It must have come as a rude shock to everyone as it did to me, the statement the unofficial godfather of this administration, Gabby Asare Otchere Darko, wrote on his Facebook wall.
Gabby wrote on Wednesday “Good Morning, isn’t it rather odd that the biggest opposition party in Ghana is about to choose its next leader/candidate and there is hardly any news about it? Well, the whole preparation/organization has been patently dull, but that is another story altogether. Imagine, if it were the NPP, having a flagbearership race..just cast your minds back. So, why then is the nation not at all excited about this NDC race featuring John Dramani Mahama again and the rest? I think the loud silence from the media and people is very telling.
Nauseating, isn’t it?
It is necessary, however, to state that one finds Gabby’s headache raised in his post very truthful and reflective of reality, because the current economic conditions the good people of the country are facing are very biting and have no time to pay heed to what is happening in the opposition National Democratic Congress.
I may not agree with Gabby, but there is surely sense in nonsense, because I just cast my mind back to 2007, 2010 and 2014, when the New Patriotic Party (NDC), elected its flagbearer.
In 2007, 17 people paraded themselves to lead the party, every curious mind, will be interested in such a number, because it has never happened in any country before, where more than ten members of one political party, put themselves up to lead it.
We were witnesses to the opulence displayed at the University of Ghana, it was one of the low end of our democratic experiment.
The acrimonious primary is what led to one of the aspirants, John Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen, resigning from the party.
What could possibly occupy the minds of Ghanaians in 2010, when the NPP, gathered again to elect its flagbearer. The economy at the time was booming, we had sustained single digit inflation, the cedi, had long been arrested, not what we saw in 2017, when the dollar quickly escaped when it was arrested and the key handed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), and the icing on the cake, the return of Alan Kyeremanten, who had earlier resigned from the party.
In 2014, after the 2012 presidential petition that challenged the legitimacy of John Dramani Mahama, the two bitterest rivals, were back in the race again, which was to many, the final decider, of who was more popular in the party.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, won the final contest and went on to win the 2016 election.
The NPP, in the run-up to the presidential primary from 2007, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, from the outrageous number of candidates, to what happened to Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyei Agyapong, Chairman and Secretary respectively.
The presidential primary of the NPP, did not attract so much public and media interest because Ghanaians were yearning for it, it was because of the controversies and near missed death that often characterize it.
I can agree with Gabby, if he says the NPP, has a healthy relationship with the media. The NDC, for inexplicable reasons, since 1992, has failed, despite the persistent calls and reminders about the frosty relationship, it has with the media, to shed that perception.
It is said that, he who pays the piper, calls the tune, the NDC, whiles in office treated media houses predisposed to them, very sharply and little regard was given to them, in opposition, despite public acknowledgement, coupled with what was captured in the Kwesi Botwey report .
The NPP, which is paying the piper, will continue to enjoy media coverage, whether for the good or wrong reasons.
President Akufo-Addo, was desperate for power, he wasted no time in making promises that were beyond human comprehension.
He knew the buttons to press to get Ghanaians to buy into his obsession, so whatever he said was news and the media, like vulture feeds on carcass.
The NPP activities became where the news was, their recent National Delegates Conference, was one that could passed for a carnival to the extent that Dr John Hayward, a representative of the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom (UK) said s he was baffled by the number of posters he saw at the venue of the party’s 2018 delegates conference.
This has been the pattern since Akufo-Addo, took over the party, in 2008, the print and electronic media had completely surrendered to the firepower of the huge chunk of our national resources that was deployed to procure continuity for the then sitting government, the media was awash with stolen fund and with the feeling that it had never been so good, they offered their spaces for perhaps the most absurd abuse the fourth estate of the realm had ever been subjected to.
By this time in 2007, 2010 and 2014, monies, real monies were flying around.
The absence of all I have enumerated is what is making the NDC presidential primary so dour, uninteresting and uninspiring in a country where the NPP, has shown us that election is all about money and the elimination of opponents, within the same party.
So Gabby you said, we should go and figure, I have and I have attempted to explain to you the reasons for the near neglect.
Sure, this is a presidential primary with a difference.