General News of Saturday, 1 March 2014
Political Strategist, Dr Kobby Mensah says the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), owns the free Senior High School idea on which the 2012 elections were fought.
Speaking on Radio XYZ’s news analysis programme ‘The Analyst’ on Saturday March 1, 2014, Dr Mensah who lecturers at the University of Ghana said: “When it comes to campaign strategy, they [NPP] can lay claim to the free SHS because it was sitting in the constitution, nobody made noise about it, they picked it up and told Ghanaians that they could actually offer them free SHS.
“So they can rightly own the message of free SHS as opposed to the NDC. So I’m actually saying that although the NDC is actually drawn the battle ground on free SHS, you can rightly say that that message actually belongs to the NPP and as a result the NDC has actually given credence that free SHS is possible”, Dr Mensah insisted.
The 2012 elections were mostly fought on the NPP’s flagbearer’s campaign promise of free SHS.
The NDC at the time trumpeted its quality education campaign and branded the free SHS promise by Nana Akufo-Addo as populist political talk aimed at shoring up his chances of winning the presidential election.
President Mahama’s recent announcement to Parliament during his State of the Nation Address that his government intends progressively implementing free SHS as stipulated by the Constitution stirred up a flurry of criticisms against the NDC with some saying the President was now plagiarising the very same idea he fought against during the 2012 elections.
Dr Mensah believes the NDC’s intention to implement the policy strengthens the NPP’s earlier justification for it. He says rather than the NPP abandoning the idea, it must go into the 2016 elections with the same message and leave the electorate to judge.