Without a doubt Ben Ephson is the only person in this country who has come close to what is called a pollster, and so we have conferred him that title for his near accuracy in past elections.
I respect his views but like Lawyers say, I strongly disagree with his diagnosis that Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will win the primaries of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), should he decide to contest.
I described it as an autopsy, because his prognosis Is dead on arrival, yes Nana Addo is popular among the rank and file of the party, but that is not good enough for such a conclusion.
This conclusion is not based on any scientific analysis, but simply that he contested both in the 2008 and 2012 elections and so he stands tall among all the possible contenders.
I can also sit in the comfort of my office and make such projections based on past record, one does not need Rocket Science for this. Of course having led the party twice in two crucial elections, it stands to reason that he is the most popular candidate among the names coming up, but so is Alan Kwawdo Kyeremanteng, who Nana Addo defeated in the two primaries leading to the 2008 and 2012 elections.
Politics is not ABC; sometimes it defies logic and understanding. I was young in 1997, during the primaries of the NPP for the 2000 elections. Nana Addo was more popular than John Agyekum Kufuor. Nana Addo had the support of party gurus including the former Senior Minister, who was also an in-law of John Kufuor, Joseph Henry Mensah.
When the President of the United States of America (USA), Barrack Obama, joined the Democratic race against a former First Lady and the wife of one of the most popular, likable, astute, accomplished, moderate and mature politician in the history of that country, Bill Clinton, not a lot of people gave Obama a dog’s chance, but he scaled barriers, including the racial barrier to become the first black President of America.
It is strategy that wins election. Nana Addo is tired and does not have the strength of character to go through with the exigencies of running for an election. If any of the candidates is desirous of shaming all those who think Nana Addo can sail through, adopt a strategy different from what they adopted in 2008 and 2012, the man will be history.
Nana Addo is a damaged goods. He is not marketable and certainly nobody will buy him.
On a scale of one to ten, Nana Akufo-Addo’s quotient is very low to the point of none existent and it will hurt him in whatever he wants to do going forward, because as Henry Ford once said, you build reputations based on what you have done, not what you are going to do.
So what is Nana Addo going to do different from what he did in 2007 and 2010 that won him the primaries? His has stretched his promises to the limit of no return. Is his message going to be, I was cheated in the last election, so give me another chance. To do what really, because he will lose again.
NPP in 1996 under JAK had 1 region, 39% of the presidential vote and it had 66 seats in parliament compared to the NDC’s 100. In 2000 still under JAK it captured 6 regions; it had 52% of the presidential vote in the run-off and it had 100 seats in parliament as compared to NDC’s 93. In 2004 things looked better for NPP. It had 6 regions, 52% of the presidential vote in the first run and it had 121 seats as compared to NDC’s around 105 seats or so. Then along came Akufo Addo in 2008. NPP regions went down to 2. Its presidential vote was 49% and NPP had 106 parliamentary seats as compared to NDC 113. In 2012 it got worse. Still 2 regions for NPP, 47% of the presidentail vote and the NDC opened up a more than 20 seat gap in the parliamentary seats. The question then is why on earth does anyone want to choose Akufo Addo to lead NPP again when he has been a disaster?
This is the best analysis about the sorry state of NPP, since Nana Addo became it leader. It had moved from bad to worse at the turn of every election. Even his own region the Eastern Region, the party’s fortune had dwindled since 2008. Is this the man to beat as Ben Ephson put it? I don’t think so.
I could only agree with him, if the NPP is only interested in making a flagbearer out of him and not the Presidency.
Nana Addo has proven time and again that he will not walk in the shadows of his forebear. He cannot on his own make any meaningful gains politically; even taken advantage of what others had left behind , in terms of legacy has been a problem for him. Such a person cannot ride the high horse for long, he is bound to crush.
His popularity is still high, because the last election was only last year, beside, the Supreme Court verdict was just four months ago, so naturally he is still fresh in peoples memory. A year is a long time in politics and so I don’t think he will be attractive next year.
Why chase Nana Addo when Alan Kyeremanteng can beat him. Someone must give him a dose of reality and I am sure that the reality will come next year, when the delegates of the party assemble to elect a flagbearer.
I don’t like flip of coin, but if I am to flip one, I will say Alan Kwadwo Kyeremanteng is the man to beat, not Nana Addo.