The hopes of the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the last elections, Nana Akufo-Addo, to use the free Senior High School (SHS) mantra to project his ambitions in the 2016 elections, have been dashed.
Majority of the Minority Members of Parliament (MPs) were down-hearted when President John Mahama, who was delivering the State of the Nation Address to the Parliament of Ghana, announced with delight the beginning of the process to roll out free SHS education for Ghanaians.
President Mahama, in line with the promise made to Ghanaians in 2012 in reaction to Nana Akufo-Addo’s 2012 campaign, said his government would gradually eliminate fee-payment at the secondary level of education to relieve parents of the burden of educating their wards.
It would be recalled that, the presidential candidate of the NPP, Nana Akufo-Addo, promised Ghanaians his unlikely government would implement a fee-free SHS educational system, but fell short of indicating how the process was going to be funded.
It is believed that, many parents voted for him with the belief that once he won the elections he was going start the system without delay, though he failed to truly tell the masses which sources of funding were going to be used to support it.
In contrast, then candidate John Mahama retorted that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had plans of also making SHS education free but was going to use the gradual approach, describing Akufo-Addo’s message as over-ambitious and a deceitful ploy to win the vote of innocent Ghanaians.
Humorous President John Mahama, in announcing government’s plans in Parliament yesterday, assured Ghanaians that the majority of stakeholders had already been consulted and cabinet was yet to receive a road map to introduce a continuous free secondary education.
With Nana Akufo-Addo dispelling speculations that he was going to give up his political ambition, it is yet to be known which promise would be spearheading his campaign for the Presidency in 2016.
He now has to contend with Alan Kyeremanteng’s threats to his candidature as the two gear up for a showdown that would see the two giants fighting it over for the third time for who leads the NPP in the 2016.
Age has become the weakest point of Nana Addo, who has already clocked 70 and with the NDC taking up the mandate to implement his much-touted free-SHS idea, his chances of ever becoming president of Ghana are becoming weaker by the day.
Party faithful of the NPP are awaiting his return from political exile to formally announce his candidature, as Alan Kyeremantenng continues with his underground campaign.
President Mahama on his part was optimistic the free SHS programme would hit the road in the 2015/2016 academic year, making it difficult for Nana Addo to stand on same for his campaign if he succeeds in winning the NPP primaries.
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