By Pascal KafuAbotsi& Maxwell Ofori
Policy Advisor to the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Boakye Agyarko, has described as disastrous, the re-election of President Mahama in the upcoming election, saying he cannot be trusted to put the people first, having destroyed the little credibility he inherited from the late President John Evans Atta Mills.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra yesterday to respond to highlights of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) campaign launch, which took place in Sunyani over the weekend, Mr Agyarko said the President’s performances in the various sectors of the economy were not encouraging.
For instance, he indicated that with President John Dramani Mahama’s track record in job creation, giving him another 4 years would mean an increment in the unemployment rate in the country.
“With John Mahama's track record, The NPP cannot fathom how the unemployment situation will improve under a future Mahama-led government,” he said.
According to him, “What we have in John Mahama is a president who is so out-of-touch with the problems of the average Ghanaian that he sees his non-performance in these sectors as a success.”
Mr Agyarko, who is also the Chairman of the NPP Manifesto Committee, relied on the plight of the Ghanaian, substantiating in one breath that when one spoke randomly to people around the country, it appeared their concerns, problems and anxieties were same.
“Unemployment, bad roads, the lack of decent and affordable accommodation and the high costs, as well as the falling standards in education and health,” he stated.
To push further his argument that the President did not have the interest of the people, leading to his constant deceit of the people, he unveiled a disparity in claims by government to have distributed 12.5million English, Mathematics and Science textbooks to public basic schools between 2013 and 2015 and what was captured in the Education Sector Performance of 2016, as published by the Ministry of Education.
The publication, he said, revealed that: “'Core Textbook to pupil ratio' in public basic schools, both at the National and Deprived District levels have been in decline since 2013/14,” adding that at the national level, it fell from 2.2 in 2013/14 to 2.0 in 2014/15 and to 1.7 in 2015/16 – while at the Deprived District level, the figures for the corresponding years were 2.1, 1.8 and 1.6 respectively.
The Policy Advisor to Nana Addo Danquah Akufo Addo reminded the NDC of the key ingredients of a government that put the people first, which he said were competence, compassion, foresight, discipline and integrity to implement policies that would help create jobs and not one that would kill jobs with poor policies.
“It cannot be disputed that President Mahama has made Ghanaians poorer. The prices of everyday items have skyrocketed under John Mahama. The price of a gallon of petrol has gone from GH¢3 to GH¢16.
“Bread has moved from from GH¢2 to GH¢7, milk from GH1¢1 to GH¢3, Kenkey from 30 pesewas to GH¢2, fish from 50 pesewas to GH¢2, sachet water from 5 pesewas to 20 pesewas, and a bag of cement from GH¢12 to GH¢32,” he pointed out.
Mr Agyarko, who was in constant touch with the theme of his delivery – Promises made, Promises Broken, Promises Repeated – made the NDC administration understand that it was a government that put corruption first, which meant they were only paying lip service to putting Ghanaians first. He demonstrated his corruption allegation with what happened to NPP’s National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), which became Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA) under the late President Mills.
In these 8 years, he mentioned, the NDC had been unable to recruit even 100,000 youth, with their performance hovering around 70,000 explaining that what the NPP achieved under two years, the NDC had been unable to achieve that in 8 years.
“It is not surprising that their greatest achievement in this sector has been the creation of ingenious schemes to facilitate the stealing of over one billion Ghana Cedis from the sector and the sharing of this loot amongst themselves and their cronies,” he decried.
On infrastructure, he reminded the NDC that there was no trumpeting it, which the ruling government had hinged on excessive borrowing, since building it was expected of every government.
“Much of this borrowing was supposed to help accelerate Ghana's development. But, our roads remain so poor that only those with access to helicopters, like President Mahama and his officials, can safely travel across the country without any stress,” he revealed.
The party, thus believes that NDC’s failure to advance a transparent and accountable governance, should send a signal to Ghanaians that the NDC cannot be trusted to deliver to their satisfaction.