THE NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) has stated that the New Patriotic Party (NPP), under the leadership of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, must not be given the opportunity to once again preside over the affairs of the nation. Cataloguing the unfulfilled promises of the NPP, the NDC said the ruling party after presiding over the collapse of the railway system has been misleading and deceiving Ghanaians about the real issues on the ground.
Addressing a news conference in Accra, on Wednesday, dubbed -”Setting the records straight”, the party's National Propaganda Secretary, Mr. Fiifi Kwetey, accused the NPP of failing to fulfil its promises since 2000, and yet its flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, has been going round the country making more promises.
He accused the NPP of deceiving Ghanaians in an attempt to remain in power, despite the exposure of their lies, noting that the persistence of the NPP and its Presidential candidate to deliberately mislead Ghanaians was very unfortunate.
“It is a mindset that believes that the ordinary people are not smart enough to see through the lies and distortions peddled by people who are highly placed. It is also a mindset that believes that the truth does not matter as long as one can use lies and distortions to deceive the people to get hold of political power.”
Mr. Fiifi Kwetey, who was flanked by Mr. Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Mr. Edward Annan, a Business tycoon and a leading member of the party, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization and a former Minister of Education, Mr. Kobby Acheampong, and a host of others, said “We started our series of press conferences by straightening the deliberate distortions by the NPP that it has provided free healthcare for our people and provided free education at the basic level. We moved on to expose the lie that the economy under the NPP has moved forward in leaps and bounds.
At our last press conference, we dealt with NPP's false claims that its tradition was and continues to be champions of good governance and multi party democracy.”
According to Mr. Kwetey, in spite of what he termed 'these clear exposures', Nana Addo and the NPP have continued to peddle the same lies as they campaign from one part of the country to another.
“It is bad enough that Nana Akufo-Addo continues to mislead Ghanaians that all it takes to educate the school child in a public school at the basic level today is 25 pesewas a month. It is sad enough that the NPP candidate is insulting the intelligence of suffering parents' by declaring that the 25 pesewas, the payment of which sometimes delays up to two terms, caters for all the expenses guardians are making to educate their children.”
The NDC through its Propaganda Secretary, said it does not matter at all to Akufo-Addo that about 7 pesewas of the 25 pesewas monthly capitation grant does not reach the schools but stays at the level of the district, where it is used for the organisation of sporting and cultural activities.
“To the NPP candidate it does not matter at all, that out of the remaining 18 pesewas, a good chunk goes to the purchasing of washing bowls, organisation of School Management Committee meetings, repairs of furniture, windows and doors, not to talk about the portion used for schools and cluster-based in service training as well as T&T, sanitation and stationery needs of school administration.
Mr. Kwetey urged the media and the general public to safeguard the collective faith and trust in the political establishment by speaking up against the persistent behavioural pattern of the NPP to take Ghanaians for a ride by engaging in deliberate distortions and making empty grandiose promises.
“The NPP proved in the year 2000 that they have no qualms resorting to outright lies and empty promises as a way of manipulating the minds of the people to vote for them.
Their pronouncements and promises, when matched against what they have delivered over the last eight years, buttress the view that the NPP lacks credibility and should not be believed.
He continued, after going through the manifesto of the NPP since 2000 and the current one, he said, “Indeed, the blatant lies they have consistently told our people should invoke in Ghanaians a sense of outrage and indignation because it amounts to insulting the intelligence of our people.”
Outlining few of what he again described as the myriads of such empty promises and proclamations by the NPP, Mr. Kwetey had this to say, “The year 2000 manifesto of the NPP outlined the party's plan to promote home ownership among Ghanaians. The party also gave the following detail on page 20 of the same manifesto.
“The NPP will ensure the modernisation and availability of urban housing. For instance, subject to the agreement of stakeholders, slums shall be replaced with apartment houses with modern conveniences, which shall be cost effective and environmentally friendly.”
“Which slums in Ghana have the NPP converted into apartment houses with modern conveniences? How many housing units have they delivered to our people over the last eight years? Zero!
In the name of property owning democracy, NPP officials had no problem spending billions to renovate their official bungalows, the President's private residence, the Castle and the Peduase Lodge, they have had no qualms constructing a Presidential Palace worth over 600 billion cedis.
Not to talk about the plush houses that have sprung up at the AU Village and other prime residential areas in Accra, but they cannot show a single completed housing unit for the average Ghanaian in eight long years.
“As if this is not sad enough, Nana Akufo Addo, who has been an integral part of this “Spoilt and Selfish System,” is now taking Ghanaians on a further “bus ride” by promising 50,000 houses in a year. Talk is cheap indeed!
“The NPP in its 2000 manifesto stated emphatically that “the Afram Plains will be designed as a grain basket of Ghana.” Eight years on, the NPP government has done no such thing for the Afram plains.
Ghana, which the NPP said was unable to feed itself despite her abundant natural and human resources, is today in a worse food crisis.”
According to him, in the area of rice production, the NPP promised in the year 2000 manifesto to emphasize the expansion of rice production in Ghana and the resuscitation of the Aveyime rice project.
“Elsewhere, they also promised to cut rice importation by 30%. “After eight long years, local rice production has virtually collapsed and the rice import bill which stood at about $100 million dollars in 2000, and was at the time widely condemned by Akufo-Addo and his NPP, has now crossed the $400 million threshold and still Accelerating Forward in leaps and bounds.”
He maintained that the NPP promised to revive about 600 agro-based industries including sugar, tomato and corned beef factories, but could not do it.
“We have also not forgotten the following words of President Kufuor: “We shall grow what we eat, eat what we can and can what we cannot”. He also claimed that under his government “Ghana will become a leading agro-based industrial country in Africa.” (Parliamentary Hansard, Thurs, February 15, 2001.)
“Despite all these many fantastic promises, Akufo Addo's NPP has not, in eight long years, taken even a rudimentary step towards the modernisation of agriculture promised by his party,” Mr. Kwetey said among many others.