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24.10.2008 Politics

Ethnic politics must be avoided -JH Mensah

By Michael Boateng Sunyani - Ghanaian Chronicle
Ethnic politics must be avoided -JH Mensah

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Sunyani East, Mr. Joseph Henry Mensah, has asked theh Ghanaian electorate to be wary of politicians who play the ethnic card to score political points, saying such politicians were a threat to national unity, and enemies of progress, who must not be voted for.

“Divide and rule tactics is not the portion of our dear country Ghana, so we must eschew discrimination in all our activities, to move the country forward in unity,” Mr. J. H. Mensah said.

Addressing New Patriotic Party (NPP) supporters in Sunyani, during an official inauguration of all youth wings of the party in the Sunyani East Constituency, the veteran politician appealed to the supporters of the NPP, to be modest in their campaign messages, and refrain from the use of abusive and intemperate language.

He noted that election was not about war, but a democratic process of taking a decision through the ballot box, therefore, tolerance should be the key word of every Ghanaian, to ensure a peaceful election, for the fifth time in the history of the country.

Mr. Mensah, who is also the Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), said he was certain that the NPP would retain power in the December polls, because of its exceptional track record of developing the nation, as well as the attainment of economic stability, within eight years of governance.

He said President J. A. Kufuor had laid a solid foundation for the development of the nation, which required another NPP administration to build the structure for Ghanaians to experience better conditions of life.

Mr. Mensah said that the next NPP government would find the resources to make senior high school education free as promised, stressing that the promise was possible. “Why can't we do it? He asked.

“Just as we managed the economy prudently to get resources to finance free education at the basic level, we would do same to ensure that all Ghanaians, rich or poor, have quality secondary education free. We have the track record,” he further said.

He recalled when the NPP announced that it was going to make basic education free, some doubting 'Thomases' questioned how the Kufuor administration would be able to fund such a programme, but Ghanaians are witnesses to its reality.

According to the Senior Minister, the NPP believed that education was the best way of reducing poverty, and empowering the people to realise their God-given talents, to help in the achievement of a first world status for Ghana, that iwas why it was working towards making education accessible, free and effective in the country.

“There should not be any excuse whatsoever, for any Ghanaian child not to benefit from secondary education, whether their parents are rich or poor, there should not be any hindrance in benefiting from secondary education,” he added.

Mr. Mensah expressed surprise that after castigating the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the School Feeding Programme and the Metro Mass Transit System, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in their manifesto, was proposing to continue their implementation when they come back to power.

He urged the students to study diligently, and contribute their quota to the development agenda of the nation, adding “you are expected to play a very critical role in the next phase of the nation's development, as we move on the path of industrialisation.”

The parliamentary candidate for the Sunyani East Constituency, Kwasi Ameyaw Cheremeh, on his part, advised Ghanaians not to vote the NDC back to power, as the party was anticipating, since they had no new economic policies to improve upon the well-being of the people.

He indicated that the NDC had exhausted all its economic plans and visions for the nation in the past years.

“How can a party, under whose regime the nation's previous assets were sold, poverty increased with the unemployment situation soaring, come back to convince Ghanaians to vote them into power again,” he stressed.

He recalled the hardships Ghanaians went through under the PNDC/NDC regime, citing the mass abuse of human rights, disrespect for rule of law and indiscipline.

Mr. Ameyaw Cheremeh, said it behoved on the electorate to reject the NDC in the elections, and vote massively for the NPP to continue with its good policies such as the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Capitation Grant, expansion of road network, School Feeding Programme, the MASLOC Fund, and vibrant economic policies it had put in place to benefit the nation.

He said Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was the only alternate presidential candidate who was well versed in the nation's political and socio-economic history among the lot, judging from his close association with the country's struggle for independence, and post-independence activities.

The Sunyani East parliamentary candidate urged the youth wings to work hard in explaining the party's manifesto to the electorate, to allow them appreciate the NPP's vision for the nation, so as to make informed decisions in the December elections.

The NPP Chairman of the Constituency, Mr. Francis K. Barnie, admitted that NPP would retain the Sunyani East parliamentary seat, and that was evidenced by the massive crowd that had come to the grounds, to show support for Ameyaw Cheremeh and the NPP.

“The NDC will be deceiving themselves if they think that they can make any inroads in this constituency, we are breaking through their strongholds, while consolidating our support base, and this should tell you that we are set to record a massive victory in the constituency,” Mr. Barnie, stated with optimism.

The Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, urged the youth to remain solid in their support, and work harder to ensure a resounding victory in the December elections.