JM2020: Making a ticket of choice. – Nana Ayimedu Bekoe writes
John Mahama’s 2020 strategy demands a running mate who will not only balance the ticket, but actually scale it up. The personality should be someone who can conceal the damages and weakness of John Mahama on the ticket, and renew the candidature in the minds of voters.
Yet, there is an important factor to be considered. Which thematic area does the fellow represent and how is that area crucial to the 2020 bid. The NPP since 2008 has made prominence out of making the economy an important subject towards every election since then. It began by the appointment of a running mate whose expertise and academic notoriety has been restricted to economics. A response to that policy in 2012 saved then candidate John Mahama, but failed in 2016.
The economy is important to every voter, yes. But so is many other thematic areas, provided the avalanche of Party communicators can drum them up well. Be it Agriculture, Education, Health, etc.
From the look of things, by the fourth quarter of 2020 when political activities would be peaking up towards the elections, Ghana’s economic indices would look quite good and acceptable to watchers. The likes of IMF, World Bank, ADB, ISSER and other credible groups would be moving in to certify the economic performance of this regime with credit, at least on paper. Thus, rendering an economic management alternative campaign less crucial and necessary.
However, the ball remains in the camp of Candidate Mahama to select for the ticket a person who moves the focus away from economics. To say, Security; Health; Education, Justice, Energy or Agriculture. And there these are the likely poster boys and girls at his disposal respectively: Lt. Gen Smith, Dr. Victor Bampoe, Professor Naana Opoku Agyemang, Marrieta Brew Appiah Oppong, Armah Kofi Buah, MP/Alex Mould and Eric Opoku, MP. Other names comes handy, nonetheless.
I would vote, that due to the matter of FREE SHS’s implementation being the most important achievement of the current NPP regime, there is a likelihood of Education becoming the next Economics at the center of the 2020 polls. And the candidate’s best foot would be his ticketmate with a renown in that subject. That would make Jane, the best to pick. And if that consideration is kaput, the next most important area to bring forth would be Health, per my estimation.
Then, there is the tribal consideration to be made, as it is traditionally done for the benefit of electoral advantage. With the Volta Region being in the bag, which other group would candidate Mahama need to bring into the bag to scale up his chances as a Northerner. Its most obviously Akan, where prospects abound with some major complications. An Akan from the Ahafo/Asante region may not have the same figures an Akan from the Fanteland can produce, judging from electoral trends. Nonetheless a try would do, though the risk would remain huge. A Bono Aseidu Nketiah or Ahafo Eric Opoku does the same good Mrs. Lordina Mahama brings to the ticket. Of what use then would be their selection under this consideration? Hence, a Fante nod again would serve less damage. Professor Botchwey is prime in this regard, Prof. Opoku Agyemang comes next.
Then, there is the call for an NDC insider, coming at the back of the Botchwey report and the problems the NDC faced during the 2016 polls. This call cements the bid of senior cadre Johnson Asiedu Nketiah and old guard Kwesi Botchwey, though the General tops it in this regard for his many years of being at the helm of topnotch administration of the NDC. However, heeding to this call would mean more harm to the ticket than anything else. It would mean a core NDCist without appeal to middle-class swing voters would get on board to sever the dreams of winning the hearts of non-aligned voters. Yet, it would unite the rank and file of the party behind the ticket. A political good that can be equally achieved by a selection of a good campaign director/manager from the ranks. But when push comes to shove, the best to do here for JM is to select Prof. Botchwey who appears to stand in between these two sets.
The other most important consideration the candidate ought not be mindless about is the matter of gender. The gender awareness and revolution is actively happening within our space. The subject of women involvement in our political space has often been relegated to the issue of how much women are doing for themselves in politics. This I believe would become less the point in years to come and the candidate would do his ticket more good should he select a woman for running mate. With the right timing and personality in check, some massive goodwill would be at his disposal. His best bets are Lawyer Marieta Brew Appiah Oppong, who became popular post regime for the success of Ghana’s case at the ITLOS; Hannah Serwaa Tetteh, who post regime got appointed to serve the UN at a top post; and Professor Opoku Agyemang who has remained the NDC’s poster girl on education post regime. The question of human relations may delete Hannah’s name though she remains a solid candidate and leave the two others as prime choices. The only thinkable challenge remaining would be their grass root acceptance by the NDC, a feat John Mahama can not toy with. It is at that point Naana by virtue of her Ahwoi’s acquaintances would become favorite.
I conclude by saying social media shouldn’t be discounted in selecting the running mate. Alex Mould has found his voice again through social media. Kwesi Botchwey and Naana Opoku Agyemang are not here, but their respect is here.
Nana Ayimadu Bekoe, 210819.