The National Nasara Coordinator, Alhaji Aziz Futa, at the NPP at 30 Muslim thanksgiving service, attempted a political coup to overthrow the party’s current political strategy which has won the party four terms of power. In a swift reaction to his lowly conduct, the NPP’s darling General Secretary, JFK, rebuked his conduct and described it as a joke.
The Nasara Coordinator, who retrained his position in the last election, might have thought he was still working under the former General Secretary, John Boadu, under whose leadership such conducts passed without a word of condemnation from him. Thank God there is a new Sheriff in town.
In response to his unfortunate conduct as a national executive member of the party, I have deemed it appropriate to bring to the minds of NPP delegates something that is mostly missing in the arguments making rounds on social media relative to the selection of the party’s next presidential candidate.
The NPP has its own tried and tested winning strategy or formula that was devised based on the fact that politics is a game of numbers and comparative advantage. In other words, the unique nature and features of the Ghanaian political market informed the choice of the formula or strategy. The formula, Christian from the South and Muslim from the North, has been formidable since 2000.
Contrary to what a few self-seeking guys who want to control the party are saying, the current political condition and dynamics in the country don’t support the change of the party’s current strategy. Here is my suggestion: until the NDC presents a Muslim presidential candidate or until such a time that the NPP is able win election with 60% and above consecutively for two terms, the current strategy should be maintained.
It is not for nothing that the NDC, since 1992, has presented only one Muslim (Alhaji Mumuni) as a vice presidential candidate. They love Muslims like we do but, more importantly, they understand that politics is a game of power and numbers and it is the Christians who have the numbers. In this country, no single community comes anywhere close to the numbers of the Christian Community. To pick a candidate from outside this dominant community when your main opponent’s candidate is from this community is next to political dumbness.
The Ghanaian political market, which is women-dominated, youth-dominated, Akan-dominated, Christian-dominated, very competitive and volatile, is made up of two levels, the micro level and the macro level – the micro level being the constituency level and the macro level being the entire nation. O, how I miss teaching!
Now, basic prudent management principle requires that when you want to try an experimentation or take a new risk in any market, you don’t do it at the macro level. It first has to be tried at the micro level where the cost would be minimal should you fail. It is only when you have succeeded with a series of experimentations at the micro level can you consider trying it at the macro level.
Simply put, what you have not successfully tried at the micro level, you don’t try implementing it at the macro level. I hope we are on the same page with this principle my dear delegate.
To the best of my knowledge, the two main parties, the NPP and the NDC, have all been prudent to a very significant extent in managing their risks at the micro level of the political market over the years.
If truth be told, both parties have almost always presented Muslim candidates in Muslim-dominated constituencies and Christian candidates in Christian-dominated constituencies. The reason for this basic political strategy is not far-fetched at all. Market determines what to produce.
If the market is dominated by monkeys, you must sell banana to make profit. Isn’t this so simple, my friend. Well, you may wonder why I like using monkeys in my illustrations. Well, we used to have plenty of monkeys at Ghana National College’s monkey sanctuary so I understand their behavior very well.
Besides, if presenting Muslim candidates in Muslim-dominated constituencies and Christian candidates in Christian-dominated constituencies is seen as a political strategy and not religious bigotry or discrimination, how then does it become religious bigotry or discrimination when a political party decides to apply the same basic political strategy or wisdom at the macro level to secure the all-important political power? Political hypocrisy?
Once again, my little advice to the NPP decision-makers is this: before you try any experimentation at the macro level with the presidential election, try it at the micro level with parliamentary elections. It is only when you have succeeded at the micro level can you try it at the macro level. If you try it first at the macro level and you fail, the cost will be painfully and regretfully unbearable. Let me put it bluntly, the NPP will be in opposition.
For example, the party would first have to experiment with a Muslim candidate in a Christian-dominated constituency like Cape Coast South against NDC’s Christian candidate and a Christian candidate in a Muslim-dominated constituency like Tamale Central against NDC’s Muslim candidate and see the results it will bring before it can decide whether it would worth the while to present a Muslim presidential candidate against a Christian presidential candidate of the NDC in a Christian-dominated country of about 72% Christians.
You and your competitor are going for monkey hunting in a monkey-dominated forest. The one who would end up catching more monkeys than the other would be declared the winner. Your competitor is using banana as his bait. You have banana and apple in your pocket. Which one will you use so that your competitor would not have advantage over you? A word to the wise!
E. G. Buckman