General News of Monday, 3 September 2012

Source: myjoyonline

Statement: Gov’t reacts to Akufo-Addo’s “lies”

Government has become aware of a litany of dubious claims and false accusations that the New Patriotic Party has leveled against us in its 2012 Manifesto.

Writing under his signature, Nana Akufo-Addo the NPP Flag bearer described this government as having been characterized by “failed policies and personalities of the NDC administration that have brought hardship and poverty.”

In the NPP Chairman’s remarks, Mr. Jacob Obetsebi Lamptey claims that “what we have witnessed under the four years of the Mills-Mahama administration is an unprecedented period of squandered opportunities under a weak, corrupt and incompetent leadership.”

Government has a right to self defense in the face of these baseless attacks.

Despite these unsubstantiated attacks and vilification from desperate NPP leaders who intend to come back to power “at all cost” and through a violently apocalyptic “all-die-be die” strategy espoused by their Flag bearer Nana Akufo-Addo, we take consolation in the fact that Ghanaians are the best judges and know who are the real corrupt and incompetent leaders.

Ghanaians know that no NDC Minister of State has bought his official bungalow attempting to deprive other public servants forever. Ghanaians know that prime Ga lands in Airport, Cantonments and Ridge have not been looted and shared among NDC leaders for a song as happened under the NPP. Ghanaians know that our Speaker of Parliament has not raided her official residence and stripped it bear. Ghanaians know that the scourge of narcotic drugs and marauding drug barons who held this country hostage is no more.

Ghanaians know that a government that inherits a tottering economy described by the World Bank at the end of the NPP tenure in the most unflattering terms cannot be described as incompetent when this same government has turned the economy around by recording Ghana’s fastest and biggest GDP growth rate of 14.4% which was a world record, by putting more money in the pockets of Ghanaian workers due to the implementation of the Single Spine Pay Policy which has seen the wage bill go up from 2.9 billion cedis to 6 billion cedis and by bringing down inflation from 18% to sustained single digit of more than two years.

Ghanaians have experienced the Better Ghana work for them as Cocoa production hit one million metric tons with the Cocoa farmer receiving the best ever returns in the history of our country. The Better Ghana continues to work with the establishment of two additional public universities in the Volta and Brong Ahafo Regions both of which have began admissions, construction of thousands of schools aimed at correcting the NPP’s legacy of over 4,000 schools which were held under trees, provision of 66,000 computers, renovation of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, the construction of new hospitals across the country, the expansion of electricity to 1,700 communities just to mention but a few.

We are not surprised that the NPP Manifesto Promises themselves further expose the true nature of the leaders of the NPP and how they take Ghanaians for granted. Unfortunately for the NPP, Lies and deceit have a way of catching up with those who dabble in it and we shall in the next pages show how Nana Akufo-Addo has been caught in his own web of lies and deceit.

Nana Akufo-Addo has hinged his entire so-called transformation agenda on free Senior High School. When Akufo-Addo took his turn at the IEA Encounter, he told Ghanaians “We know how to fund it. A percentage of the oil revenues allocated to the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC), and for the funding of the budget, as well as a greater percentage from GETFund, will be used to finance the programme.”

Perhaps Akufo-Addo thinks Ghanaians have forgotten that at the first Liberty Lecture delivered on 31ST August, 2011, he had stated emphatically, “I am proposing the establishment of the Economic Development Authority. The EDA's mission will be to create for Ghana, sustainable economic growth with vibrant businesses and good job opportunities. The Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Minerals Commission, Free zones Board, Ghana Export Promotion Council, and Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) will all need to be merged into the EDA. The EDA will develop a Local Content Policy to facilitate the greater participation of Ghanaians in the general scope of the economy.”

As Akufo-Addo went on his promising spree, he may have thought Ghanaians had forgotten that he had promised that in the unlikely event of his Presidency, the GNPC would seize to exist as it would have been merged with others into what he termed an Economic Development Authority (EDA). What really is going on here? Is Nana Addo telling Ghanaians today within a space of one year in the same campaign cycle that a “non-existent” GNPC oil revenue share will be used to finance his free SHS? Or has Nana Addo abandoned those promises he made to Ghanaians at the Liberty Lecture? What thought processes go into the promises Nana Addo throws at Ghanaians? Can Nana Addo be trusted with his promises? What does the Nana Akufo-Addo take the people of Ghana for?

At this same Liberty Lecture, Akufo-Addo promised “In addition, we would make sure all major secondary and tertiary institutions have free access to wireless internet, not because it is in the interest of the students and teachers, but it is in our collective national interest.” Again, this major promise disappears from the NPP 2012 manifesto. What game is the NPP playing with Ghanaians?

As if to add more insult to injury, the NPP 2012 manifesto runs away from the figures Akufo-Addo put out at the IEA Evening Encounter on the 21st of August, 2012 save to say that the free SHS will cost an “additional 1% of Ghana’s income.” What happened to the 78 million Cedis Mr. Akufo-Addo put out earlier? Is it because Ghanaians have exposed its falsity? So in addition to the haziness of one of Nana Addo’s major funding source – the GNPC, leaving the free SHS promise without a foundation, there is the issue of either voodoo mathematics or naked deception. At 78 million cedis divided by the existing SHS student population of 720,000, Akufo-Addo intends to spend a wickedly paltry 36 Cedis a term per Student. This 36 Cedis per term we are told on Page 23 of the NPP’s 2012 manifesto will cater for Tuition, Admission, Textbook, Library, Science Centre, Computer, Examination, Utilities, Boarding and Meals. What an insult to Ghanaians? The NPP must certainly think very lowly of Ghanaians.

