Hon E.T. Mensah THE NATIONAL Democratic Congress (NDC) seems to be pulling a fast one on Ghanaians by surreptitiously withdrawing the manifesto signed by the then Candidate John Evans Atta Mills, and with which the party ran its 2008 political campaign for last year's nail-biting and marathon elections.
Just a few weeks into the ceremonious first 100 days of the government, the ruling NDC has substituted the endorsed manifesto and put in circulation a brand new one with different content and devoid of the signature of President Mills.
As it appears now, the belief of Ghanaians that they voted for the NDC based on a manifesto that would serve their interests has apparently been short-changed with the withdrawal of the original one.
The matter of the two contrasting manifestos became a subject of acrimonious debate on the floor of Parliament last Friday when the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla, Dominic B. A. Nitiwul, in an attempt to quote from portions of the NDC manifesto, quickly sent almost all the ruling party MPs to their feet.
The NDC MPs argued in unison that Hon. Nitiwul, was not quoting from their manifesto and that the document he was referring to, which had the signature of President Mills had been withdrawn by the ruling party because of certain errors in it.
However, Hon. Nitiwul, a teacher by profession, who was contributing to the debate on President Mills' State of the Nation address on education, insisted that he was actually quoting from the NDC manifesto which had been endorsed by its leader to indicate what the ruling party promised to do for the education sector.
After a heated debate and protestations on the issue between the Minority and Majority sides, the NDC MP for Avenor Ave and First Deputy Speaker who was in the Chair for the day, ruled that Hon. Nitiwul, should use the new version of the NDC manifesto as the old one had indeed been withdrawn, re-affirming the submissions of his colleagues on the Majority side.
Obliging with the Speaker's ruling, Hon. Nitiwul then started to quote figures from the new manifesto, which the Minority described as the 'King James Version'.
Surprisingly however, the first objection by the majority was just a sequel to another denial, as the NDC MP for Ningo/Prampram and Majority Chief Whip; E. T. Mensah, rose up on his feet to challenge Hon. Nitiwul that he was still not referring to the revised NDC manifesto.
Nonetheless, having been challenged to refer to page 78 of the manifesto and after realizing that the young and eloquent Bimbilla MP had not manufactured any figures but just simply quoting those from the 'King James Version', Hon. E. T. Mensah concluded that the figures were typographical errors and not what the NDC intended to put in the manifesto.
In the said document, the NDC had promised to build 20,000-seat capacity stadium for each regional capital as well as 7,000-seat capacity for each district capacity, which the party said it was a typo error.
This conclusion left many tongues wagging on the floor of Parliament, especially from the minority side as to what commitment the ruling NDC is making to the Ghanaian electorate.
Nitiwul in a sarcastic way told the house that it was very difficult to quote from the NDC manifesto because of the inherent shortcomings.
By Awudu Mahama