NANA BRAM OKAE II
I SAW the electoral defeat of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) coming long ago and I warned the NDC in two separate write-ups in this column, to be mindful of what the New Patriotic Party (NPP) did in the run-up to the 2008 general election, which they lost, and learn from their mistakes. But they didn’t listen. I wasn’t expecting them to take heed though–power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, they say.
You see, in 2008, Nana Akufo Addo, the NPP presidential candidate, landed at Tamale Airport on his way to the campaign grounds there. From Tamale Airport to the city centre it should ordinarily take 30 minutes. But that day it took Nana Addo and his entourage more than 3 hours to get through because of the massive crowd wishing to shake hands with him.
At other functions throughout the country that year, the crowds were there to listen to him and cheer him up. The last rally at Kasoa, where massive numbers of people turned up, gave the impression that all would be well for Nana Addo then. But all was not well that year for him; he lost to Prof John Evans Atta Mills.
The outgoing NDC government in 2016 should have learnt from this mishap that engulfed the NPP then and do things right but they thought they were cruising to victory and would not listen to anybody else.
In the run-up to the election this year every programme that the out-going NDC government organised at which hundreds or even thousands of people attended had the people organised and bussed in and out.
For instance, at the campaign launch at the Cape Coast Stadium, the 40.000-seater capacity facility was filled to the brim with various groups from each of the 275 constituencies throughout the country who came in on MMT coaches hired for them. We had information that each individual was given food package and cash to induce them.
You would have noticed, if you had watched the programme on television, that getting to the closing stages of that programme, all those who came from afar left the stadium en masse to go back to their various destinations. So, before the President took the microphone, half of the stadium had deserted the place.
On Mahama campaign tours also, praise singers were bussed to follow him and give the impression that he had a large following. But these were all charades meant to deceive Ghanaians.
The greatest deception took place on Monday, 5 December, 2016, when the NDC had their final rally at the Accra Sports Stadium. Initially, they had advertised it to be a national rally but seeing the crowd at the Trade Fair Site at the rally of their rival NPP, they changed it to be a regional rally but they had something up their sleeves.
I can tell you on authority that people were bussed from as far as the Volta Region and beyond. Even in Accra, they went to washing bays where idle boys were sitting minding their own business and induced them with GHc50.00 and Toaso T-shirt to go to the stadium and take part in the cheering. The boys obliged and were bussed to the stadium as requested of them.
You saw the large crowd at the stadium that day, didn’t you? The large crowd was meant to give the impression that the NDC has a large following and if these were to translate into votes, there would be no challenger; they would win.
But that was the caveat – if all those were to translate into votes. But that was not to be. Everybody went their separate ways to vote on the D-Day but everybody’s vote is secret.
Now, if NDC adherents shout and urge the sitting President to continue his ‘good’ works in office, what exactly do they want him to continue? The massive corruption that is suffocating all of us? The hardships foisted on the people through unaffordable high electricity and water tariffs and killer taxes? Or the great mismanagement that he is engaged in? Or the tribal and ethnic sentiments of his? Or the bloating of costs of projects? Or the splashing of cash and cars to chiefs and girlfriends? Or womanising? Or what?
What do they want him to continue doing in office because there is nothing good so far to continue by him. Thank God the NDC under the leadership of John Mahama has been stopped in their tracks to stop the sleaze.
In my earlier write-ups I warned that voters were not to be trusted anywhere in the world and that they could ditch you when least expected. Even in the US with a large literate population, opinion polls could be misleading as we witnessed in the Trump-Clinton duel. Ben Ephson should take note of this and stop his voodoo predictions.
Reuters gave Clinton 93% chance of winning but she flopped. There is another evidence in Nigeria where Goodluck Jonathan did all he could to influence the outcome of the vote last year but he flopped.
Coming back home, Mr. Afriyie, also known as Sir John, warned that nobody should ever have confidence in delegates because they can disappoint you and put you into the ditch.
Well, this is what has happened to the NDC currently; they never listened to my advice and they now have twisted faces as they have been badly bruised.
Who says President Mahama is popular? He is not, at least as exhibited by the results of the just-ended general election. If after a massive infrastructure build-up as espoused by the President he goes into an election and loses as many as 47 seats or more, as did John Mahama in this instance, the obvious thing to do is to resign. Such a leader has no moral authority to speak again on issues concerning his party. This is what John Mahama should do right now.
You see, the huge billboards, the many adverts in the Daily Guide or other newspapers repel people rather than attract them because of the negative feelings invoked by these objects.
People are suffering; they can’t have three square meals a day. Such people going through suffering are disgusted when they see Mahama billboards. They also know that money spent on the billboards can be used to drill boreholes to have safe drinking water at home. Such people will always vote for change.
This is why Samira says: “We see your billboards alright but we see nothing but the hardship we go through; we see your billboards but we see mismanagement all over Ghana; we see your billboards but we see incompetence; we see your billboards but we see corruption all over.”
What does Mahama have to do to parry these allegations? Nothing! He has presided over looting of SADA funds; he has been, through the Attorney-General, stalling the process to have Woyome refund the money that has been unconstitutionally paid to him; he has presided over the bus-branding scandal; he has presided over inflation of costs of major projects in Ghana like the construction of the flyovers, the SHS schools, the airports expansion projects and a good number of other misdeeds by his appointees.
The voters have punished President Mahama and his government severely for these infractions. He has been taking Ghanaians for granted and he and his family members have been doing whatever they like with impunity.
There is an end though, to everything. Mahama and his people have had their cup full. They now know, rather belatedly, that rented crowd cannot vote for a president who hardly thinks of the people but himself.