As a young man who loves listening, analysing and writing, the outcome of the Talensi by-election, events before and after cannot escape my attention. The presence of those who matter in our politics had given Talensi a perfect touch of political experience and its competitiveness.
Statements were made by the two leaders of the two major political parties New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) Nana Akufo-Addo and John Dramani Mahama. In their statements, President Mahama indicated that the Talensi by-election is a dress rehearsal of what 2016 would be. Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo did not mince words by indicating the victory of the NPP in Talensi means they are winning the 2016 elections. That was not all, Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo was reported to have stated that should the NPP lose the Talensi by-election then the ship is wrecked and the NPP must forget 2016. Nana Akomea had equally given weight to that statement.
It is important to note that the president, knowing very well what such a statement could do to him in the event of a loss in the by-election, had taken notice of the united party he had deployed in the constituency. To this end, the president who spent barely five (5) hours in the constituency addressing a rally leaving his national and regional chairmen to secure a victory for the NDC had his eyes right on the ball. Indeed, that victory was secured for him. He spent barely five house in Talensi but secured a victory as compared to his opponent who spent four clear days on the same constituency but emerged with a defeat.
On the other hand, it would have come as a surprise if the NPP led by Nana Addo had won the seat they had held from the 2012 elections. Nana Akufo-Addo had led a disintegrated party into Talensi with the intention of winning. What was he thinking about when he virtually declared that winning Talensi meant the NPP winning 2016? Would the opposite apply? Would the NPP admit losing Talensi meant losing 2016?
What locus would I have in trying to disagree with a man who is said to have remained in politics for over forty (40) of his seventy two (72) years? With his experience in politics, I should have no doubt that if winning Talensi meant the NPP winning 2016, losing means the NPP losing the 2016 elections.
What was more surprising, the thinking of the NPP leadership under Akufo-Addo, that they could win the Talensi by-election without the active participation of the party?s General Secretary and Chairman is unfortunate. It is not for anything that party general secretaries and chairmanen are elected to oversee the activities of the party. What was more, the constituency in which the elections were held was in the home region of the national chairman of the NPP an individual who is seeking comfort from outside the NPP fearing his life close to the party.
Whereas the NDC mobilized its party leadership and all that mattered in the party to enable them win the seat in order to increase its tally on majority in Parliament, the NPP thought they could exclude these vital executives and proceed to win the elections. If the NPP had proceeded to win that seat, the exclusion of the Chairman and General Secretary would have been intensified. Instead of uniting the party for the task ahead of the party, individuals have been commissioned to undertake steps that would set in motion the impeachment of the two top executives of the party.
It is laughable, that after the by-election the NPP led by none other than Nana Addo could sight the mobilization of the NDC in Talensi. It does not lie in his hands to pick and choose who goes to help the NDC to deliver the seat to the party. The lessons the NPP ought to learn from the cohesion of the NDC is to understand how the party led by the president, could unite its ranks and work effectively to win a seat the NPP had held since 2012 until the member of parliament decided to resign.
The usual self denial attitudes of the NPP never halted. Instead of admitting the abysmal performance of the party which resulted in the party losing near 5,000 votes, they have resorted to combining the votes of the NPP and PNC candidate as a sign of the NDC losing grounds. That was indeed the aim for the NPP heading into Talensi. Just to prove the unpopularity of the NDC if they had won. But so far as that never happened, they must deny the painful loss.
Aside what I call the D&D politics (Dumsor and Dollar politics), the NPP seems to have no message. How on earth can any serious party campaign in Talensi with a message on Dumsor an exercise that is alien to the people? Then the blames begun coming after the humiliating defeat.
What were they expecting? That the NDC would have sat by and watch the NPP take that seat? It would have been no news if the NPP had won Talensi because it would have meant retaking a seat that belonged to them at least in the 2012 elections. But, with the message the NPP would have loved to put out that the NDC has been rejected and bound for defeat in 2016, the NDC would have shot itself by standing by. And that is what the NPP should be worried over.
Then the arguments of Honourable BT Baba winning less votes as compared to the president that means nothing. After all in the 2012 elections when the president polled 17,110 votes Nana Akufo-Addo polled 7,120 votes. In the same vine, when the NPP parliamentary candidate polled 11,380 votes, the NDC candidate polled 9,119. If, the logic the NPP is propagating is anything to go by, why didn?t the presidential candidate obtain equal votes as his parliamentary candidate in the 2012 elections? For the purpose of downplaying an election they so wanted to win, after losing, logic had given way to semantics. Why did the NPP contest a seat they knew was bound to be won by the NDC with their position of the win being of no news? As I would always put it, to understand the logic of the NPP, one must first become illogical.
Then they started back tracking after losing the election they so predicted and were cocksure of winning and claiming the reflect of the by-election in Talensi could not rule the NPP out. What a shame? Then there was no need making those claims in he first place.
Then they started running some online polls seeking views of the people to confirm or disprove the assertions that the NDC winning Talensi meant winning the 2016 elections. I noticed rather to my amusement, how they had mobilized people to vote against the verdict on the various online portals running those polls. In effect, the results of those online polls were compromised even before they were released. I have seen messages of how individuals could clear history and clear cookies in order to enable multiple voting during the polls.
I find it rather difficult to understand the motivation of the NPP and its surrogates in the delight to run polls. Polls have been run many times with some recording over 100% rate. As a matter of fact, almost every poll result in the 2008 and 2012 elections tipped Akufo-Addo for winning those elections with barely a teeth-skin chance given to the NDC candidate. In the end, the NDC won those elections over the NPP.
In as much as I would stand to condemn any acts of violence, I am elated with the apex of hypocrisy being exhibited by the people of Ghana. In the eyes of some Ghanaians, the NPP does no wrong. We were witnesses to the violence that took place at the headquarters of the NPP this year. We saw open vandalism of private vehicles of innocent Ghanaians, cutlasses wielded at the NPP headwaters which has succeeded in putting the Chairman and the General Secretary on the run.
Nobody spoke against it. Indeed I predicted they were waiting for an opportunity to give a general condemnation to all. When it is the NPP, we see no wrong.
Then the almighty ?violence begets violence? came up and the head of the Interior Minister was being demanded. Does violence beget peace? When the Bible indicated that he who lives by the sword will die by the sword, was the Bible preaching violence? What that simply tells us is that, we do not approach others with violence and expect to have peace and so there is no need starting violence if you require peace. But as usual, the spine doctors descended and the intention is lost on all of us.
I would have been glad if calls for the resignation of the NPP flagbearer was intensified when he preached ?All die be die? to Ghanaians ahead of the 2012 elections sighting Atiwa as an example. Do not tell me he not in government and wields no power. This is a man who is standing by to become the commander-in-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces. His statement carries weight equally.
A little advice to the NPP. The elitism is enough. It is about time they learn the rudiments of politics. There is a style I call segregated politics. You cannot carry one political message across the country. What one group of people may need is not necessarily what others need. The people of Accra may be suffering from dumsor but not the people in Talensi. Such messages would always be rejected as they sound alien to the dwellers of those areas.
May our democracy grow to our admiration. God bless us all.
Source: Stephen Kwabena Attu-ASK!