Hon. John Dramani Mahama, the running mate of Professor John Evans Atta Mills, Presidential Candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has stated that he is the real Zongo boy who needs no introduction. `There is no need of going about to preach that you are a Zongo boy since the people themselves will recognise you as such,` he stated. Hon. Mahama, who was well received by a large crowd in Kumasi, made these remarks in his interaction with a Muslim community at Old Tafo in the Ashanti Region.
According to him, the plight of Muslims shall forever be a matter of relevance to him and the entire NDC government. `No government has ever promoted the cause of Muslims in this country more than the NDC government and we shall continue to do that when we come to power,`he added. Hon. Mahama explained further that among the five pillars of Islam, it is stated that if possible and affordable one should make a point to go to Mecca for Hajj, stressing that if he does not have the interest of Moslem issues at heart he wouldn't have paid for his mother who is a Moslem to go to Mecca.
He said `My mother is a Moslem therefore if I do anything wrong to the Moslems in this country I am derogating my mother and I will never do that`. The NDC running mate, who was in Kumasi for the first time after being picked by Prof. Mills, in a peaceful convoy waved to the cheering of his fans through the principal streets of Kumasi as a sign of introduction and honour to him. To him, the issue of selecting a Moslem as a running mate to Prof. Mills because he (Prof. Mills) is a Christian thus not hold water at all and it is a bad precedent which must not be encouraged.
For instance, he cited that even though the current seating Vice-President of Ghana is a full Moslem, the organization Hajj which happens to be one of the five important pillars of Islam is in crisis more than before in the history of Ghana. `We will reorganize the traveling to Mecca and make it better like the days of the NDC government` he stated. Commenting further on how to improve the living condition of Moslems, he pledged that NDC government will do all that it can to bridge the gap between the Northern and the Southern parts of Ghana.
He recounted that as part of making education more comfortable for Moslems, the NDC government when was in power implemented the Islamic Education unit but for some obvious reasons it has been scraped from the good books of the current NPP government. Hon. Mahama, who spoke both in English and Hausa to the Moslem community, explained that because most of Moslem children end up as Christians during their time of attending Christians schools, the Islam education unit was implemented to make it possible for Moslems youth to continue to practice their faith as they go to school but such idea had to be stopped after change of government.
He assured the Moslem community that when elected into power, the NDC government will continue with that programme since the interest of Moslem is a priority to the party. Meanwhile, the seminar on energy organized by the Energy Center and Public lecture Committee of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) for Presidential candidates under the theme `Energy-My Vision` ended in Kumasi last Friday. Hon. Mahama, who represented Prof. Mills, told the media that the purpose of the Vice- President is to act on behalf of the President whenever the need be therefore he sees nothing wrong about he presenting his party`s vision on energy on behalf of the Presidential candidate. `The President and the Vice are elected on one ticket. The two people have the same vision therefore I and my father are one` he affirmed.
Amidst cheering from supporters, Hon. Mahama told the stakeholders of the energy sector, lecturers, students and the media that the NPP government inherited generation expansion plan from the NDC Strategic National Energy Plan but not a single unit of additional generation by the NPP until crisis hit in 2006. Hon. Mahama, who is also the seating Member of Parliament for Bole/Bamboi, indicated that among the steps NDC government will take base on the previous initiatives they already have in place include intensive effort to increase the Tano Basin development and expansion project and the Osagyefo barge project, implement the Aboadzi steam turbine project.
This, he said will bring in additional about 110 mega watts of power into the system, accelerate the use of natural gas at Aboadzi, implement a programme to restore the Volta Lake for optimal hydro generation and implement a comprehensive energy conversation methods that the party expects will yell 10% saving on consumption. With pragmatic measures put in place to cut down the NDC government expenditure, Hon. Mahama said all Ministers and government appointees will not have the chance to enjoy free utilities like water, electricity and telephone since such practice will be abolish under their rule.
Source: Ghanaian Observer