The most important thing to every politician is balance. The main aim of propaganda is to knock an opponent off balance. If as a candidate you are not fortunate enough to keep your balance and you are derailed by incessant attacks from opponents, you have lost the fight already.
By balance this Author means focusing on the main messages of the political party or candidate and able to communicate the intention of the politician to the constituents or electorates. Throwing jabs at a politician is one of the main ways to derail the attention of the person. Even in a matured democratic setting like the United States of America (USA), some candidates are preoccupied with knocking their opponents off balance with jabs and well planned propaganda.
Ok, enough of the long talk, now to Hassan Ayariga, a contemporary political figure whose political messages are not even known to half of his All People’s Congress (APC) party members. At the mention of his name, all kinds of laughters are heard. He has made headlines for reasons which are better known at the surf of ‘Hassan Ayariga’ on Google.
The APC launched its manifesto on Thursday 6th October, 2016 at the Aviation Social Centre in Accra. After the launch, what made headlines on tabloids in Ghana was ‘Ayariga’s wife would beat any other First Lady in beauty contest – APC Gen. Sec.’ Yes that was the main focus after the launch. To my good friend Aba (alias for this publication), she chastised the media for focusing on the General Secretary’s hailing of the beauty of Mrs Anita Ayariga rather than the highlights of the manifesto.
In the Whats App group where we do our political ‘kokonsa,’ (gossip) many people did not agree with Aba for blaming the media for their choice of focus. “Remember the media is also in business so they will publish what will sell. If that is what will sell, they will publish it” Ato, a political Blogger defended his profession. “So even if it means destroying the people and because it will sell, you have to publish?” Nana Ama, rhetorically asked.
Just to make things clear, “the General Secretary speaking at the launch was full of praise for Dr Ayariga for his vision in choosing a beautiful woman as his wife. He said Mrs. Ayariga can’t be compared to any other first lady in the country and without a doubt will win a beauty contest if one is organised for first ladies. “If we are to organise a beauty contest of first ladies, I can confidently tell you that no other first lady in the country will be able to match the beauty of Mrs. Ayariga and it is very evident” 3News reports.
As a former General Secretary of American Field Service (AFS) at Adisadel College, during the orientation of newly elected executives of the union, one of the things that has stayed with me till now is what my predecessor told me when I was taking over the mandate from him. He said, “The key role of a General Secretary is communication and correspondence so be careful what you say on behalf of the group because that will be taken as what the group believes in. Only speak when it’s necessary, especially on behalf of the group” I could still remember the stout predecessor telling this slender and ‘green’ incoming General Secretary.
Since those remarks by the General Secretary of the APC, what electorates (especially the youth) thought of the party were strictly ‘reserved.’ Already, the APC party is still explaining to electorates that their manifesto was not stolen from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) as it is alleged. So the party was heavily derailed by those two events, each giving the impression that ….. (This my mouth, let me keep quiet).
Two subscribers to Dr. Ayariga’s nominations also subscribed for another presidential candidate and Hassan Ayariga did not provide evidence on his statutory declaration as to his hometown or residence in the constituency as per the legal requirements. These are the main clauses that disqualified Ayariga. Had the party strictly focused on their main mandate and minimized architecturing jabs at Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom’s “single bed room banks,” Nana Addo’s “grandfather” age and submitted their forms ahead of time, they would have saved themselves from this disqualification. According to the Electoral Commission (EC), “Prior to the close of nominations on the 29th and 30th September, candidates whose nomination forms had obvious errors and who submitted early enough, were called by the officers of the Commission and given the opportunity to correct obvious errors or omissions on their nomination forms. The Law permits such corrections only within the nomination period hence our earlier call on candidates to submit as early as possible” so Hassan Ayariga has himself to blame for all this. He knocked himself off balance.
The question that is pinging my mind is, if the APC party is struggling to fill forms with details of their candidate then can we be safe if he is miraculously elected as President and he goes to other states or international organisations to sign treaties on behalf of Ghana?
He (Ayariga) asks the EC boss “who the f*** are you?” She is the f*** who has the authority to declare you unqualified.
Good day Hassan Ayariga!
Author: Nana Kwesi Coomson (www.233times.com) @nkcoomson on Twitter