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Opinions of Saturday, 27 September 2008

Columnist: Amankwah, Nana Kofi

Akufo Addo Is Making An Empty Promises

As far as I and many other Ghanaians are concerned, the nomination of Akufo Addo for President by NPP national organizer Lord Commey and the national chairman Peter Mac Manu along with the selection of Akufo Addo at the NPP national delegate conference at the University of Ghana Legon was a huge mistake. This gaffe has impacted UP tradition significantly. Akufo Addo, Dan Kwaku Botwe and their cronies who act like the NPP exists for their own benefit will soon pay a heavy price.

As the saying goes, “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Akufo Addo, who has no political record to run on, has the audacity to make ridiculous promises he cannot keep. Ghanaians are not stupid enough to believe his meaningless rhetoric such as his claim that if he is elected he will make high school education free. He has not yet explained to Ghanaians how he is going to pay for it. Ghanaians are not sycophants who will listen to someone like Akufo Addo who was selected but not elected as their party nominee. This egocentric, arrogant politician, who has already assembled some criminals around him to run our country, thinks he can rely on imminent oil revenues and continue to lie to Ghanaians. What has come to mind recently is Akufo Addo’s crunch flip-flop on education proposals, which many Ghanaians with economic knowledge see as a political joke. For instance, the New York City budget for public education alone is over $15.3 billion a year. The city has over 1.3 million students, and spends over $10,000 per student per year. This is not including the New York state school budget, and is without the cost of boarding houses for high school students. Ghana’s economy is not strong enough to finance the entire educational program, which would require the government pay good remuneration for teachers and support programs for senior high schools across the country.

Ghanaians cannot be fooled by this Akufo Addo, who has no vision and no new economic ideas to move our nation forward. Currently, the nation is being governed with combinations of fiscal and macro economic policies that have helped banks to become richer than the average Ghanaian, due to the high interest rates the banks have imposed on ordinary citizens. The bank of Ghana sells the principle rate to private banks at the cost of 17% to 22% interest, and in turn, banks sell to consumers at over 30% interest rates. A nation like Ghana, that cannot balance its current account system, simply will not have funds to make high school education free. Instead of founding education, Akufo Addo should explain how he would reduce the interest rate to single digits to help small businesses and middle-class families. This is not his responsibility but to prescribe a voodoo economics that will never have any impact on the nation’s economic progress. After spending all this summer in Ghana and conducting my own investigation on the economic situation, Ghanaians should not swallow lies from Akufo Addo, who acts as if the nation owns him the presidency. His behavior has resulted in many Ghanaians deciding not to vote. They see no reason to vote under the conditions they are in. I urge all UP traditional members not to vote on their emotions but to use their common sense. Akufo Addo and his uncle William Ofori Attah used their UNC 18% nation wide vote to support CPP/ PNP in the 1979 election against UP traditional party PFP. We all should focus on keeping Akufo Addo’s unsavory assertions in check.

From; Nana Kofi Amankwah (New York)