Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has said the flagbearer of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama, has no credible track record to fulfill the party’s manifesto promises.
This follows the launch of the NDC’s 2020 manifesto on Monday, 7 September 2020, which the party refers to as the ‘People’s Manifesto.’
Reacting to the NDC’s manifesto promises at a press conference in Kumasi on Tuesday, 8 September 2020, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said before Mr Mahama became President, he made several promises but achieved very little during his tenure of office.
“When you take the credibility, the thing is that for the first time, the two persons who are the front liners in this election, have both had the opportunity to occupy the office of President.
“So, in looking at the credibility of the promises they’re making, one ought to first look at their track record when they were in office and their position on some of the matters they’re speaking to today and it helps anybody who wants to do an analysis understand whether or not you can take any of these promises as credible”, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said.
The Ofoase Ayirebi MP emphasised that Mr Mahama’s manifesto promises were not credible, as he never believed in some of the policies implemented by the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
The lawmaker, therefore, wondered how Mr Mahama would implement his manifesto promises that are geared toward expanding the policies of the current administration.
“So, for example, if you have a leader who, before he became Vice President or let’s say before he became President, promised, as part of his party’s manifesto, that they will bring a one-time premium for health insurance, and for eight years they never did it and today he turns round to say that he’ll make primary healthcare free, does it sound like a credible promise?” Mr Oppong Nkrumah asked.
He noted that of the two frontrunners in the upcoming December 7 elections, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo looks and sounds more credible in the delivery of promises.
“If you have a leader who, from 2008 through to 2012, opposed a state providing free education for people at the Senior High School level consistently; ‘it won’t work’, ‘if it would have worked, Kwame Nkrumah would have done it’, ‘if it would have worked, it would take 20 years to come off’, etcetera, and today you have this same person saying that first of all he now believes in it and will now make tertiary education 50 per cent free, you have an opportunity to ask yourself whether or not it sounds like a credible promise.
“If you have somebody, who, during his period, run down the Ghanaian economy; went to the IMF for a bailout and, as a result, could not employ young people when they were graduating from school, you recall the graduate unemployment associations that were formed, you recall the cancellation of allowances because of economic crisis and the argument that ‘even if they’ll vote against us they should vote against us’, and today, this person comes and says that he’s going to create one million jobs in four years, does this sound like a credible promise?”
He indicated that in discussing manifestos, the credibility of the person making the promise must be taken into consideration.
The Information Minister said: “So, the first thing in discussing manifestos is the credibility angle of your track record. What was your track record? The second thing that has been listed, it costs money to deliver mostly, so, you can reduce all the promises to the economy and ask yourself: ‘Who is best-placed in managing the economy so that the economy can find all the money to deliver on the promises?”
Mr Oppong Nkrumah added: “We believe that Ghanaians are very discerning people, they’ll have an opportunity to look at his track record and what he delivered and what he’s promising and do the comparison.”