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Opinions of Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Columnist: Kojo Banfo

NPP and Bawumia’s agenda exposed: Volta tour empty

Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia

Another agenda by the NPP and Dr Mahamadu Bawumia to incite the public against residents of the Volta region has been exposed.

The party’s Youth Organizer, Sammy Awuku has gone public alleging attempts by government to scuttle NPP’s Vice Presidential candidate’s campaign tour of the region by instructing school heads to deny Dr. Bawumia the opportunity to address students.

But NDC activists in the region say they have picked signals of a grand agenda to create funny scenes, capture them on tape and use social media to create an impression that people in the region are hostile to the NPP. According to them, NPP’s strategy is to provoke public discussion which will obviously condemn what they will try to portray and thereby court public opinion against citizens from the governing NDC’s stronghold.

Last year, the NPP Vice-Presidential candidate stoked controversy during a presentation which alleged that names of over 76,000 Togolese had been clandestinely captured in Ghana’s biometric voters register.

The NPP alleged their evidence constituted only 10 percent of their investigations but have since failed to provide further documents to back their claim on illegal names captured in other parts of the country.

Dr. Bawumia who is playing a frontline role in NPP’s campaign has adopted a strategy to target needy institutions including basic schools, health posts in the places he will visit in the Volta region and make donations as a gesture of good things to come if his party wins the 2016 elections.

The NPP Running Mate is expected prosecute the same strategy in the Brong Ahafo Region if his itinerary is not changed and the focus will be on the cocoa sector.

Youth Organizer, Sammy Awuku claims government intends to scuttle the NPP’s promise to restore allowance for teacher trainees. He told Accra based CITY FM though they were denied access to the Dambai College of Education to address students, Dr Bawumia managed to speak to them on an open park. He also said Dr Bawumia won’t be able make a presentation at the Jasikan College of Education campus.

Interestingly, the Dr Bawumia and the NPP say the main message during the Volta region tour is to assure teacher and nurse trainees‘ allowance scrapped by the Mahama Administration will be restored.

If this is just the message, students are well aware of NPP’s promise which has been echoed and re-echoed by party activists and recently by Nana Akufo-Addo when he presented his ‘True State of the Nation Address’. If this is the main message, the students are well aware.

But why is the NPP focusing on training colleges when it can simply visit the markets and towns where a greater chunk of the electorates are, where no one can block them? Could it be because they lack a biting campaign message and are trying to cook up something to feed on?

Why are Dr Bawumia and his campaign team always targeting the Volta Region? Was his absence at training colleges in other regions he has toured deliberate? Was he prevented? Or it is simply another attempt to attract national attention because it is s becoming obvious their strategy so far isn’t working.

Last month, a well-choreographed plan seem to have worked when his agents used social media to publicize the case at Kperisi M.A. Primary School in the Wa Municipality of the Upper West Region and his promise to donate 500 desks.

NDC Regional Executives abhor this dirty trick which won’t make any impact because the people of the region and Ghanaians in general are very discerning. The NDC is proud of government’s achievements in the education sector is ready to debate the NPP on the sector.

The strategy to stoke sensationalism has been exposed and the intention to exploit the fall in cocoa production which is largely because of a natural phenomenon, the EL Nino effect, averaged trees among others. But government has already announced a comprehensive initiative to distribute over 60million hybrid cocoa seedlings free of charge across the country for planting this season.

Besides the mass spraying exercise, the fertilizer subsidy programme has been expanded while a special taskforce has been established to curb smuggling. In October last year, President John Mahama cut sod for work to begin on the rehabilitation and construction of new cocoa roads. The three billion cedi project forms part of phase one of the project which spans a period of five years

Among the roads which been rehabilitated under this phase in the Western Region are:

Reconstruction of Benchima Junction - Oseikojokrom Road:

•Reconstruction of Prestea - Samreboi Road
•Reconstruction of Anyinabirem - Sui- Bodi Road
•Reconstruction of Akontombra - Bodi – Juaboso Road
•Reconstruction of Akontombra - Sefwi Wiawso Road
•Reconstruction of Enchi - Dadieso Road
•Reconstruction of Daboase - Atieku Road
•Reconstruction of Juaboso - Dadieso Road
•Reconstruction of Anto Dompem - Daboase Road
•Reconstruction of Edwenase - Atobiase Road
•Reconstruction of Sefwi Wiawso /Asawinso Town Roads
•Reconstruction of Daboase Town Roads

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