The Head of Political Science Department at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, KNUST, Dr. Richard Amoako Baah, has told Kumasi-based Ultimate Radio that President Mahama’s State of the Nation Address, has no substance describing it as mere “rhetoric and sweet talk”.
According to him, the delivery only exposed President John Mahama’s lack of appreciation of the real issues confronting the country.
Analyzing the content of the address to Ultimate Radio’s Ebenezer Afanyi Dadzie, Dr. Baah noted that the President only juggled around the issues without giving clear indicators of how the challenges would be tackled.
He also expressed disappointment with the spate at which the President keeps making what he describes as “flamboyant promises” when government cannot even meet basic recurrent expenditure.
“It’s more of the same rhetoric and this time he did even worse than that. He went further to give is more promises. It looks as if he is not ready to tackle the real issues He is still doing sweet-talks as a man talking to his girlfriend, but we are not his girlfriends.
How can you be talking about free SHS at this time when you can’t even pay school feeding? I am afraid this time I don’t think people are going to swallow all this like before. It makes no sense to me at all” he emphasized.
“He did not tackle any of the major issues like the wage bill, excessive borrowing, debt servicing, unemployment and others. Instead he is talking about distributing money to poor people who have no jobs.
I am not saying the poor should not be helped, but before you do that people must have jobs so that their taxes can be used to cater for the poor. If they don’t have jobs how do you feed the poor? It looks as if he doesn’t even understand element economics” he asked in awe.
“Why is the Cedi falling? It is not just a matter of not having enough dollars. When people have no confidence in your economy, they will hold your currency. And so if we keep borrowing and we own so much money, then whoever is holding our money, is jittery and wants to change it before things get bad. What he is doing I don’t understand it and I don’t know what his advisors are telling him, but I think he is not tackling the issues at all” he stated.
Commenting on the President’s announcement of a progressive implementation of a free Senior High School programme, he called on the nation to make an intelligent assessment on whether or not it was feasible at this material moment of Ghana’s economy.
Dr. Baah said the opposition should not shift the focus of the debate to a “fruitless discussion” on whether or not it was a stolen idea.
“The free SHS promise is almost like campaigning already. If he says it now, it means that come elections, there is no need to say this is your idea because he has already said it. And it’s kind of funny what the opposition is saying. They are saying their idea has been stolen. Is this what we need at this time? That is what they should be asking. Ideas can come from anywhere. If it is the NPP’s idea and it’s good enough, why can’t the NDC take it? The ideas don’t really belong to anyone; but is this what we need at this point? Are you just talking to score point? He asked.
“The danger we are in is that, he has no clue what to do and does not even recognize the danger we are in. Unemployment is getting higher and higher, government is not able to meet its obligation and you are promising free education, money to the poor and building of structures, with what money? I don’t know what is it he is looking at but maybe he knows something the rest of us don’t know” he noted.
Dr. Baah, who had previously called on the President to resign his position since he did not seem to be in control of affairs, says the President has given further impetus to his call.
“I hold that position stronger now. After listening to him, I have absolutely no confidence in what he wants to do. I don’t think that for once if Amissah Arthur was in charge he would be saying these things. What money do we have to do all these things he is promising? Contractors have not been paid, and so when you say you are cutting sword for construction next week, why don’t you pay the contractors first? He asked.