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General News of Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Source: Daily Guide

Kufuor Blasts Mills

Ex-President, John Agyekum Kufuor, has stated that the calculated attempt by the Mills-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government to criminalize every initiative of his erstwhile administration saddens his heart.

“I do not simply understand why the Mills Administration has made it a grand agenda to make evil of every initiative my administration undertook,” the immediate past President wondered.

The Gentle Giant, as he is affectionately called, told Angel Fm in an exclusive interview that he was particularly worried about the government’s decision to reverse the four-year duration of the Senior High School (SHS) system.

In order to ensure that students have enough learning space, ex-President Kufuor’s administration adjusted the hitherto three-year duration of the SHS programme to four years.

But immediately after assuming office, President Mills, through his Minister of Education, Alex Tettey-Enyo, announced that the four-year duration has been reverted to three years. “I am particularly unhappy about that decision because governments do not change decisions for the mere reason that it was taken by a previous administration,” ex-President Kufuor said.

He emphasized that the decision to adjust the four-year duration of the SHS programme was taken in the supreme interest of the nation since it had the potential to arrest the high number of failed candidates.

Observing that it was dangerous as a country to politicize every initiative of a past government, the two-term former President entreated the Mills Administration to be circumspect about the review of initiatives of his out-gone government. “If President Mills is unable to come out with initiatives that would benefit the nation, then it will be prudent for him not to alter the already existing ones that were undertaken in the utmost interest of the state,” former President Kufuor stressed.

He expressed utter disgust about President Mills’ claims that his government, since assumption of office a little over a year ago, has worked assiduously to turn the country’s economy around.

Ex-President Kufuor noted that the tax law professor cannot claim credit for any improvement in the country’s economy because the financial system was on a sound footing before Mills assumed the reigns of government. “There is no evidence of a single initiative that the Mills Administration has taken with respect to improving the nation’s economy since coming into office, so where are these boastful claims coming from?” the immediate past President asked.

According to him, President Mills and his government deliberately painted an erroneous impression in the minds of Ghanaians that the economy they inherited was ‘broke’ in order to criminalize the past administration. “President Mills should come out and tell us what he and his government have done since coming into office that has dramatically changed the so-called distressed economy to a hopeful one,” ex-President Kufuor dared.

He said the quadrupling of the country’s reserves from a woeful $2billion in 2001 to a whopping $16 billion in 2008 was enough evidence that his administration left behind a healthy economy.

Furthermore, the incredible springing up of financial institutions and other investments in the nation speaks volumes about the vibrant economy the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration handed down to the National Democratic Congress (NDC). “If we did not handle the economy well, I do not think the banks and the big companies would have mustered courage to invest in the country,” ex-President Kufuor observed.

Additionally, the one-time deputy Foreign Affairs Minister in the Busia regime, said the country’s successful borrowing from the Euro Bonds was ample testimony of the international community’s confidence in the country’s economy.

Still talking about the proficient handling of the country’s economy, former President Kufuor indicated that the nation’s ability to wean herself of the dictates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank was a clear sign of a sound economic management.

Responding to criticisms that his administration left behind a huge deficit, the immediate past President said his administration used the funds to advance the development agenda of the country. “What is wrong with borrowing money to carry out a purposeful mission that has ripple beneficial effects?” ex-President Kufuor quizzed, stressing that he who borrows for a good reason commits no crime.

He explained that the visible developments dotted across the country such as roads, hospitals, schools and other infrastructural projects are the fruits of the deficit that has become the ‘chewing stick’ of the ruling party.