The main opposition New Patriotic Party has said President John Mahama’s responses to questions posed him by the media in Tuesday’s press conference conference was uninspiring.
According to the party, the President was not forthright in his reaction to questions on issues of major national importance, including the two former Guantanamo bay inmates in the country.
In a statement signed by its communications director Nana Akomea, the NPP said the President merely rehashed old issues and presented them to Ghanaians
Below are details of the statement
PRESIDENT MAHAMA ENGAGES IN REHASH OF OLD ISSUES AND UNCONVINCING NEW ISSUES
The New Patriotic Party listened with interest to President Mahama’s press address on Tuesday, 12th January 2016.
The address is a rehash of old issues and unconvincing new issues.
He talked about improvements in the Ghana Police Service. We commend our police for the work that they do to provide security for all of us. We also note that the Police service over the years have gone through steady improvements in terms of tooling, equipment, training and numbers, across political administrations.
The President sought to assure Ghanaians that there has been no cash inducement. That, the basis for the decision to accept these former Guantanamo detainees included humanitarian grounds, Ghana’s friendship with the USA, the two former detainees were never tried , never convicted and were set to have been released six years ago, and that Ghana is not the only country to take in
the detainees etc.
But there is still major worry about this decision of President Mahama. The President himself alluded to the hysteria and phobia in the Ghanaian public. Ghana takes in foreigners all the time we have established a whole community for Liberian refugees, Fulani herdsmen roam our countryside with abandon, Nigerien/Chadian refugees still beg on our streets corners and road intersections unmolested. So the widespread ” hysteria and phobia”( the words of the president) over the former Guantanamo detainees must be founded on genuine apprehension, especially since it does not seem their own country, Yemen, was prepared to take them in.
We note that the President said after two (2) years, the former detainees will be free to go settle wherever they liked. So what informs their being “quarantined” in Ghana in these two (2) years? Miriam Makeba and Fela Anikulapo Kuti would be turning in their graves at the attempt by President John Mahama to equate them with these ex-Guantanamo detainees.
The President mentioned that Ghana does not have the capacity to generate statistics on youth unemployment. The collaboration with the World Bank that the president is relying on for this capacity started way back in 2007. It is a shame that in 2015, that collaboration has not been finished for the system and capacity to be in place for Ghana to be able to generate labour statistics.
More importantly, the Mahama government’s attitude to youth employment is extremely disappointing. It is only in 2015, six years into this NDC administration that President Mahama launched a National Employment Policy, and even that with no implementation/ action plan. Youth employment has been left to chance. No wonder the greatest danger facing this country is the ever worsening youth unemployment situation
The President wants us to believe that the regular enrolment of nurses trained in public institutions have suffered because of a mix up with privately trained nurses.
Question is how this mix-up has persisted for two years, leading up to nurses picketing at the Office of the President just two days ago?
Nana Akufo-Addo’s pledge to restore training allowance was described by the President as mere political talk.
President Mahama has cancelled a policy. Another politician says he will restore the policy and the President says that is a “political talk”? If that is so, President Mahama is most guilty of political talk. We remember his pooh-poohing of Nana Addo’s idea of Northern Development Fund, only to set up the corruption riddled SADA.
He also pooh-poohed the LEAP programme, describing it as just a political gimmick to win votes, now he touts it everywhere as a major government intervention.
Ghanaians all too well will remember his pooh-poohing of the free SHS and his turn around on this matter.
Nana Akufo-Addo has promised to restore teacher allowances. It can easily be done when leakages of the public purse, such as branding of public buses with the president’s picture is
The President seems to believe that the anguish over the micro finance issue particularly in the Brong Ahafo is as a result of opposition propaganda and incitement.
The President is burying his head in the sand. The anguish and deep sorrow of the thousands of Ghanaians whose monies have been endangered by these micro finance institutions is real. The people genuinely believe that public institutions under the Executive authority of the president, particularly the Bank of Ghana, have failed them.
There is no opposition incitement of the people in this matter. It is an unnecessary insult for the President to imply that the pain and anguish of Ghanaians who are in danger of losing their saving is a manipulation and incitement by some political party.
What does the President mean by his predecessors didn’t “fix it”? It is an insult for the President to imply that his predecessors didn’t provide permanent additions to generation capacity of the country. The Aboadze Plant facilitated by former President Rawlings is a permanent addition to national generation capacity. Former President Kufuor’s retrofit of Akosombo added at least 100MW to Akosombo’s capacity permanently.
The West Africa Gas pipeline project, Sunon Asogli, Bui dam, etc all added hundreds of megawatts permanently to Ghana’s generation capacity.
The issue with DUMSOR is not whether a solution was permanent or not permanent. The real issue is that DUMSOR has persisted throughout John Mahama’s presidency, and that despite his numerous promises, he has failed to resolve it up to date.
UNBEARABLE TARIFFS OF PETROL
The average Ghanaian consumer pays for his electricity on a prepaid basis. Tariff increases of up to 80% in 2013 were all borne stoically by the Ghanaian consumer. It is the government of Ghana, as the president admitted, that does not pay its bills.
But the real truth of the matter is that whatever Bills that we pay, the value is quickly eroded by the ever eroding value of the Cedi, (gross failure of macro-economic policy of the John Mahama government.)
President Mahama seems to be proud of his record on corruption. There is no bigger instance of him burying his head in the sand than this.
Ghana has been tagged on the cover page of an international magazine as “The Republic of Corruption”. Surveys by Afrobarometer, IEA, etc, consistently posit the office of the president as highly corrupt. This perception cannot be due merely to increased media coverage as the president seems to imply. The issues of mind boggling corruption that made possible the WOYOME affair, the Waterville affair, GYEEDA, SADA, SUBAH, Bus Branding, etc, are real.
It looks like the President believes that mere retrievals of corruptly paid public monies, without prosecution, is actually an achievement. Even here, the record is hollow. Only a fraction of GYEEDA money, for example, has been retrieved. Nothing has been retrieved from WOYOME nor Waterville nor SUBAH nor SADA etc.
The President admits that Civil/Public Servants are also engaged in corruption. But he seems to forget that the Civil/Public Service is under the executive authority of the president. It is the president who is mandated to ensure the judicious use of public resources.
Is not the President’s worried that there are too many cases of retrievals of corruptly paid out monies?
Despite what President Mahama says, Sole Sourcing is really causing major losses of tax payers’ monies.
In November 2015, a six (6) block was awarded by the Kpone Kantamanso District Assemply at
510,000 cedis (GNA report November 8, 2015). That same November, the MTN Foundation constructed a fully furnished six (6) unit classroom block, office and store in the Upper West Akyem District for 170,000cedis (GNA report November 28th 2015).
In his closing remarks, the President called for tolerance for opposing viewpoints, and the need to bring people together, etc as hallmarks of competent leadership. What a joke! Is it not the same President Mahama who recently told Ghanaians that he would not tolerate criticism unless it was from a President, and actually named former Presidents Kufuor and Rawlings as the only two people qualified to criticize him? Is this tolerance?
Did President Mahama not look on while the NDC prevented a party member from contesting him? In conclusion, we reiterate that the address is a rehash of old issues and uninspiring new issues.
We remind Ghanaians that the NDC government’s performance, in its eight year, falls short not only of the expectations of Ghanaians, but falls short even by President Mahama’s own expectations as he had outlined in his first address to the nation on 18th August 2012.
(Director of Communications)