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Politics of Thursday, 15 November 2012

Source: Somanya (ANN)

ANN Endorses Nana Akuffo Addo

Wednesday,
November 14, 2012. 15:41 GMT

The country faces an imminent crisis. Not
only is the obsolete education system failing our youth, it is also making us
less competitive even among the so called developing countries. The unemployment
rate has reached an alarming level, with 1 out of every 2 Ghanaian in the ranks
of the unemployed or underemployed. The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)
has collapsed and has been replaced by the dreaded cash and carry system,
further worsening infant mortality and life expectancy rates. The crumbling
social infrastructure is a severe drag on productivity and the trade
balance.

Several decades after independence, most of our citizens do not
have access to water, electricity and toilet (WET). Corruption has reached
epidemic proportions and is tearing the fabric of our society. The “truth
deficit,” which measures the extent to which public officers distort facts, is
at its apogee. The country faces an imminent crisis! The 4th Republic is at a
brink!

That is the background, which makes the December 2012 election,
perhaps, the most important in the history of the country. If the gravity of the
issues facing the nation is clear so too are the choices in the impending
election, at least, with respect to the Presidential context.

Nana Addo
Dankwa, of the National Patriotic Party, has shown a keen appreciation and
understanding of the moment. He has diagnosed the nation’s ailment and has, over
the past year, presented his vision of how we can address the morass and put the
nation on a path of sustainable development. His education policy recognizes the
importance of skilled labor in a transformative society and to competing in the
global economy.

Not only is his emphasis on infrastructural development
timely, in light of the state of our social capital, it will also stimulate
growth and create many jobs. In Nana Addo Dankwa, we have a public officer whose
4 decades of public service is not tainted by any credible allegation of
corruption. He has put forth a bold, forward-looking agenda to curb corruption.
We believe him because in his short stint as Attorney-General, he prosecuted
several high profile corruption cases.

President John Mahama, on the
other hand, appears to have misunderstood the moment. He has run a trivial
campaign that has highlighted everything that is wrong with the status quo ?
ethnic politics, vote-buying, lies and failure to take
responsibility.

Campaigning in the northern regions, the President is
reported to have declared that:

"if the NPP wants votes from the northern
part of the country, then they should put up Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia as their
flagbearer to face-off with him. They want to win here, they should put him in
number one and let two of us contest and then they will get something from
here."

The nation has never seen such cheap and brazen appeal to
ethnicity from the Presidency. What is the President implying with that
statement? If this is his argument for the northern regions, what is his
argument for the southern regions? Is he suggesting that the NDC does not want
southern votes because he is on top of the ticket, incidentally not through a
serious primary but by accident of history?

In the waning days of the
campaign, we have witnessed the President distributing luxury vehicles to
Chiefs, Imams, Student Leaders and other opinion leaders for the single purpose
of procuring their support and votes. We remind the President of Chairman Kutu
Acheampong’s failed imposition of UNIGOV on the country, which he thought could
be procured by vote-buying. The electorate is too sophisticated, Mr.
President.

Finally, the President has failed to rise to the moment by
resorting to a campaign of lies and deception. His campaign’s splicing, dicing,
sampling and pasting together of disparate statements made by Reverend Otabil to
attack the education policy of Nana Addo Dankwa is indeed disgraceful and smacks
of utter desperation. Even worse is the President’s defense that he is not
responsible for the actions of members of his campaign staff.

For these
and many other reasons, we at ANN enthusiastically endorse Nana Addo Dankwa
Akuffo Addo as President for the forthcoming election, and express the hope that
his victory will lead to a new day where truth will replace deception;
problem-solving will replace propaganda; meritocracy will replace cronyism;
hostels will replace phantom STX buildings; free SHS will replace free judgment
debts; and justice will be available to all.

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