Twice Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces and current National Security Advisor, Brigadier-General Joseph Nunoo-Mensah (rtd), is of the opinion that most of the electoral promises being made by flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, are as a result of his desperation to become president.
The senior military officer believes they are largely not feasible.
The one-time campaign manager for Nana Addo's bid for nomination as the party's presidential candidate in 1998 urged Ghanaians not to attach any importance to the talk of free education for students at the Senior High School (SHS) level.
“Clearly I don’t see that promise as achievable. Even right now, we can’t cope with what we have and you are promising free education to middle level School children?” he asked.
The NPP flagbearer recently came under heavy criticism following his inability to state how much his free SHS promise was going to cost the nation during an interview on the BBC's HARDTALK programme. He later, told Ghanaians the policy will cost about $150million for the first year and a $400million for the next four years.
Though General Nunoo Mensah doubts how the project will be funded, he posited that even if that was made possible, it would not inure to the benefit of the nation as it could lead to a recording of a higher rate of graduate unemployment.
“As ex-chief of defense staff, I have been as effective as anybody. You see, we turn to put too much value on classroom (am not saying education is bad). Today, there are so many graduates who have no jobs on the streets. Why are you so keen to promise free education as if that is the end to life? Graduates are on the streets with no jobs,” he said.
Speaking in an interview with Radio Gold, the former Chief of Defense Staff stated that though he was unmoved by Nana Addo’s “reckless all die be die” statement, he pointed out that such remarks could pose problems to the security of the country. To him, the NPP is not really putting government on its toes as a responsible opposition party, but is rather engaged in picking the government on irrelevant issues.
“On the whole, I believe that they (NPP) should come down and pick on issues that shows that government has really goofed,” he added.
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