Next to a coup, the worst threat to democracy is the absence of a coherent opposition. An opposition mired in senseless propaganda is an immediate danger that needs to be tackled expeditiously.
The more I write about the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the more I cringe, I have come to the conclusion that, the party is pampered beyond any acceptable limit by Ghanaian elite, from the clergy, to the judiciary, to civil society groups, to even the executive etc.
I am no hypocrite, my mind belongs to me, and so I share my views as how I see things. Fortunately, that is how I was raised, not to succumb to sycophancy. I am saying this because I need to establish a preamble before the apostles of Nana Addo, start saying what I am thinking.
When the National Democratic Congress (NDC), decided that, the President, John Dramani Mahama, was not taking part in the Institute of Economic Affairs debate, I wrote an epistle registering my disagreement, I stated why I believe the President, should heed to the call, not as part of strengthening our democracy, but because in the past, has used the platform and going forward the NDC, will need the platform again.
It is sheer audacity for a president with a constituency of not more four million electorates to boycott one platform that, give him the opportunity to communicate his vision to the undecided voters.
Apart from the elections of 1992 and 1996, it is abundantly clear that, the two dominant political parties, cannot win any elections on the strength of their members, they need the support and votes of the floating voters in order to cross the 50 plus one mark.
We have all heard the phrase, if you want to hide something from a Blackman, put it in a book. The fact is that, not many people, including the educated, will bother reading any manifesto from any political party, those who make it their business are the few civil society organizations, who want to measure the performance of a government, suing the manifesto as the indicator.
So, if I was to advice the president, I will tell him, Mr. President make yourself available and take part in the evening encounter.
It is against this background that, I think when the flagbearer of the NPP, decided he was going to take part in the evening encounter, he will not dictate the terms of his appearance.
So far, he has only engaged in what I will call, hostage taking.
For the second consecutive times, the IEA, has been forced to postpone the encounter, for inexplicable reasons.
The policy think tank, has been engaging in commercials, which is paid for announcing the scheduled date for the encounter, only for the NPP and Nana Addo, to keep dodging the inevitable.
We have a saying in the local parlance that, a slap that is closer to you, you receive it and be done with. Nana Addo and the NPP can run but they can’t hide, the earlier they make him available to embarrass himself the better.
The NPP is assuming an alarming notoriety as a party, which always wants to have its way. They think they are smart, first it was that, when they launch their manifesto, the national Democratic Congress, will steal, for which reason they are not going to release it now.
Secondly, they agreed to appear at the IEA Evening Encounter, after the first postponement, which was justified because Nana Addo, was out of the country.
When the National Democratic Congress announced that, it would outdoor it manifesto at the 2016 campaign launch, which will be happening on August
14, in the Central Region, Nana Addo, decided that, he was not ready yet again to appear before the IEA.
Who now wants to steal whose ideas, who are now telling Ghanaians that, he has nothing good to offer them?
A manifesto is a document and should anyone steal any idea from the document, the whole world will see them.
The IEA, has also given these folks the opportunity to wield outsize influence over them in their decision making.
The IEA, have gives them the room to sedate and manipulate them, no wonder the NDC is saying, it is doing the bidding of the NPP.
The choice was clear, either you take part or not and they chose to take part, why are they now shifting the goalpost.
Both the presidential candidates of the People’s National Convention (PNC) and the Convention People’s Party (CPP), appeared on a short notice, they did what they could and have continued with their campaigns. Had any of the two parties, decided their presidential candidates, were not ready, would the IEA, have had the patience to agree to a postponement?
The optics of this gratuitous behavior by the NPP and its flagbearer is too ugly; these actions have the appearance of a conspiracy.
This is damaging, it fortifies the case of promoters of the fact that, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is not ready for the task ahead, if God forbid
he is elected President.
They ask: If Nana Addo is unapologetically postponing his appearance at the IEA Evening Encounter when it is clear that, he is running against time, why should anyone ever take him serious?
The experience of his two consecutive failed bids, should have taught him that it was the measure by which the electorate judged the cosmopolitan outlook of the presidential nominee of a major political party. And that he would jeopardize any chance of being third time lucky, should he continue parading himself as a demi-god.
He is setting a very atrocious example, where any candidate, can feel that, he or she must determine what date and time, they appear at the encounters in the future.
This is a very bad political strategy, but to them, they think it is being smart, it is rather lame. They are not only buying time, they are waiting to steal the ideas of the NDC, when the party launches it campaign and manifesto.