General News of Thursday, 22 November 2012
The four candidates have been battling each other on the most effective policy for the Ghanaian populace in the final make-or-break presidential debate under the auspices of the institute of Economic Affairs.
The debate spanned various sectors including corruption, governance, women empowerment and the management of the natural resource.
President Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) kicked off the debate which some have described as an encounter.
He clashed with the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, over the judgement debts situation in the country when the issue of corruption came up.
While Nana Akufo-Addo insisted that the judgement debts paid under the current administration are dubious, President Mahama said he was surprised that Nana Addo who is a legal luminary will create the impression that payment of judgement debts are corrupt acts.
According to President Mahama, judgement debts are legally obtained and what the nation needs to do is to put in place serious mechanisms to prevent them from happening in the future.
He said tackling the symptoms instead of the cause of the judgement debt is ineffective and his government has put the right framework in place to ensure that debts with elements of corruption are not paid.
He however indicated that the consistent illicit abrogation of contracts after power changes hands must be cured in order to forestall such a situation.
But Nana Akufo-Addo in a swift rebuttal insisted that the government has presided over such dubious judgements that it has had to go to court to retrieve some of these debts.
On his strategy for fighting crime, President Mahama said his government has already provided the necessary logistics for the security services in their crime fighting operations.
He said reported armed robbery cases as at 2008 was above 4,000 but the situation has gone down to 3000 as at 2011. President Mahama bemoaned the spate of defilement cases in the country and said the police are being equipped to ensure that such cases are reduced.
He said his government has already stocked the forensic unit of the security services to ensure that investigations are done and completed on time.
Dr. Abu Sakara of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) said laws must be made to work in the country. According to him, he will set up a Public Complaint and Information Office in every districts to help fight the canker.
He stressed the need for governments to enforce laws and lay the framework within which state institutions can operate to provide security to all and sundry.
The People’s National Convention’s Hassan Ayariga said he will empower the Ghana Police Service to provide the needed security for all in the country.
Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) indicated that there is a weak security system which an NPP government will work to strengthen. He slammed President Mahama’s figures on armed robbery statistics saying it is at variance with the reality on the ground.