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The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has told the electorate, with some 35 days to the holding of the December 7 elections, that President Mahama’s 8-year record in high office points to the fact that he cannot be trusted.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, instead of the President focusing on his campaign and telling the people what he has done to improve on their livelihoods over the last 8 years, he is rather going around seeking to discredit his (Akufo-Addo’s) policies.
The latest such incident occurred in Akroso, in the Eastern Region, when President Mahama is reported to have urged the men and women of Ghana Armed Forces not to believe proposals made by the NPP to the effect that an Akufo-Addo government will increase the minimum number of years a soldier is expected to serve in the army from 25 to 30 years.
President Mahama described this proposal made by the NPP Campaign Sector Committee Chairman on Security, Dominic Nitiwul, as an “empty promise” which cannot be done, stating that “when we (in the NDC) promise, we deliver.”
This statement drew a response from the NPP flag bearer, who asked: “Aren’t we living in this same Ghana, when Mahama promised a 1-time premium payment for the National Health Insurance Scheme? Has that materialised?”
Mr Akufo-Addo continued: “He said he was going to build 200 Community Day Schools. His own Finance Minister, when presenting the 2016 budget statement, said only 9 had been completed. You said you were going to build 200, but you have commissioned only 12 or 13. Is this a leader who keeps his promises?”
Nana Akufo-Addo also reminded President Mahama of his 2012 manifesto promise of building 10 Colleges of Education. Again, the NPP flag bearer indicated that “not even a single one has been built.”
On the economy, the NPP flag bearer recounted the several macroeconomic targets which were to be pursued in the next four years, as contained in the 2012 NDC manifesto, which included “an average GDP growth rate of at least 8% per annum; and a single digit rate of inflation.”
This promise, like several others, according to the NPP flag bearer, has not seen the light of day under President Mahama, with Ghana’s economy deteriorating under his watch.
“The lowest and slowest rates of growth for 22 years in the history of our country are what we are getting this year under President Mahama. So we beg of our President, when you speak, know that you’re speaking to discerning minds and people who do not have short memories. There is not one important promise that Mahama has been able to fulfill in the time since he became President. Not one,” he added.
On the contrary, the NPP flag bearer noted that every important promise President John Kufuor made was kept.
“He (President Kufuor) said he would establish the National Health Insurance Scheme. Didn’t he do it?” He said he would discover oil for Ghana, if we made him President? Didn’t he find the oil? He brought the School Feeding Programme, Metro Mass Transit, National Youth Employment Programme, MASLOC, and the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty.”
“What is the programme that is associated with the name of John Dramani Mahama in Ghana? Well, I’ll tell you. The only thing that is associated with John Dramani Mahama’s name is dumsor. That is the only thing that is associated with his name.”
No skirt and blouse
With the NPP aiming at securing a decisive majority in the popular vote, as well as securing the majority of parliamentary seats, Nana Akufo-Addo appealed to residents of Gomoa East not to entertain any thoughts of voting “skirt and blouse”, either in the presidential or parliamentary election.
He urged all candidates in the 2015 parliamentary primary to rally behind the party’s candidate, Kojo Asemanyi, recounting his own experience in 1998 when he fully supported then candidate John Agyekum Kufuor to enable the NPP win the 2000 elections.
“A true NPP member always accepts the decision of the party’s Electoral College. When it’s your turn, the party will reward you. That is why I am also here today as flag bearer of the NPP. So those trumpeting ‘skirt and blouse’ should stop, and rather, help Kojo Asemanyi and push him to parliament,” he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo was addressing residents of Gomoa Akotsi in the Gomoa East constituency, on Tuesday, November 1, 2016, at the commencement of his 3-day tour of the Central Region.