Feature Article of Monday, 3 September 2012
Columnist: Genfi, Brogya
The flag bearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Hon. Williams Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo took his turn at the Institute of Economic Affairs’ (IEA) encounter with Presidential Candidates on Tuesday August 21, 2012.
This piece is the last part of the Ten (10) naked lies which were advanced by Nana Addo in his presentation and some during his answers to the questions on the night.
FABRICATION SIX (6)
Nana Akufo-Addo has promised free Senior High School (SHS) Education. This is a promise many have doubts would come into fruition in an unlikely Akufo-Addo Presidency. The doubts have been persistent because of similar promises by NPP prior to the 2000 elections which they failed to honour.
The doubts about Nana Addo’s fanciful free SHS gravely deepen anytime Nana Addo tries to explain the modalities and costing of the policy to the people of Ghana. This piece takes a critical view of Nana Addo’s costing without scrutinizing the sources of funding and other details of the policy.
At the IEA forum, Nana Addo said “The cost of providing free secondary school education, which includes tuition, boarding, feeding and all the other charges for the 2013-2014 academic year, is estimated at 0.1% of our GDP. This translates into some GH¢78 million.”
How Nana Addo did his calculation, Ghana does not know. We do not even know where he met the figure GH¢78million. Dealing with current figures, there are about 720,000 students in all the about 530 Senior High Schools.
The average bill per term for a student in SHS is about GH¢300. If the total number of students is multiplied by the student bill per term, the result is about GH¢216million for just one term (720,000 X GH¢300 = GH¢216,000,000). The total cost of free SHS for the 2013 – 2014 academic year (three terms) which includes boarding fee, PTA dues, and all other charges is the cost per term multiplied by three terms; GH¢216,000,000 X 3 terms = GH¢648,000,000. This figure excludes the tuition fee (which has been free since independence), teacher motivation fee, admission fee for the new entrants in September 2013 as well their books and uniforms.
Presently, due to the limited number of entrants that SHS can absorb, less than half of JHS leavers who pass have access. And since Nana Addo has promised to abolish Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), the total cost per academic year is likely to quadruple; that is when Nana Addo has built 200 new Senior High Schools (not classroom blocks) in 2013.
FABRICATION SEVEN (7)
The name Nana Akufo-Addo is generally attributed to threats of violence and mayhem but he tried as much as he did to speak well of his name.
“We may have our differences, but what joins us together is more important. We are One Ghana and I am totally committed to working to ensure peace and unity for the Ghana project” – Nana Akufo-Addo.
Nana Addo was obviously lying at this point and I believe that the diplomats at the forum knew Nana Addo could not be talking about the peace of Ghana. Nana Akufo-Addo cannot convince Ghanaians about his commitment on a peaceful Ghana; Ghana already knows!
On Tuesday February 8 2011, in his home region (Eastern Region), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said: “They have intentions to intimidate us in 2012 because they believe that we the Akans are soft and cowards. If that is the thinking, then we shall see. At least during the Atiwa bye-election, we showed a little of our colours there” – Here is Nana Addo threatening the peace of Ghana.
He continues on the same platform: "You must understand that this party was formed by courageous people. Our leaders who formed this party that has now become the biggest political movement in Ghana were not cowards. So in 2012 we need to be courageous because ‘all die be die'. All die be die" he repeated.
For the records, ‘all die be die’ is the slogan of terrorist suicide bombers who have been threatening the peace of the world; it is common knowledge that these suicide bombers chant “all die be die” before they press their explosive button.
In a latest Africa report published in June 2011, titled: “GHANA; Assessing Risks to Stability” authored by David W. Throup, highlighted what it says are the “Key Stress Points,” and Nana Akufo- Addo’s posture since he was elected the presidential candidate of the opposition NPP. This is a project that was commissioned by the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).
The report states “the role of the NPP leader and expected presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, will be crucial, and early signals suggest reason for worry. Akufo-Addo is desperate to mobilize support, and he has played the ethnic card, referring to the NPP as “We the Akans,” urging his supporters to “all die be die”—that is, they should be willing to die to ensure the NPP’s victory”.
Again, Akufo-Addo failed to condemn and take action against Kennedy Agyapong’s genocidal call for Gas and Ewes to be attacked by Ashantis.
Nana Akufo-Addo must therefore stop deceiving himself with the peace rhetoric.
FABRICATION EIGHT (8)
“My party and I are totally devoted to Ghana’s peace and stability, as we have always been. We, famously, demonstrated this in 2008 when, despite the narrowest of losing margins, we did nothing to jeopardise the stability of the nation and lived up to my pledge of not allowing a single drop of Ghanaian blood to be shed”.
