Despite the assurances by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that the exit of stalwart Alan Kyerematen will have no significant impact on the party, a Political Marketing Strategist believes otherwise.
Prof Kobby Mensah explained on JoyNews’ PM Express that although people join political parties for their ideologies and campaign promises, others also join for the personalities whose ideologies they are attracted to.
Mr Kyerematen for decades has built a relationship with members of the party, the party’s grassroots and his constituency through his continuous vying for flagbearership over the years, he noted.
“There are quite a lot of people that, I suppose, are also connected to the political party because of Alan Kyerematen’s personality, his leadership, his beliefs, etc. Certainly, once he bows out of the party, you’re likely to have others actually following suit. Especially if you look at his track record coming up to this stage, he had actually contested the flagbearer race over a long period of time.”
“It stands to reason that he’s actually created a machinery that actually mobilized and organized people in this country over a long period of time, particularly in the Ashanti Region, which is the NPP stronghold. Now, if he leaves, certainly you’re going to have quite a lot of people leaving,” Prof Mensah stated.
He, however, noted that despite this people will not be leaving the party in droves especially those that connected with the party for entirely different reasons.
Prof Mensah indicated that “It is difficult for you to have through and through party people deserting the party and then following you. But you’re going to have quite a number of people also significantly following because of the candidate, the personality, and other kind of leadership qualities that he brings to the table. I feel that, yes, it’s going to be significant in terms of its impact on NPP.”
This comes after Mr Kyerematen, on Monday, announced his decision to resign from the party with immediate effect and contest in the 2024 election as an independent candidate.
He explained that “My decision to contest as an Independent candidate will not destroy the party, but instead provide the party an opportunity to participate in a government of national unity in the future, and avoid the risk of going into opposition with no dividends, in what arguably will be a difficult general election in 2024.”
Mr Kyerematen said for him to ‘actualise this goal, he will establish and lead a new Movement for Change in Ghana.’
“The brand logo for the MOVEMENT is the Monarch Butterfly, which politically symbolizes change and transformation, hope, and positivity. It also communicates strength, endurance, spirituality, and trust, which are key traits that I cherish as a Political Leader.
“In Akan, it is known as Afrafranto. The brand motto of the butterfly is “Ghana Will Rise Again,” which symbolises hope for the future of Ghana.”
The former Trade and Industry Minister said, “The new Movement will be led and powered by the youth of Ghana. Out of the over 17 million registered voters in the 2020 general election, the youth aged 18-35, years constituted over 9.4 million voters representing 55% of the total voters.”
On whether Mr Kyerematen will be able to sway the hearts of voters, Prof Mensah noted that there are many things to his advantage including social media and his connections to his constituency he could use to his advantage as compared to previous independent candidates.
The Political Marketing Strategist added that with the popularity of Peter Obi in Nigeria, some youth in Ghana are also hopeful of a third force that could overthrow the NPP and NDC sometime in the future.
“Whether that could be translated into a strong electoral fortune, I think it depends massively on the campaign that he wages because campaigns have effect. Now, if he wages a very strong competitive, compelling campaign with a compelling message, and with a kind of credibility that he has, and with a kind of vigour that he could actually present to the young people, I think that could make an impact,” Prof Mensah added.
This is not the first time Alan is quitting the party. After the 2007 presidential primaries where he contested against Akufo-Addo, he raised issues with the process and went ahead to resign.
However, after the party promised to address his concerns, he returned to the NPP, only to resign again now to contest the national election as an independent candidate.
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