Politics of Monday, 10 July 2017
A leading member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Rojo Mettle Nunoo, has revealed President John Mahama’s campaign team ignored critical findings by a research group in the party prior to the 2016 election.
He said the former President Mahama and his campaign team dismissed crucial campaign intelligence provided by a team of experienced members of the party he led.
Mr. Mettle Nunoo, who was a one time campaign manager for the late President Atta Mills said a survey his team conducted revealed the party’s 2016 campaign message was out of touch with the people and subsequently provided suggestions for messages that would resonate with the Ghanaian electorate.
But the president and the party’s campaign team turned a deaf ear to the advice. He was speaking to Gifty Andoh Appiah in an exclusive interview to be aired on The Pulse on JOY News TV later today. “We did a 32,000 household survey across all the 10 regions of this country, identifying attitudes, behaviours, perceptions and desires of the people of Ghana,” he said.
The former Deputy Health Minister said the managers of the governing party’s campaign did not appear to want to hear contrary views because they believed they were winning. He said even though the findings of the group were made available to the presidency at the time, “sometimes people want to hear what they want to hear.”
“I believe strongly that our message – our research data – was not accepted, it did not impact the strategy of the election and it was a disaster waiting the happen,” he explained. Since its defeat at the polls last year, the NDC has been licking its wounds and wondering how an incumbent party with a superstar candidate in President John Mahama could be so annihilated.
Leading members of the party have expressed varied views on the causes of the party’s loss, many of them blaming complacency and aloofness of the government for the defeat. The party itself set up a thirteen member committee headed by former Finance Minister Prof. Kwesi Botchwey to analyse the party’s performance in the 2016 general elections and make recommendations for future elections.
It urged party leaders to refrain from commenting in the media their views about the loss and wait for the findings of the Kwesi Botchwey Committee.
That committee submitted its report to the party’s leadership a couple of weeks ago, recommending the “crowding in of the party’s intellectual base.”
The Chairman of the Committee said he didn’t believe that the NDC in the last few years, had done enough to crowd in this intellectual base.
The contents of the committee’s report have yet to be made public but Mr. Mettle-Nunoo said too many things went wrong. He said the party did not manage well the transition from the late President Mills’ government to that of President John Mahama.
“If people who worked very closely with the late Professor Evans Atta Mills were very well known by the party and Prof and suddenly there was no Prof for a transition and you have a new team, many people who were loyal to the party but were not known to the new team would be side-lined. We did not manage that transition very well; that to me was a major weakness of the party,” Mr. Mettle Nunoo who was appointed Deputy Health Minister by President Mills said.