Diasporian News of Monday, 26 November 2012
Source: Anane-Gyinde, Kwaku
The Germany Branch of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has noted with interests recent pronouncements by President John Dramani Mahama at a campaign rally in Okere in the Eastern Region.
During the said campaign rally, the desperate and discredited President tried to question the feasibility of the free education (SHS) policy espoused by NPP on the grounds that similar policies have been unsuccessful in Kenya and Uganda.
NPP Germany would have ignored this blatant attempt by President Mahama to denigrate the free SHS policy but for the logical inconsistencies, intellectual contradictions and the factual inaccuracies that have characterized the pronouncements.
Our checks at the Kenyan and Ugandan Embassies here in Germany have revealed that President Mahama´s assertion is totally unfounded and has no basis. Officials at the two Embassies have categorically denied the allegations by Ghana´s President that their free SHS policies are crumbling due to lack of funding.
The questions that every rational Ghanaian should be asking are these. First, did the President of Ghana engage in the act of deliberate lies and deception for political reasons? Secondly, does the appeal for assistance to fund a program amount to a failure of that particular policy or program as President Mahama seems to suggest?
Perhaps the President need to be reminded that back home in Ghana we have depended on foreign donors to fund important programs such as the School Feeding Program initiated by the NPP government under President Agyekum Kuffour. Secondly, in case the President is not aware, we wish to draw his attention to the fact that 40% of Ghana´s annual budget is donor –funded. Against this backdrop will it be appropriate to conclude that Ghana is a failed state simply because its Annual Budget is partly financed through foreign assistance?
Unfortunately, these bizarre and absurd arguments are what cynics and pessimists like President Mahama and the NDC have been employing in their vain attempt to discredit the free SHS policy of Nana Akuffo-Addo. Sadly for these perpetual pessimists, a majority of Ghanaians have embraced the free SHC policy of the NPP because of the realization and the recognition that education is the best investment any country can make to ensure its future peace, stability and prosperity.
NPP Germany is convinced that Ghana is not a poor country and as such should be in a position to provide free SHS education as has been done in other countries such as Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Namibia. The issue is therefore not the lack of resources but the lack of visionary leadership that can provide a sense of direction and purpose. While the visionary leader finds reasons and justification why something can and should be done, the leader without any vision finds reasons why it cannot be done. Ghanaians have a clear choice to make on December 7 between a leader with a clear vision who believes in the ability of the Ghanaian in the person of Nana Akuffo-Addo and President Mahama a visionless leader and a perpetual pessimist.
Indeed President Mahama´s pessimism and outright rejection of the free SHS policy to most Ghanaians is an enigma. As a beneficiary of free education, the least Ghanaians expected of the President was for him to champion the cause of free SHS policy as espoused by Nana Akuffo-Addo.
Moreover the entrenched position adopted by the President and NDC shows that education is not a priority for the NDC government. Since assuming office, their major concern and interest has been the payment of dubious judgment debts to cronies such as Woyome, Construction Pioneers (CP), Africa Automobile and Ghost Chiefs to the tune of GH 684 Million
Of course if education was a priority for the Mills-Mahama administration, it would have made higher budgetary provisions towards that sector instead of allocating GH 125 Million in 2010, GH 150 Million in 2011 and GH 250 Million in 2012 to the office of the President alone. These figures are tenfold the amount allotted to Health and Education put together and this explains why the numerous Presidential staffers including Felix ofosu Kwaku, Akyena Bretuo, Yaw Boateng Gyan,Stanley Dogbey, Koku Anyidoho and others get paid GH 4500 (45 Million cedis) excluding allowances every month.
Furthermore, Ghanaians are not oblivious to the numerous corruption scandals that have characterized this government in the last four years. The fraudulent STX Deal which cost the Ghanaian tax payer $ 300 Million although no work was done, the purchase of Aircraft meant for the Military but which ended up as a family private jet, the distribution of Mitsubishi Pajero Cars to Chiefs, Matches Stuffed with Money and the inflation of the cost of building from GH80,00 in 2008 to GH 240,000 for a Six Classroom block show how reckless and irresponsible the NDC government has been in managing the finances of the country. With corruption and incompetence cascading throughout every Ministry and the Presidency, it should come as no surprise if President Mahama comes to tell Ghanaians that the country cannot afford to educate its people.
Clearly, the incompetence, ineptitude and corruption demonstrated by the NDC government in the last four years should leave no one in any doubt that this was a government that had had no sense of direction and had lost its priority. If it had any priority, education was not one of them. The only way to end this menace is by voting them out of power in the December polls. A vote for the NDC can best be likened to putting a razor in the hands of a drunk, who milling around risk doing damage no one can either predict or undo.
Director of Communication