Tuesday, August 11, 2015


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Idrissu Musah Superior, a staunch member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), says it is wrong for anybody to insist that a political party must have its manifesto in place before starting serious campaign towards elections.

The former Tamale Central NPP parliamentary candidate said it was evident that  “there is more to winning an election than a manifesto,” and that it was up to the party’s hierarchy to set its campaign team in motion for the 2016 election before it was too late.

He was reacting to a statement purportedly issued by an aide to NPP National Chairman Paul Afoko over the recent announcement that the party’s flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was ready to present his campaign manager to the party.

According to Musah Superior, the NPP Chairman’s Spokesperson, Nana Yaw Osei, had said in a statement titled, “The Detractors Are At It Again’, that the party needed to put together a manifesto first before naming the campaign team.

Musah Superior quoted Mr Afoko’s aide as saying in the statement that "Mr Afoko believes that the party must quickly finish with most of the ongoing parliamentary primaries, and then move on to form a manifesto committee to draft a manifesto for the party before... This is because without a message, which should be contained in a manifesto, what is the campaign team going to talk about? The party should have a campaign strategy."

Musah Superior rebutted that claim and said it was a ‘fallacy’ to conclude that the party ought to have a manifesto in place before reaching out to the electorate.

“What we as a party should be doing now is to continue to point out the incompetence of the NDC government to the people, expose the backward manner the country is being governed and hold their feet to the fire on the numerous failed promises.

“The NPP campaign team is required urgently to kick-start the campaign. That is what everyone in the party is waiting for. The appointment of a campaign team must not be seen by any office holder as a threat to their title. It is to bring focus on the work at hand,” he added.

He said the statement from the NPP chairman appeared to assume that without a manifesto a party could not have a message, adding that it was also assumed that the only purpose of appointing a campaign manager and team is to propagate a campaign message and that an election is won or lost mainly on the strength of a manifesto.

UK Example
“In the recent UK general elections in May, the Conservatives appointed their campaign manager on the 2nd of August, 2013 and published their manifesto on the 15th of April, 2015—three weeks before the elections.  Labour on the other hand named their campaign manager on the 18th of April, 2014 and released their manifesto on the 13th of April, 2015. These are parties with party structures like we have and, more so, without even presidential campaigns.”

Local Scenario
He said “In our own backyard, the NPP in office in 2008 hired the campaign manager on the 14th of March, 2008 and formally communicated its manifesto to the public on the 23rd of September, 2008—three months to the general elections. In 2012, the NPP in opposition appointed its campaign manager on 25th January, 2011 and published its manifesto on the 29th of August, 2012—four months to the general elections.”

“The NDC, in like manner, in 2008 appointed their campaign manager on the 9th of January, 2008, launched their campaign in March 2008 and released their manifesto on the 4th of August, 2008. In 2012, their campaign manager was named on the 11th of September, 2012 whilst their manifesto was published on the 4th of October, 2012,” he added.

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