What was the Vice-president, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia thinking, or should I say, drinking, when he asked the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in his latest attack to name one Social Intervention Programme in eight years from 2009-2016.
Anytime he coughs the NDC catches cold, he has become a potent medicine for their malady.
Following the pandemonium that followed this innocuous question, I have come to the conclusion that the NDC has two big problems— branding and labeling.
From all cylinders members of the NDC started firing, with articles and pronouncements. This to me is a simple question that would ordinarily require a simple answer, ended with name calling.
As I write this article, I am yet to read or hear one cogent answer to the question the vice-president posed.
In the run-up to the 2016 elections, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, had a home run, as the Americans will say, when he asked the then vice-president, Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur, some 170 questions.
Till date the 170 questions, like the one he asked last week, remain unanswered.
The greatest of blunders in the attempt to answer Dr. Bawumia, was to accept his bait on behalf of the party and take the challenge to the battalions of Ghanaians on mainstream media and social media.
As a student of the media, I have learnt that the NDC in government could never win an argument with newspapers, who buy ink in drums, so it is that in opposition today, the party cannot win an argument with multitudes on linked up keyboards.
The only argument that works for that crowd is showing them performances that improve the quality of their lives. The NDC should just name one social intervention policy, so that we can put this question behind us.
I also learnt as a marketing student that, branding separates successful businesses from the not successful ones and the NDC, has trailed the NPP, when it comes to branding.
Growing up there were some products that were the toast of many, but today many of those products cannot be found on the shelves, because the owners failed to brand them well.
Branding helps to identify a product and distinguish it from other products and services. It is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers, but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company.
The NDC since 1992, starting with former president, Jerry John Rawlings, have in addition to branding being battling what I will again termed three key issues— the message, the messengers and the manner of delivery.
What Is Social Intervention
According to Wikipedia, Social interventionism is an action which involves the intervention of a government or an organization in social affairs. Such policies can include provision of charity or social welfare as a means to alleviate social and economic problems of people facing financial difficulties; provision of health care; provision of education; provision of safety regulations for employment and products; delivery of food aid or recovery missions to regions or countries negatively affected by an event; adoption programmes; etc.
Going by this definition, the NDC has done a lot when it comes to policy intervention; however, they have used what is known in marketing as scattergun approach without any proper branding and marketing strategies.
The Junior High School and the Senior High School programme, is a social intervention policy from the O and A level.
Every intervention by the New Patriotic Party was possible because someone had laid the foundation. They talk of the National Health Insurance policy, this was a programme that was actually piloted under the Rawling’s regime. Without hospitals that programme, would have been dead on arrival.
The current free Senior High School (SHS) that has been touted as the panacea to all our problems, can be said to be successful, because former President John Dramani Mahama, decided to built 200 community day SHS.
Truth be told, the NPP, know how to brand, label and market its policies effectively. They control the message, the messenger and the manner of delivery.
The NPP cannot be practical that is a fact, but they control the conversation. They will have you believe what they wish you to believe and that has helped them over the years.
They are able to label their policies and trumpet them, even in the face of glaring failure. Corruption is made to look lucrative and acceptable, because that is what they want us to believe.
Their policies and manner of presentation resonates well with the populace, who think whatever is happening today only started today.
However, apart from the free SHS which has been implemented by the NPP rather progressively, which is not different from what ex-president John Dramani Mahama started.
Most of the policies are just named policies or promises that are yet to see the light of day. For example, not much can be said about the Planting for Food and Job, 1Dsitrict 1 Factory, 1 million dollars per Constituency, one village one dam, etc
Looking at Akufo-Addo’s government of today, there is no doubt that just as the wagon was set sailing, the wheels are coming off and as usual the attack dog (Dr. Bawumia), has been set loose on the NDC.