Like 2020, the political climate today favors change of leadership, and predictably, there are some folks who believes that after 8 years of NPP governance, it’s NDC’s time and they’ve assumed the party has won even before we go to the polls.
To be fair to the proponents of the above argument, the NDC really should be streets ahead of the NPP, especially given that the NPP government seem to be losing its political goodwill and veering more and more towards far right politics, but the NDC has done very little to take advantage of NPP’s apparent political downturn. Rather, there seem to be an agenda to return the same old failed Mahama leadership for the 2024 polls.
The fact that folks are working to bring back Mahama in 2024, should have all of us very concerned. Isn’t it pretty obvious that the possibility of Mahama being able to motivate the coalition of voters that ousted him in 2016, and again voted against him in 2020, behind his 2024 bid is non existent? Why not a more viable and efficient fresh face with fewer skeletons in the closet and fewer debts to pay to the financiers?
Well, this is something that most folks will not like to hear but the data on the ground do not favour NDC victory if elections were held today, with Mahama leading the party, inspite of NPP’s numerous governance problems.
Indeed, available data from the Electoral Commission shows the NDC has over the last three general elections performed below average. 50.7% in 2012, 44.4% in 2016 and 47.4% in 2020 with over 500,000 vote deficit.
A half a million vote is quite a number to overturn looking at the fact that in Ghana elections can be won with barely 50,000 (fifty thousand) votes. And so those who would like to pat themselves on the back with the chant; “we’ve closed the gap from the 2016 loss” ought to be doing some serious rethinking.
Let’s look at the breakdown of the election data in the last election. John Mahama won 9 out of the 16 regions in the presidential election and was still outperformed by Nana Akufo-Addo.
When you do a deduction of votes obtained by Nana Akufo-Addo from Mahama’s votes, it leaves you with the differences below;
☑ Bono East – 60,353
☑ Greater Accra – 73,310
☑ Northern Region – 66,587
☑Oti region – 77,156
☑ Savanna – 63,639
☑ Upper West – 117,742
☑ Upper East – 165,162
☑ Volta – 506,027
☑ Western North – 21,316
Again, Oti and Volta gave NDC combined votes of 583,183.
Now the kicker; Ashanti Region alone gave NDC 653,149. The difference between the NPP and the NDC in the Ashanti region is 1,142,675. It shows clearly that, the so-called swing region stuff isn’t a big deal anymore. The difference in the swing regions of Central, Western and Greater Accra regions is 189, 460.
Then again, Ashanti Region votes cancelled all the vote difference of the NDC in the 9 regions it won and had extra, 109,125 votes.
Essentially, if the NPP is able to maintain its grip on the Ashanti Region, you can be assured that the NDC is going to remain in perpetual opposition. Which is why the NDC needs to take drastic measures to introduce a fresh face to secure more than 30% votes in the Ashanti Region to seal the deal for the party in 2024.
The party needs more than political competence, it needs a strategy overhaul. It also needs to realise that the changing demographics are totally turned against it, and that to attempt to continue with the failed course of Mahama would be as profoundly insane as it would be unforgivable, especially when any scope to change the course of events is rapidly ebbing away.
The Democratic National Committee in the US didn’t just run Joe Biden in 2020 because he was the best man for the job. They calculated, correctly, that to beat Trump they needed to run the closest thing to Trump that they had–an elderly Christian white man with high name recognition and a reputation for charm and mendacity. It worked perfectly for them.
In similar vein, the NDC needs to be intuitive and calculative with the 2024 polls.
All good party folks in the NDC must do everything in their power to save democracy and advance the progressive agenda ahead of 2024. It is a danger to the NDC and Ghana for that matter not to act unanimously at such a critical moment.
Time to ditch Mahama and leave the NDC with a more viable options for 2024.
I shall return.
Source: Dela Coffie, a political activist and member of the NDC