Mr. John Boadu, NPP General Secretary tipped to win again

By Iddi Muhayu-Deen, NPP Youth Activist

As the NPP goes to the polls on July 16, 2022, to elect National Officers to steer the affairs of the Party for the next four years, critics of the current National Officers have called on the Party delegates to VOTE OUT all the National Officers who are seeking re-election.

The critics have argued that the Officers have failed to deliver on their mandate in the last General Election, 2020. The critics have taken issues particularly with the General Secretary, John Boadu, whom they say, should take full responsibility and the blame for the Party’s so called “disappointing performance” in 2020. 

This piece seeks to interrogate the claims of these critics and subject same to fact checks in order to set the records straight.

First and foremost, when John Boadu and the rest of the National Officers were elected in 2018, their single most important mandate was to deliver victory for the Party in the then ensuing 2020 General Elections. This was in consonance with the primary aim of every Political Party, which is to win General Elections and form Government.

Did they deliver on this most important mandate? The facts say, YES they did. That is why the NPP is still the governing Party today. This was in spite of the socioeconomic challenges that bedeviled the governing administration ahead of the elections due to the Covid-19 pandemic and related issues. 

Indeed, it would be noted that at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, almost all sitting Governments in the World that went into elections between 2019 and 2020, lost the elections. This is because of the untold hardship that was brought about by the deadly pandemic, which had almost shuttered the World economy. The Governments of Germany, USA, India and many others, lost their respective General Elections, largely because of the hardship brought about by the pandemic, to their citizens.

However, in Ghana, the NPP, managed to defy these odds, went into the elections of 2020, and won. In the Presidential elections, the NPP did not only win, but also made history by winning with over 500,000 votes, which is the highest margin of victory secured by a Political Party seeking a second term in office, in this country.

The Party, could, however, not secure an overwhelming Majority in Parliament as it had anticipated, even though, on record, the NPP is today, the Majority Party in Parliament, and is also hoping to win the imminent Assin North and possibly Jomoro by-elections to add to the Party’s numerical strength in the august house.

In all, the Party made a net loss of 32 parliamentary seats, snatching 17 parliamentary seats from the NDC, and losing 49. Much as this performance in the parliamentary is not very impressive, it ought to be placed in proper context, considering where the party was coming from.

This Party had in 2016 (when the same John Boadu was the National Organizer, acting General Secretary cum Director of Campaign Operations & Logistics) snatched as many as 55 seats from the then ruling NDC.

However, most of these seats were won by default, as an outcome of ‘skirt and blouse’ voting in the NDC, occasioned by their acrimonious parliamentary primaries and disunity, culminating in many incidences of Independent Parliamentary Candidates from their stock.

The NDC situation going into 2020 elections was completely different, thereby accounting largely for the NPP’s inability to retain some of those NDC traditional seats and more. This is no rocket science.

Again, with the attainment of the unprecedented heights chalked by the NPP in 2016, there was always the risk of slipping, particularly when faced with challenges such as the delay in the party’s parliamentary primaries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Facts are that, following a humble request by the Majority Leader on behalf of the NPP MPs citing some parliamentary duties including the reading and approval of the 2020 budget, the National Executive Committee of the Party had to reschedule the date for the Party primaries from November 2019 to the early part of 2020.

Unfortunately, the country was hit by Covid-19, and its accompanying restrictions, at the time the Party was getting ready to hold the primaries. The late primaries meant that the Party had limited time to heal wounds ahead of the elections.

Equally, some “unpopular” but necessary Government policies like the fight against galamsey, handling of premix issues, the banking sector reforms, etc directly affected the Party’s electoral fortunes in the affected constituencies. The NPP lost in almost all “galamsey-endemic constituencies” including parliamentary seats that the Party had held since 1992.

From the foregoing, it certainly defies logic, and probably the height of ignorance for anybody to claim that John Boadu should be blamed for the losses of the Parliamentary Seats in 2020.

Even more absurd is the claim coming particularly from those who are after John Boadu’s position, that, John Boadu had imposed his favourite Parliamentary Candidates on the Party. Obviously, these critics do not appreciate how the NPP is administered, and have not also taken time to read and understand the NPP Constitution.

The provisions of Article 12 of the Party Constitution is such that, no single individual in the Party, not even the President, can decide who to represent the Party as a Parliamentary Candidate in any Constituency. That responsibility is solely within the remit of the National Executive Committee of the Party, which has a membership of 60 people.

Out of this number, only 10, representing less than 17% are elected National Officers.  So, it certainly cannot be the case that anyone single elected National Officer, could take a decision of imposing Candidates on constituencies.

In any case, it is hereby placed on record that even the 60-member National Executive Committee did not impose any Candidate, capriciously or otherwise. At all times, the National Executive Committee, in line with Article 12 of the Party Constitution, which talks about Selection of Parliamentary Candidates, had tried to build consensus on certain Candidates having regard to the local dynamics in order to enhance the Party’s chances of winning those seats.

Indeed, the records show that the Party won the parliamentary seats in constituencies where the Party, acting through the National Executive Committee, managed to build consensus to allow some Candidates to go solo having regard to the special circumstances of these constituencies.

Interestingly, the Party rather lost in constituencies where there was no consensus and the Party had to allow competitive primaries. Mention can be made of constituencies like Akwatia, Navrongo, Krowor, Tema East, Okaikoi North, La Dadekotopon, Wulensi, Adenta, and many others. The Party probably would have lost constituencies like Tarkwa, Gushegu and many others if it had allowed competitive primaries.

The 2020 parliamentary results could, therefore, be viewed as a bit of turbulence that is experienced when an aircraft is flown very high. Passengers may get anxious during turbulence, however, rather than being condemned for the turbulence, the pilot is applauded for eventually steering the plane to safety and for demonstrating bravery, experience and calmness in the midst of turmoil.

From the foregoing undisputable facts, the current National Officers have delivered on their primary mandate of winning the 2020 General Elections, to justify, at least, why they should be maintained if they seek re-election.

In particular, the General Secretary, John Boadu, deserves another term in office, with his vast experience as the tried and tested officer who has worked at the Party Headquarters for almost two decades and garnered so much experience, to guide the new Officers in helping the Party make history, by breaking the eight (8). This cannot be said enough!