Comments by Koku Anyidoho, former deputy general secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the party will no longer allow strangers who lack the understanding of the party’s philosophy to campaign for them has generated mixed reactions.
Koku Anyidoho had said about one million voters did not vote for the NDC because of the strategies and personalities the party employed for its campaigns, particularly celebrities.
The former deputy general secretary was speaking to some journalists in Accra, warning that the party shall not use the same tactics in the 2020 elections.
“One million of our voters did not vote for us in 2016. They do not have any understanding of the party’s philosophy and the history. Never again should we put our campaign in the hands of strangers. Never again should we hand over the NDC’s campaign to celebrities,” he said.
However, his comments which also touched on the role of celebrities during the 2016 campaign, have led to varied views.
Aide to former President John Mahama Joyce Bawa Mogtari, has said contrary to the opinion of Mr Anyidoho that celebrities will no longer play roles in NDC campaigns, she believes there is the need for a “fair balance”, assuring there is still room for celebrities who would want to campaign for NDC in 2020.
According to her, while Mr Anyidoho may have genuine concerns due to the manner some of the celebrities were deployed in 2016, she still believes there is room for them in 2020.
Meanwhile, her views expressed seem to go contrary to that of Mr Mahama who has promised to avoid using splinter groups for campaign and allow the structures of the party to work.
During the campaign for the presidential primaries, Mr Mahama told party delegates that he will run an all inclusive campaign for the 2020 polls should he get the nod to lead the party into the upcoming elections.
Mr Mahama had told delegates he won’t give any room for splinter campaigns to be created so as to destroy the direction and focus of the party as it happened in the 2016 elections.
I’M GOING TO WORK HARD WITH YOU IN CAMPAIGNING IF YOU ELECT ME AS THE FLAGBEARER ONCE AGAIN. WE HAVE TWO MORE YEARS TO THE MAIN ELECTIONS. SO ON A LESS BUSY WEEKEND I’LL JUST TASK SOME OF THE CONSTITUENCY CHAIRPERSONS TO HELP WITH THE CAMPAIGN PROCESS. ON THAT DAY I’LL WEAR SNEAKERS WITH THIS MAN RIGHT HERE WHILE WE MOVE FROM DOOR TO DOOR, HOUSE TO HOUSE TO CAMPAIGN. I REITERATE THAT WE WILL NOT ALLOW ANY VOLUNTARY GROUP TO CAMPAIGN SEPARATELY, HOWEVER, IF YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER YOU’LL HAVE TO JOIN THE EXECUTIVES. THIS TIME AROUND WE ARE ALL CAMPAIGNING UNDER ONE UMBRELLA.”
Mr. Mahama was criticised by many within the party for not centralizing his 2016 campaign, which according to them largely contributed in the defeat of the party in the last elections.
Mr Anyidoho prior to the national executive polls, noted that the issue of splinter groups, was alien to the party in 2016 and as general secretary, he was promising that no such thing would be entertained going forward.
“What I am promising is that under my management, there would be no room for splinter groups and I will give the constituencies the go-ahead to chase out any splinter group that will enter any constituency,” he told delegates during the campaign period for the election of national leaders.