General News of Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Accra, July 15, GNA - Dr. Edward Nasigrie Mahama, flag bearer of the People's National Convention (PNC), on Tuesday said opposition political parties were not intimidated by the "bought" record crowd at the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) rally at Kasoa last Sunday.
"The Kasoa rally was intended to use the crowd to intimidate, confuse and deceive the electorate and opposition political parties, but fortunately the NPP strategists failed to recognize that the Ghanaian electorate have become more sophisticated and were not perturbed by the crowd," the PNC leader told the Ghana News Agency in an interview.
Dr. Mahama said the rally had strengthened PNC supporters to be resolute and exposed the deceptive politicking of leading members of the NPP in attempt to win the December general polls.
"We must all be vigilant, police the electoral process, and counter all the deceptions of the NPP.. They have failed to fulfil almost all the electoral promises they offered Ghanaians both in 2000 and 2004 elections.the electorate have been deceived for far too long, Ghanaians need a real change; selfless leaders."
The PNC leader challenged the NPP flag bearer to tell Ghanaians, especially the people of the north how he intended to bridge the widening gap between the North and the South to foster true national unity.
Dr Mahama said over the past seven years, the NPP Government of which Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was a key member, had contributed to widen the north/south gap, adding that, "all the Presidential Initiatives for the north had failed".
He said the NPP Government during Nana Akufo-Addo's tenure as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General mismanaged the Yendi crisis by failing to prosecute the murderers of Ya Na Yakubu Andani and about 30 others.
"Lack of justice in Yendi, particularly when Nana Akufo-Addo was the Attorney General is a weakness," Dr Mahama said, and challenged the Government to first resolve the Yendi crisis by separating the criminal aspect from the traditional system. The criminal aspects rest with the NPP Government, he said.
NPP flag bearer was quoted to have said: "I am always saddened when comparisons are made to relegate the north to the background when in actual fact we are all Ghanaians and my government when given the mandate, will ensure that the north and south would enjoy equal opportunities."
This, Dr Mahama said, was political gimmick to impress the electorate in the north and win their votes. "Nana (Akufo-Addo) should admit that his government failed the people of the north and their policies and programmes have largely contributed to widening the gap. On reports that Nana Akufo-Addo pledged one billion dollars for Northern Development Fund as seed capital to cater for infrastructural development, Dr Mahama challenged the NPP flag bearer to state how he intended to raise the money.
"Nana Akufo-Addo must tell us the specifics, the source of the one billion cedis, how soon he would release the money and why the NPP government failed to invest such an amount into the Fund." Dr Mahama said the PNC would continue to be honest in dealing with issues that would strengthen the democratic process in our nation, make Ghana increasingly self-reliant and rid the people of the dilemma of a very wealthy country in which an increasing majority was getting systematically poorer and poorer.
He also challenged other flag bearers and their campaign teams to stick to issues that the people can monitor in relation to improvements in their material well being.
"There is far too much deception, such as the highly dishonest pre-election vote-getting strategies of the government initiating road works, extension of electricity and water supply systems that are later abandoned after elections, thereby creating much greater inconvenience to the public and frustrating contractors who spend several months chasing payments owed them," he said.
Dr Mahama therefore urged the electorate to vote for PNC to ensure that Ghanaians experience real change for improvement in the living standards. 15 July 08