Ghana’s President, John Dramani Mahama, and his ministers yesterday relocated to Ho, the Volta Regional Capital, to cool off and prepare adequately for the year, ahead of the November general elections.
The team, spending Friday and Saturday (January 8-9, 2016) at a retreat at the newly-opened Volta Serene Hotel, would be evaluating their activities over the last three years and preparing for the heavy schedule ahead of the presidential election which President Mahama said he would win ‘one touch’.
DAILY GUIDE learnt the ministers travelled in buses to save cost, but some of the official vehicles were also seen around the programme venue, making the place very busy.
A statement released from the Media Office of the Flagstaff House, Office of the President, said the retreat was being attended by Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur as well as Presidential Advisers and Staffers.
According to sources, the President would inform the team about the impending ministerial reshuffle.
They would have the opportunity to review strategies for the implementation of key policies outlined in the 2016 Budget and other initiatives in the State of the Nation Address to be delivered by the President in February.
The Ho retreat would end with a health walk on Saturday.
The Volta Regional Police Commander, DCOP Peterkin Yentumi Gyinae, told DAILY GUIDE that security in the regional capital was water-tight and that his men were collaborating with the National Security and other sister agencies to ensure an incident-free weekend.
President Mahama assured the ministers of a resounding victory for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the elections.
According to him, government’s efforts at improving the lives of the people would place them at an advantage over the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
“We have done sufficient… There are things that we have delivered. I feel very proud; sometimes I don’t know we did it. You go to a community and the chief is praising you to high heaven for some school or some clinic I didn’t even know had been put there. But everywhere you go they say ‘we see the development, we have a good road, we have enough water’.
“There is a track record. There is a strong performance when it comes to development and infrastructure that we can defend. We will win this election. I’m confident that we will win this election,” he told his team even though Vice President Amissah-Arthur had said recently in Cape Coast that it would be a tough race.
The President also charged his appointees to prepare for the heavy schedule ahead in the last year of his first term and also emphasised the need for a carefully considered SWOT analysis to determine the way forward.
“What we must do and what I am thinking must come out of here is to have an analysis of what our strengths are and what our weaknesses are and to also look at what our opportunities and what the threats are; and once we do that, we come up with a road map on how we can all work together to ensure that we win 2016.”
President Mahama rubbished claims that his administration had saddled the country with huge debts running into over GH¢100 billion from the GH¢9.5 billion he inherited, saying Kwame Nkrumah’s government was given the same tag.
“Nkrumah had done so phenomenally when it comes to infrastructure. He had just finished the Akosombo Dam. It was months after he had switched on Akosombo and the same opposition at the time said he had run Ghana into debt and that he had borrowed so much. Exactly the same accusations we are facing now …”
From Fred Duodu, Ho ([email protected])