Described by many political commentators as an embarrassing defeat to have ever been handed an incumbent government, the 2016 electoral defeat of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been attributed to several things by several members of the NDC.
While many lay the blame on poor leadership, scores more are of the view that the ‘lack of funds’ for campaign by the grassroots may have been the reason for such a defeat.
Former Mahama appointee and diplomat, Ekwow Spio-Garbrah however believes the party’s “backward-looking” campaign message in 2016 was one of the main reasons why the party was kicked out of office in December 2016.
According to the Former Trade and Industry Minister, the NDC’s focus on the past with little to no reference to what it was willing to offer Ghanaians in the years ahead was the reason why the party lost the elections. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah believes Ghanaians were looking for a message of hope, something the NDC failed to offer hence, promises of free secondary education, dams in every village in the country as well as factories in all districts swayed votes in their opponent’s favour.
Ekwow Spio Garbrah was responding to a question on what he thought was the reason for the NDC’s loss in the 2016 elections on “21 minutes with KKB”.
He said, “there are many reasons and it varies from locality to locality.”
He added, “…There will always be communication challenges and in the view of many of us, the communication message of the NDC was backward-looking in the sense of looking at what we have done or achieved. The message was looking backward – listing the projects that were done and captured in the Green Book. But the electorates said fine, we gave you our taxes to do that but what are you going to for us the between 2016 and 2020?”
The NDC flagbearer hopeful said the 2016 campaign message was not articulate enough to convince electorates to re-elect the NDC for another 4-year term.
Ekwow Spio-Gabrah also mentioned that some aggrieved party members, particularly those in the Volta Region felt neglected and disappointed claiming they, the world bank of the party, did not benefit from projects undertaken by the party while in government hence their decision to vote against the party.
“The people in [the] Volta Region which is often called the NDC’s World Bank felt disappointed because they did not get some of the projects we did in other regions. So they didn’t vote as much as they used to,” He said.
Ekwow Spio-Garbrah is one of several leading figures of the National Democratic Congress who have expressed interesting in leading the party, hopefully to victory, in the 2020 elections.
He remains optimistic of victory in the party’s upcoming delegates conference. He is however expected to face strong opposition from people such as Prof. Joshua Alabi, Alban Bagbin, Sylvester Mensah and John Dramani Mahama who are all rumored to be interested in running on the party’s ticket in 2020.