The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has indicated that President John Dramani Mahama’s stay in office has proven that he has no vision for the forward movement of Ghana, and, as such, cannot be trusted to turn around Ghana’s dwindling fortunes.
Speaking at an NPP branch meeting in Paris, on Saturday, May 28, Nana Akufo-Addo explained that whilst some neighbouring countries have made giant strides in the last 5 years, Ghana, however, within the same time frame, and under the leadership of President Mahama, is going backwards.
“Cote d’Ivoire, five or six years ago was coming from civil war. The election in 2010 led to 100,000 displaced people, 3,000 people were killed as a result of the election between Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara. In five years, because of good, strong leadership, Cote d’Ivoire is today the number one investment destination in Africa. They are growing at 9% a year and we are growing at 3.9%. Last year, Cote d’Ivoire earned over $12 billion in exports of its agricultural products. In the same time, we earned $2 billion,” he said.
“We have to change these statistics. John Dramani Mahama cannot help us,” he stressed.
The NPP flagbearer outlined 4 “simple” reasons why Ghana cannot continue under President Mahama, and “why this man cannot help us”.
According to Nana Akufo-Addo, firstly, “in the 2012 manifesto of the NDC, they promised that over the next four years, i.e. between 2012 and 2016, they were going to grow the economy at an average of 8%. Last year we did 3.9%.”
Again, quoting from the 2012 NDC manifesto, which states that “the NDC’s commitment is to increase the contribution of the manufacturing and industrialization sectors to our economic development”, the NPP flagbearer indicated that “last year, the manufacturing sector grew at -1.9%”, whilst “mining grew at -3.18%.”
On education, Akufo-Addo again referred to the 2012 NDC manifesto, which promised the construction of “two hundred (200) new Community Day Senior High Schools across the country” by the end of 2016. Up till date, he noted that President Mahama has only been able to commission 5, with a few months to the end of 2016.
“The fourth reason. When Kufuor was leaving office in 2008, the food import bill for our country was $600 million. Mills and Mahama criticized Kufuor for his performance and they promised to reduce it. Last year, the food import bill of our country was $1.5 billion. We are now importing plantain into Ghana! Agriculture, which in Kufuor’s last year was growing at 7.4%, this last year was 0.04%. These are the facts about Ghana, they are not my inventions. You look at the official and budget statistics, you’ll find it there,” he said.
He continued, “The mismanagement (of the economy) is the reason why, today, we are back with the IMF. We are going to change the fortunes of our country, and put it back on the road of prosperity and to progress.”
Nana Akufo-Addo assured that gathering that the NPP’s main focus, under his leadership, will be the revival of Ghana’s industry, manufacturing and agricultural sectors, which will be key towards generating the hundreds of thousands of jobs required by the teeming masses of unemployed Ghanaian youth, as well as return Ghana onto the path of progress and prosperity.
“Apart from the plan and the programme, we have the human resources, both at home and abroad, amongst you, that can give our country a first class government to be able to lead our country forward. It is not right that in the 21st century our people are still defecating in public. It is not right. We are going to change these facts about Ghana,” he added.
NPP prepared for victory
Nana Akufo-Addo assured the NPP faithfuls that the party is preparing itself for victory in this year’s elections, explaining that victory will “not be for ourselves, not for our party, but for Ghana. It’s very, very important.”
According to him, “the mess that is being created in our country, because of the Mahama government’s incompetence, mismanagement and corruption, has to be cleared up. Our party is preparing itself for the big task this year.”
He noted that polling station, electoral area, constituency, regional and national campaign committees have all been constituted, adding that the training of the party’s regional and constituency executives, in mobilizing and canvassing for votes, has also been completed. Training of our polling station executives will begin in the first week of June, and hopefully, will be completed by the end of July.
“We have also began the process of recruiting our polling agents. We know what a sensitive and important task that is. Whatever we have to do to prepare the party to be in a good place for November or December, whichever it is, we are going to do it. We cannot afford to have a repetition of ‘twenty seven zero’ this time. We are not going to allow that to happen. The battle to get a credible register is ongoing and I am very hopeful that very soon it will come to a conclusion”, he said.
Nana Akufo-Addo, in concluding, therefore, asked for the support of all NPP members, indeed all Ghanaians, both in and out of Ghana, stating that “I want you to back me strongly with your strength and prayers so we can take Ghana out of the crisis she finds herself in. We have done it before. We took Ghana from HIPC when we came to office in 2001. We will do the same for Ghana when we win this year.”
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