I remember in 2008, when then candidate Nana Addo was leading the NPP into that year’s election after a very successful reign by President J. A. Kuffour, a solid propaganda and character assassination rose from the quarters of the opposition against him. And it worked. Yes, the NPP lost an election that seemed like a ‘cool chop’ for the party. It did not end there, because in 2012, more terrible things were said about the man Nana Addo.
Two of these negative perceptions that readily come to mind were his supposed violent nature and his abuse of substances. I still remember the tale of the atmosphere of smoke that engulfed his house every morning he woke up. Many people would quit politics, especially after his second defeat to His Excellency John Mahama, in 2012. I may be wrong, but I don’t remember a single day that Nana Addo stood on a political platform to debunk, accept or condemn the attacks on his person. Even when people like Mr. Kofi Wayo of the defunct United Renaissance Party dared him to get tested for drugs, Nana Addo remained focus. That is one thing I have learned from him; never allowing yourself to be distracted by negativity. He was almost always talking about his plans and vision for the Republic of Ghana. While opponents were having a field day with lies, insults and vilifications, the man Nana Addo had his eyes fixed on his vision. It therefore didn’t come as a surprise when in 2016, almost every Ghanaian knew what his policy direction was. Children composed songs with his promises to the Ghanaian people.
His campaign messages were the topics of discussions in the gatherings of potential voters. Terms like Free education, One District,One Factory, One Village,One Dam, and many others became synonymous with the NPP candidate and his campaign. But the party in power then, been ‘fooled’ by their earlier gains from planting negativity in the minds of Ghanaians about their opponent, obviously took that tangent. It was either “Nana Addo can never be president”, “Nana Addo is cursed”, “Nana Addo killed his first wife”, “Nana Addo abuses wee and cocaine”, “Nana Addo sold his father’s property”, to all sorts of accusations. Then, Ghanaians woke up, became discerning enough, and saw through the lies and propaganda of the NDC. The result is evident for every Ghanaian to see or remember. In an election year like 2020, I expected government and party communicators to have taken a cue from the embarrassment that befell the NDC when they thought they were destroying an innocent man for political gains. But no, people are now chasing after the shadows of the leader of the opposition NDC. He seems to be directing public discourses now because everyone wants to listen to him and punch holes in what he puts out there. That’s some job. I believe political communication should be 80% projecting your candidate and his achievements, while communicating their future plans to the masses.
In the case of my party, the New Patriotic Party, people are too concerned about exposing the lies of the leader of the opposition than projecting the works of the government. Truth hurts, they say; but it is better to speak the truth and save a future calamity than to cover it up and suffer the consequences in future. When the scales fell off the eyes and ears of Ghanaians, even religious leaders defended and spoke well of a man that was always on the chopping board of the NDC.
One day, the corruption tag, unless duly proven, will no longer hold against the man John Mahama. People will get tired of the incompetent tag and begin to weigh him in a different way. That day, when it comes, will not be good for us in the NPP. I, Osonoba Wise King Solomon II, have always believed in giving much exposure to my candidate than trying to discredit the candidate of my opponents. Let’s wake up to reality because December is not far from May.