All is now set for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to retain power in the 2020 general election with the official launch of its manifesto to protect the successes achieved in the first four years of the Akufo-Addo administration.
The governing party has promised to work hard to win the December 7 polls to firmly protect its legacies including the highly impactful free Senior High School (SHS) education programme; One District, One Factory (1D1F) initiative; Planting for Food and Jobs; and One Village, One Dam (1V1D) agenda.
NPP’s 2020 election manifesto was put together by a team generally believed to highly competent led by Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia; the man his boss has consistently described as “brilliant” and “dependable”.
Launching the manifesto on the Theme- ‘Leadership of Service: Protecting Our Progress, Transforming Ghana for All,’ President Nana Akufo-Addo was hopeful that Ghanaians will not make the mistake of bringing former President John Dramani Mahama back to power.
According to him, the flagbearer of the main National Democratic Congress (NDC) was a disaster in office and that Ghanaians will not forget how he messed up the economy before his defeat in the 2016 elections.
“I know that the NDC presidential candidate, His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, believes and says often that Ghanaians have a short memory and he must hold strongly to this belief, otherwise, I doubt he would’ve summed the courage to be seeking another term after the disaster that was his presidency”, President Akufo-Addo stated at the manifesto launch in Cape Coast on Saturday.
He noted that even though the former President Mahama claimed Ghanaians have short memories, the good people of this country will never forget the hardship they went through under the previous administration.
“Ghanaians might have short memories but not short enough for us to have forgotten the broken-down freezers, irons and other household equipment, thanks to the five years of dumsor.
“Our memories are not short enough to forget that the economy under him (Mahama) was a wreck that there was a ban placed on all recruitment into our public services.
“Our memories are not short enough to forget that teachers taught for three years and were only paid for three months.
“Our memories are certainly not short enough to forget that he brought our entire financial services system to near-collapse”, President Akufo-Addo added.
President Akufo-Addo also took a swipe at former President Mahama for claiming the Ghanaian economy was in tatters.
“I have heard him make the extraordinary claim that Ghana’s economy was in ‘tatters’ not because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but because of mismanagement. I doubt that he can recognise a well-managed economy, even if it slapped him in the face.
“Luckily for us, we do not have to rely on his judgement or assessment of the economy. But it is important to tell him, just in case there are others like him around that Ghana is, today, in a position to be able to provide one hot meal for JHS 3 students who are back in school in the midst of a pandemic, to pay for six (6) months the water bills of all Ghanaians, to subsidise the electricity bills of all Ghanaians for three (3) months. Indeed, we thank the Almighty that the pandemic did not strike under his presidency, when there was no money in the national kitty to pay teachers and nurses allowances.
“We are very much aware of the realities of the times. We know the havoc that COVID-19 has wreaked on our economies and livelihoods. I have asked our party members to keep these sensibilities in their minds in all they do, as they go about campaigning for votes.
“Adherence to the COVID protocols means we cannot resort to the traditional methods of campaigning, and I urge all of us to obey strictly these rules. We cannot have the traditional crowds and rallies, and wherever there are gatherings, we have to try to observe the social distancing rules”, the President reiterated.
NPP policies lack sense-Mahama
The NDC flagbearer for the 2020 polls is reported to have said that the policies of the NPP lacked sense during a campaign tour of the Volta Region.
However, in a response, President Akufo-Addo noted that “If running an emerging oil economy into the arms of the IMF, because of indiscipline in the management of the public finances, is sense, I am happy that the NPP has another concept of sense.
“If having sense means cancelling teacher trainee and nurses’ allowances is sense, I am happy that the NPP has another concept of sense.
“If having sense means recording the worst economic management statistics of modern times, with the lowest rate of growth of the last thirty (30) years, I am happy the NPP has another concept of sense.
“Having sense in the NPP means being able to take an economy growing at 3.4% to an economy that grew, on the average, for three (3) successive years, at 7% per year, before the pandemic, and was rightly acknowledged as one of the best performing economies not just in Africa, but also in the world.
“Having sense in the NPP means executing the Programme for Planting for Food and Jobs, which has led to the revival of Ghanaian agriculture from the doldrums of the NDC years, bringing in its wake bumper harvests and affordable food prices in our markets, and exports of significant quantities of food stuffs to our neighbours.
“Having sense in the NPP means implementing policies which, according to the latest Ghana Living Standards Survey, has resulted in a decline in unemployment rates from 11.9% in 2015 to 7.3% in 2019.
“I am happy with and prefer the NPP’s sense”.