Politics of Monday, 29 August 2016
Nana Akufo-Addo has said President John Mahama has made him (Akufo-Addo) his campaign message for the December 7 elections because the current government has failed to end dumsor (erratic power supply) and several other promises the governing party made ahead of the 2012 elections.
According to the New Patriotic Party flag bearer, Mr Mahama, while campaigning in the Northern Region recently, failed to touch on the Savannah Accelerate Development Authority (SADA) programme because the policy, which was meant to bridge the poverty gap between the north and south, has become a “monumental failure”.
Nana Akufo-Addo said because of these failures, Mr Mahama and the National Democratic Congress have no message for Ghanaians in this year’s elections and so the President has chosen to “make me his campaign” by lunging at him (Akufo-Addo) to cover up his failure.
Addressing supporters of the NDC in Bimbilla in the Northern Region on Tuesday August 23 as part of his campaign, Mr Mahama said: “What we need in Ghana is an understanding president. The era of dictatorship is gone: we are not looking for a dictator, somebody who cannot stand criticism in his own party. If you criticise him, he will sack you…that is not the kind of leader we are looking for. We are looking for a leader who can bring people together,” he stressed in reference to the flag bearer of the main opposition party.
“…It is a very dangerous experiment. Ghana is not at the stage where we are experimenting leadership, and so you cannot come and beg that we should try you. We are not in the era of experiments and trials, we are in the era of what is sure. We have seen this government: one of the major successes of this government is peace and stability.
“We are looking for a leader who can unite Ghana and not a leader who will divide Ghana. If you cannot unite your own party, how do you unite a nation?” he questioned.
However, the three-time opposition flag bearer said the propaganda being waged against him by the NDC, led by President Mahama will not work.
“First they said I was a drug addict, it didn’t work. They said I was sick, it didn’t work. They said I was too old, it didn’t work. They said I was a hunchback, it didn’t work. They said I was a dwarf, it didn’t work. They said I was in a wheelchair, it didn’t work. They said I am a murderer, it didn’t work. They said I will die in June, it didn’t work. They said I was a dictator, it didn’t work. They said I was intolerant, it didn’t work. They said I was violent, it didn’t work. They said I had a secret agenda to destabilise the country, it didn’t work. Now, they say I have cancer, it will not work.”
He stressed further that “it appears the only way the President will get a third term is when I am sick or I am dead. That is the only ground on which he will get his third term.”
Nana Akufo-Addo said “issues of life and death and health are in the hands of the Almighty. I will leave matters in the hands of the Almighty, because, I believe and I continue to say the battle is the Lord’s.”
Meanwhile, Mr Akufo-Addo has stated that it would be a grave mistake on the part of Ghanaians to retain President Mahama for another four years in office, as the nation prepares to head to the polls in December.
According to him, the problems confronting Ghana: rising cost of living, rising levels of unemployment, high utility tariffs, decline in agricultural and industrial output, amongst others, are because President Mahama has “no plan, vision or action to address the problems of our people.”
Nana Akufo-Addo, therefore, stressed that “it would be a mistake to continue with where we are now. So many of the important aspects of our national life, today, are all in retreat. Our economy is in poor shape, and I don’t think there is any honest person in this country, today, who can say Ghana’s economy is working well. It is not working well. Our industries are not working well, our agriculture is not working well, and unemployment amongst our young people is reaching record proportions.”
The NPP flag bearer has thus assured Ghanaians that an NPP government under his leadership has a “programme and plan of how Ghana could be, if given the chance”, to serve Ghanaians.
Nana Akufo-Addo was addressing the Bolgatanga Traditional Council, on Sunday, August 28, 2016, when he made these remarks.
The NPP flag bearer explained that the party’s programme of developing Ghana, and returning the country onto the path of progress and prosperity is hinged on the twin-track of industrialising Ghana’s economy as well as increasing agricultural productivity.
This, he added, are the means by which a future Akufo-Addo government, God-willing from 2017, is going to create jobs for the teeming masses of unemployed Ghanaians.
“The most critical thing that all of us have to work on is how to improve the functioning of our economy. If our economy is working well, jobs will be created, income levels will rise and we will have prosperity in the country. That is the only way we can guarantee prosperity. An economy in decline or in retreat only means poverty for all of us. The economy that is working means all of us will be in a better place that where we are today in Ghana,” he stated.
The spectre of young men and women trooping down-South from the North, to find non-existent jobs, he said, is because there are virtually no opportunities for them in Northern Ghana.
“We can reverse all of that with proper planning and serious policy. We are determined to do so in the interest of Ghanaians. What is important for us to do in Ghana is to make sure that every part of the country becomes its own centre of wealth. This situation whereby all wealth is concentrated in Accra and Kumasi is dangerous for the future of the country,” he said.
He continued: “It means that these two poles have everybody rushing there. We want evert part of Ghana to be its own growth pole and area of wealth creation. That is why we are talking about ‘1-District-1Factory’, so that in every area there is an activity ongoing which will engage them and improve their living circumstances.”
Nana Akufo-Addo, thus, appealed for the support of the people of the North in this year’s elections, assuring that “we have got, without any reservation, the best team available in Ghanaian politics today to develop our country. We have high quality men and women, who when given the opportunity, can turn Ghana around in a short period of time can put smiles on their faces, money in their pockets and prosperity in every region. It is possible for us to do it.”
“It is being done next door to us in Cote d’Ivoire – a smaller country, less population, less resources. But, because of the quality of the leadership there, they are makes big leaps and bounds there. I believe that it is possible on the back of the elephant to rebuild our nation and bring prosperity back to Ghana.”