BAAH WIREDU EXPOSES NDC It has now been established that in the run-up to the 2000 general election, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) made a total of 224 promises to persuade the electorate to vote for the party and its presidential candidate, Professor John Evans Atta Mills, to power.
This is in sharp contrast to statements by former President Rawlings and Prof. Atta Mills that the NDC did not make any promises to Ghanaians and that it was the New Patriotic Party (NPP) which made sweet promises, which they have failed to deliver.
The Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, who revealed this to The Chronicle in an exclusive interview at Konongo at the weekend, said the NDC's promises were contained in its 2000 Manifesto in which it spelled out its objectives in the form of “we shall” and “we will”.
He contended that by the use of the words “we shall” and we will” do this or that, the NDC made emphatic and irrevocable promises, which can neither, be forgotten nor misconstrued.
Baah-Wiredu, who produced a copy of the 2000 NDC Manifesto, which he has read and knows inside-out, also wondered what the NDC meant when it stated in the last paragraph of page 12 that, “...we need debt relief.”
In the said paragraph, the NDC said it would make a big case to the international community should it be voted into power, “we need more access to the markets of the developed world; we need affordable technologies and we need debt relief,” it said. He queried, “If it was not HIPC, what was it?”
He contrasted the lifestyles of the champions of ordinary people, who saddled Ghanaians with unaffordable school fees, which triggered the Mmobrowa Struggle, whilst they sent their children to school abroad as against the foreword authored by former President Rawlings in the NDC Manifesto, about the selfishness “of politicians” at the time.
He pointed out that the manifesto clearly states that both the PNDC and NDC eras were inseparable in the thinking of the founder of the NDC.
Reacting to the NDC presidential candidate's assertion, during a recent tour of the Upper West region, that cost of living had gone up, Baah-Wiredu compared the value of the cedi to the US dollar when the PNDC seized power.
He cited the upgrading of 31 Senior Secondary Schools in the country as some of the factors in the increase in the demand for cement and its consequent rise in price.
He explained that in 1982, the dollar was ¢2.75p, however, by December 2000 when the P/NDC left office, it had spiralled out of control to ¢7,000. The prudent policies of the NPP government within its three and a half years in office had stabilised it, the Minister reminded the NDC.
Baah-Wiredu, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asante Akim North, said the interest rate, which was above 50 per cent, had also dropped to 19% as a result of the good work of the NPP, culminating in business people now being able to plan ahead.
The minister faulted Prof. Mills for his role in doling out $2 million to Juliet Cotton of the Quality Grains scandal.
He pointed to page 77 of the verdict on the Quality Grains trial which according to him, had fingered Prof.
Mills for giving away the $2 million and ¢100 million.
He also questioned the moral authority of the NDC presidential candidate and the former president on human rights abuses by citing the May 11, 1995 killing of innocent people in “broad daylight” during the peaceful demonstration of Kume Preko and non-prosecution of the perpetrators, corrupt officials and the beating of a former vice president, the late Kow Nkensen Arkaah.
The demolishing of a hotel under the direct supervision of the former president also received some bashing from Baah-Wiredu, who said the NPP had not demolished anyone's property. He defended the NPP's three and a half years of management of the economy and the judicious use of taxpayers' monies and an improvement of human rights in the country, adding “at least President Kufuor has not beaten the Vice President.”