It is public knowledge that Nana Akufo-Addo never accepted defeat whole-heartedly in the 2008 elections. Why must it take Nana Addo to tell the people of Ghana his role during the crucial moments at the time; the people know already.
The outgoing United States ambassador to Ghana His Excellency Teitelbaum witnessed the events in Ghana. In a cable sent to U.S with reference Identity number 09ACCRA6 and created on January 05, 2009, the US ambassador reported: “Akufo-Addo's non-concession came well after most of his party and the Ghanaian public at large had grown weary of waiting and offended by the stalling. Several media commentators characterized it as too little, too late. As it has played out, Akufo-Addo has done his reputation no favor by his delaying tactics, court filings, non-participation in Tain, and finally his passive-aggressive congratulations to Atta-Mills. In contrast, the President-elect has been pitch-perfect in his statements, pledging to be President for the whole of Ghana, promising a presidency devoid of discrimination, and dismissing fears of a witch-hunt by some political opponents”.
FABRICATION NINE (9)
In an answer to a question from Mrs. Victoria Adongo (the representative for Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana and Ghana Federation of Agricultural Producers), Nana Addo threw another lie to the noble audience and the Ghanaian people at large.
Mrs. Adongo simply asked about Food Security and how Nana Addo is going utilize some $200million grant as Ghana’s share of a promise to Sub-Sahara Africa by the G8 Nations.
Characteristic of Nana Addo, he danced around the question until he landed on a lie. “… We had a voucher system for the distribution of fertilizers to our farmers. It’s been scrapped by the government and a new system has been put in place that led to massive smuggling of pesticide and fertilizers in our country. Ghanaian fertilizers can be found in Ondo State in Nigeria and in Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Togo. We are going to go back to the voucher system…” – the biggest lie of the century and show of lack of ideas.
What was the old ‘Nana Addo/NPP’ system? And what is the new system?
The old coupon system was a system where farmers could go for coupons from their district agric offices and present it to the market to exchange for fertilizers. The farmer therefore does not pay with money but rather pay with the coupon. The sellers of fertilizers then take the coupon to claim payments from government. This system led to massive smuggling because the officers could give the coupons to any person other than farmers.
The new system was intended to correct the old corrupt system. Farmers no longer buy fertilizers with coupons; they buy with cash at a government subsidized cost. Government has subsidized the fertilizers by about 50% for the open market. Farmers identify themselves with a pass book before fertilizers would be sold to them. In this system, there is a cap limiting the amount of fertilizers farmers can buy. Even though, players in the market admit that the new system is better than the old ‘Nana Addo/NPP’ system, they are quick to add that it is not a perfect system. They are praying for government to improve on the new system.
Does it not show lack of ideas for Nana Addo to promise “we are going to go back to the voucher system…” instead promising to improve the new system?
FABRICATION TEN (10)
There is this issue of slogan plagiarism for election 2012 that degenerated into the basics of the political philosophies and ideologies of the ruling National Democratic Congress and the opposition New Patriotic Party.
“We have spent time getting our plans right. Doubtless that must account for how the original theme of our manifesto, ‘PEOPLE MATTER, YOU MATTER’, was pinched by our opponents…. But I take the view that imitation is the greatest form of flattery and we wish them well.” – Nana Akufo-Addo
Studying the 2012 Manifesto of NPP which was launched last week, one can only ask if the original theme of the NPP manifesto was ‘PEOPLE MATTER, YOU MATTER’ as claimed by Nana Addo at the IEA encounter.
A theme in a piece of writing, a talk or a discussion is an important idea or subject that gives meaning to it.
Is it not interesting that if a document has ‘PEOPLE MATTER, YOU MATTER’ as its theme, and if there is a change in theme, it then becomes ‘TRANSFORMING OUR LIVES, TRANSFORMING GHANA’?
The NPP wants to transform their lives before transforming that of Ghana? And Nana Addo thinks this replaces ‘People Matter, You Matter’?
The NDC in 2008 had a theme and slogan which resonated with the Ghanaian people because they were people centered. The slogan ‘I CARE FOR YOU’ was a people centered slogan that meant people matter as well as the theme ‘INVESTING IN PEOPLE’.
There is enough evidence of a repeat of the NPP campaign strategy for elections 2000; LIES AND HOLLOW PROMISES. Ghanaians must be wide awake!!!
NDC Youth Activist
0249 582 140