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“Off the Beat” Dance Moves and Strategic Meetings: Here’s how Ghana’s 2024 Elections is Panning Out

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has set this year in full campaign tours, with over-zealous promises, and quite a number of strategic project commissionings. But before he could start, Mahama had ended a long trail of nationwide campaign. It remains to be seen how far they will all go.

“Quit dancing off the beat…”, was how the leader of the main opposition party in Parliament, Dr. Ato Forson slammed ruling party aspirant, Dr. Bawumia when he recently decided to show some youthful moves at campaign grounds in the North-East region.

The criticism as it seemed was more about the cedi’s free fall than the dance moves, but of course, it makes for good comic relief.

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, since winning the New Patriotic Party (NPP) primaries last November, has set this year in full campaign tours, with over-zealous promises, and quite a number of strategic project commissioning ahead of the 2024 elections.

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Even though he has been part of a government that’s been criticized not just by the opposition, (but by civil society, the media, and individual Ghanaians) for poor economic choices, corruption, and more, he’s said he was only a “driver’s mate” and he needs to be given the chance to use the actual “wheels” and show what good driving skills he has.

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In February, he shared at a public forum his “independent vision” for Ghana, which surprisingly included reversing some of the policies, such as an unpopular tax on mobile money transactions, betting tax, and others that his government introduced, despite the Ghanaian people showing disapproval.

“As Vice-President, I am like a driver’s mate. But if, by the Grace of God, you make me President, I will be in the driver’s seat with constitutionally mandated authority to pursue my vision and my priorities. My vision is to create a tent big enough to accommodate all
our people,” he said at that forum.

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And so since that time, he zoned into more strategic undertakings – by holding meetings with members of the business community, [Ghana National Association of Commerce and Industry, the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA)], the lawyers’ association, and even a meeting with the Pope before setting off for nationwide campaign tours.

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The campaign tours are still in force, and all throughout, he’s been speaking to religious leaders, reiterating anti-LGBTQ sentiments.

After his regional tours, would come another set of tours – door-to-door campaigns – the kinds we see politicians showing up in the homes of ordinary struggling Ghanaians to eat with them, do chores with them, shake hands, and the many other charades that have shaped our political campaigns over the years.

Last week, he commissioned the Kayayei Empowerment Programme – a promise he made to head porters, who usually do not feel and enjoy government social interventions.

There’s also another big expectation from the Bawumia campaign – the unveiling of his running-mate as speculation grows that his choice comes down to one of three names that have been flying around. But we have yet to see a competitive candidate who should be like him (Bawumia) while he was president Akufo-Addo’s running.

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Former President Mahama and the NDC

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) in opposition, obviously has more time on its hands to plan, re-plan, and cook all the strategies for the comeback they so desire. And so before Bawumia could even begin his regional tours, John Mahama, the party’s presidential candidate had ended a long trail of nationwide tours starting from last year.

Since March 2023, Mahama toured almost every region campaigning. In November of that same year, he started another campaign tour the party called “Building Ghana Tour.” That also ended in March.

In April, the party launched its running-mate, Professor Jane Naana Opoku Agyemang and quite the catch was the projection that she’s going to help the party mobilise women’s votes. She has also been described as a mother figure for a culture of unity.

Naana Opoku Agyemang, aged 72, was previously Mahama’s running-mate in the 2020 general elections. She made some heavyweight pronouncements recently at her unveiling, perhaps different from how she sounded on the 2020 campaign. She has taken some political lessons, I guess.

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That notwithstanding, just as Bawumia has held strategic meetings, the NDC’s John Mahama has also met with members of the business community, church leaders, the Khalifa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in London, and held lectures proposing solutions for instance to Ghana’s harrowing illegal mining problem, saying one intervention is to use AI to fight “galamsey,” although giving no clear plan.

Both the NPP and NDC have also launched media programmes to campaign and sometimes tell “selective truths.” The NDC calls it NDC360, which is hosted by its Director of Communications, Sammy Gyamfi, and Felix Kwakye Ofosu, a former Minister of Communications.

The NPP launched a similar programme last week, calling it ‘The Next Chapter’ hosted by Dennis Miracles Aboagye, the communications director of Bawumia’s 2024 campaign. The programme according to Miracles Aboagye airs on six national TV and radio stations, 20 community radio stations, and 1100 community information centers.

Given that election seasons are usually ripe for spreading misinformation and disinformation, these programmes could serve as avenues for disinformation campaigns, which could potentially challenge the integrity of the elections. According to a World Economic Forum 2024 report, misinformation and disinformation are the biggest global risk for the next two years.


The 2024 elections surely do not come down to these two only. There are many more craving the number-one gentleman or ‘woman’ position. There are the underdog parties – the CPP, PNC, PPP, LPG, GUM, still putting their house in order, and then there are the independents and a new coalition – Alan Kyerematen and his Alliance.

Alan, a very NPP man down to his blood, in a surprising fashion last September, resigned from the NPP after losing the party’s presidential primaries to Bawumia and then announced that he would contest the election on an independent ticket later on.

But recently, in a strategic move, he formed an ‘Alliance’ with nine other non-partisan political groups, known as the  ‘Alliance for Revolutionary Change’, and their aim is to break the NPP/NDC duopoly. Since the announcement and launch last month, much has not been heard about their activity line-up. Alan has said the alliance has agreed to make him flagbearer and adopt his “great-transformational agenda.”

It remains to be seen how far they will all go. The elections this time may be no short of how Kennedy Agyapong wanted to prove his “show-down” comment.

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