2016 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appealed to Ghanaians to save the country from the despondency, hardships, rising cost of living, widespread cases of corruption and record levels of unemployment currently prevailing in the country by voting out President John Mahama in this year’s elections.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, the continued stay in office of President Mahama and his government is a threat to Ghana’s future, as every sector of the Ghanaian economy over the last 8 years, he estimates, has been in constant decline, coupled with the collapse of every social intervention programme implemented by the Kufuor government.
“We have to save Ghana from John Dramani Mahama, and secure the future of our country. The continued stay in office of John Dramani Mahama is a threat to the future of our country. That is why in December, Ghanaians are voting for change. We (in the NPP) are coming to change Ghana, and bring in a government that is going to return the country onto the path of progress and prosperity,” he said.
The NPP flagbearer was addressing a mini-rally at ‘BBC’ in Tema Community 2, in the Tema West Constituency, on Friday, September 23, when he made this known. Nana Akufo-Addo stated that the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) government has been in office for the last 8 years, with President Mahama serving as Vice President for 4 years, and President for another 4 years.
“He (President Mahama) says despite all these years he has spent in office, he wants another 4 years so he can show to Ghanaians what he will do for them. In 8 years, we don’t know what he has done for the people, and he wants another 4 years?” he asked.
The NPP flagbearer wondered, “What does he want to continue? Is it the ‘dumsor’? Is it the record levels of unemployment? Today the NHIS has collapsed. Is this what he wants to continue? When schools reopen, every parent is in tears because there is no money to pay fees. Is this what he wants to continue?”
In spite of the hardships prevailing in the country, Nana Akufo-Addo is urging Ghanaians not to lose hope. “Let no one deceive you that poverty is our lot in Ghana. This is not how God created us. God did not put us on this rich land to be poor. It is bad leadership that is making us poor. We are coming into office to create jobs and bring wealth and prosperity for all, without discrimination,” he indicated.
He assured that an Akufo-Addo government is coming into office in 2017 to “revive the NHIS, effectively implement the free SHS policy, undertake the industrial development of Ghana, which will include the 1-District-1-Factory policy, and revive our agriculture, amongst others.”
To bring all these into fruition, the NPP flagbearer appealed for the unalloyed support of residents in Tema West, stressing that
“Tema West has stood solidly behind the NPP, and we‘re very grateful for that. We want this support strengthened further this year.”
He reiterated that “I am not coming into office to steal the people’s money. I am coming into office so I can use the little wisdom and knowledge God has given me to help change the circumstances of our people. I need your help in order to do this.” With barely 3 months to the holding of the December 7 elections, Nana Akufo-Addo urged all residents of Tema West to disregard any cries of ‘skirt and blouse’ and vote massively for Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah, the NPP’s parliamentary candidate of the constituency.
“In the NPP the only process for selecting our leaders is through a vote. I was elected flagbearer by a vote. Likewise in Tema West, Hon. Abraham Osei Aidoo, Hon. Irene Naa Torshie and, now, Carlos Ahenkorah, were all elected by a voting process. It is not a surprise that you have Naa Torshie here supporting and backing Carlos Ahenkorah. These are the true blue NPP loyalists.
“We want a massive vote here in Tema West. We want all Ghanaians to come and ride on the back of the Elephant and push the NPP into Jubilee House. Ghana has become too miserable.
We (in the NPP) are coming to change all these negative statistics and return the country onto the path of progress and prosperity,” he concluded.
Mahama confirms sharing money, but on compassionate grounds
President John Mahama has confirmed sharing money to some specific individuals during his recent tour of Agbogbloshie market in the Greater Accra Region.
In a newspaper interview, the president explained that he saw a little girl with a tray of boiled egg in the crowd being pushed by the cheering crowd amidst the jostling. The tray fell from the girl’s head and the crowd trampled on the fallen eggs.
The Daily Post Newspaper reported the president as saying the tray fell from the girl’s head and the crowd trampled on the fallen eggs. The girl then burst into tears. Touched by what only he could see because of where he was standing, he ordered the man who commands his convoy (who was in his vehicle) to stop the convoy. The convoy thus stopped.
President Mahama said he then took GH¢50 from his ADC, pointed to the crying girl in the crowd and then reaching down from the top of the vehicle, gave it to a woman standing by her thinking she was with the girl. However, he was surprised to see the girl still crying so he asked her if the woman was the mother. When the girl shook her head and he noticed the woman had moved away, he took another GH¢50 from his ADC and gave it to the girl. This drew wild cheers from the teeming crowd.
The gesture, the president said in the interview was to compensate the little girl for what he had lost.
The video, which has since gone viral, captured the president pointing to three individuals at different location gesturing to them to come close to him where he gave them the money.
The account of the Daily Post newspaper was corroborated by the Deputy Minister of Education in charge of tertiary education, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on Newsfile Saturday.
The Daily Guide newspaper, Ghana’s biggest private newspaper suggested the president was engaged in vote buying.
“President John Mahama, in his inordinate ambition for re-election in the December general election, has been spotted sharing money on his campaign trail,” the newspaper reported on Thursday.
Earlier, the Chief of Staff Julius Debrah dismissed the video, saying the President Mahama could have been sharing leaflets and not cash.
But the campaign coordinator for the re-election bid of the president said there was nothing wrong with what the president did.
“The President is just like any other person and a Ghanaian so he’s free to give gifts to people. There is nothing wrong with him doling out money to people, if indeed he did that,” Kofi Adams said.
Some Ghanaians have also expressed reservation about the president’s video.
They expressed anger as to why the president should be allegedly sharing money when they are living in hardship.
The video I saw didn’t make sense to me at all. How can the president go round sharing money when we are starving. Why didn’t he bring us that money all along? Do you think because of votes, you can deceive us with money? We are not kids. He shouldn’t think he can fool us any longer. Already, he has accused us of having a short memory. We are no more like that. We have become wise and this time, we will vote wisely,” a trader at the Madina market told Pulse Ghana.
For Auntie Abena, she has lost all hope in the president as what he promised is yet to be fulfilled.
“Our business has collapsed. We are dying. And yet when you have money, you decide to share them with people. He is wasting the tax-payers money on unnecessary things, while we sit here and suffer. He shouldn’t think he will win with this. No matter what he does, he will lose. Even if he gives me some of the money, I will not accept it as it wouldn’t influence me in any way,” she said.
“He should stop sharing the money as that will not augur well for the country’s development. He thinks because of our so-called short memory, he can come and distribute money to us so we could vote for him. He doesn’t care about us. He wouldn’t have been sharing money to us if he did. His focus should be on how to help us grow our businesses and not to be sharing money. The president can be sharing money at the villages but not here. We are wise enough,” a shoe-seller told Pulse.com.gh.
A pre-election survey conducted by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) and released this August shows the governing National Democratic Congress is the most guilty of buying votes ahead of the 2016 elections in December.
A total of 51% of Ghanaians surveyed believes the John Mahama-led government has been buying vote followed closely by Nana Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party with 32%.
Both the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) have since denied the claims in the report.