The December 2020 election is about seven months away, but, till now, the NDC and their flagbearer, John Mahama, have not yet selected a running mate, put in place a campaign team, nor have they presented their manifesto to the people of Ghana. This is although, it has been more than a year since John Mahama was overwhelmingly voted as the flagbearer. It is worth noting that the NPP, in opposition, by December 2015 had already set up their campaign team, and Dr. Bawumia had been selected as running mate as far back as October 2014.
- EC, NIA And NPP Collaborate to Disenfranchise 1.5 Million Ghanaians – (CDG–GH)When recently asked about the announcement of his running mate during a Facebook live session, John Mahama said, “We are on track, and we are not behind time, and the party is working assiduously. I have a firm idea of who I want my running mate to be, and we will name him at the appropriate time”.
Some may also argue that President Mills also delayed in selecting John Mahama as his running mate for the 2008 election. Still, we must note that John Mahama was selected in April 2008, and we are currently in May. The 2020 election is by all standards a different election from most elections we have had in the past. Chris Cillizza of CNN said, “Re-election races are always a referendum on the incumbent. And to beat an incumbent, 95% of the work is in convincing people he needs to be fired while the last 5 % is persuading people that you are capable of doing the job, if hired.”. The NPP noting this policy and knowing how unique this election is – either re-election of John Mahama or Nana Addo – are not making much effort to tout their supposed achievements but rather going on the attack to discredit John Mahama’s record and brand. Because the NDC has not yet formed a coordinated team to attack, even though they are in opposition, they always have to be the ones to defend their record. The truth is that the NDC is losing the argument.
So the big question is, what is John Mahama waiting for? Of course, it is not because he can’t find competent people in the NDC to be his running mate. I can name a plethora of top NDC folks who will make great running mates. John Mahama must immediately select a running mate who will have all the time to respond to some of the warped arguments made by Dr. Bawumia because the NDC has a better record when it comes to this government in most areas. The only reason why the argument is being lost is that there are not enough people making the case or making convincing arguments. Dr. Nii Moi Thompson will make an excellent running mate and as he has always taken up Dr. Bawumia on his biased analysis and from his write-ups shows he is a really good grasp of development economics and public policy (see: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Bawumia-s-graphs-were-bassaa-much-like-the-rest-of-his-speech-Nii-Moi-Thompson-jabs-736002).
The 2020 campaign seems to be forming at least, on mainstream media and social media, as a John Mahama “lone ranger” campaign and allowing anyone to insult the former president. This risks damaging the JM brand, and it is already showing signs. Just recently, on Paul Adom-Otchere’s Good Evening Ghana show, a caller called in and angrily said in summary that “John Mahama wasn’t acting presidential”. When pressed by Paul Adom-Otchere to say why he thought so, he couldn’t say anything and just laughed because he was only regurgitating what he had heard. The NPP is intentionally getting their various surrogates to attack and repeat the same narrative. People are made to believe stories that are not true, and of course, why wouldn’t they if they only hear from one side?
Columnist: Kwame Mbabi