General News of Tuesday, 30 October 2012
The Executive Director of think tank Imani Ghana, Franklin Cudjoe, has commended the presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for making this year’s election an issues-based one largely devoid of insults and mudslinging, as was the case in the past.
While Mr Cudjoe emphasised this was not an endorsement of Nana Akufo-Addo, he stated: “It’s a fact that everyone, including all the political parties is talking about education. This is largely because Nana Addo has made education central to his campaign, and all the others are speaking about it.”
Franklin Cudjoe made the observation on Adom FM’s Dwaso Nsem morning show on October 30, 2012 ahead of the Institute of Economic Affairs-organised Presidential Debate at Tamale on Tuesday.
Mr Cudjoe pointed out that his organization had critically critiqued the NPP’s education proposals and made its opposition to free SHS known, but had not really critiqued the education policies of the other parties because “clearly speaking, there is no substance, they are all saying the same thing.”
On today’s debate Mr Cudjoe predicted: “I see Nana Addo making his point and not having any credible alternative from the others, especially from the NDC.”
He wondered at the din surrounding the declaration of Dr Mensah Otabil’s opposition to free education, saying “I’ve listened to the Mensah Otabil tape, I do not see it as anything original, Imani has been saying the same thing for a long time. It is not new, I think it is those using it for propaganda who see it as new. Clearly he was expressing his view, and he is entitled to it.”
He cautioned that the response to Dr Otabil’s comments “shouldn’t be insults.”
Meanwhile, Franklin Cudjoe has described the questions asked at IEA sessions with presidential candidates as “pedestrian” and lacking the punch to really push the potential leaders of Ghana to explain in the clearest terms their policies and programmes to develop the nation.
Mr Cudjoe said the questions are “low hanging,” insisting “If you come and say ‘private sector will receive support’, have you done the math? What impact will it have on taxation? What are the critical issues that will go into your economic policy? These are the questions we should be asking.”
He accused all the parties of ignoring the critical area of Research and Development, and yet promising to develop the nation. On what basis are they going to do it, he questioned.