaanom were the downfall of president Akufo in 2008 and 2012.
How the New Patriotic Party was founded has caused them to always give way for open competition especially in choosing their presidential candidates. The party was founded on three traditions (the Danquah- Dombo -Busia Tradition) It may be due to this that never has a running mate succeeded a presidential candidate since the party was amalgamated in 1992. The NDC on the other hand has consistently had a smooth succession plan sometimes against the will of some party men. A classical example is the Swedro declaration which saw the then Vice president John Evans Atta Mills which caused senior party men like Goosie Tandoh to form his party ahead of the 2000 election. So going into 2024 it is rather a question of who will succeed president Akufo Addo and not an option of Dr, Bawumia succeeding his boss.
Just like 2008 when seventeen people contested to succeed the outgoing president John Agyekum Kufuor, many people albeit a lesser number this time around are expected to come out and contest for the next presidential candidate of the ruling NPP. But no matter the number that comes out the contest would be between only two people; the three-time Flagbearer aspirant of the party, Alan John Kwadwo Kyeremateng, and the 4-time running mate of the party, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia. Both of them are very formidable and distinguished in their own rights.
The supporters of Dr. Mahamadu Bawmia, aside from his sterling performance as both running mate and vice president, may want to cure a long-standing political propaganda and mischief that the NPP is an Akan party and they wouldn’t allow anybody who is not an Akan descent to lead them. The case of late vice president Aliu Mahama comes in handy as a perfect example for their political opponents. Propaganda is a very powerful tool in political which ought not to be underrated by any political group. Mahama and his surrogates in the lead up to election 2016 and 2020 suggested to voters, especially in the Northern half of the country, that, as a Northerner, Bawumia is in the wrong party; that he has no future in the NPP except as second fiddle to the flagbearer; that there is even something inauthentic about his Northerner identity. The CPP flagbearer added that Bawumia is an “Accra Northerner”. The selection of Bawumia as the flagbearer will end the tribal politics the NDC has been using against the NPP for the past 3 decades. What those who make the argument that Dr Bawumia would be dumped just as Aliu Mahama was was miss is that unlike Aliu, Bawmia has become one of the top political forces in the country now. I fact you cannot count Nana Addo, John Mahama and exclude him in any political analysis you are doing. His camp may also thrive on his contribution to the popular 2012/2013 landmark election petition, the 2016 election,and the 2020 election. His lectures appealed to the elites and made the party very attractive in 2016 especially to the youth and the elites. He has sold himself very well and presents himself as a potential presidential candidate capable of succeeding his boss. He has a solid wife who has also dominated a major socio-political region in the country.
Unlucky for him, he goes against another solid party stalwart, Alan Kwadwo Kyeramanteng (Alan Cash). In 2008, I was in class 5 and remember very well when my teacher asked us to go and write all the names and slogans of the 17 presidential candidates Asiedu Nketiah referred to them as “the 17 thieves”. The only two I can still remember off head do not even include the candidate who came out as the winner, Nana Akufo Addo but rather Alan Kyeramateng and Nana Yaw Osafo Marfo. Osafo Marfo was then using “Oye ade3 yie” because it was under his auspices as the Minister for Education, Youth and Sports that Ghana first qualified for World Cup in 2006. The name Alan Kyeramateng and his nickname, Alan Cash became household names in the country.
His branding and slogans were so on point. Job for the boys and cash for the boys became the most popular slogans of that year but unfortunately, the delegates settled for someone who has sacrificed so much for the party and someone who was well known “y3nim wo fri tete” Nana Akufo Addo. Not his second and third attempts could see the light of day. What contested Alan in 2012 and 2016 were his 2008 mistakes. He was accused of not supporting the winner, Nana Addo in the previous elections when he lost.
Nana Addo failed to win the 2008 elections despite the claims that the NPP’s achievement then was superior and widely acknowledged because of the weapons the internal yaanom used against him during the internal contest. They have his opponents all the weapons they could use against him and it perfectly worked.
What I see is that the internal yaanom have reared their heads ahead of the contest and they have started their negative politics quite early. If they succeed in running down their obvious choice and diving the party, they should forget of Agenda 2024 and blame internal yaanom for their loss.
If the miracle happens and they present Bawumia/Alan or Alan/Bawumia ticket, that would be one of the strongest political front in the 4th Republic.
A sigh of Internal Yaanom.
By: Columnist Simon Bitian Boakye.
Blogger for Ghanashowbiz.com