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24.10.2008 NDC News

Statement on NDC campaign of lies

By The Statesman

Good morning ladies and gentlemen.

In the last week, the NDC Campaign of lies has reached new heights. It appears that lies are the only weapons left for them. 

 They are throwing mud at everybody and hoping that Ghanaians will believe something. Ghanaians want a campaign that will address the important issues in their lives rather than insults and lies about opponents

Since the beginning of this campaign, we have campaigned on our record in government, our vision for the future and leadership qualities of our Presidential candidate.

The people are listening and responding to our message of hope and optimism rather than their wicked lies.

We will be here for a long time if we plan to address every one of their allegations.

Today, we will address just a few.

First, there is a document, being circulated by the NDC, alleged to be minutes of an NPP meeting during which we laid out the details of how we plan, to rig the December elections in collaboration with the Electoral Commission.

That document has never been produced by the NPP. No such topic has ever been discussed at any of our meetings and that document, is the product of sick minds.

The allegation that we plan to rig the election is part of the NDC's grand plan, in operation since the beginning of the year, to discredit the Electoral Commission and our democratic process ahead of the elections so that when they lose and we win, they can contest the results on the streets.

That plan will fail.

 The NPP does not need to rig elections to win. While in opposition, despite being outspent, intimidated and having an Electoral Commission whose membership had been determined by the NDC government, we won.

Why would we need to rig elections, now when we have a record to campaign on, a superior vision for the future and the best candidate in this election? The NDC should stop discrediting the Electoral Commission and get on with campaigning.

As the Akan proverb goes, " Wo ntumi wo niema a wose wo keshire nnye'.( If you cannot carry your load, you blame your head-pad).

It is ironic that Ghana"s Electoral Commission, which is widely respected in Africa and the world is the one institution they are pledged to destroy. On our part, while know that the Electoral Commission, like any human institution is not perfect, we believe we must all work to make it stronger and more effective so that on December the 7th, it will deliver a performance we can all be proud of.

That NDC allegation and the circulation of the fabricated document, followed right on the heels of another similar allegation by the former President, Jerry Rawlings, in which he alleged that the NPP would have lost the Central Region in 2004 if President Kufuor had not gone round to bribe the people of Central Region.

Since then, the former President has been challenged to either apologise or produce evidence to back up his claims and he has done neither.

The former President's allegations about how the Central Region was won and the document circulated by the NDC go to the heart of the integrity of our Electoral process.

Those who allege such serious things must present proof. The former President, apart from maligning President Kufuor recklessly, has insulted the good citizens of the Central Region.

He has, by his allegation, implied that the region's vote was bought.

He thus implies that they could not have decided to vote for NPP without money.

Did they take bribes from Mr. Rawlings when they voted for him in 1992 and 1996? If not, then why could they not vote for the NPP without taking a bribe? If Regions that vote for a particular candidate or party can be accused so frivolously of having taken bribes, are we to infer that the regions that voted for the NDC received bribes from them as well? We believe that every region, regardless of how it voted, had done so with the best of motives.

That feeling applies to individuals as well. While we were disappointed that not all regions or voters support us during elections, we believe that they vote in the best interest of their country and themselves as they perceive it.

The former President appears to have a penchant for insulting the good people of Central region. We recall sadly that during his Presidency, he addressed a rally at Cape Coast and in his remarks, compared the people of Central region unfavourably to cats in the area of cleanliness.

To date, despite the outrage provoked by his remarks, he has never apologized.

The puzzling thing is that the NDC Presidential candidate, Professor J.E.A. Mills has never once come to the defense of his region despite these unprovoked and unjustified attacks by the former President.

If Prof. Mills cannot stand up for Central Region, can he and will he stand up for Ghana when he is President? Let Prof. Mills stand up, for principle, against the former President and for his region to show Ghanaians that he has some back-bone for once.

The second allegation that I wish to address is the charge in an NDC tabloid sheet, the Weekly Standard, ran by the former special assistant to the former President, Mr. Victor Smith, alleging that President Kufuor owes some Kuwaitis billions of US Dollars.

That allegation is so scandalous that the normally serene and forgiving President is threatening to go to court for redress if those allegations are not withdrawn or proven within two weeks.

Since they are false and cannot be proved, the only other option is an apology from Mr. Smith or redress through the legal system. President Kufuor has served this nation well. During his term, Ghana has made great strides in all areas.

 We have the best reputation we have had in many years. As a result, the President is widely respected and admired, not just in Africa but across the globe.

These unwarranted attacks on the President tell us more about the President's accusers than about him.

 If the NDC is concerned about corruption, why do they not ask the former President to address the SCANCEM allegations? In that case, SCANCEM, the Norwegian owners of GHACEM, our cement producer, has admitted in a Norwegian court that they had a deliberate strategy to corrupt African leaders and that the former President and his spouse were their beneficiaries.

Since charity begins at home, let the NDC do some house-cleaning before they talk of the supposed blemishes of others. It is gratifying that as a result of the progress we have made in establishing the rule of law, all those accused can have their day in court.

There was a time when for very trivial offences, under Mr. Rawlings, some would have been whipped in public, jailed without trial and in some cases executed without due process.

The National Reconciliation Commission chronicled these things in agonizing detail but we, like the people of Ghana, want to move forward.

