The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has drawn attention to what it describes as falsehoods in the foreword to the manifesto launched by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Saturday.
It said after seeking the support of Ghanaians for two years based on their opposition to everything the NPP had done, the NDC launched its development blueprint which the NPP said was welcome news.
A statement issued by the party said “unfortunately, the 'Foreword' to the NDC manifesto written by Prof. Mills contained many inaccuracies and falsehoods”.
Prof. Mills states that "in the areas of the economy, employment, environment, health, education, and utilities, failure is the best mark that can be given to the NPP government."
The statement said the remark by Prof. Mills, was at odds with the facts. “It is inaccurate to describe an economy that has quadrupled from $3.9 billion to $15 billion while inflation, interest rates and poverty were falling as a failure”.
The NPP also made it clear that it was inaccurate to describe a government that had replaced the "Cash-and-Carry" system Prof. Mills and the NDC left behind with the National Health Insurance Scheme as a failure.
It said that it was inaccurate to describe a government whose policies had led to increases in enrolments across all levels of the educational system as a failure.
The statement said elsewhere, Prof. Mills stated: "Allowing the market forces free and unrestrained rein to give direction to our development agenda has failed to give employment to willing workers, leaving a nation grappling with a large section of its population very despondent."
“This statement, coming from the man who, as Chairman of the Economic Management Team, oversaw the privatisation of hundreds of state-owned enterprises, leading to the loss of about seventy thousand jobs, is breathtaking.
If Prof. Mills now believes that the unbridled privatisation of the NDC era was wrong, let him admit that before criticising others”, it said.
It said further that in another section of the foreword, Prof. Mills's claimed that guinea worm infestation in Ghana was second only to Sudan was false.
“In fact, from 2003 to 2007, the number of cases reduced from 8,000 to 3,358 before dropping by a further 86 per cent in the last year.
Furthermore, in 2006, Ghana was certified by the WHO as polio-free,” the statement said.
The statement added that on social amenities, Prof. Mills said: "Water and electricity supply are extremely erratic or non-existent in some cases — that is 'very rich' coming from Professor Atta-Mills.
“During its tenure in government, the NDC extended electricity to 1,909 towns. To date, the NPP has extended electricity to 2,413 towns and construction of the Bui Dam, on the drawing board since independence, is under way.
“In the provision of water to communities, the NDC record is very pale in comparison to that of the NPP.
While between 1994 and 2000, 3804 boreholes were completed, between 2001 and 2007, 8191 boreholes, which were over twice the number under NDC, were completed”, the statement said.
The statement also said while the NDC completed 174 new pipe systems, the NPP had completed 411.
The water systems completed include the system for Cape Coast, whose perennial water shortages are wellknown to Prof. Mills.
“In the area of sanitation, we have completed 43,861 toilets/KVIPs, while the NDC completed only 11,002.
On security, Prof. Mills pledges to provide security for all Ghanaians and rid Ghana of the drug menace but we have been here before.
According to the statement, the drug issue was never resolved under the NDC and currently, the NDC was against the NPP plan to double the police force and give them better equipment and training.
“Indeed, as in other areas, the NDC is known more for what it is against than for what it is for, the statement stressed.
“We can go on and on but let us end with education. Prof. Mills claims that 50 per cent of JSS students failed their exams — that is false. In fact, according to the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), about 62 per cent of them passed the exams — the highest number in 10 years.
While we need to improve the performance of our students, we should not distort the performance of our children to serve our political purposes”, the statement said.
The statement called on the NDC to focus on what they were for rather than what they were against.
It made it clear that the NPP was for strengthening the NHIS and investing in sanitation, for transforming the north, for making secondary education free and putting the teacher at the centre of our education, for expanding the National Youth Employment Programme to cover 500,000 people, for doubling the police force to protect people, for providing retirement security through housing and other benefits.
“Let us have a campaign with a genuine contest of ideas based on facts,” it added.