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Politics of Monday, 25 October 2004

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'Property- Grabbing Democracy' Of NPP Condemned

Accra, Oct 25, Graphic -- The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Professor John Evans Atta Mills, has comdemned the property-owning democracy being practised by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government which he said sought to enrich a few privileged people in the country and impoverish the rest of the citizenry.

He said the NDC, as a social democratic party, if voted into power, would introduce human-centred policies that would not discriminate against any section of the society. Prof Mills made these assertions at separate durbars at Goka and Badu in the newly-created Jaman North and Tain districts, as well as at New Longoro in the Kintampo North District on his two-day campaign tour of the Brong Ahafo Region at the weekend.

Prof Mills said the four years of the Kufuor administration had only brought untold hardship to Ghanaians, saying that a majority of the populace were living in misery and poverty.He stated that most Ghanaians could not pay the school fees of their children and wards and utility tariffs because of the astronomical increases and promised that an NDC government would initiate programmes and policies which would take them out of the current economic predicament.

Prof Mills was emphatic that life under the NDC regime was far better and humane than the NPP government and, therefore, called on Ghanaians to reject the NPP at the December polls for failing to deliver on its numerous campaign promises.Prof Mills, who inaugurated a constituency office for the party at Goka, told the people that it was God who allowed the NPP to win the 2000 elections to enable Ghanaians to know the difference between the NDC and the NPP governments.

"Now Ghanaians have seen the difference and, come December, the NPP will be voted out of power," he said. Nii Lante Vanderpuye,the Press Secretary and former NDC aspiring parliamentary candidate for the Odododiodioo Constituency in Accra,the Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman of the party and NDC parliamentary candidate for Asutifi South, Alhaji Collins Dauda, Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah, NDC MP for Wenchi West,now Tain Constituency, and Col E.

K. T. Donkor (retd), a former Minister of Defence, accompanied Prof Mills on his tour.Prof Mills made a stop-over at the Seikwa Market to address traders and market women.At Badu, Prof Mills, Mr Asiedu-Nketiah, Colonel Donkor and Alhaji Dauda defied a heavy a downpour and took turns to address the chiefs and people of the area at a durbar.

Prof Mills, in his address, called on Ghanaians to support any of the political parties that would emerge victorious in the December elections to move the country forward. But he was quick to add that the winning party would be the NDC."The NDC is poised to march to the Castle, come January 7, 2005 and the NPP must begin to pack bag and baggage," he said.

Earlier in his welcoming address, Nana Asare Boakye III, the acting President of the Badu Traditional Council, thanked Prof Mills for his visit and called for peaceful, free and fair elections.At New Longoro, the large crowd that had gathered gave Prof Mills and his entourage a rousing welcome.

Prof Mills told the people that when the NPP was in opposition, it accused the NDC of being corrupt, arguing that according to the corruption index report issued by Transpency International, Ghana scored 3.6 per cent under the NPP government.He stressed that President Kufuor had lost the word ?corruption? in his vocabulary because his administration had been engulfed in it.

He pledged that the NDC was committed to peaceful, transparent, free and fair elections and called on the other political parties to do the same. Prof Mills, however, called on the NPP to be bold enough to hand over power to the NDC if the party won the December 7 general election, as the NDC did when it lost power in 2000.

He urged party supporters to remain resolute in the face of provocations from their political opponents and campaign effectively to enable the party to achieve its ambition of winning the election.In a related development, Prof Mills on Saturday arrived in Tamale to embark on a campaign tour of some parts of the Northern Region.

His arrival in the metropolis was, however, without any fanfare as a result of the ban imposed on political party activities and radio discussions on politics in the area following the tension that ensued over the shooting to death of 14-year-old Master Mohammed Amin a couple of weeks ago.

Professor Mills began his tour yesterday in some towns in the Central and West Gonja districts, where he interacted with the chiefs and people in the area to appeal to them to vote back the NDC to power.Earlier in an interview with the press in Tamale, the NDC presidential candidate observed that the condition of life of the people had deteriorated within the four-year rule of the NPP government.

He said the common message of the people at all the places he had visited was their inability to make ends meet and the harassment and victimisation of innocent people by NPP members and government functionaries.Professors Mills assured the people of the north that if voted back to power, the NDC government would continue with its development agenda for the area that had been put on hold since the NPP took the reins of power.

Professor Mills entreated the people of Dagbon to strive for sustainable peace in the area and also exercise maximum restraint in the face of any provocation.