Tarkwa (W/R), Aug. 12, GNA - Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama has asked Ghanaians to assess the performance of the Kufuor Administration over the past three years and determine whether it deserved to be returned to power in the 2004 Election.
He said the New Patriotic Party (NPP), was convinced that it had creditably delivered on its electoral promises and that should an impartial assessment be made and in good faith, the good people of Ghana would give the Party another mandate to continue with the process of positive change.
Vice President Mahama was addressing the people of Tarkwa in the Wassa West District, as part of his four-day outreach programme to Shama Ahanta East, Ahanta West and Wassa West districts of the Western Region He said the NPP would step aside in peace, should the people of Ghana decide not renew its mandate.
Alhaji Mahama said: "We believe that we got the opportunity to serve the people of Ghana through divine intervention. But if God in his own wisdom decides that it is enough, who are we to challenge the will of God."
"We waited in opposition for 30 years before we got the opportunity to rule and we only want the best for this nation, so in whatever we do we will put the nation first for peace and development to prevail." Vice President Mahama said the Government had ensured chalked several achievements resulting in a improvement in the quality of life of Ghanaians, saying the improvement in the cocoa sector was a significant feature.
He said the purchases for the main crop season in 2003-2004 of 625,616 metric tonnes is the highest ever in recent times. Alhaji Mahama said the feat was due to high-tech interventions, including the mass spraying of cocoa farms by the Government, adding that about 600 billion cedis has been spent on the exercise through out the country since 2003.
He said the income of cocoa farmers had improved significantly as the price of a ton of cocoa increased from 3,475,000 cedis in October 2000 to 9,000,000 cedis in October last year. Vice President Mahama said bonuses to cocoa farmers had also been paid frequently with 78.6 billion cedis paid as total pre-season bonus in October 2003 alone.
On education, the Vice President Mahama said 800 blocks of classrooms had so far been constructed through out the country to enhance access to education, which is the catalyst for national development.
He said other facilities to improve teaching and learning were being provided at all levels of education.
Vice President Mahama said roads, health facilities, electricity and potable water and other necessary amenities were also being provided to improve the quality of life of Ghanaians.
He said: "We are proud of our achievements given the weak economy we inherited and we are appreciative of the fact that the good people of Ghana give us credit wherever we go".
The Vice President, who received a tumultuous welcome from the residents of Tarkwa, who trooped from their homes and workplaces to the streets amidst cheers, urged the people to cooperate with the Government in its efforts to develop the nation and maintain peace and security at all times.
Papa Owusu-Ankomah, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, said the tolerance of the Kufuor administration for highly critical views should not be viewed as a weakness in dealing with its opponents but should be considered as the promotion for the freedom of speech, which the NPP believes in.
The Vice President commissioned a 585 million cedi community library, funded by the Wassa West District Assembly at Tarkwa. Earlier, he commissioned an electricity project, funded by the European Union for five communities. They are Patapuom, Ayensukrom, Yareyeya, Timtimhwe, Awodua Nkwanta and Suwinso. 11 Aug 04