The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is wondering why President Akufo-Addo is feigning ignorance about applauding former President John Dramani Mahama for commencing the ‘Progressively Free SHS’ programme in 2015.
According to the NDC, Nana Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) cannot take credit for the Free SHS programme because it was first introduced by the NDC and launched by Mr Mahama in 2015.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Thursday, 26 November 2020, the National Communication Officer of the NDC, Mr Sammy Gyamfi recalled that President Akufo-Addo even applauded Mr Mahama for commencing the ‘Progressively Free SHS’ and should, therefore, not feign ignorance about it.
This response comes after Nana Akufo-Addo expressed shock that Mr Mahama is taking credit for the introduction of his flagship campaign promise.
The President added that the “lies” from the NDC presidential candidate “are borne out of one thing, and that is his campaign is failing to catch up with the electorate. He has seen that his campaign is collapsing in confusion, fabrications and now outright lies.”
But Mr Gyamfi told journalists on Thursday, 26 November 2020 that: “Ironically, President Akufo-Addo, who says he’s surprised that President Mahama or anybody will suggest that it was the Mahama government which introduced Free SHS in 2015, actually lauded and applauded John Dramani Mahama in 2015 when he launched Free SHS seven years ago.
“So, why is President Akufo-Addo feigning ignorance or why is he trying to create the impression he has forgotten about the fact that he himself applauded President Mahama for commencing the implementation of Free SHS? The fact, once again, has exposed him…”
Touching on the history of free SHS, Mr Gyamfi recalled: “President Mahama launched the programme in 2015 and started with 350,000 day students.
“Not just that, in fact, the textbooks that secondary schools, today, are using under the Free SHS programme, were all procured by the Mahama administration in 2016 and they were 3.6 million textbooks.
“The free implementation of the free SHS including boarding students has been made possible as a result of the over 46 community day senior high schools that John Dramani Mahama built but for which we would have experienced a quadruple track and not the double-track by this time.
“And, so, our friends in the NPP must learn to give credit where credit is due. You came, met a programme which has already been launched. Over 360,000 day students were not paying school fees, you came and continued it, which is good because governance is a continuum but don’t claim credit for something you did not start.”