General News of Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Source: Deborah Wiafe-Agyei
General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia has accused the Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo of resorting to desperate tactics in his bid to win the 2012 presidential race.
According to him, due to his inability to sell his proposed free SHS idea, Nana Akufo-Addo has resorted to levelling unsubstantiated allegations against the campaign of the NDC flagbearer, John Dramani Mahama.
Nana Akufo-Addo, in a speech delivered in Cape Coast on Monday, accused the NDC of deceiving the people of rural Ghana by showcasing John Dramani Mahama as the proponent of the free SHS policy.
However, the NDC General Secretary intimated on Accra based Citi Fm that “the position he [Nana Addo] is occupying is a very high level position so the occupant should not be speaking without evidence. I would have thought that he would refer to a particular place because saying just rural areas is vague,” Mr.Nketia noted.
“Our position is that we are interested first in free, universal, and basic education. So any effort we will make at the secondary level will first be to improve access so that our concentration will be to build more schools to enable access to everyone who qualifies for Senior High School,” he said.
Mr Asiedu Nketia further described the NPP’s free SHS policy as “a house without a foundation” and noted that the NDC's electoral fortunes would not be affected by it.
“It is not hurting us at all as the people at the grassroots see him [Nana Addo] as joking because how can you build a house without a foundation?”
The General Secretary further opined, “If at BECE, 100 schools score 0% in the rural areas and you are promising free secondary education, how are the people in the rural areas expected to access what you are promising?”
“Our message is sinking; we want to improve access by building more secondary schools while strengthening the foundation so that people from the rural areas will have quality education, so that they will be able to compete favourably with the children in the urban areas for the spaces in the secondary school,” he added.
Meanwhile Aide to the Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Abu Jinapor has refuted the comments of the NDC General Secretary saying, “Ordinary persons have come to him [Nana Addo] to mention to him the activities of operatives of the NDC to the effect that they have been moving through the nook and crannies of this country; presenting President Mahama’s portrait as the man promising free education."