Until the organizers of a trending campaign video, “Hope Campaign” surfaced to claim their intellectual property; the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), had cleverly managed to convince everyone that, they were the brain behind it.
The party, led by it national youth organizer, Samuel Awuku, and acting general secretary, John Boadu, had separately told the media that the video was their brainchild and accused the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of plagiarism.
John Boadu, who doubles as the national organizer of the NPP, accused the NDC of lacking creativity and hence continue to “steal” the NPP’s intellectual ideas.
Though information available to The Herald, indicates that the NPP, is finding it difficult to put it manifesto together, it said it was keeping details of its yet-to-be-launched 2016 election manifesto for fear of it bitterest rival copying the party’s well-thought policies for Ghana, if voted.
The Herald’s information has it that, though the NPP, had the intention to launch something of the kind, it couldn’t because, the party couldn’t get the thousand plus number it wanted to start the ‘’Hope Campaign’’ with.
Insiders told The Herald that, the party which is struggling to launch it campaign manifesto, because the first two documents authored by vice presidential candidate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and former campaign manager, Boakye Agyarko, were all rejected by it flagbearer, had planned to gather over a thousand young people, but was not able to raise that number.
Credible information has it that, about two weeks ago, when the programme was expected to be launched, only 10 out of the 1000 people showed up.
The “Hope Campaign” was to commerce in front of Madina-based, Oman FM, owned by the party’s Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin Central, Kennedy Agyapong.
It was after that failed attempt by the party, that Creators, also emerged with theirs, which so far, has become very successful and it is making waves, especially on social media leading to mainstream media.
Some bigwigs like Madam Oboshie Sai-Coffie and other party fanatics, had been busy on social media sharing the “Hope Campaign” message, especially on facebook, until the news last Friday, that the NPP, does not own the message, thus throwing the party into a state of confusion.
Since the revelation on radio, some obviously disgraced party fanatics, have taken to facebook, accusing “Creators” of taken bribe from the NDC, hence the reason they came out to deny the NPP, the right to own the piece.
Speaking on GH-One Television programme State Of Affairs hosted by Nana Aba Anamoah last Wednesday, John Boadu, claimed their rivals have plagiarized the HOPE Campaign concept and distorted its content.
“The NDC stole the HOPE advert. It is so embarrassing; I can’t imagine,” Mr. Boadu bemoaned. “They shamelessly did it and they’re so happy. Can you imagine this?
“They don’t really have ingenuity, so they will continue to steal ideas.” “You see, the time they use to steal, why don’t they use it to think?”
“That’s why we are where we are – totally engulfed in debt,” he charged.
But just when the accusation was beginning to sink into the minds of some unsuspecting Ghanaians, organisers last Friday, popped up at the studios of Kokomlemle-based Joy FM, claiming ownership of the video, revealing that the video, had nothing to do with the opposition NPP and it flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo.
Though shocking, the group behind the video said, it was designed to guide electorates to choose the right leader at the December polls.
Despite the use of the red, blue and white colours – which are the official party colours of the NPP, a member of the Hope Campaign Group and a dominant face on the video, Kwaku Quarshie, said NPP, couldn’t claim ownership of the video.
“The advert is not an NPP advert. No it is not,” he stressed surprising everyone who listened to Joy FM Super Morning show that day.
He explained that, the blue stands for the corporate world or job creation, the white for peace and honesty and the red for the burning desire of
Ghanaians to have access to opportunities.
It is only coincidental that, this happens to be the colours of the opposition party, adopted by its founders, the Group claimed.
Kwaku Quarshie and Sophia Kokor, another member of the Hope Group, said that the video was only cautioning Ghanaians to vote wisely.
“The whole concept of hope was designed by a group of young men and women and the whole idea was for us to tell Ghanaians that when it comes to the choice of their leaders – who they vote for – it is important they do that based on issues,” said Mr Quarshie.
The video featured Kweku [the narrator] encouraging Ghanaians not to abandon their hope, because of the deteriorating economy, but to hold on and vote for a selfless, incorruptible leader.
The narrator said, a better leader would put smiles on the faces of Ghanaians, who are getting disillusioned with the worsening living standards in the country.
But a few days after the video was uploaded online, the same video, with the same narrator was doctored, with the new version, now touting the achievements of President John Mahama.
The NPP’s National Youth Organiser, Sammy Awuku, accused the NDC of stealing their ideas, a claim the NDC led by it national organizer, Kofi Adams speaking on Joy FM Thursday evening, rejected.
A youth activist of the NDC behind the NDC’s version in a reaction said, they only sought to “bastardise” the supposed pro-NPP group’s campaign.
Cederic Dzelu, said what they did was “not a work of plagiarism, but rather a counter to the HOPE campaign of the NPP.”
He believed when it comes to the Presidential Candidate who has given hope to Ghanaians, it was rather President Mahama and not the NPP leader, Nana Addo.
“If it is about peace, it is not in the NPP, because the death of the party’s chairman in the [Upper East] is a case in point,” he said, adding, “To whatever angle or area the NPP points to, the NDC will counter.”
However, the Hope Campaign Group, told Super Morning Show the opposition party was getting ahead of itself. The Group insisted they were not pro-NPP.
“The whole thing just went out of control, but we are not an NPP group. We are non-partisan. We don’t mention names, party leaders’ names; we are basically throwing the idea to Ghanaians. We were not talking about anybody in particular.
“We are an issues-based movement and these are issues that affect Ghanaians. We are saying that think through before you vote. If we were NPP, we would have put NPP’s name on the video,” Mr Quarshie reiterated.
He said, they were surprised when they saw the NDC version of the video, but added that to the extent that someone has found the video powerful enough to copy, means that “the message has hit home.”
Meanwhile, some well concerned Ghanaians, have said that the NPP was caught in this kind of web, because it did not have a clear cut message ahead of the December polls.
They said, the NPP has no business keeping it so called manifesto away from the public, if indeed it is completed.
They contended that, the party which elected it flagbearer years before other parties like the NDC, should have been the first to prepare it message (manifesto) and show it to all who wanted to make informed decision, ahead of the polls which is about four months away.
The governing party which has a herculean task of governing and campaigning at the same time, launched it campaign yesterday at the newly built ultra-modern stadium at Cape Coast, the Central Regional capital.
Information has it that, the NDC will in the coming weeks head to Sunyani, the Regional capital of the Brong Ahafo to launch it manifesto to begin proper campaign.
Same cannot be said about the NPP, which has got all the time in the world to prepare, since they tasted their second successive defeat four years ago.