Opinion polls that suggest that President Akufo Ado will win the presidential election in the first round have elicited divergent responses from the two leading presidential candidates in the December 7 election.
While President Akufo-Addo says he is encouraged by the polls but will not be complacent, the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama, has said he is not perturbed about findings of the survey because he is confident of winning the election.
Various polls have put President Akufo-Addo ahead of his close rival, with the latest survey by the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana, predicting that the President, who is seeking a second term in office, will win in the first round.
The survey, which covered 100 constituencies carefully selected across all 16 regions with 11,949 respondents, puts the President at 51.7 per cent, with Mr Mahama at 40.4 per cent.
Speaking in a radio interview on Kingdom FM in Cape Coast yesterday as part of his three-day campaign tour of the Central Region, President Akufo Addo said: “Opinion polls are opinions and not votes, and I am encouraged that all the polls are pointing to my victory, but that will not mean that we will go to sleep”.
President Akufo-Addo said one could not claim to be victorious until the elections were over, the votes counted and the results declared.
“We will continue to campaign till midnight of December 5 to ensure that every hamlet, village, town and city is reached to secure a resounding victory on December 7, ” he said.
Ben Ephson poll
Answering questions about specific polls that pointed to his victory, President Akufo-Addo cautioned that, “If you are looking for something from someone, until he has given you, you cannot claim to have it”.
Reacting to a pre-election poll by pollster Ben Ephson that says he will win, President Akufo-Addo said the same person through his polls indicated that he (President Akufo-Addo) was going to lose the 2016 but the contrary happened,”but I will not discount his polls,” he added.
He indicated that the massive reception he and the NPP had received from Ghanaians across the country had offered him great encouragement that Ghanaians would offer him another opportunity to serve them for another four-year term.
He explained that Ghanaians were satisfied with the work the NPP had done in the last four years, which explained his confidence that by the grace of God and the magnanimity of the electorate, the NPP would emerge victorious.
He said the promises he made to the people to vote for him four years ago had been redeemed and that he had not disappointed them.
For his part, Mr Mahama, who spoke at a rally in Yendi, said apart from the presidential election, which he hoped to win, he was also certain about the NDC winning majority of the seats in the parliamentary election, reports Kester Aburam Korankye.
He said the NDC had done its own internal calculations which spoke positively about its chances.
The former President said the party’s victory would come about as a result of the sufferings that President Akufo-Addo and the NPP had visited on Ghanaians over the past four years.
“The NDC, I am convinced, will win the elections. As for the parliamentary elections, from our calculations and the opinion polls, we have won the majority in Parliament already. And by God’s grace, Yendi will be one of those seats we are going to win,” he said.
Mr Mahama said unlike 2016 when Ghanaians could not compare his record to that of President Akufo-Addo, they now had the chance to do so before making a decision on December 7.
“God is great and I am sure that all of us have lived in this country for more than four years and we have seen the NPP government, and we can compare it to the NDC government. An opinion poll was carried out and more than 60 per cent of Ghanaians say that they are worse off today than they were in 2016, ” he added.
Prior to addressing the rally, Mr Mahama paid a courtesy call on the Overlord of the Dagbon Traditional Area, Ya-Na Abukari I, where he assured him of the NDC’s support should the party win the elections.
Mr Mahama said the NDC was known to be the champions of development projects in the kingdom.
He said while in office, the government connected several communities in the Yendi enclave to the national grid and constructed 14 community-based health planning services (CHPS) compounds.
Mr Mahama said his administration also started the construction of the Eastern Corridor Road, a portion of which passed through the area, and that created jobs for many young people.