Political communication during campaign seasons must be crisp to deliver a party’s message to electorates, as well as expose the ills of opposing candidates and parties.
In a political environment where campaigning is often reduced to pouring of invectives and personality attacks, it is rare to find astute political communicators who focus on issues, which sell their messages and also deliver deadly uppercuts to their main rivals, without descending into the gutter.
One of such rare politicians is Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana and four-time running mate to Nana Akufo-Addo.
Ever since he emerged onto the political limelight, Dr. Bawumia’s eloquence and communication skills, have earned him as much affection, as his brilliant economic analyses.
Just as he did in 2016, Dr. Bawumia has been at the forefront of the NPP campaign, parrying attacks from the main opposition party, the NDC, and also delivering his own sucker punches, through issues-based narratives.
From his data-laden town hall meetings, especially on infrastructure, to his timely Facebook responses to former President Mahama’s attacks on the NPP government, Dr. Bawumia has, throughout the 2020 campaign, remained a piercing thorn in the flesh of Mahama and the NDC.
THE ADWOA STORY
Bawumia’s latest masterpiece is his Adwoa story, which has dominated his campaign tours in the run up to the 2020 elections in December.
Bawumia’s Adwoa story, which talks about an irresponsible divorced husband seeking a comeback to his happy former wife, is a crafty combination of wit and humour.
It effectively tells the NPP success story, and at the same time reminds Ghanaians about the ills of the Mahama administration, and the dangers of voting for Mahama and the NDC to come back.
According to Dr. Bawumia’s narrative, Adwoa was talked into marriage by a sweet-talking man who promised to do everything for her.
However, as soon as the man succeeded in marrying Adwoa, he started complaining of no money and he reneged on his promises, and failed to provide even basic family support such as feeding, medicare, allowances, school fees and also failed to pay their electricity bills, leading to disconnection (dumsor) for about 5 years.
Unable to further contain the disappointment and suffering, Adwoa decided to quit the marriage and returned to her parents.
Fortunately for Adwoa, another man; bold, hardworking, resourceful and with good financial management skill, sought her hand in marriage and promised to take very good care of her children
Adwoa agreed to marry the new man, and true to his promise, he proved very responsible and provided Adwoa’s needs, including providing allowances to her children.
Bawumia’s Adwoa’s story has it that as Adwoa revels in her happy marriage with her new, responsible husband, her former husband, whom she divorced for being irresponsible and taking her through hell, shows up and asks Adwoa to marry him again because he has learnt his lessons and he is a changed man.
At this, the Vice President would often ask his audience, “would you marry him?”, and the audience would respond “no!”.
With a “no” answer from the audience, Bawumia would then go on and tell them “when John Mahama comes here and tell you that give him another chance because he is a changed man, tell him that you have a new, responsible husband who is taking very good care of you. Tell him your new husband is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and you’re not prepared to divorce and go back to hardships and disappointment.”
This is the story of Bawumia’s Adowa, which has dominated Bawumia’s campaign tour.
It is pure genius, and a masterclass by the hard-hitting Bawumia.
Through this folklore, which is resonating well across the country, Bawumia has succeeded in communicating complex political message to the easy understanding of ordinary folks.
It is a double-edged sword, which is selling the Nana Akufo-Addo story, and at the same time exposing and hurting Mahama and the NDC.