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General News of Monday, 17 October 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Ghanaians will punish Mahama for wasting his opportunities - Ken Ofori-Atta

NPP Director of Fundraising Ken Ofori-Atta says all the opportunities that swung in favour of President John Mahama after he won the 2012 presidential elections have been squandered.

According to him, all that is left for President John Mahama is the judgement of the people come December 7 polls where he can expect to be punished for the wasted opportunities.

"We have gotten into a situation where I feel that [governance] has derailed and Ghanaians will punish the ruling government for it," he said.

Explaining what he believes are wasted opportunities, the former CEO of Databank argued that the NDC was elected in 2008 because it managed to cast its flagbearer as a humble politician.

He said then Vice-President Mahama benefitted from sympathy votes after the 2012 flagbearer John Atta Mills died in office in July 2012 - barely five months to the elections.

With President John Mahama now flagbearer for the NDC, Ghanaians were excited about a 'young and cool' president and endorsed his bid to succeed president Mills.

But after four years, Ghanaians have come to a verdict on the leadership of President Mahama.

"We bought into this image and have come to the realisation that President Mahama's performance has been really poor", he said.

He pointed to the public debt as a statement of the government's disappointing record in Ghana stating that from an NPP debt level of GHC 9.5billion in 2008, the debt moved to GHC 36bn in 2012.

President John Mahama's administration is ending its four-year term with a public debt of GHC105billion.

"We can't borrow our way out of debt" the investment banker noted, criticising government for excessive borrowing.

He also referred to a position trumpeted by NPP Vice-Presidential candidate Dr. Bawumia that the Mahama government has done little with more resources.

The Bawumia-inspired NPP position is that although government has borrowed in excess of 39 billion dollars, the total cost of infrastructure from loans, grants and taxes from 2009 to date, is around 7 billion dollars.

"So the question is, what happened to the rest of the money?" Ken Ofori-Atta repeated an NPP refrain.

He said the corruption and mismanagement of the NDC government is also seen in the over-pricing of contracts. A 600-bed University of Ghana hospital cost $217million but the renovation of the Ridge hospital from 200 to 420 beds is costing $247million.

Armed with this record of the Mahama administration, the electorate are experiencing what he described as a 'bias remorse', a situation of regret for the choices made in 2012.

"Ghanaians can't vote for same party and expect different results" he jabbed. The investment banker observed that all the virtues of humility draped around the Mills administration is gone.

"Power does corrupt and government sometimes lose their humility....and Ghanaians don't reward people for that," he said suggesting these were the causes of the NPP's defeat in 2008.



Video credit: JoyNews