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General News of Thursday, 8 May 2008

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NPP's Response To NDC

NPP’S Initial Response To Statements Made By Ndc At Campaign Launch

7th May, 2008:- Today, at the launch of the NDC Campaign, John Dramani Mahama, the running mate of Professor Mills, asked Ghanaians to reject a comparison of records of the NPP and the (P)NDC in government as a basis for deciding which party to vote for. The big question is this: why is the NDC running away from its own record of performance? The NDC is rejecting comparison because they know it will show clearly that the NPP is by far the better choice.

Today, the party that former PNDC Chairman Jerry John Rawlings conceived and created in his own image, the National Democratic Congress, carried out the most impressive exercise in political cosmetics ever witnessed in our history. They asserted their ‘newness’ without saying anything new or different.

Ahead of this exercise, the NDC spokespersons worked hard to create the impression that the NDC is no longer the party of its Founder, Rawlings. That assertion flies in the face of the NDC Constitution that asserts that the NDC is founded on the values and principles of President Rawlings. We wish the party well in its ultimately futile struggle to free itself from the clutches of Mr Rawlings, who will forever embody that party. It is ironic that this meeting designed to demonstrate unity in the ranks of the NDC was missed by the party’s founder, former President Rawlings. We are all well aware that this continues the charade of Prof Mills standing up to former President Rawlings.

They introduced their Vice-Presidential nominee, John Mahama. We have previously congratulated Honourable John Mahama and welcomed him to the debate about the great issues confronting our country. He certainly has been greeted by his party with a level of enthusiasm normally reserved for the Presidential candidate. While some in his party, like the former first lady, Mrs Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings have concerns about his decisiveness as a leader, we shall focus, in this campaign, on his public roles as a Member of Parliament, Minister and member, together with Professor John Atta Mills, of our Economic Management team. Professor Mills and John Mahama were in charge when the NDC mismanaged our economy from 1997 to 2001. No amount of new packaging will change that old fact. Not even John Mahama’s claim that this period showed Prof Mills’ “sheer brilliance in finding imaginative solutions” can hide their collective incompetence and failure. In effect, he was promising Ghanaians more of the same if they were to return to power.

While, we accept that in nominal terms Ghana contracted a total international loan stock of US$10.004 billion between 1960 and 2000, the (P)NDC should also accept that US$8.108 billion of this was contracted under their rule; not to mention the amount of grants and receipts from divestiture of state-owned enterprises, including Ashanti Goldfieds.

Loans are as good as the use to which you put them to. In 2007 alone, the NPP government contracted US1.4 billion. US$750 million of this was from the international money market and US On their change in themes, it appears that the NDC is talking about newness while standing immovably by their old record of economic mismanagement and human rights abuses. They touted their left-of-centre credentials even while defending their vote against the National Health Insurance Scheme that stands between more than 9 million Ghanaians and the uncertainties of the“ CASH AND CARRY” system the NPP inherited. We were for NHIS because we are a compassionate party and they were against it because of political opportunism. Changing from “ I CARE FOR YOU” to something else will not add one more person to the rolls of the NHIS or help one more child to benefit from the SCHOOL FEEDING programme. Today Prof Mills accuses us of the politics of polarisation and of using power as a hammer when in fact; the (P) NDC has been the most polarising and vindictive administration in our history.

It was under the (P) NDC that the three judges of the High court and a retired Major were murdered and many journalists were jailed.

They promised to offer the right kind of leadership yet they failed this country with the same leadership they have repackaged and are offering to Ghanaians under the guise of newness.

They pledged to get to the bottom of chieftaincy disputes and conflicts and find lasting solutions when all they did was exacerbate these conflicts in their twenty years in government .

The party of Ms Cotton, SCANCEM and Gulfstream wondered what happened to “ zero-tolerance” when there have been the public procurement and financial management laws together with unprecedented timely, public hearings by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament under the NPP.

They pledged themselves to a CLEAN CAMPAIGN OF ISSUES even while their trashy tabloids engage in the politics of rumours and personal destruction. It would seem the old P)NDC habits of promising Ghanaians one thing while doing something else is still alive and well.

They cannot call for a clean campaign while engaged in dirty campaigning. Let their deeds match their fine words.

They reject comparison of records in government and equate that to mediocrity while offering no basis for the people of Ghana to pick the best option available to them. If the people cannot compare the records of our two parties in government, our vision and the competence of our leaders, what can they compare? They fear this comparison because it will expose their incompetence for all to see.

In short instead of holding themselves accountable for their deeds and misdeeds, they are asking the people of Ghana and God for forgiveness while insisting that they have no need to show remorse and repentance.

It takes breathtaking audacity to present the NDC to Ghanaians as “new” even while touting the same old discredited policies and personalities of yesteryears. The apketeshie bottle may be new but it still contains the same old hard and harsh liquor.

In a direct contradiction to the image of newness the NDC is trying to project, they ended on the theme of “ SANKOFA”, urging Ghanaians to go BACK to the NDC.

As a nation, we need to go forward, not sideways or backwards. Ye ko yenim!! Finally, while looking forward to an exciting campaign, we believe that whether they are led by John Rawlings the founder, John Mills the follower or John Mahama the saviour, their value is the same. The people of Ghana know a new party when they see it. This is no new party.


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