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General News of Saturday, 9 September 2017

Source: Graphic.com.gh

NDC has contributed most to rise in middle class — Mahama

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has contributed most to the rise in the middle class in the country, Former President John Dramani Mahama has asserted.

He is, however, disappointed that when the people enter the middle class, they tend to forget the NDC that propped them up.

Mr Mahama made the point in a speech he delivered at a lecture to mark the first enrolment ceremony of the NDC ideological institute in Accra on Friday.

The NDC set up the institute (after it lost power in 2016) as part of its reforms aimed at winning back power.

“Our party has contributed the most to the increase of the middle class of the country. In the period that NDC has been in office, we have seen the greatest upward movement of people from the lower classes into the middle classes. But because of the perception that our party is socially democratic, is against property owning and seeks to equalise property, these same people who have moved up because of the conditions we have created drift into the property - owning class and, therefore, identify themselves with a different ideology,” he noted.

Strategies

Mr Mahama stressed the need for the NDC to redefine its strategies to let the public appreciate that the party’s ideology of social democracy does not amount to poverty.

He said social democracy was about creating a social safety net to ensure that everyone was able to live a decent and dignified life.

“Indeed, some of the parties that call themselves conservative parties have moved left from centre and today are involved in social safety nets such as free Senior High School and others that are all social democratic programmes and so we must be proud of our ideological orientation and we must redefine it so that people clear the misconception they have about social democracy,” the former President said.

Business-friendly party

Stoutly defending the record of the NDC in business development, the former President said that record could not be matched by any party in the country.

He stated that businesses in Ghana prospered the most when the NDC was in power and added that “We must let people know that our party is not against business.”

Drawing applause from the gathering, the former President indicated that parties that claimed to be conservatives or property-owning ones only ended up creating opportunities for only a few of the people and added that the NDC sought prosperity for all Ghanaians and not just for the few.

Walking the gathering through the history of the NDC, with emphasis on its ideology, Mr Mahama said although it had taken 25 years for the party to set up the institute, the opportunities were there for the institute to provide the leadership skills needed for the party, but added that it was equally important for the party to open its doors to all Ghanaians so that they would come to terms with what social democracy was all about.

He dismissed the notion in certain quarters that the institute was meant to brainwash people.