The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has expressed disbelief over claims being made by the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, that he began the free Senior High School (SHS) policy.
On Tuesday, November 24, 2020, while on a tour in the Upper East, Mr Mahama stated that “We started the programme (Free SHS) in 2015 and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) came and continued it.”
However, addressing a gathering at Odorkor on Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo described the statement as something which shocked him yesterday.
He bemoaned how the NDC downplayed the policy when they first made mention of it during their 2008, 2012 and 2016 campaigns.
“They (John Mahama and the NDC) said that I was deceiving Ghanaians, and that it was a vote-buying gimmick and that for it (Free SHS) to be possible, it would take about 20 years,” he said.
He added: “Not long ago, he said that if he had GH¢2 billion, he wouldn’t use it to pay school fees, but rather he would use it on something profitable.
“Today, he says that he introduced Free SHS. Are we going to allow the former president to come back to power through lies and deception?”, to which the crowd responded with a big “no.”
He described Mr Mahama’s claims as lies, adding they “are borne out of one thing, and that is his campaign is failing to catch up with the electorate; he has seen that his campaign is collapsing in confusion, fabrications and now outright lies.”
To the residents of Odorkor in the Ablekuma North constituency, he told them to give him and the NPP a resounding first-round victory in the presidential election and an overwhelming majority in parliament.
“I am looking for a massive endorsement for the people of Ghana for that blueprint which is set out in our manifesto of 2020. So, this year, I am pleading with you, I don’t want it in ‘boom’. but I want it in ‘boom! boom! boom!’,” President Akufo-Addo added.