Politics or, for that matter, election, is a game of strategy and numbers. It is a game that is won with strategy and numbers. When you get your strategy right, you are most likely to get your numbers right. When you get your strategy wrong, the numbers would be against you.
In the last election, whereas the NDC got their strategy right with their limited resources, the NPP got it wrong with their abundant resources. As a result, while the NDC skyrocketed in both Presidential and Parliamentary elections, the NPP nosedived significantly in both the Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
Going into the 2024 election, the NPP must avoid repeating the 2020 operational strategy that made them spend about 60% of their resources in the northern part of the country. The party must go into the 2024 election with a strategy that focuses more on how to increase their numbers in their strongholds and in the swing regions.
From the look of things, it appears there is nothing the NPP can do to beat the NDC in the Northern part of the country in the nearest future. In the last elections, as I have already indicated, the NPP, after spending about 60% of its campaign resources in the five northern regions alone, could not get the desire value for their resources. The party’s parliamentary fortunes in the five (5) northern regions tumbled from 21 seats to 20 seats in the 2020 general elections.
Therefore, going into the 2024 elections, the NPP would strategically have to present a candidate whose personality, message, background and charisma can churn out a mammoth voter turnout in favor of the party across the country, particularly in the Ashanti and Eastern regions, so as to increase its presidential vote’s percentage and parliamentary seats.
If truth be told, of all the potential aspirants whose names have come up, Alan Cash is in a pole position to be the candidate with that magic wand. Apart from his towering personality, intelligence and attestable job creation prowess, there is another golden advantage the NPP stands to have over the NDC should they decide to present him as the presidential candidate in 2024.
Significantly, Alan’s maternal heritage situates him in two critical political regions in the country. His maternal great grandmother was Queen mother of Ejisu in the Ashanti Region. By the Akan tradition, that makes him an Ashanti by birth. His late father was the well-known anthropologist who established the Asante Cultural Center in 1951 together with the late Otumfuor Sir Osei Agyeman Prempeh II.
Again, he is a direct grandson of an illustrious post-colonial Fante national figure, Johannes Welsing from Elmina in the Central Region, who, as Assistant Colonial Secretary during the last Colonial Administration, was the highest ranking Ghanaian Civil Servant. He is equally the great grandson of another illustrious Fante Civil Servant from the Colonial era and another proud son of Brenu Akyinmu in the Elmina District the late J. S. Erbynn who was Governor's representative in Ashanti in Colonial times.
Ipso facto, the Ashanti Region has been the spine that has consistently kept the NPP standing since 1992. In 2016, the region alone gave the party 44 parliamentary seats. However, the party’s parliamentary fortunes dropped to 42 seats in the region in the 2020 elections. Therefore, having a candidate who can cause a massive voter turnout in the region would be a very significant game-changer in the 2024 elections.
Even though every region’s contribution to the party’s electoral victory is quite significant, to think of the NPP without the Ashanti Region is quite frightening. If you consider the fact in the last election, whereas all the five northern regions gave the party 20 seats, the Ashanti Region alone gave the party 42 seats, you would appreciate the significance of the region. Therefore, the party must avoid decisions that would cause voter apathy and, for that matter, low voter turnout in the region.
The Central Region, on the other hand, can be said to be the most swing region in the country currently and, mysteriously, it has always been the case that the party that is able to win the presidential votes in the region, wins the general election to form a government. This claim can be fact-checked by any interested Ghanaian. This makes the Central Region an important battleground in every presidential election.
The reason behind this political mystery in the region is yet to be known by the political scientists in the country. In the 2020 election, the NPP lost 9 seats in the region alone, even though the party marginally won the presidential election. Therefore, going into the 2024, the party must think of a presidential candidate who can help to turn things round in the region with his message and personality. This is where Alan Kyerematen comes in with his golden advantage.
That is, having a candidate like Alan Kyerematen, who hails from these two critical regions, would undoubtedly bring to the party an invaluable political advantage over the NDC. In the Central Region for example, where the NDC did so well in the last election, should they present Prof. Naana Opoku Agyeman and make the same case again that a daughter of the soil is on their ticket to be the next Vice-President, the NPP would make a super case that, their candidate, who is going to be the next president, is also the son of the soil. And, who wouldn’t prefer President to Vice-President!
Let me leave with this to think about: since 1992, the NDC have been focusing on the Central Region when it comes to the selection of Vice-Presidential candidates. They have always had someone from the region on their ticket, either as a presidential candidate or a vice presidential candidate since 1992.
It was the late Arkaah in 1992; the late Prof. Mills in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008; the late Amissah-Arthur in 2012 and 2016, and Prof. Naana Opoku Agyeman in 2020 and most likely 2024. If you are a serious politician, you must find out why.
Source: Ebo Buckman
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