Pollster Ben Ephson has cautioned members of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to be mindful of their utterances.
He said the NPP must realise they risk losing votes of floating voters if they continue with their threats and incitements.
Ephson, who doubles as the managing editor of the Daily Dispatch, was commenting on NPP’s campaign manager, Peter Mac Manu’s vow to declare the 2016 election results if they feel strongly the polls have been rigged in favor of the ruling party.
Speaking on Radio Gold, Ephson said: “Somebody should tell the NPP that they are not the only group of people who can insult or talk recklessly. Nobody is the repository of confusion and so they should be mindful.”
He added: “They must be reminded that floating voters are more sensible than [you] think. Anybody can decide to go ahead with threats and on November 7, people will use their AK 48 (their thumbs) to take a decision.”
Mr. Mac Manu told an NPP gathering in the Western region that the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition could go ahead and declare the election irrespective of the consequences.
“The IGP cannot stop us. Whether you are Electoral Commission, whether you are a police or security officer, whether you are a polling agent, whether you are a chief, you cannot stop NPP from declaring results in November elections,” he ranted.
His threat has triggered widespread condemnation by a section of Ghanaians including the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) and Civil Society groups. However, Manu whose comments received spontaneous applause from his party foot soldiers has since backtracked.
He told a number of stations he meant his party will collate its own results.
But Mr Ephson has described that as disingenuous. He argues that Mr Manu should rather be seen to be apologising instead of avoiding his own statement already in the public domain.
The Pollster explained that tabulation of results and declaration are not the same. More so, he expected Mac Manu to know better because the latter has gone through the political mill.
“Since Mac Manu is not an ordinary serial caller, I expected the former NPP Chairman to apologize for his reckless and incendiary statement because no political party can be bigger than the country called Ghana. [And] no individual, no political party has the copyright to create confusion,” he noted.
“With six months to elections, you need to appeal to floating voters, who are at least 30% of the voters. These are the ones you must capture…. If I am a floating voter, will you vote for a party who will say they will cause bloodshed? So in all these when they are speaking and they are high on adrenaline to their cherish supporters, they must bear in mind that their targets should be the floating voters and not those who will vote for them anyway. So that come November 8, people don’t call for ambulances to the hospital,” Mr Ephson stressed.
The pollster dismissed suggestions that Nana Akufo-Addo, the NPP flagbearer will condemn Mac Manu for his gaffe, judging by his track record.
“I will be surprised if he condemned it. Did he condemn the Regional Chairman of his stronghold [Ashanti] who slapped his Member of Parliament? Has he condemned persons who have insinuated violence? I don’t think he will do it.
I don’t think so. There had been other reckless statements which he should have condemned and he has not done it. .And he has not done it.”