Already, at an average expenditure of 300 Cedis per term on one SHS student, government is concerned about quality and putting in place measures such as expanding infrastructure, renovating and re-equipping of Science Resource Centres, provision of free laptop computers and Mathematics, Science and Technology Scholarships(MASTESS) to address the challenge. Nana Akufo-Addo needs to answer the question whether he will enroll his child in a 36 Cedis a term Senior High School where that 36 Cedis covers Tuition, Admission, Textbook, Library, Science Centre, Computer, Examination, Utilities, Boarding and Meals. Indeed, it will be interesting to know where in this world Nana Addo’s computers he is promising each student will be sold for even the entire 36 Cedis.

Apart from the frightening sincerity and reliability deficit that Nana Addo’s promises suffer from, there is also the shameful attempt at reproducing old promises sometimes in different cloaks without any modicum of respect of the Ghanaian people by at least explaining why these same promises made under the NPP’s 2000 and 2004 Manifestos were not kept in their eight year stay in power. Here too, a few examples of this strand of deceitful politics will suffice:

On page 15 of the NPP’s 2000 Manifesto, the NPP promised the “modernization and extension of railway network. Connection to the Northern Regions within the next decade.” Having failed to add even an inch of rail line by 2004, the NPP made an even more grandiose promise in their 2004 Manifesto when it stated on page 25 that “Preparatory work towards the expansion project to link Ghana by rail to its northern neigbours of Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali.” As if Ghanaians are zombies, the NPP is back again on Page 58 of its 2012 manifesto promising another imaginary link of the North and the South by rail. Similarly, the NPP promised at page 20 of its 2000 Manifesto that “slums shall be replaced with “apartment houses” with modern conveniences, which will be cost-effective and environmentally friendly.” Having woefully failed for eight years to pay attention to the Zongos, the same promise has been disguised on Page 67 of the 2012 manifesto as a Zongo and Inner City Re-Development Fund “to target basic community infrastructure” Does the NPP think Ghanaians leaving in the Zongos have such terrible short memory?

The lies become so identical that the pages on which they come in different NPP manifestos begin to coincide. At Page 31 of the NPP’s 2000 manifesto, the NPP writes: “NPP government will ensure that at least a community health nurse is located in every hamlet of the country” Then also at Page 31 of the NPP’s 2012 manifesto, the NPP writes: “We will ensure that every deprived community will have a Community Nurse.” Obviously, if this promise had been fulfilled in 2000, there will be no need promising it again.

It is still worthy of note that whereas the NPP attempts to take a leaf from the NDC’s record when it constructed three modern hospitals in the regional capitals of the Central, Brong Ahafo and Volta regions and has now fully renovated the Tamale Teaching Hospital by promising on page 31 of its 2012 manifesto that it will work with the private sector to construct three more first class hospitals; here too one cannot trust the NPP when it failed to keep to its 2004 Manifesto promise on page 33 of constructing a Regional Hospital in Wa in the Upper West Region. If we cannot trust you to construct only ONE, how can we trust you to construct THREE?

It is obvious that Nana Addo is choking on his many promises as they come to haunt him. For the NPP, they write manifestos to break and not to keep. This is the only way to explain how it is possible for more than 80% of the NPP’s 2000 and 2004 Manifesto promises to remain unfulfilled.

It is dangerous and embarrassing to the present and the future of our politics as the NPP continues on this lying and deceitful brand of politics. Only recently on Friday the 24th of August, 2012, the NPP Chairman Mr. Jacob Otanka Obetsebi Lamptey speaking on an Accra Radio station in defense of the NPP’s eight year stay in power between 2001 and 2008 stated that “it will be impossible to transform a nation within eight years.” “You cannot transform [an economy] in eight years.

We will not transform a whole nation, a whole economy in eight years.” Regardless of this open admission by the NPP Chairman, he and his Flagbearer have proceeded to launch their 2012 manifesto which is for an even shorter duration thus a four year mandate and yet they are promising to transform Ghana in four years. Their manifesto which is themed “Transforming Lives, Transforming Ghana” must definitely help in reminding us of the true nature of the NPP and what they take Ghanaians for.

For us in the NDC, the story is different, we keep our promises and our promises don’t evaporate over time. When it is that we face challenges in implementing our promises, we are forthright and respectful to Ghanaians in explaining why and not hope that Ghanaians will forget the promises we have made to them.

President John Evans Atta Mills was a man of his word. President John Mahama for more than 16years in public office has carved a reputation as a man who delivers on his word. He will think through his promises before he makes them and when he has made them, he keeps faith with the good people of this great nation. It is for this reason that it was not surprising that an overwhelming historic 99.5% of NDC delegates have recently testified to his trustworthiness. When Ghanaians listen to President John Mahama in a few hours from now about the future of our nation, they know that unlike Nana Akufo-Addo they can count on what he says.

Signed: Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa