The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has formally reacted to President Mahama’s recent tour of the Ashanti Region making promises to the people.
The opposition party contends that whilst some of the promises were outrageous, others were baseless and unfounded, and lends credence to the perception that the government of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) was only interested in lies and vague promises. The NPP also took on the President and his entourage for what, they said, was gross disrespect to Ashanti tradition and exhibition of arrogance to residents of the region.
At a press conference held at the newly-acquired regional office of the party, the Regional Secretary and the Head of the Communication team, Messrs. Samuel Pyne and Akwasi Kyei respectively, responded to numerous statements and promises made by the President during the official tour. They further took issues with the President for engaging in a campaign tour, under the guise of paying an official visit to the region.
According to them, the President’s three-day visit could best be described as a campaign trail, because his speeches at the various places he visited were full of puffery, empty promises and insinuations directed at political opponents, instead of addressing issues as the President of the country. They argued that the manner in which the President approached the region smacked of a leader who is clearly detached from the plight of his people, and blinded by the “milk and honey” conditions he and his appointees were enjoying at the expense of the taxpayer.
They claimed that apart from the fact that most of the addresses of the President were full of insinuations and innuendoes cast at his political opponents, coupled with the use of Daddy Lumba’s hit track “Yentie Obiaa”, President Mahama and his retinue exhibited gross disrespect to Ashanti custom by failing to abide by the rules on noise-making in the city. The NPP Rregional executives made reference to the President’s promise of free shoes for school children, questioning how the government would be able to fulfill that pledge, when the capacity of the so-called revived Shoe Factory could barely produce for the supply of the security agencies in the country.
The NPP said it was at a loss as to how the President could look in the face of the good people of Ghana and make such an empty promise, knowing very well that the Shoe Factory, which the government claims to have revived, is only operating from just a single room, with a production capacity barely enough to even accommodate the various security services in the country. “We were surprised the President came promising shoes for all school children, when little has been seen of the 100 community schools he promised this year. The Cape Coast market has not seen much effort, but the President is promising the people of Kumasi an ultra modern market and a theatre,” they pointed out.
The opposition further accused the President of dishonesty concerning the Mampong Water Project, stressing that President Mahama failed to acknowledge the fact that the project was the brainchild of the former President Kufuor administration, which secured a $23 million facility from Exim Bank before leaving office.
“As much as it is in order for the President to visit parts of the country, such visits should take due consideration of the people’s expectations. Such visits must, however, not be oblivious of the expectations of the sentiments of the larger populace. We realised that events that characterised the President’s recent tour of the region have further deepened the despair of the people, and heightened the loss of confidence in political leadership in our country today,” the NPP noted.