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Opinions of Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Columnist: Appiah-Osei, Lawrence

“Nana Akuffo-Addo is a Confused Man” Really?

At the just ended Institute for Economic Affairs (IEA) Presidential Debate, President John Mahama suggested that the Presidential Candidate for the NPP, Nana Akuffo-Addo was a confused man when it came to the recommendation by the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) on the National Development Planning Commission. (NDPC) But is Nana really confused?

You see, the four Presidential candidates who took part in the debate were asked what they would do to make the NDPC more effective in the face of a recommendation by the Constitution Review Commission, so that the plans of the NDP are entrenched and binding on successive governments. In other words, the IEA debate was asking the Presidential Candidates what they would do, as President, to ensure that the NPDC is non-partisan, independent, and free from pressure from any political party. The IEA question sought to ask the Presidential candidates to give Ghanaians the assurance that the NDPC would have the same independence as the Electoral Commission or the Statistical Service.
This is where Nana Akuffo-Addo gave an answer that was very frightening. Nana said the NDPC needs a proper high level of leadership and that he hopes to make his Vice President the head of the NDPC. He argued that by making his Vice the head of the NDPC, it will give the NDPC that political leadership it requires. Did Nana not understand the question? Or he just doesn’t know what the NDPC does? If someone suggested that Nana was confused, was the person right or wrong? Just imagine the Vice President being the head of the Electoral Commission. Was what Nana Akuffo-Addo trying to tell Ghanaians? Nana is really a confused man.
Currently, the head of the NDPC is Mr. P.V. Obeng, an NDC man. So the CRC in its wisdom has come to realize that, if the NDPC is headed by a political figure like P.V. Obeng and the likes, projects of the immediate past governments suffer. This is why it is recommending that the plans of the NDP are entrenched and binding on successive governments. The CRC wants to take the running of the NDPC from political parties and make it independent and successful. Now Nana is suggesting that P.V. Obeng is a low political figure and so he will let a higher political figure like Dr. Bawumia head the commission. Nana please, one more time, you got it all wrong. You got the solution up-side-down.
My worry is if Nana got this basic question wrong, how could he get the implementation of the Free Senior School Education right? If Nana got the recommendation of the CRC that wrong, how could he get the implementation of the Free Health Care Insurance for the under eighteen years right? If Nana is so confused, why would he not promise free housing for the ‘kayayei” These are my worries and I believe they should be the worries of any smart Ghanaian as well not those who are ignorant. Nana wants to be the President of Ghana but he doesn’t even know how the NDPC operates, let alone who should head it.
Most of us know that the Constitutional provision that the President should choose 50% of his or her Ministers from Parliament is worrisome. The CRC is in the position to recommend that, that provision should be taken out of the constitution. The answer Nana gave to the NDPC question seems to suggest that when he is elected President, because he would want the Ministries to have the “higher political leadership” they require, he would choose 60% of his Ministers from Parliament. Is Nana trying to solve problems of Ghanaians or he is just adding to them? I tell you, this is the whole idea of the NPP Presidential Candidate and the NPP Manifesto. They add to Ghanaian problems instead of solving them. The solutions they have are either backward or up-side-down, and is that the way forward for Ghana?
On December 7, 2012 you will have the opportunity to vote for a confused man or a clear-minded man; you will have the opportunity to vote for a party that adds to problems or a party that solves problem; you will have the opportunity to vote for a worse Ghana or a Better Ghana. The choice is for you to make with your one vote. Don’t miss this golden opportunity. Ghana is not looking for a Free Leader. Ghana is looking for a Quality Leader. Vote for President John Mahama and the NDC for Jobs, Stability, Development, and a Better Ghana.
“The NPP left a big mess for the NDC. They think the NDC is not cleaning it fast enough and so they want to come back and continue with the same mess. Ghana is not going back again. Ghana is moving forward”

Lawrence Appiah-Osei
NDC USA Finance Secretary