27.08.2020 Article

Ablakwa Writes: Tracking Ghosts, Keeping 14% And Running From A Presidential Debate

By Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for North Tongu constituency
Ablakwa Writes: Tracking Ghosts, Keeping 14% And Running From A Presidential Debate
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With every passing day, the New Patriotic Party's (NPP's) delivery tracker seems to be fast gaining infamy as a ghost tracker.

Many individuals, communities, and reputable organizations have had to issue embarrassing disclaimers either exposing non-existent projects or protecting their ownership over projects they laboured to erect without any government support. Independent media fact-checks have revealed even more dodgy claims.

Dr Bawumia's uninspiring effort to convince Ghanaians they deserve more than the abysmal 14% our empirical and surgical scorecard returned on its 2016 manifesto implementation has totally collapsed like a pack of dominoes and further dented his tottering image.

Beyond the damage to the credibility of the Akufo-Addo administration, we must reflect on the implications, particularly, for the NPP's 2020 manifesto.

With government officials finally conceding to a discredited database, the question is: how can the NPP's 2020 manifesto be regarded as a credible blueprint for addressing the real needs and aspirations of Ghanaians? In much clearer terms – if your shady tracker lists roads, hospitals, bridges, AstroTurfs, and schools which cannot be found anywhere, it is only logical to conclude that your manifesto proceeds on a dubious foundation and it is the people in the aforementioned communities who are bound to be shortchanged.

One can therefore immediately see the wisdom of the NDC leadership when they chose to embark on a people's manifesto which our opponents ridiculed. Clearly, you cannot get it wrong when you go to the people and engage them directly on what constitutes their needs, hopes, and aspirations. Certainly, the NDC is better positioned to present a far superior manifesto on Monday. A manifesto from the people and for the people as it ought to be.

It can now be understood why President Akufo-Addo is running away from a debate with former President John Mahama despite the latter's passionate appeals.

When your record is defined by ghost projects and blatant deception which has resulted in a gaping trust deficit, you will obviously not present yourself to the Bukom Boxing Arena, not because that is another JM legacy but more because you need to desperately avoid a TKO from Sumaila Ndewura Jakpa's descendant.

We must all agree that no matter the excuse, no politician especially those seeking to occupy the highest office of the land should have a choice whether to debate or not. Employees cannot determine that they won't agree to be interviewed and yet expect to be hired by employers who in this case are the masses of this country. No functioning democracy worth its salt allows those managing national resources and those seeking to superintend over same to escape scrutiny with such utter contempt.

The Ghanaian people as employers must no longer be tolerant of conduct that undermines our democratic purity. We actually should be having multiple presidential debates not one.

The writer, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is the Member of Parliament for the North Tongu constituency and the Ranking Member, Committee on Foreign Affairs of Parliament.

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