He’s on the roll. Professorial. Pragmatic. Poised. Joshua Alabi is the “Gentle Giant” of the race. Professor Alabi has committed his life to politics, private business and education. He has carved a niche for himself as an action man, a doer and a results oriented person. Take a wide gaze across the general expanse of his life work and the profile is immediately apparent: a visionary determined to walk the talk, driven by capacious energy and an endless desire to leave a mark. Maybe his motto in life is this: “Brighten the corner where you are”.
Joshua Alabi easily reminds us of Mitt Romney: placid, straightforward, family-oriented, no-nonsense economic bulwark with a trail of achievements in the private sector, business world and political industry. Politicians are often accused of saying much and doing little. No one would be able to hurl such an accusation against him. He does not sweet talk or smooth speak. He is a hard hitter not given to the style and serendipity of politics. In Professor Alabi, they will find a deliberate and decisive player whose main business will be to prove that he has the solutions to the nation’s problems, the keys to unlock the developmental quagmires of the nation and the capacity to churn great ideas into palpable reality. Inspired by lofty ideas, armed with big dreams, and restless with grandiloquent plans, Joshua Alabi is a man of action.
Political Experience: Consensus candidate?
Joshua Alabi may end up being the consensus candidate the NDC needs. He is a transformational leader who is garnering support among the party elders and the old guard. He has the rare ability to appeal to both the Southern and Northern blocs of the NPP. He will quell current simmering among the NDC for those who feel it is time to get a GA candidate. So clearly Joshua Alabi has some shrewd political permutations working out for him. His demographic appeal is on the uptick: ethnically, spatially/geographically, ethnically he seems to be ticking the right boxes.
In addition, his political experience is unquestionable: Member of Parliament, Minister of State, Regional Chairman, campaign coordinator. Loyalty and commitment are important factors in most presidential primaries and Professor Alabi can always maintain that he’s served his party well. He will also not be susceptible to suspicions about his political adeptness having stood for competitive elections at various levels. Neither naïve nor ignorant, he will bring his own set of political and campaign skills to the party. I must add thought at this point that the Alabi campaign is running a pretty smooth operation, touching the right nerves, hitting the key nodes, sending the right message and tapping the right frames. That alone is testament to his meticulous, detailed oriented and well calculated approach to business. He will be a formidable choice.
For all his astuteness and political experience, Joshua Alabi is still seen as very much a part of the old guard. There is a whiff about him that is very much reminiscent of the NDC of old; a Rawlings era man who took a break from politics and wants to make a jump start. If the NDC is looking for a fresh, new school politician with little ties to the old establishment, then Alabi would not be that candidate. Also, though he seems to be well known in the North, Alabi’s candidature has failed to generate the sort of sweeping, enthusiastic, energetic aura nationwide to fan the flames of what, I must state, is a campaign on the rise.
Though there are many students of politics who easily recognize and remember Alabi, his name recognition is not nearly as wildly universal as say, John Mahama. This makes him a hard sell—unless of course he taps into his legendary marketing capabilities. There’s a lot his camp needs to do to increase his popularity and name recognition among the youth of today. Sure, he is a hard player, given to the muscular job of crafting policy and implementing them, but Professor Alabi will also have to increase his style and charisma in order to connect on an emotional level.
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