General News of Sunday, 18 November 2018
Former President John Dramani Mahama has asked members of the National Democratic Congress to unite for the party and work together to save Ghanaians from what he termed incompetence Akufo-Addo government.
He underscored the need for the party put its best foot forward to rescue Ghanaians from the “abysmal performance” of Nana Akufo-Addo whose governance he claimed has been characterised by corruption, job losses and economic downturn that have created suffering for the people.
“We must curb job losses. We must eliminate the incompetence, fight and make corruption unattractive. We must eschew nepotism and misrule, and position mother Ghana back onto the track of sustainable development,” he told party delegates Saturday.
Addressing over 9,000 party delegates at the 9th National Delegates Congress at the Trade Fair in Accra, the former President urged the party members to be proud of the NDC record in government.
At each opportunity the NDC has had to serve in government, Mahama noted, the people of Ghana enjoyed more progress in terms of development and improvement in economic activity but same cannot be said of the New Patriotic Party.
Business confidence in Ghana he said was at an all-time high prior to 2017, noting the NDC’s performance in development of education, aviation, healthcare, electricity, water, the road and maritime subsectors were all visible for everyone to see.
Mahama however asserted “Today business confidence is down and economic activity is at a standstill”.
‘Inept handling’ of banking crisis
He condemned the government over its handling of the banking crisis in the country that led to the collapse of seven indigenous banks within the last year.
According to Mahama, the “inept handling” of the crisis almost collapsed the entire local finance sector.
“Banks belonging to Ghanaians have been closed. And the Akufo-Addo predatory approach towards indigenous investors in that sector has created a panic run on the remaining surviving Ghanaian financial institutions. This has greatly affected small and medium enterprises lending and has led to significant job losses,” he observed.
Akufo-Addo’s borrowing out of control
Again, Ghana’s borrowing, according to Mahama, has spiralled out of control and criticised Akufo-Addo for making a u-turn on the issue of borrowing.
“For a party that frowned on borrowing, the current rate of unbridled borrowing represents a hypocritical u-turn where words spoken in oppositions do not match actions taken in government,” he stated.
Ghana’s current debt has ballooned from 122 billion cedis at the end of 2016 to 170 billion cedis at the end of September 2018; something Mahama condemned.
He said government is now counting on the rebasing of the economy to show an artificially lower debt to GDP ratio, which he said will still be totally out of synch with the “historically low 11 per cent to GDP”.
People in the grassroots, the fishermen, farmers, artisans, teachers, nurses, public workers, and the business community in the country, Mahama said, have seen “the clear difference between our great party and the NPP”.
Time to rescue Ghanaians from suffering
In his view, this presents an opportunity for the NDC to win back power from the NPP, stating “We cannot fail all these people” who are suffering under Akufo-Addo’s government.
Accordingly, he urged the party to reach out to the people of Ghana with NDC’s alternative policies and programmes “to end the hardship that they [Ghanaians] are suffering.”
“This congress represents the hopes and aspirations of our country; it is a divine calling to which we as a party must answer,” he told the delegates who are currently electing national executives for the party ahead of the 2020 general elections.