The leader of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, is desperately trying to compare himself to Muhammadu Buhari, the ex-Military Head of State, who has won Nigeria’s last Saturday’s presidential polls.
Nana Akufo-Addo, on his twitter handle congratulated Gen. Buhari by saying; “through the peaceful exercise of their sovereign and democratic right to elect their own leaders, the people of Nigeria have strengthened the frontiers of democracy for all other African countries to emulate.”
Ahead of the Nigeria polls, NPP First Vice-Chairman, Freddie Blay, likened Nana Addo to General Buhari. He was quoted in his newspaper, Daily Guide saying the Nana Addo and the incoming Nigerian President, have the same credentials and share the same aspirations.
Members of the NPP and Nana Addo’s newspaper; The New Statesman, have also gone on radio saying what happens in Nigeria will affect Ghana’s Presidential elections, which is almost two years away.
General Buhari, who had contested the Nigerain election for four times, was ahead of Mr. Jonathan by at least two million votes as at press time yesterday.
His party the All Progressive Congress (APC) said, his opponent, the incumbent President, Goodluck Jonathan, admitted defeat and congratulated him.
Observers have generally praised the election, but there have been allegations of fraud, which some fear could lead to protests and violence.
However, a spokesman for Gen Buhari’s APC praised Mr. Jonathan, saying: “He will remain a hero for this move. The tension will go down dramatically.”
“Anyone who tries to foment trouble on the account that they have lost the election, will be doing so purely on his own,” the spokesman added in quotes carried by Reuters.
Excerpts from Nana Addo’s congratulatory message read, “This is the first time, in Nigeria’s history, that one democratically elected government has been voted out for another, and that a sitting President has been rejected at the polls. This change, after 16 years of the Fourth Republic, should go a long way to enhancing the quality of competitive governance in Nigeria. It has reinforced the democratic notion that the people have the power to change governments”.
He went on “President Goodluck Jonathan is to be commended for graciously conceding defeat, thereby, laying to rest any lingering suspicion and anxiety about the fate of Nigeria in the aftermath of the elections”.
“By their exemplary conduct, both outgoing President Jonathan and his successor have reinforced the resilience of Nigeria’s democracy, and demonstrated to the entire world that politics in Africa can be positively competitive, when conducted on the basis of time-honoured principles of transparency, fairness and equal opportunity.
I hope that the determination and perseverance shown over the years by General Buhari, evident in this victory, which is his 4th attempt at the Presidency, will
result in him bringing his wealth of experience, as a military ruler and subsequently as an acknowledged democrat, to the fore in delivering unity, security, progress and prosperity to the Nigerian people. I also hope that the President-elect would continue in the stead of past Nigerian leaders and deepen further the friendship that exists between Nigeria and Ghana, which has been based on a shared agenda of stability, security, development and prosperity. Warm congratulations once again to the President-Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, and best wishes for his success as he prepares to take up the huge responsibilities and challenges of the high office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
Meanwhile, Ghanaian political analysts, have observed that Nigerians also deserve to be congratulated for a relatively peaceful and transparent election process. The peaceful nature of the process is a major shot in the arm, not only for the West African sub-region, but for Africa as a whole.
According to them, the government of Ghana, must continue to work with the new administration in Nigeria to strengthen the long standing cordial and brotherly relationship between the two countries.
Any attempt to link what has happened in Nigeria to what will happen in Ghana next year, especially by the NPP, is simplistic and purely opportunistic.
This is because, “the PDP has been in power since Nigeria’s return to multi-party democracy in 1999(a total of 16 years).In between that time Ghana has changed governments twice. In fact this is the first time power has moved from one government to another through democratic means. We crossed this rubicon a long time ago”.
The notion that the election of a new president in Nigeria will translate into the election of a new president in Ghana is a sign of desperation.
It was observed that the NPP is gaining notoriety for always claiming that the outcome of elections in other countries will be replicated in Ghana.
Before the 2012 elections the NPP pinned its hopes on the election of the following opposition leaders like Alassane Ouottarra in Cote d’Ivoire , Michael Sata in Zambia, Mackie Sall in Senegal, Francois Hollande in France among others but in the end they lost by a wider margin than in 2008.
The observers said “it appears that this attempt to draw non-existent parallels between the Nigerian and Ghanaian situations is aimed at overcoming what the NPP perceives as a threat to the fortunes in 2016-the age of their candidate”.
They added that, “the assumption that because Nigerians have elected a 72 year old opposition leader as President Ghanaians will also automatically elect a 72 year old opposition leader as President is most ridiculous”.
It was described as an “insult to Ghanaians to suggest this. Ghanaians will choose their president based on their own set of considerations”.
Others have also argued that “the dynamics at play in Nigeria are entirely different from the political dynamics. For instance the PDP was hit by massive defections of very prominent members including former President Obasanjo which significantly weakened it in the run up to the elections”.
Also the scourge of Boko Haram and the PDP government’s failure to address the insecurity the insurgency created was a major contributory factor.
In Ghana, however, President Mahama continues to work to improve the living conditions of our people through improvements in education, health, water, roads, transport, security, agriculture and many other sectors.
The analysts hoped that the energy challenges, will be addressed as soon as practicable.
They were also of the view that the NPP led by Akufo Addo, appears hapless and totally inept at managing even their own minor affairs let alone major National tasks. Virtually every decision they have taken in preparation for the 2016 elections, has been characterized by confusion, protests and violent confrontations.
A case in point is the infamous August 19, 2014, incident at their headquarters where they attacked each other over the issue of appointing officers to run the affairs of the party.
They also cited the recent acrimony that characterized their so-called “Affirmative action” and “Gas only’ directives as yet another example of the NPP and Nana Addo’s ineptitude in managing their party, and questioned how it would manage the country if given the opportunity.