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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

NPP polls expert predicted Mills victory in Election '08: Arthur Kennedy

Prof. Mills and Nana Akufo-Addo
Prof. Mills and Nana Akufo-Addo

This is one of the revelations in a new book by a leading member of the party, Dr. Arthur Kobina Kennedy –Chasing The Elephant Into The Bush - The Politics Of Complacency.

Popularly known as Arthur K, he tells in his book that two days after the inauguration of the Campaign Team, he and others attended a meeting called by Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Chairman of the Team. The meeting was to lay the groundwork for better collaboration.

Arthur K continues: “A few days into the campaign, I called Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku (Director of the Campaign Team) about an issue and he indicated that he was not happy that ‘you are running to Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey on everything. I am watching that.’ I was stunned. I thought we were a team and that dealing with Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey would not be a problem. … Sometimes, people were excluded from meeting without explanation. Once, Boakye-Agyarko was asked not to join a meeting by the Campaign Committee, Seratu, who claimed to be acting upon Dr. Apraku’s instruction. Dr. Apraku was very hard-working but not collegial.”

In the first week of July 2008, Arthur K and others met Prof. Larry Gibson, an African-American law professor in Maryland, who also doubled as a political strategist. Prof. Gibson was reported to have helped elect Mrs. Eileen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and Mr. Marc Ravelomana of Madagascar.

By August 2008, Prof. Gibson had reviewed various opinion polls and had told the NPP Campaign Team that Nana Akufo-Addo would not get an outright majority and in the run-off. Prof. Atta Mills of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) would win.

This is how Arthur K wrote it: “Later, in conversation, Larry told me he had informed Nana Akufo–Addo in one of their early meetings that he was waiting for the completion of a survey that would measure his favorability and disapproval ratings against that of Professor Mills. According to Larry, he then asked Nana Akufo-Addo who he thought would be more popular. Nana Akufo-Addo, according to Larry felt he would be more popular than Professor Mills. When the results came in, Professor Mills was slightly more popular than Nana Akufo-Addo. However, the NPP was more popular than the NDC.

Reviewing the polls, he indicated that Nana Akufo-Addo would win the first round but would not get an outright majority and that the second round would be too close to call. There were 27% of the voters who claimed to be undecided. Later, Larry started referring to them as ‘Undeclared’ rather than ‘Uncommitted’. However, when pressed further, he said he would give the second round to Prof. Mills by a whisker. On support, he indicated that we were strong in Ashanti, Eastern and Brong Ahafo and nearly even in the north but were not doing well at all in Volta, Central and Greater Accra.

He indicated that we should write off the Central and Greater Accra regions. On this, virtually the entire group disagreed with him. We all agreed that conceding those regions would be tantamount to conceding defeat in the elections.”

Source: The Daily Dispatch

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