Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo- Addo, has taken a swipe at President John Mahama over the poor implementation of ideas he (Mahama) stole from him.
According to him, anytime Mahama makes a mockery of an idea he (Nana) moots as a policy, he (Mahama) turns around to steal it.
That does not seem a problem for Nana Akufo- Addo but rather the fact that Mahama ends up poorly implementing the programmes.
In an interview on Starr FM’s drive time show - ‘Starr Chat’ – with Kwabena Anokye Adisi famously known as Bola Ray, the NPP flagbearer was particularly worried about the poor implementation of the controversial and corrupt-ridden Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) programme which has almost become moribund, describing it as ‘the biggest tragedy.’
What baffled him was that “It is under the leadership of a man from the north” (referring to President Mahama) “but the SADA thing has become such a tragic development; that pretty hurts.”
Nana recalled, “We were told that free secondary school education was also a pie in the sky idea; today it’s his (Mahama’s) big thing.”
When asked if he was still going to make free secondary education key on his campaign agenda ahead of the 2016 elections, this was what he said, “It is certainly an important policy for this country; what is important is that we find a way of financing it.”
Teacher Training Allowance
Nana Akufo-Addo could not fathom why the Mahama administration had cancelled the age-long allowance for teacher trainees, with a promise to restore it when voted into power saying, “Because we think that it is extremely important the supply of high quality skills (teachers) is something that this society has to be assured about and whatever we need to do to make that happen, we are going to continue to do it.” “We will do the same again,” he promised.
The Mahama administration has withdrawn the allowance paid to the trainee teachers, leading to a massive protest by students on Wednesday against Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a deputy minister of education and other government appointees.
The angry students claimed that government had used their allowance to buy luxury cars for its appointees.
The protesting students were heard loudly hooting at Ablakwa ‘allawa car’, ‘allawa car,’ as the minister and his colleagues jumped into their cars and ran away from their (appointees’) wrath.
Afari Gyan & EC When asked about the debate over who succeeds outgoing Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan as chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), the NPP flagbearer stressed the need to choose somebody who would restore public confidence in the commission.
According to him, there was the need for the institutions responsible (the President and the Council of State) to undertake what he called “a wide consultation to make sure that they come up with a name that would be broadly acceptable to the different shades of opinion in our country - somebody who is seen as an independent person in mind and in spirit, who will be impartial and be credible referee because basically, he’s going to be a referee of our political contests in Ghana.
“You want a referee that is upright; that is coming to do a good job for the game and not for a particular player or players in the game and that is why it’s important that we satisfy ourselves that we have a referee that will be a good and honest one,” he proposed.
Given the opportunity to access Dr Afari-Gyan who happens to be his roommate during their days at the University of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo underscored, “He’s had a chequered history; he begun as a Deputy to Justice Ofori Boateng, and in an election which we contested strongly if you remember at the time; the very first election of then President Jerry John Rawlings - the November 1992 elections.”
“In fact, I was the editor of the NPP book that was written on that election that we called the ‘Stolen Verdict.’ He was involved in that exercise.
Then came the ‘96 elections, the 2000, 2004, 2008; I think those are recognitions that whatever the challenges were, our system was improving incrementally.
He has made his own contributions – no two-ways about it – to the process of democratic consolidation in our country. I think that in the last elections, there were challenges that he could have handled better,” Akufo- Addo stated.
He recalled calling Afari-Gyan after the 2012 elections to express his concerns over certain developments since he had problems with the process saying, “My own view was that if perhaps there had been a little more give-and take on his part, in terms of wanting to listen to us, perhaps we could have avoided that…but he has done his bit.”
Asked whether that made him bitter, his response was straight No! “Bitterness is not one of the things I encourage in myself; I think it’s a wasted emotion. It doesn’t really get you very far. It happened, I accepted the result of the election, even though I didn’t think it was the correct outcome and have moved on.”
Nana Akufo-Addo was hopeful of winning the 2016 general elections saying, “I’m encouraged by the Nigerian elections to the extent that many of the issues on which the Nigerian elections were fought (corruption, mismanagement of the economy, widespread youth unemployment, security and many) are the issues we’re gonna fight in the Ghanaian elections.”
Host of the programme had a surprise package for his guest when he called former President JA Kufuor – who was far away in France where he is on a working visit – to give a brief testimony about his knowledge of Akufo- Addo.
President Kufuor touted him as a beaver when it comes to political activity and a great organizer, promising to back him to the hilt.
Source: Charles Takyi Boadu
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