The best speech at the NDC manifesto launch is a dark joke that gives jitters

For a night not billed for great orators or speeches, it was still the turn of the NDC’s sales team to sell to us their manual of the future they intend to build.

Like marriage certificates, manifestos are given way before the real deal and in no way guarantee, no matter the environment or circumstances that led to their coming into being, a successful government

Yet still, like courtship, they are a required ingredient to get through to that dream of convincing that damsel into marriage

So the NDC did put on a good show.

Yes, no one expected a defining speech yet we got one; at least I think I heard one; and perhaps the best lucid I have heard from that individual yet.

Guaranteed that I have not been around here that long to really appreciate the entirety of his political career and all the speeches he may have given, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah’s speech at the manifesto launch may have been one of the best yet.

The general secretary who is on the way to becoming the longest-serving General Secretary of a political party, gave one of the shortest speeches of the night; a speech he so elegantly delivered beginning with a joke or as he put it, a story.

But that story was a dark joke that gave me and still gives me jitters when I think about it.

How I feel about that joke doesn’t really take away from how great it was as a prelude to the message he intended to deliver or how it was well woven into the concept and ideology he tried to espouse on the night. If anything at all, it was delivered extemporarily and was straight to the point, it only didn’t make it look like a speech from the heart but one that had all the great elements of a good speech.

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Perhaps, he was the only one who did not refer to any particular detail of the manifesto but sold you an aspiration of the government in waiting and political party.

The General’s speech put the NDC in a light I have seen it before, as a progressive entity.

His speech also gave a good listener the picture of how the NDC as a party has played yet the most significant roles in shaping the political space or dynamics of the country.

From how the party without the ’help’ of the NPP birthed the 1992 constitution, to the picking of a female running mate that breaks away from the traditional ideologies of balancing a presidential ticket to the approach adopted in coming up with the 2020 manifesto.

He did not only paint the party as innovative, but like in his own words, as a party that has a thinking out of the box attitude.

But the joke that started all these is not lost on me. Its deeper meaning, at least the one I gave it, makes me feel so uncomfortable.

Johnson Asiedu Nketiah told the story of a factory that manufactured pants and for a long time realised it lost some of its products but did not know why. The one time Assembly Member and Member of Parliament for Wenchi West, then revealed the ingenious trick of the workers; who came to work naked and left wearing panties, the only reason they never got caught.

On the surface it was a naughty yet smart joke only someone of the General’s calibre, wits and brazenness can pull off; but it is still a dark joke.

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That it also emanated from a politician even more tells of its hidden intentions even not intended.

All I could picture was naked NDC politicians coming to work in government (factory) and leaving with white panties (wealth) they did not work for.

It sure is an overstretch of that story told by the one-time palm wine tapper who got to serve as Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture in charge of crops but that is our reality with most politicians, you could ask if that inference isn’t the best still.

Perhaps, in that same joke is a confession that should have us relook at the Asset Declaration Act ; that like the factory protocol that assumes because workers come clothed, thus are wearing panties and so, is unable to tell who came naked and leaving with a panty they didn’t deserve.

By Cyril Dogbe|

The writer is a producer, News Planning and Research Manager with the Media General Group. Views expressed in this article are entirely the writer’s and do not in any way reflect the position of or any of its affiliates.