NDC Communication Porous, Remove Sammy Gyamfi
A Communication Officer-hopeful of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has argued that the party’s communication system is porous and needs to be handled in a different way to help the party win back power.
Godwin Kwasi Ametowogo, who is promising the incumbent Communication Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, a good run for his money in the upcoming national executive election slated for this December, said the young lawyer, despite being gifted with speaking, has reduced the NDC communication front to what he describes as “corporate communication.”
In an exclusive interview with The Anchor early this week in Accra, Mr. Ametowogo said, “All I know is that, sitting back and watching the way our communication system is going, it is porous, it won’t help us, there is a better way to manage things.”
According to him, contrary to a view that he is seeking to contest Sammy Gyamfi, just to launch his presence in the political space, considering the popularity of the incumbent, he is in for the long haul and will floor Mr. Gyamfi.
He also denied allegation by an aide to Mr. Gyamfi that he is being sponsored to contest because of hatred.
De Accra Mayor, had posted on social media, “After over a year of searching across the country becos of ‘hatred,’ they have finally found some1 to contest the NCO position. Let him come.”
But reacting to it, Mr. Ametowogo said that he is a man of his own, having communicated for the party both outside and in government.
He noted that, he has been speaking for the party (nationally) from the days of then Propaganda Secretary of NDC, Fiifi Kwetey, headed the department all the way to Richard Quashigah, Solomon Nkansah and now.
“Not at all, I gave you my profile. I am old enough to take decision for myself, but if I decide and people want to share in my decision, they are welcome. Who is bringing who? I told you I have been serving this party way back, should somebody bring me because of hatred? I can’t work because of someone’s hatred he has for whoever,” he fired.
On his quest to be the main mouthpiece of the opposition party, the 42-year-old said he is committed, equal to the task and ready to bring fresh ideas, ahead of the 2024 general elections.
Even though he acknowledges Sammy Gyamfi has done his bit, having served a term, the incumbent has been one sided in the discharge of his duties.
He contended, “I am ever ready; I have whatever it takes for this very contest and whatever talent that he has been endowed with, I am equally endowed and even better. Yes, he is a good communicator and I am equally a good communicator and I have the managerial skills to manage that office better and effectively.”
In his view, the young lawyer, despite being gifted in speaking, which he equally is, he claimed has reduced the NDC communication front, to what he describes as “corporate communication.”
Explaining further, he said that the party’s communication has only remained in Accra and in the media space, neglecting the other parts of the country and the grassroots.
Mr. Ametowogo said it is not for nothing that the party has communication offices, all the way from national to the branch levels.
“The kind of communication I want to bring into the NDC and for that matter the entire country is the current communication, and we are a political party we cannot engage in a corporate type of communication.
“When I say corporate kind of communication, it is like you going to MTN and going to meet their PRO. He is always at their office there, promoting their product. So long as communication and if it is political communication, the information must be decentralized, the information must trickle down,” he observes.
According to him, “When you are in Accra and you sit in front of the camera and you begin speaking, thinking that you are speaking to the entire Ghana, you are not speaking to the entire Ghana, you are speaking to only Accra and a section of Accra because the politics we are doing goes beyond Accra. And as a political party, our strength is derived from the grassroots.”
Mr. Ametowogo, who contested the NDC’s parliamentary primary for the Fanteakwa North seat, but lost, in 2020, said that he has adopted a strategic communication similar to the late Prof. Atta Mills’ ‘door-to-door’ campaign in 2008, in order to have the party’s communication trickle down to every part of the country.
He said under his tenure, the sort of communication where most of the communicators are almost always on radio will be done away with.
“So, when I say I am going to introduce human-centered communication, it means we are going to touch base with the people. “We are going to move from one lorry station to the other, one community to the other, one university to the other, one church to the other, so that we make sure we touch base with every individual in the country.
“I will not sit in Accra, no way! I am going to move out. While I am in the north, my two deputies are in the south. At that productive hour, we are on TV, a lot of people have left for job nobody is left at home watching Metro TV or TV3. So, that when they move to the lorry station, we will meet them there, when they move to the school, we meet them there, when they move to the community, we meet them there. So, my thing is, I am bringing human-centered human communication,” he said.
When asked how his declaration to contest the Communication Officer position has been received by the party, the father of four said the reception by the rank-and-file has been impressive.
He promised not to disappoint, but said the only way the party can get him to fulfil his pledge is for the delegates to vote him into office.
“No one can say oh Kwasi Godwin cannot do the work until you give me the opportunity the incumbent has been given the opportunity and he has done it to an extent and we are realizing that he is not doing it with perfection and I am going to go beyond where he has ended it. I am not going to adopt a lazy approach. I am going to be seen on the ground working,” he jabbed.
Mr. Ametowogo said the communication has allowed the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to have a field day, as far as the 2024 general elections are concerned.
He wondered why up till date the NDC does not have a counter response to the NPP’s ‘Break the 8’ campaign.
“You see already, they are saying break the eight, you don’t sit and say oh it is somebody that is bringing it so let me ignore it. You may not know what that information will cost you; it may damage you, so, quickly, you must counter.
“When they say theirs, you also bring yours; that is how we do strategic communication. We have to break away from the kind of centralized communication that we are running. Now as I speak to you, there is no coordination, so long as communication team is concerned.
“As I speak to you today, the communication team is not effective,” he further said.
He said despite being provided the resources, Sammy Gyamfi is still not working as expected.
Mr. Ametowogo has two degrees, one in Religion from the University of Ghana and the other in Development Communication from the Africa University College of Communication.
He speaks Ewe, Akuapim, English and French. The National Communication Officer-hopeful is an entrepreneur, businessman dealing in pure water production and block making.