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General News of Monday, 22 August 2016


Nduom slams Mahama over ‘gift-giving’ for votes

The Presidential Candidate of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), for the 2016 elections, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, has taken on President Mahama over his alleged gift-giving spree to woo voters ahead of the elections in December.

The Chairman of Groupe Nduom, has asked President John Dramani Mahama, to halt the use of tax payers’ money for his re-election campaign.

Dr. Nduom, who had previously accused the President of abusing incumbency with his ‘accounting to the people tour’, is now unhappy with what he calls ‘gift-giving’ for votes barely four months to the polls.

Dr. Nduom in a statement said, “My employees and I work, risk our lives traveling across the country and sweat to sell products and services, borrow to operate factories then pay income tax, payroll tax, VAT, etc. to government. Then we see President Mahama and members of his administrations “donating” outboard motors, sewing machines, vehicles, fertilizers, etc while campaigning for votes. If this is not daylight robbery of the government’s treasury for partisan political benefit, then what is it?”

According to him, the President is wasting money that could have been used to settle debts to the ECG among other critical things.

“Now NDC functionaries are all over the media justifying the plundering of taxpayer funds while the Mahama administration says it does not have money to pay debts owed to ECG, pay teacher and nurse trainees, etc. How many of the more than one million fishermen, millions of hairdressers and farmers can get some of these “gifts”? Reminds me of the tactics of the illegal micro-finance schemes – show the people a handful of people whose deposits were doubled and others will be deceived into parting with their hard earned monies. And is this what is at play here? Is President Mahama Father Christmas? Is this the Christmas season for gift giving?”

The entrepreneur said Ghanaians rather need lower taxes and sound government policies that will make their lives better.

“What the people need are the things that last – lower taxes, continuous, uninterrupted electricity, good drinking water, good and affordable compulsory education, good health and permanent jobs. If President Mahama campaigned on bringing these to the people during his tenure as President, how could I complain? The fact that he can’t do this and has resorted to “gift-giving” must tell Ghanaians to beware and not waste their votes on those who have disappointed them and now are desperately trying to buy their votes. We the people of Ghana deserve better than this!”

President Mahama has largely been criticized by the opposition NPP, which has accused him of desperate vote-buying through the sharing of gifts such as outboard motors to fishermen, embossed with stickers of the President.

The debate over vote-buying ahead of the polls has been reignited in recent days with the two main political parties trading accusations.

A recent CDD survey found that the NDC topped the list of vote buying claims, with fifty-one percent, followed by the NPP with thirty-two percent.

The survey has since been rubbished by the governing party, as well as the CPP and PPP, who were also cited as having offered ‘goodies’ in an attempt to buy votes.