While still on President Kufuor, last week, the NDC went into over-drive in reaction to remarks made by the President on the diligence of Prof Mills' campaign. At a rally in Madina, the President had wondered why Prof Mills, who is the NDC Presidential candidate was being seen less on the campaign trail than his running mate, Hon. John Mahama.

The President said that in his view, the person vying for office must make himself available to as many Ghanaians as possible, personally.

Within hours, the NDC was accusing President Kufuor of making Prof. Mills's health an issue in the campaign. Supposedly in response to that, they attacked President Kufuor and made wild allegations about the President and our flag-bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo.

In fact, the President never mentioned Prof Mills's health. Not once. If Prof Mills's health has ever been an issue in elections, it has been on the NDC side.

It had been raised by Mr. Spio Garbrah and taken up by former President Rawlings during the NDC primary and been resurrected by the NDC MP for Lower Manya, Nyaunu.

 The NPP believes that it is up to Prof. Mills, his doctors and the NDC to determine whether he is healthy enough to withstand the rigours of a campaign and if he wins the rigours of the office of President. We take their word that Prof Mills is healthy.

The central point the President raised is whether when a candidate delegates so much of his campaign responsibilities to others, he will if elected, not delegate too much of the duties of his office to others.

 In other words, if Professor Mills cannot or will not campaign fully, will he be a full time President making all the important decisions? Or will he have other unelected people behind the scenes, making decisions that are properly reserved for the President?

The next allegation that I wish to address is the existence of a tract, purporting to be a list of bank accounts of prominent NPP members at Prudential Bank.

That list has no basis in fact. It is a pure fabrication. Today, I am asking the Bank of Ghana and the Prudential Bank to formally investigate and expose the NDC lies for what they are.

The politics of personal destruction deprives our political arena of good people who could have served us but do not relish the prospects of people attacking their reputations unnecessarily.

This allegation follows in the same pattern as that made to the effect that the bank of Ghana has sold our gold reserves. That too was false.

When leaders of a national party like the NDC make it a deliberate policy to spread lies about others without regard for facts, they do our country great harm.

They weaken confidence in our public figures and institutions unnecessarily. Our country has come too far for that brand of politics.

The fourth issue I wish to address is the charge by the NDC that some NPP members are going about buying voter registration cards.

The fact that an NDC official alleges that some unidentified people have told him that their cards have been collected by anonymous NPP officials does not make that charge true.

It is a shame that some media houses would report such scurrilous allegations and create the impression that they may be factual when they are not.

It is a sad commentary on the professionalism and integrity of some of our journalists and media houses. If any citizen has evidence of wrong-doing on the part of anybody that may be criminal, they should report it to the police.

The truth is that those allegations too are part of the broader plan by the NDC to discredit the December 7th elections before a vote is cast.

Next, let me address the reaction of the NDC to the Press Conference by our flag-bearer on the global financial

The NDC has accused Hon Akufo-Addo of acting like the President. The NDC's reaction to Hon Akufo-Addo's Press Conference does not serve our country well. Every citizen of this country has a right to comment on any issue.

Thank God that we no longer live in the era of the 'culture of silence'. Nana Akufo-Addo did not claim to be speaking for the government. Indeed, he is not even a member of the government.

He was speaking as a Presidential candidate, who, God and the people of Ghana willing, will be the next President. He was addressing one of the most serious issues of our time.

His Presentation was serious. He demonstrated mastery of the subject and by tackling the issue, he showed leadership. If Prof Mills or any other candidate has any ideas on the crisis, let them speak up. If not, let them keep quiet.

As for the idea that he should wait to be elected President before speaking up, it shows old thinking. Over the last three decades, Nana Akufo-Addo has repeatedly stood up to be counted, even when it was dangerous to do so.

Those who choose to keep their opinions to themselves must not condemn those who are performing the important task of engaging the public and stake-holders in the important issues of our day.

In the United States, in the best traditions of public service, Senators McCain and Obama have both addressed the global financial crisis repeatedly, even though neither of them is President yet.

Candidates' addressing serious issues facing the country is the wave of the future in politics and Ghana must commend Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP for leading the way forward.

 Instead of condemning Nana Akufo-Addo, let the NDC join the debate and Ghana will be better for it. It is better late than never.

The politics of insults is not good for our country. No insult has ever built a road or fed a hungry child or cleaned a dirty street. Let us focus, for the remainder of this campaign on the important issues facing the country, not on insults.

The people of Ghana deserve better than a campaign of insults.

Finally, let me end on the balloting for positions on the ballot for December 7th that occurred yesterday.

I noticed that some NDC spin-doctors were talking about the significance of the number three and its religious connotations but did not mention a certain deity in the Ashanti region.

Unfortunately for them, just yesterday, their founder, whose vision and philosophy drives their party, re-affirmed his faith in the deity. The question is: Does their trinity include a fetish or not?

As for the NPP, we are very pleased with our position on the ballot. It seems that coming events cast their shadows.

We have been first in our record in government amongst the parties.

We have been first in ideas in terms of our manifesto.

We have been first in working for peace during this election year.

We have the best Presidential candidate in this election.

And now, we are first on the ballot paper. Thank God!

It seems to us that if we work hard in the remaining weeks of this campaign and our numerous supporters vote massively for ' NANA NUMBER ONE!' on December the 7th, Nana Akufo-Addo will be elected President, with an increased Parliamentary majority and we can all say with Hon I.C. Quaye ' AGBENAA!!!'

Thank you very much and I will take some questions.