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29 June 2016

NDC 2016 campaign secret out

President John Dramani Mahama6The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) plans to roll out a number of strategies to save President John Mahama and the party from imminent defeat in the upcoming general election as captured in a survey report by the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).

The BNI, with support from a pollster, conducted an opinion poll whose results turned out to cast doubt on President John Mahama and the NDC’s ability to win the upcoming general election.

The BNI, therefore, suggested measures to recover the lost ground, including stoking tribal sentiments against the main opposition leader, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and visibility as well as showcasing projects.

Pro-NDC media outlets yesterday went wild with publications to pre-empt DAILY GUIDE’s publication.

The poll’s results paint a gloomy picture about the NDC’s chances in this year’s elections as the NPP’s Nana Akufo-Addo has been tipped to emerge a winner, scoring 51.85% of the poll followed by President John Dramani Mahama of the NDC with 41.52%, Ivor Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) with 2.10%, the People’s National Convention (PNC) candidate, Dr Edward Nasigri Mahama, 1.98%, with the remaining 2.55% still undecided.

Schemes

However, in order to save the president from suffering a possible defeat, the BNI made some interesting recommendations to turn around the misfortune that could possibly befall the governing party, including the sharing of freebies on his campaign trail, especially in places like the Western, Central, Volta, Brong Ahafo and the three Northern Regions.

In the Western Region, for instance, the strategy is to embark on a major campaign to showcase developmental projects, rundown Akufo-Addo as a violent person and try to tag him with tribal politics, with a planned supply of free cocoa spraying machines and insecticides alongside the sharing of free premix fuel, outboard motors and nets to fishermen.

That, it said, was because there was a general sense of economic hardship and unemployment and that that may cushion it and turn the tide in its favour.

Central

Next to that is the Central Region where the plan is to do what the report called “serious tribal politics against Nana Addo and the NPP using a tape of Eugene Antwi’s statement against Isaac Osei” and “campaign that Nana Addo is violent.”

It therefore made recommendations for the NDC to meet the Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), one Philomena Edusei, give out free premix fuel and outboard motors, etc while showing pictures and films of development projects to influence people, even though the report claims “there is serious division in the NDC because of Allotey Jacob’s chairmanship.”

The NDC has started implementing most of the recommendations, including the dashing of outboard motors.

Volta

The report told of how there is apathy in the NDC’s ‘World Bank’ (the Volta Region) because people there, including the party foot soldiers, feel neglected.

Aside that, it also said the issue of unemployment in the region, general economic hardships, sidelining of Voltarians in appointments, especially where they had been replaced with Northerners, were likely to play out against Mahama and the NDC in the region.

Apart from that, the report indicates that most NDC Members of Parliament (MPs) in the region are angry because they have been sidelined in appointments, while Voltarians are said to be worried about the fact that corruption allegations against their kinsmen are dealt with promptly, unlike their Northern counterparts.

The BNI also uncovered what it described as ‘serious division’ among chiefs in the region, particularly against Togbe Afede, who they claim is seen as enjoying while others are starving, thereby creating apathy among the chiefs, some of whom feel betrayed.

The same report indicated that the NPP youth in the region are very actively campaigning for change.

Brong-Ahafo

In the Brong-Ahafo Region, the NDC plans to smear Akufo-Addo with tribal politics, using the suspension of former Chairman Paul Afoko, in areas like Atebubu, Kintampo and communities with large settler populations, realising that the infamous DKM scandal is hurting Mahama in the region with his wife’s alleged involvement.

Some chiefs are said to be angry in the region because the report suggested that “Lordina is treating some chiefs differently” while there is division in the NDC from the regional to the constituency level following the neglect of party structures, and the supposed use of Lordina Foundation is also seen as hurting the NDC.

The report also stated that the “new spirit of inclusion in the NPP [is] helping grassroots identify with the push for victory.”

Greater Accra

There also seems to be a serious level of apathy against President Mahama and the NDC in the Greater Accra Region, with the division at the regional level said to be affecting work at the grassroots.

It also talked of a seeming neglect of Gas, especially the removal of General Quarshie from the Military as CDS and Sylvester Mensah from the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), aside the claim that most NDC MPs in the region are angry for being sidelined in ministerial and other appointments.

The report also indicated the possibility of issues like unemployment, economic hardships, corruption, the dumsor (intermittent power supply) which has led to the collapse of businesses, neglect of Ga opinion leaders by government and that of Ga lands likely to affect John Mahama in the region.

Ashanti

In the Ashanti Region, which is the stronghold of the NPP, the poll gave the governing party about 18% and talked of plans to sow seeds of discord in the opposition party using disgruntled but key and influential party faithful who were against the suspension of Paul Afoko and Kwabena Agyepong, even though same admits the fact that there is “serious division within the Ashanti NDC among Yamin, Sarpong, Kojo Bonsu and current regional chairman,” aside the general issues of unemployment and economic hardship.

In Akufo-Addo’s home region of Eastern, the BNI report talks of plans to do tribal politics to “pitch non-Akans against Akim-Krobos, etc., with the assertion that Nana Addo will elevate the Okyenhene and Akyems at the expense of others” and “portray Nana Addo as violent.”

Northern

Interestingly, most of these strategies, especially the sharing of freebies is expected to be used in the three Northern Regions where aside the fact that there is high rate of poverty, the issues of unemployment, general economic hardships prevail. The freebies are therefore intended to buy their votes during the elections.

It, therefore, comes as no surprise that President Mahama has started giving out cash under the pretext of MASLOC loans and some to the aged in society during his campaign tour which has been deliberately labelled, ‘accounting to the people’ tour.

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