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Opinions of Monday, 14 September 2020

Columnist: TT Caternor

Manifesto plagiarism: Akufo-Addo scores an own goal in in quest to revise NPP manifesto

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

I am a Citizen.

I am the son of a gong-gong beater.

On the 22nd day of August 2020 the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) hastily launched their manifesto titled LEADERSHIP OF SERVICE: PROTECTING OUR PROGRESS, TRANSFORMING GHANA FOR ALL. Soon thereafter, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) also launched their manifesto on 8th September 2020, titled the PEOPLE'S MANIFESTO: JOBS AND PROSPERITY.

Whereas the NPP assembled Technocrats and Experts to put together their manifesto, the NDC travelled the length and breadth of the country to engage the citizenry and to collect and collate their views, concerns and aspirations of the average Ghanaian as the primary inputs for the NDC’s People’s Manifesto.

As a matter of fact, the NDC Flagbearer, former President John Dramani Mahama, has always been a pacesetter and a step ahead of his opponents currently in government on all matters pertaining to political leadership and stewardship of the country, good political governance and equitable development of Ghana.

It is widely accepted in Ghanaian circles that the electoral loss of the NDC to the NPP in the 2016 general election was by divine providence and God's own way of intentionally punishing NDC to expose to the Ghanaian public the true character of the loud, empty and shallow NPP; Ghana’s nemesis and enemy of progress, the enemy within, and the most corrupt and competently incompetent political party that ever existed in the annals of Ghana’s post-independence history.

Firstly, the NPP goaded John Mahama to name his Running Mate, and when Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang was outdoored as John Mahama’s running mate, the bewildered NPP suddenly gasped for breathe and became spellbound and dumbfounded.

Secondly, the NPP in frenzied bouts as if possessed by some malevolent spirits feverishly asked NDC to release their 2020 election manifesto. When NDC finally launched their 2020 People’s Manifesto, NPP suddenly became dazed and mesmerized, and were found wanting. But voila! The empty competently incompetent NPP have embarked on a wild goose chase and have unashamedly started looking for every opportunity to implement some of the policy initiatives captured in the People’s Manifesto of the NDC.

In the first quarter of this year 2020, the whole world was exposed to the Covid-19 pandemic and smarter and wiser countries began to think about the health and welfare of their citizens and their survival. As such it became a battle of superior public health policies that will inure to the benefit the average Ghanaian.

John Mahama an accomplished transformational leader boldly seized the initiative to offer leadership guidance and direction, and in his usual unselfish manner freely offered suggestions and policy directions during his virtual Facebook Live public encounters with Ghanaians when parts of Ghana namely: the “Greater Accra” and “Greater Kumasi” were on lockdown for 3 weeks.

John Mahama during this period also marshalled resources to present needed relief items and food to vulnerable Ghanaians who were struggling to feed and sustain themselves during the lockdown period, and also donated PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment’s) to frontline health personnel across the country who were struggling to cope with Ghana’s then rising Covid-19 national case load tally.

John Mahama always thinks outside the box and went on to suggest that because potable water was a lifesaving essential commodity in these times of Covid-19 the government must ensure reliable cheap water supply to the citizenry. Nana Akufo-Addo’s NPP government quickly lurched on John Mahama’s advice and hurriedly announced that government was going to subsidize and give everyone free water.

Again when John Mahama also suggested that free electricity was the way to go since everyone was on lockdown and staying at home, Nana Akufo-Addo quickly announced 50% electricity tariff reduction as government subsidy on electricity. For John Mahama and NDCs it was not a question of seeking to claim recognition and publicity in a time of adversity, but rather a concerted effort to proffer solutions and prod the all-knowing and haughty NPP to act in the best interests of Ghanaians in a time of adversity.

John Mahama also went on to suggest that since everyone was now staying at home, telephone (voice calls) and internet data usage was on a high side and as such there was the urgent need to reduce the Communication Service Tax (CST) on voice and data usage. The insensitive Nana Akufo-Addo led NPP administration had hitherto already increased CST from 5% to 9% which had become a burden on consumers. As soon as Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP heard the suggestion from John Mahama to reduce CST they quickly implemented the suggestion and reduced CST.

The policy suggestions proffered by John Mahama that are quickly implemented by Nana Akufo-Addo and his NPP administration amounts to scoring an own goal on the part of an NPP government in power that lacks ideas and is taking directions and policies from NDC a party now in opposition and whom they (NPP) when in opposition tagged as incompetent.

The NDC tactically delayed the launch of the People’s manifesto because they knew very well that the NPP was waiting to copy from the NDC manifesto and thereby “steal” NDC’s manifesto policies, and brand these policies as their own with lofty slogans and sloganeering campaigns as they did in 2016 with such policies as “Planting for Food and Jobs.” Here again history would have repeated itself.

The NPP are jumping like kangaroos “stealing” policies from NDC manifestos and are in a hurry to implement these policies in extra time of their term in office.

John Mahama promised in his 2020 manifesto to abolish the ban on the Importation of Salvaged Cars, Nana Addo has quickly suspended the Ban.

John Mahama promised to legalise and regulate Okada business, Nana Addo is considering legalising it. The NPP Communication Director, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah and Transport Minister, Kwasi Ofori Asiamah have spoken about their considerations and possible implementation.

John Mahama promised to cancel the Teacher's licensure examination, Nana Addo has just suspended this year's licensure examination.

John Mahama promised to expand access to Legal Education and also pay Assembly Members and here too NPP is again jumping like kangaroos and stealing policies.

In the coming days, we are expecting more stealing of NDC policies by NPP from the People’s Manifesto

So tell me which manifesto is dictating the pace? Tell me who's acting jittery? Tell me who's acting desperately? Tell me which manifesto is superior in content and is more focused and human centred?

Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP have displayed their great super incompetence to Ghanaians and the whole world and have scored an own GOAL in Extra time when we have less than 90 days to the general elections. The average Ghanaian by now knows who to vote for.

Plagiarism hasn’t left the NPP corridors, it’s in their DNA and just as the Honourable Adongo said, if they stop their “Sakawa deals, he will start calling them Akyem Honourables”.

Same applies to the NDC manifesto: If NPP stop their PLAGIARISM of the NDC Manifesto, we will stop calling them INCOMPETENT and USELESS people in Government.

I remain the echoing voice of a village scribe and the son of a gong-gong beater.