The electoral success story of the ruling APC party in Nigeria, which surprised many in the continent of Africa and beyond, has skyrocketed the confidence of the ruling NPP in Ghana that breaking the eight is a possibility.
The National Youth Organizer of the ruling NPP, Salam Mustapha, is one of the people who believe that the NPP can replicate what the APC did in Nigeria to make history. He believes breaking the eight is not an impossibility. He confidently said that on Bolgatanga based Dreamz FM as part of his youth engagements tour.
As a right-thinking politician, I perfectly agree with him that if we, the ruling NPP, replicate the APC strategy, the eight years jinx in Ghana can equally be broken by the party.
Thus, the question to consider, in the light of what NPP should do, is how did the APC make it in the face of economic hardships in Nigeria? In other words, what was their strategy?
The above question is very imperative in a sense that the APC’s election result was an effect of a cause they had taken to win the election. Thus, let’s see what APC did to get the result that won them the power again. I want us to look at three main strategic decisions they boldly took as a party.
*(1) APC Delegates Defied the President and Rejected His Candidate*:
APC’s main opponent, PDP was the first to choose their candidate. They chose Atiku Abubakar, a Muslim from the North of Nigeria. When it was the turn of APC to choose their candidate, the sitting President, Alhaji Mohammed Buhari, supported his Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, a Christian from the South.
However, the party thought it wise to defy him and vote for Bola Tinubu. APC delegates, among other reasons, chiefly chose Tinubu to prevent a situation where the PDP with their Muslim candidate, Atiku, would have advantage over them in the Muslim community, which constitutes about 53% of the Nigerian population.
*(2) APC Campaigned Mainly on Tinubu’s Record and Vision*:
Tinubu is relatively an old man, but he had good records as Minister and Governor the party could leverage to its advantage. The APC party delegates, knowing that the Nigeria economy wasn’t good, voted for Tinubu and boldly rejected the Vice President, whose achievement record could only be linked to the economy, which is also not doing well. Therefore, Tinubu’s personal performance records and vision became their main campaign messages which worked perfectly for them.
*(3) They Strategically Harnessed More Muslim Votes than PDP and LP*:
In terms of numbers, the Muslim Community in Nigeria, is the most important Community in respect of elections in the country. As I have earlier mentioned, the Muslims constitutes about 53% of the country’s population.
So, to have the majority of the Muslim votes was the focus of their strategy, hence Tinubu’s decision, against all odds, to depart from his predecessor to choose a Muslim as his running mate to make the APC ticket Muslim-Muslim one. Lest I forget, Tinubu, being a Yoruba man also helped him a lot. In Nigeria, Yorubas are the second largest tribal group (21%) after the Hausas (25%), who are mostly Muslims.
This numbers-based strategy worked like magic for APC in a sense that, while PDP and Labour Party shared majority of the Christian votes between them, as both of them had Christians on their tickets, APC won the majority of the Muslim votes with Muslim-Muslim ticket. That’s called political wisdom. You didn’t hear Christians in APC complaining. They knew what was at stake – *POWER*. Just as APC had anticipated, the religious factor played a major role in the election as reported by BBC.
Therefore, as Salam Mustapha said, let’s replicate what APC did in Nigeria, by boldly rejecting the President’s candidate, choose a candidate whose personal record the party can leverage to its advantage and get a candidate who can help us to win the majority of the 71.2% Christian votes.
*God bless Ghana! God bless NPP!*