From time to time, things occur and provide us the platform to interrogate happenings on the political front of the two leading political parties in the country and relive its impact on one section or the other of the country.
The 2012 election was one classic example of a political phenomenon in the history of Ghana that provided excellent opportunity for both the ruling National Democratic Congress and the opposition New Patriotic Party to put to test the abilities and capabilities of persons they elect to run the affairs of their respective parties.
Many political pundits have ‘theorized’ that the success of any political party in any crucial election depends on the astuteness of its respective regional heads. It is truism that both the NDC and NPP as part of strategy make projections as to the percentage of votes they wish to amass in their strongholds, opponent’s strongholds and in swing regions (Greater Accra region is no exception).
Suffice to mention that among the ten regions in Ghana, the two main political parties strive to win the Greater Accra region to boost their political fortunes of getting the keys to the Flag Staff House. It is believed; at least per the last two elections, that any party that wins the capital region “automatically” wins of the national
It is this vain that both NDC and NPP tirelessly work to put together a much formidable regional executive team in the Greater Accra to secure victory. The Greater Accra region until the 2000 elections was safe haven for the NDC. Indeed, the party won both the 1992 and 1996 after amassing majority votes in the Greater Accra region. Some political pundits and pollsters have concluded that the NDC lost the 2000 and 2004 elections because it could not win majority votes and seats in the capital region.
Available date from the Electoral Commission shows that the NPP won the 2000 and 2004 elections after winning the Greater Accra region, and lost the 2008 and 2012 elections after losing the same region to the NDC. Arguably, the Greater Accra region can be christened “the decider” of elections since the start of multiparty democracy in Ghana.
However, a careful analysis of the Greater Accra region since the 1992 elections indicates that the region has developed the penchant of giving each of the two major political parties an eight year mandate. As far as the political permutation in the region is concern, none of the two major political parties have won the region three times continuous.
And this is where the NDC may have to begin scouting for ways to break that ‘jinx’, especially when President John Dramani Mahama is now doing his first term and in the absence of any force majeure, will put himself up for a second term bid. The irony, however is that unlike President Mahama, the NDC is in its second term and would be relishing making history by aiming to win the 2016 to become the first political party in the fourth Republic to have secured a third term mandate. Considering the role the Greater Accra region played in deciding previous elections, it would be in the utmost interest of the NDC to find ways in winning the region for the third time.
And winning the region for the third time, I dare say is very possible but not under the leadership of the current Greater Accra Regional Chairman, Mr Joseph Kobina Ade Coker. Plain facts are; Mr Ade Coker has lost grip of the party in the region. He has lost his bearings so far as the organization of the party in the region is concern and this is a danger to the NDC ahead of the 2016 election.
Growing attrition and despondency among party supporters in the region has hit fever pitch and there are no signs of Mr Ade Coker finding ways to resolve it. He looked on clueless while enmity among supporters of candidates jostling for MMDCE positions has blossom. What Mr Ade Coker has demonstrated so far shows that he doesn’t have the cure to the difficulties militating against the party in the region! Euphemistically, he is lacking ideas.
The danger is more apparent now that NPP is working around the clock to consolidate or increase its votes in the Ashanti and Eastern region and in the event they manage to snatch the Greater Accra region from the NDC, the ruling party would have no option than to kiss goodbye power. This is what the party must avoid and the only way to dodge this is to get rid of Mr Ade Coker.
It is public knowledge that with only two out of the ten regions (Ashanti and Eastern), the NPP was able to give the NDC a run for their money in the last two presidential and parliamentary elections; however, should the NPP succeed in adding the “decider region” to it tally in the 2016 election like they did in 2000 and 2008, they are likely to come back to power with ease.
Again, this is where the NDC must do proper soul searching to put together a very strong team of regional executives to make the history the party intends making in 2016 by winning the Greater Accra region for the third continuous time. Frankly speaking, the Chairman Mr Ade Coker lead administration of the NDC in the capital region is out of steam and would be unable to achieve such a huge and enviable task for the ruling party. Ade Coker has lost focus and has no clue to winning the region for the party again.
From all indications, Mr Ade Coker is likely to put himself up for election again, and if agitations from party supporters in the region are anything to by, it would political wise for him to save himself the humiliation by contesting the position again. Mr Ade Coker himself has time and again maintained that if supporters of the party in the region pass a vote of no confidence in him, he wouldn’t mine drawing down the curtains on his chairmanship slot.
In the midst of all the growing attrition and despondency which is obviously an indication of a vote of no confidence in Mr Ade Coker, he is still strutting around the political landscape and pressing all crude knobs to be maintained the Greater Accra regional chairman for the ruling party. He may have led a team to deliver the region for the party in the last two elections, but the dynamics this time round has changed and he must in his own interest and the interest of the NDC vacate the seat for a more astute person to take over.
Rather than liberate supporters of his party ahead of the crucial 2016 elections, Mr Ade Coker has resolved to prey on the illiteracy and poverty that has shacked Ghanaians by promoting negative political antics to enhance his chances of maintaining his post.
Eventually, the hooligans he has armed to intimidate his opponents have started setting up an alternative society and recruiting hordes of unsuspecting
unemployed people to defend his system to maintain the corrupt and incompetent system he has instituted under his reign.
The NDC cannot afford to lose the Greater Accra region in the 2016 election. Such an occurrence portends a cataclysmic omen for the survival of the party in government. NDC Greater Accra needs change and that change must come now or the party matches back to opposition!
Nii Addo Quaye