Home » Social Media Users Hijack NPP’s Hashtag After Kyerematen’s Exit

Social Media Users Hijack NPP’s Hashtag After Kyerematen’s Exit

by Victor Adetimilehin

The New Patriotic Party (NPP), the ruling party of Ghana, is facing a social media backlash after one of its top members, Alan Kyerematen, quit the party and declared his intention to run as an independent presidential candidate in the 2024 elections.

Kyerematen, a former trade and industry minister, announced his decision at a press conference on Monday, September 25, 2023. He said he was leaving the NPP because he felt unappreciated and sidelined by a clique within the party. He also unveiled his campaign logo, a butterfly, with the slogan “Ghana Will Rise Again”.

The NPP, which has been in power since 2016, launched a hashtag #WeAreNPP on Twitter (now X) to rally its supporters and counter the negative impact of Kyerematen’s departure. However, the hashtag was soon hijacked by critics of the government, who used it to highlight the failures and scandals of the NPP administration.

Some of the posts under the hashtag showed images of poor roads, flooded streets, abandoned projects, and dilapidated schools. Others mocked the government’s promises and slogans, such as “Free SHS”, “One District One Factory”, and “I Choose Positive Energy”. Many of the posts also included another hashtag, #OccupyJulorbiHouse, which was used by anti-government protesters who staged a three-day demonstration in Accra last week.

The protesters, who were led by some civil society groups and activists, demanded better governance and accountability from the NPP government. They accused the government of corruption, mismanagement, and incompetence. They also alleged that the government deployed online bots to sabotage their protest by creating fake hashtags with spelling errors.

The NPP has not officially reacted to Kyerematen’s resignation or the hijacked hashtag, but some party officials have downplayed their significance, saying they will not affect the party’s chances of winning the 2024 elections. They also dismissed Kyerematen as a sore loser who will only split the votes and help the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to win.

The NPP is also facing other challenges, such as the legal challenge by the NDC, which has disputed the results of the 2020 elections, alleging fraud and irregularities. The NPP won a second term in 2020, but with a reduced majority in parliament. The Supreme Court dismissed the NDC’s petition in March 2021.

The NPP will also have to choose a new flagbearer, as President Nana Akufo-Addo is constitutionally barred from seeking a third term. The NDC, on the other hand, has not yet announced its presidential candidate, but many expect former president John Mahama to run again.

Despite the difficulties, the NPP still has some achievements to boast of, such as the implementation of the free senior high school policy, the creation of new regions, the digitisation of some public services, and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The NPP will have to convince the voters that it is still the best option for Ghana’s development and stability.

Source: GhanaWeb

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