Accra, Oct 11, Lens -- "When the people honour you by putting you in government they have asked you to make life better for the people of this country, but when the politicians get into government and forget the people and impoverish the people, politicians must know Ghanaians will vote them out of power".
The above words were spoken by Mr. J.A. Kufuor in the run up to the 2000 elections, and reported in the Guide newspaper of September 14 - 20, 2000. The statement was by then candidate J.A. Kufuor after the launch of the NPP Manifesto in Ho.
The flag bearer of the NDC, Prof. Atta Mills has described these words spoken by the then candidate Kufuor as prophetic words. He said the words "will come to pass in two months' time when we go to the polls" because life has become worse and unbearable for the people of this country under Mr. Kufuor's NPP regime.
Prof. Atta Mills said this recently at the University of Cape Coast where he delivered a lecture to the students of the University. Prof. Mills also asked Ghanaians to look for a copy of the Free Press newspaper of January 29 - February 4, 1999, in which there was a story captioned "Dry pockets is a sign of bad economy". That headline Prof. Mills said referred to a statement made by Mr. Asante Darko the then Ashanti Regional Secretary of the NPP in which he stated that, "the progress or otherwise of the country's economy should be measured by how dry or wet the citizens' pockets are."
The NDC flagbearer surprised the full to capacity hall of students, workers and lectures of the University, when he advised to, "do what the NPP told you and I when they were in opposition: "hwe w'asetena mu, na to aba".
The NDC flag bearer noted that, "today, our pockets are drier that they were before the NPP came to power."
Prof Mills also urged the students to look for the Free Press of July 23 - 30, 1997 where it is written: "The NPP Says No to Draconian Electricity Tariffs", which statement was made by Papa Owusu Ankomah, then Minority Spokesman in Parliament. The flag bearer then asked them the following question: "Today, how much are we paying for electricity tariffs compared to the time of the NDC? I will give you the answer, 100 kilowatt/hour of electricity costs ¢10,000 in December 2000 under the NDC. Today, the same amount of electricity costs ¢58,000".
Ever the don that he is, Prof. Mills' research capabilities were self-evident as usual during his delivery; he backed everything he was saying with solid documentary evidence.
Prof. Mills said, "The truth is that, the NPP has failed to perform. Life is worse for the people of this country." He also referred to a recent publication in the Daily Graphic of Wednesday, September 22, 2004 which carried a news item under the headline Infant Mortality Worsens, According To Survey.According to the findings of that survey, "the 2003 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) for the country has estimated that there has been an increase in infant mortality since the last survey in 1998.
In 1998, the ratio of infant mortality was 5 7 children per 1000 live births, whereas the 2003 survey revealed an infant mortality ratio of 64 children per 1000.
Similarly, for children under-five years, the rate of mortality per 1000 births increased from 108 to 111 for the same period.
The survey also, indicated that the increase in the mortality rates negated the childhood mortality decline recorded in the two previous DHS conducted in 1993 and 1998 in these, under-five mortality rates per 1000 live birth were 119 and 155 respectively. Similarly, in 1993 and 1988 infant mortality rates per 1000 live births were 66 and 77 respectively".
Prof. Mills explained that, "more children are dying under the NPP Government than died under the NDC, and more children under five years are dying under the NPP than died under the NDC. And this is at a time when HIPC relief is supposed to be reducing poverty."
Prof. Mills therefore called on Ghanaians to heed the advice that the NPP gave Ghanaians in the past election to examine their living conditions and let that determine how they vote.