President Akufo-Addo and John Mahama
PRESIDENT Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has asked ex-President John Dramani Mahama to render an unqualified apology to Ghanaians for kicking against the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy during the formative years of the social intervention programme.
According to him, Mr. Mahama and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) constantly objected to the Free SHS policy; therefore, he is not morally fit to campaign with the policy for votes in the upcoming December 7 general election.
Without mincing words, President Akufo-Addo stated that Mr. Mahama had realized Ghanaians had embraced the Free SHS programme and that is why he has started ‘pretending’ he can manage the free SHS better.
Speaking in an interview on Kumasi-based ‘Hello FM’ on Wednesday evening, the President, who is seeking re-election, stated emphatically that ex-President Mahama, who wants to return to power after being trounced in 2016 as incumbent, is not credible enough to be given the chance to manage the Free SHS policy.
“Former President Mahama should openly apologize to Ghanaians that he and the NDC were totally and shamefully wrong when they consistently kicked against the Free SHS programme immediately I came out with the idea of introducing the positive policy in the country.
“Now, after realizing that the free SHS is making a huge and positive impact on the lives of the citizenry, he and the NDC have made a sharp U-turn by saying that they could abolish the Double Track system in one year and also improve the Free SHS policy in general.
“This is a false statement coming from someone, who hates the Free SHS policy with passion, but he is only peddling falsehood to enable him to accrue undeserved votes during the December 7 polls from an educational policy that he and his NDC abhor so much,” he said.
According to him, Ghanaians are aware that the NDC, led by Mr. Mahama, does not like the Free SHS programme from day one “so if he has now changed his mind to support the policy, then he should publicly state that now he is fully on board the free SHS boat.”
The President said the NDC presidential candidate would be permitted to talk about improving the Free SHS policy “only after he (Mahama) had publicly apologized for initially kicking against the policy,” adding that the recent statement on the Free SHS shows Mr. Mahama is ‘desperate’ for power.
“These same NDC people kicked strongly against the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) when the policy was being introduced in 2003; in fact, the entire NDC Members of Parliament (MP) walked out from the House when the NHIS bill was being passed.
“Years later, after the NDC had realized that the NHIS had been embraced by Ghanaians, they then promised to make the NHIS a one-time premium payment policy but, as noted of the NDC, they failed woefully to make the NHIS a one-time payment programme even with eight years in power,” he said.
“Interestingly, after all the big promises and sweet words, the NDC rather left power when the NHIS programme had collapsed and had been replaced with the Cash and Carry system due to huge debts to providers. The NDC even did not talk about the one-time premium when they were in office.
“The NDC is adopting this same diabolical strategy again over the highly successful Free SHS policy. They kicked against it and nowadays they are promising to have the knowledge to make it better; this is a blatant lie so the electorate should reject them,” the President added.
Still on what he termed as ‘NDC lies to win power’, President Akufo-Addo said under the NDC administration, they could not employ people into the public service for four years “yet today, they are promising to provide millions of jobs for Ghanaians when they win political power again.”
President Akufo-Addo said certainly the NDC members are hungry for political power after being shown the exit in 2016 for failing to perform; therefore, they (NDC) have resorted to lies to woo the voters, stressing that the NDC and ex-President Mahama are not credible to manage the state.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi