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Opinions of Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

On broken Manifesto promises: Why NDC cannot claim sainthood

I have been reading with irreversible horror and puzzlement the opposition NDC operatives claim that the incumbent NPP government has failed, or failing to honour the 2016 Manifesto promises.

I recall Ex-President Mahama, in a desperate attempt to motivate his heart-wrenched followers during one of their unity health walks asserted: “the NDC is a party that do not tell lies. What we cannot do, we do not say we will do it and whatever we promise to do, truly, we deliver”

With all due respect, former President Mahama’s statement was destitute of honesty. I am pretty certain that not all Ghanaians suffer from chronic memory loss, and hence some of us can vividly recollect the NDC government’s previous unfulfilled Manifesto promises.

It is, indeed, quite irritating that an experienced politician, who is also a well-versed historian, would blatantly fail to recollect past events. Perhaps, more than anything else, former President Mahama was only trying to hoodwink the unsuspecting voters.

Clearly, it is unconscionable for anybody to expect a government that has been in power for approximately 15 months to honour all its Manifesto promises within such a short space of time. Honestly speaking, it is too short a time for any government to undo the mess left by the erstwhile NDC administration.

If my memory serves me right, it was Ex-President Mahama who once bizarrely claimed that they, (NDC government) had edaciously consumed all the meat on the bone. That was weird and uncharacteristic of a supposedly serious, committed and forward-thinking government.

Apparently former President Mahama was explaining Ghana’s unprecedented economic collapse as a result of mismanagement and rampant sleazes and corruption under his watch.

It is, therefore, extremely baffling to keep hearing and reading from the same people who wilfully collapsed the once thriving economy, shouting from the roof top about the supposedly slow pace of development barely 15 months of the NPP government assuming power.

How could individuals who revoltingly throw Ghana’s economy deeper and deeper into the mire turn around and accuse the NPP government of not turning things around quickly in barely 15 months into 48 months mandate?

In fact, it was the same x-President Mahama’s government that spent licentiously and above its means, and, in the process needlessly increased our total debt from GH9.5 billion in 2009 to GH122.4 billion as of December 2016.

This means that there was virtually no money left in the national purse for the incoming NPP government to fix the depressed economy within a shortest possible time.

It is, therefore, quite unreasonable for the minority NDC operatives to expect the NPP government to keep all its promises within a short space of time. After all, haven’t Ghanaians given Akufo-Addo’s government four years to deliver the Manifesto promises?

Well, the NDC faithful should rather commend the NPP government for taking prudent steps towards fixing the mess created by the erstwhile NDC administration. Indeed, despite all the economic mess left by the erstwhile Mahama’s coarse administration, the current NPP government under the able leadership of President Akufo-Addo has graciously implemented a number of social interventions with the view to closing the social mobility gap to the barest minimum.

There is no gainsaying the fact that since assuming power, Akufo-Addo’s government has taken estimable strides to improving the ever widening social mobility chasm through implementation of poverty reduction policies such as free SHS, one district one factory, one million dollars per constituency, tax and tariff reductions (ranging from 17.5% to 30% on electricity), a dam per village in the northern part of Ghana, among others.

It is also worth stressing that in spite of the huge economic mess created by the outgone NDC government amid stunted economic growth, Akufo-Addo’s government has efficiently raised the economic growth from a nauseating 3.5 per cent as of December 2016 to around 7.8 per cent within a short space of time.

It is absolutely true that upon taking office, the NPP government has dramatically reversed the inflation rate to a little over 11 per cent from a little over 15 per cent as of December 2016 (GSS 2017).

Clearly, President Akufo-Addo and his government are gallantly delivering on their Manifesto promises to the delight of the vast majority of Ghanaians.

Believe it or not, in the past, Ghanaians witnessed NDC government’s numerous broken Manifesto promises, but the one that will long be stencilled on the mental sheets of succeeding generations is the one-time NHIS premium. That Manifesto promise, so to speak, was destitute of honesty and integrity. So, who says that the NDC is an honest party that keeps its Manifesto promises?

It would be recalled that prior to the 2008 and 2012 general elections, Ex-President Mahama and his NDC made a number of Manifesto promises to Ghanaians. But as to whether they honoured all the promises, is a million dollar question.

Certainly, it goes without saying that the NDC solicited votes from Ghanaians, and, in exchange, they guaranteed everyone protection of life, property, provision of social amenities, better socio-economic standards of living and to a certain extent liberty.

Dearest reader, if you may recall, during the 2008 and 2012 general elections, the NDC gave a slew of Manifesto promises, including one-time NHIS premium, free SHS, ‘making dumsor a thing of the past, putting money in Ghanaians pocket, creating more jobs for the jobless, stabilising the economy, protecting Ghanaians from the menaces of galamsey and Fulani herdsmen, bringing an end to dubious judgement debt payments, fighting the rampant sleazes and corruption amongst others.

Regrettably, after giving all those juicy, albeit unrealistic promises with a view to deceiving Ghanaians for their mandate, the NDC government, as expected, woefully failed to honour the promises, and, as a consequence, a total of 55.6 per cent (44.4 for Mahama) of the electorates rightly voted them out of power in 2016.

In retrospect, the NDC government failed terribly to initiate expedient policies to overturn the failed policies of agriculture, poverty reduction and resource allocation in the areas of healthcare, education, finance, supply chain management and security sector planning, amongst others.

In sum, based on the preceding expositions, it would be somewhat disingenuous for anybody to claim that NDC is an honest party that honours its Manifesto promises at all times.

K. Badu, UK.