JOHN DRAMANI Mahama, running mate of opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer, Prof. Evans Atta Mills, has said that the numerological meaning of the recent choice of the number three for the flagbearer's position on the Electoral Commission's (EC) ballot paper for the December 7, 2008 general elections is a good omen for the party.
According to Mr. Mahama the choice of '3' was an indication of the fact that “Prof. Mills would be third time lucky”, adding that the forthcoming election would be the third time the law professor would be contesting the presidency.
He also explained that the name 'John' has become so synonymous with Ghana politics that another 'John', who is Prof. Evans Atta Mills, was destined to succeed the other, president John Agyekum Kufuor.
Addressing large groups of supporters at separate rallies at Kete Krachie, Nkonya, Ahenkro, Kwamikrom, Kpando, and Dambai, Mr. Mahama said circumstances surrounding the balloting and other factors indicate that the December 7, 2008 elections would be won by the NDC.
He said if the NDC wins the election the first priority in the region would be the construction of the road, which was in a very deplorable condition, from Kpando through Dambai to Kete Krachie to Yendi and beyond, to make transportation easy.
The Bole/Bamboi MP indicated that when the party was in power the road construction was on-going with the contract given to Bilfinger and Berger but when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government took over, the contract was abrogated and since then the road had not received any major touch.
He also promised to provide a pontoon to serve the people of Kete Krachie and its environs to make transportation easy.
Mr. Mahama accused the NPP government of not doing enough for the people of the Volta Region but resorted to propaganda work to destroy the NDC in the region.
He called on Ghanaians to visit the Volta Region to see things for themselves since the NPP government had been trumpeting to Ghanaians that they (NPP) had transformed the region.
The running mate described the region as lagging behind as compared to other regions but promised that the NDC government would develop the region.
On socio-economic issues, Mr. Mahama touched on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), the Capitation Grant and School Feeding Programme, Education in general and youth employment in the region.
He described the NHIS to be limited in scope saying that the NPP government did not heed to advice and went ahead to implement that policy which had been bedeviled by bottlenecks.
He mentioned that the NDC would make the NHIS a universal one for all Ghanaians to receive a true and free medical care irrespective of where they registered and also the payment of the premium would be once in a person's life time.
How feasible this was going to be, Mr. Mahama alleged that Ghanaians have been contributing two and half percent of any item they bought to what he called National Health Insurance Levy.
These contributions, he noted, were enough to keep the payment of the premium of the NHIS a one-time feature.
He added that Ghanaians would be given the needed drugs free of charge anytime they visited the hospital and not to be given drugs that are less expensive but told to buy the expensive ones from private drug stores, which had been the feature of the current NHIS.
The running mate assured that people that an NDC government under Prof. Mills would build modern hospitals at every district in the country and clinic or health post in all the villages to make healthcare accessible to the people.
Mr. Mahama indicated to the people that the Free Compulsory Basic Education (FCUBE), which is a constitutional mandate was not being properly implemented as many school going children still pay other levies such as sports, printing/examination and other fees.
He promised the people that Prof. Mills' government would make education in Ghana really free and that every child in deprived districts would be given free school uniforms.
Mr. Mahama therefore urged the electorate to vote for the NDC, stating that the party was embarking on “operation maximize every vote” in the region.
He assured the people that even though they were aware that the Volta Region had been referred to as the “World Bank” of the NDC they were not going to be complacent in their approach to situations in the region.
Mr. Mahama later introduced Ms. Sena Akua Dansua, Kwasi Bandua, Wisdom Gidisu, and Francis Osei-Sarfo as incumbent MPs for North Dayi, Biakoye, Krachie East and West constituencies respectively and urged them to vote for them.
From Wisdom Peter Awuku-Kete Krachie