NPP campaign Launch in Limbo
Barely three months to the general elections in December, the Opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) is finding it difficult to officially launch its 2016 as it has excluded this all-important event from its planned for October 9 manifesto launch.
The party’s campaign has been thrown into disarray following reports of its being too broke to effectively resource its campaign machinery.
In a press statement released on Monday by the party’s general secretary, John Boadu about the manifesto launch, he was completely silent on modalities for the official launch of the party’s 2016 campaign.
For the party to officially launch its campaign, it would have to ensure that all of its representations across the 275 constituencies are well set up. However, the NPP has been hit with confusion as almost 25 Parliamentary aspirants vying on the party’s ticket have suddenly jumped ship; resigning to contest as independent candidates. This problem according to poitical analysts is set to massively affect the party’s campaign launch as it battles to stabilize its front across the other constituencies.
Also, the party has been cash-strapped for some time now following reports that its financiers have pulled out due to the apparent confusion rocking the ranks of the party.
Recently, the main opposition party was caught in a dilemma where over 200 pickup trucks earmarked for the campaign were unable to be cleared due to party lacking the GHC 2 million required to clear the fleet of imported campaign pick-up vehicles stuck at the Tema Port.
The vehicles were said to have been imported from the US and have since been incurring demurrage at the port.
Apparently, the owner and Chairman of Global Haulage Group Limited (GHGL) and the Royal Bank, Alhaji Adamu Iddrisu had promised to raise the GHC 2 million required to clear the vehicles but unfortunately passed on even before the deal could go through.
The 72-year old Alhaji Iddrisu considered one of Ghana’s richest business tycoons, was said to have died about a day before his planned release of funds for the clearance of the NPP campaign Pick-ups. This has thrown the party into a state of confusion and situation may deprive it from effectively executing its campaign with the vehicles.
This dilemma has been a constant problem for the NPP, this paper can confirm. When given the opportunity to shed light on the situation with the party’s campaign, John Boadu virtually dodged the subject. In his press statement about modalities for the party’s manifesto launch, members were disappointed to realize no mention was made of an official NPP campaign launch. Rather, John Boadu indicated that after the manifesto launch, there would be a “major political rally” which has been interpreted as a masked attempt to officially launch the opposition party’s campaign. “The Manifesto launch will be followed later in the afternoon by a major politically rally, which will be opened to all supporters and members of the general public. It is unclear if this would be the NPP’s version of an official campaign launch as being interpreted by critics.
Even the manifesto launch of the NPP had come amidst several hitches after it became evident that the party was not really ready with its manifesto. Earlier, the party officially announced that it was set to launch its much-anticipated manifesto on October 8, 2016 at the Tamale Sports Stadium, but the plans have quickly changed as the party beats a hasty retreat saying the original date coincides with a scheduled Black Stars match with the Uganda national team at the same venue for the 2018 World Cup qualifying game.
According to critics, the confusion dogging the NPP in its planned manifesto launch comes down to the fact that contrary to impressions created, the manifesto of the main opposition party has never been ready.
The party had tried to play a psychological mind game by stating through its campaign coordinator Mac-Manu that it was holding back from launching its manifesto because it suspected that the ruling National Democratic Congress was eagerly waiting to “steal ideas” from its manifesto if launched before the NDC’s manifesto.
The NDC debunked this allegation saying it had already concluded its manifesto and did not need to plagiarise the opposition party’s so-called manifesto. To prove its point, the NDC went ahead to launch its own manifesto about two weeks ago in Sunyani after President John Dramani Mahama had earlier given a comprehensive highlight of the NDC manifesto.
The NDC manifesto launch is said to have taken the NPP by surprise and had put the party in a fix as intense pressure has been mounted on it from civil society groups for an outdooring of its own manifesto.
The party’s flagbearer Nana Akufo Addo and his running-mate have gone around on their campaign trail, giving hints of planned policies of a potential NPP government, including the One district One Factory, One village One dam and US$ 1 million per constituency annually.
However, information gathered from reliable party sources indicates that the original attempt to put costings to all these grand policies being promised by the NPP have been pulled out because the party fears the potential intense scrutiny such costings would be subjected to by civil society groups.