Elections in Ghana are preceded by massive campaign promises. It’s a phenomenon that has gained notoriety in both national and internal partisan politics. It’s been a ritual anytime there is these two types of elections; and the person with the loudest campaign promise stands the good chance of winning.
Rather sad to relate, most of these gargantuan promises are not fulfilled; the promisers will still get the guts to return to the electorate to seek for re-election with some juicy-coated explanation why they couldn’t deliver on their earlier promises.
They then turn their failure into successful campaign message suggesting that since they (candidates) owe them (the party rank and file) from the previous elections, they should vote for them so they may have the opportunity to right every possible wrong they committed in their first term office.
And since some Ghanaians take their religious compassion into politics, the failures of such politicians are overlooked and voted for again for a second term in anticipation that they fulfil their earlier promise.
But many party members and supporters of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) claim failure to fulfil a campaign promise is no longer an exception, but a rule and contract between them and their party leaders who sought their mandate through those promises.
As the NPP gears up for various elections to fill positions from the units through wards, regional to national offices, some party faithful believe this is the time to subject aspirants seeking re-election to strict –proof of the campaign promises they made when they were canvassing for votes.
One member of the party’s leadership who the rank and file have vowed not to give him a breather from now till when the NPP national executive elections will be held, is National Chairman, Freddy Blay.
Party folks are demanding for the 275 vehicles that the Ellembelle Mugabe promised them, prior to the NPP primary that elected the Freddy Blay-led executives into power to steer the affairs of the party for four years.
Under the pretext of touring the country to register new members for the NPP, Freddy Blay and other executive members of the party subtly, took advantage of telling prospective delegates to consider re-electing them to continue as national executives of the NPP.
It was a gesture that did not go down well with most of the NPP members at the grassroots level; and therefore questioned particularly, Freddy Baly, the basis for the request for his re-election as chairman of the NPP.
Information reaching this reporter and corroborated by various sources in the NPP, is that at any of the meetings that Freddy sought their approval for re-election, the party members also asked him to provide them with the 275 vehicles he promised the NPP at all districts in the country.
That was a major condition they put forward to the NPP chairman before they could even discuss his re-election bid; but anytime they issue came up, he parried it off, and reiterated that he would deliver on his vehicular promise and therefore urged them to vote for him to deliver on his earlier promise.
He however, made the promise on the assumption that the vehicles would be delivered during his first four-year tenure as chairman of the NPP. But as it stands now, none knows when that promise will be delivered.
Freddy, who cross-carpet from the CPP to join the ruling party is likely to receive the fiercest contest yet, in his political carrier. So far, there are some top NPP personalities that have also shown interest in the NPP chairmanship race. These are party stalwarts with various contributions to the existence and growth of the NPP, and none can wish them away with ease.
Some of the new aspirants include Prof. Ameyaw Akumfi, a former MP and a minister of state; Mr. Edward Boateng, a top financier of the NPP and a media consultant; Mr. Fred Oware, the CEO of Bui Dam; Mr. Stephen Ntim, a perennial aspirant of the NPP chairmanship race among others.
There are however, grapevine sources that other party leaders are seriously considering running for the position. From various NPP perspectives, Freddy Blay, aside his botched campaign promise, his critics argue, did nothing to improve the structures and the image of the NPP and may therefore find it extremely difficult in his re-election attempt.
There are others who believe at his age—so close to that of the President, Freddy should retire with the President and leave the political scene for energetic and budding politicians who can work to galvanize the fortune of the NPP.
This is against the background that the party NPP is determined to break the two-term eight-year conventional office of any political administration that we’ve had in the 4th Republic.
The people within the bracket believe the proxy support by the President enabled Freddy Blay to win the NPP chairmanship; and that there was no way Freddy Blay could have won because, ordinarily, he was seen as an outsider.