By Mohammed Awal
Presidential aspirants of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) have described the John Dramani Mahama administration as a failure –thus charging Ghanaians to return the CPP to take over the reins of government to salvage the country from imminent economic collapse.
According to the aspirants, the only solution to the moribund Mahama government is the CPP. “Give CPP a second chance and you will see the difference,” declared Samia Nkrumah, one of the aspirants, during a Television Africa debate Tuesday.
She said judging from the horrendous performance of the National Democratic Congress since assuming the reins of governance in 2009 it would be prudent for Ghanaians to give the CPP another chance to return Ghana to its former glory.
“What we need is our economic independence, our second independence. This is what we have to get and we have to do it soon,” observed Samia Nkrumah, adding “please give the CPP a second chance.”
Continuing, Samia Nkrumah said the government’s decision to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for economic bailout was a clear indication of its unacceptable failure, after close to eight years in government.
She maintained that the inefficiencies of the Mahama government are unequivocal and that he and the NDC deserve to be vehemently rejected on November 7th for the CPP, predicting that furthering the NDC’s term would be suicidal and unwise.
She said when the CPP comes to power; it shall wean off the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and take control of the Ghanaian economy. Following challenges in the Ghanaian economy, the government of Ghana approached the IMF for a bailout, aimed at stabilizing the troubled economy.
The three-year deal followed months of talks prompted by the government’s failure to meet targets on inflation, the budget deficit and growth. The economic crisis then led to severe power shortages, locally known as Dum-so. Per the deal, the IMF was expected to provide Ghana with loans, worth about $940 million, in installments.
Speaking during the CPP presidential aspirants’ first ever televised debate on Television Africa, Samia Nkrumah observed that the IMF conditionality before the loan could be disbursed was a bitter one for Ghana to swallow.
She said: “I want to see the day that our negotiators with our financial institutions can stand up and rather than accept these conditions as if we don’t know what to do in our country. I want to see the day when we are confident enough to be able to say no or to say enough, when certain proposals are brought to us.”
On his part, Joe Agyapong, who is also aspiring to lead the CPP into the November 7 presidential and parliamentary elections said that, should the CPP win the upcoming elections, it shall fight corruption with an iron fist.
According to him, both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) cannot be trusted to fight corruption and other financial malfeasance as they are partly to blame for the unacceptable levels of corruption among office holders.
He said the CPP, as a government, would not dissipate the tax payers’ money on unprofitable adventures the way the NDC is doing and the NPP did, assuring that the tax payers’ money would be invested in them for economic emancipation. He said the CPP would build a robust system to free the country from the grips of corruption that has over the years plunged the country into economic challenges and chaos.
“We have resources and these resources are going into different directions due to misappropriation of funds …so CPP government will deal with this drastically,” declared Mr. Agyapong. According to him, it was only the CPP that could save Ghana from the current economic mess it is in, with a focus on massive industrialisation.
He said a CPP government under his leadership would resuscitate all the factories established in the First Republic under the tutelage of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah with a pledge to modify the seven year development plan to fit the existing economic challenges facing the nation as a result of Mahama’s failed leadership.
According to Agyapong the thrust of the development plan to be enrolled by the CPP government would be to ensure self reliance and massive industrialization –saying Ghana under the CPP would be on the road to economic independence. Bright Akwetey on his part said that the CPP would link agriculture to industrialization, conduct an audit of the existing factories in order to proffer a well thought out strategy.
He said with the right leadership and minimal corruption “We can industrialize the Ghanaian economy.” Ivor Greenstreet, who is the immediate-past General Secretary of the CPP and an aspirant of the CPP presidential race, said that the CPP would incentivise the private sector to take control of the commanding heights of the economy.