A PRESS STATEMENT OF THE NPP, READ BY SAMMI AWUKU, NATIONAL ORGANISER.
DATE: 13TH AUGUST, 2020
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, Fellow Ghanaians:
Thank you for joining us once again for attending yet another media briefing.
We called you here to show that Candidate Mahama is interested in himself and not his party’s interest and he certainly has no interest in addressing the concerns and aspirations of Ghanaians. He has no vision for Ghana. He has no vision for you.
Let us start with last week. Candidate John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress announced confidently, after pocketing his new voter ID, that Ghanaians will vote for him on December 7, 2020, for him to come back to continue with the good work he was doing before he was voted out on December 7, 2016.
That pronouncement, ladies and gentlemen, describes Candidate Mahama as a candidate who has completely lost touch with his own track record and a candidate who is not in touch with the realities of the people whose votes he seeks. It also shows that he cannot really decide for himself whether he indeed did well or badly as President because he had admitted after losing 2016 that he made a lot of mistakes as President.
Perhaps, we should begin by reminding ourselves what he said in his own autobiography, “My First Coup d’état”, published in 2012. In the last page of the book, he writes: “All the decisions I have made in my life were REGUARLY PLAGUED WITH DOUBT. It can be challenging to sustain that feeling of hope or the belief that things will turn out for the best. Again and again, I have felt like that boy Dramani, on the bicycle going downhill fast, without any brakes and NOT KNOWING WHICH WAY TO TURN.”
In his mind, it appears that Candidate Mahama is still on that bicycle without brakes, and he’s still going downhill, not knowing which way to turn. But, should he be allowed a second time to ride Ghana on his bad bike downhill into the ditch again?
Candidate Mahama suffers from a pandemic of indecision. It is evident from how he stumbled reluctantly into the Vice-Presidency, when his whole plan was to pursue a PhD course in South Africa, and how he became President accidentally. He should thank Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader, and Stan Dogbe, his own aide, who in John Mahama’s bedroom in late March 2008, begged him to accept the running mate offer. In fact, that day, Haruna Iddrisu is known to have torn into pieces an open letter that the MP for Bole, John Mahama, had written to the NDC leadership and was about to have it published to say that he was not at all interested in becoming Prof Mills’s running mate. Ghanaians must blame the two men for stopping John Mahama from doing what he really wanted to do.
We are surprised that kwamena Ahwoi missed that important episode of history in his book, “Working with Rawlings”.
His political life is rife with evidence that, apart from being a smooth talker, John Mahama is not a man of conviction, vision and competence; he is not a man with the commitment and boldness to confront and manage an economy under this novel coronavirus pandemic, with all its implications for lives and livelihoods.
Managing this country is too complex for Candidate Mahama simply because he has been tried, tested and he failed and he actually believes even today that he did well! Candidate Mahama is running for office because he knows no better than to satisfy his selfish interest to be president again. He was given a big chance and he blew it big time! As my mentor and friend, the late Sir John asked memorably the other day: ‘What is it that John Mahama left at Jubilee House that he wants to back for? Whatever it is let him say it so that I can fetch it for him?” Sadly, Sir John may be no more, but that offer still stands.
Ladies and gentlemen, last Sunday, the nation achieved an important milestone towards having credible general elections on December 7, 2020. A new voters’ register was compiled to the admiration of even those, like the opposition National Democratic Congress, who went on street protests and threatened to cause mayhem and even subject themselves to self-imposed castration if Jean Mensah and her team at the Electoral Commission went ahead to do what is right for Ghana and her democracy.
We of the New Patriotic Party stood firm in our conviction, just as we did when in opposition, and supported the EC’s decision to compile a new register and we have been vindicated. We congratulate, once again, the EC for a complex job well done.
Candidate John Mahama, on the other hand, showed during this registration exercise that he is an indecisive man. He doesn’t know what he wants. He doesn’t know what he believes in; so depending on where he thinks the wind is blowing, he takes a position.
Here are some examples.
Candidate Mahama now says that the Electoral Commission’s Registration Exercise “has met his expectation.” How is that possible? Candidate Mahama and the NDC were firmly against the registration exercise.
Their expectation and machinations were that the registration would not and should not take place at all. Candidate Mahama and the NDC’s expectation was that Ghanaians would not turn up to register. They tried to scare Ghanaians away with fear and panic over covid-19 infections. Also, Candidate Mahama mounted a hate campaign to pit one ethnic group against the other all in the hope for vain votes, with false allegations of a deliberate decision by the Government to disenfranchise some Ghanaians. His hate-for-votes campaign only exposed him as selfish, unpatriotic and a danger to the unity, peace and harmony of our democracy.
The outcome of the voter registration exercise is the exact opposite of Candidate Mahama’s expectation. He now wants to associate with success but he never wants to support and work for success. We are very happy with the outcome, the high registration turnout to us indicates public confidence, and not apathy, in the political system. But registration is only the first step. We have 116 days to the presidential and parliamentary elections on Monday, December 7, 2020. There is one more and bigger step.
We will urge registered voters up and down the country, in all 16 regions, to turnout in their numbers and vote and vote wisely. But to vote wisely is to make an informed choice. The two main political parties, NPP and NDC, have completed their presidential tickets of candidate and running mate. Soon, we expect the other political parties to do same and wish them all the best.
On Saturday, 22nd August, in order to further help the country make an informed choice, we of the New Patriotic Party will launch our 2020 manifesto. The manifesto is important to us because we have shown over this first term of the Akufo-Addo administration that we deliver what we promise even as we faced the difficult task of fixing what John Mahama and his NDC destroyed. We have delivered but there is more work ahead of us to deliver more to bring progress and prosperity to every household in Ghana and that is the programme that we will outline in our manifesto.
We are very confident about the future of Ghana, because for the second term that we seek, we would have no such Mahama crisis to deal with but how to protect and build on the successes that we have achieved to fast-track Ghana’s economic growth and transformation in spite of the global devastation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Countries as big as the United Kingdom are today facing what they describe as their worst economic recession since World War II. Ghana would have fared far worse if we did not have Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP in office today. Strong, decisive and caring leadership, boosted by the superior management of the economy by the Akufo-Addo government is what has saved Ghana now and what will deliver Ghana’s future.
The December 2020 race is not for the swift with lies, but for those who are swift in action; action that benefits the masses of this country. The December 2020 race is essentially between the NPP and NDC; Nana Akufo-Addo and John Dramani Mahama ¬¬¬¬¬– the former President and the current President. We believe it is an easy choice to make because, unfortunately for John Mahama and what he would like you to believe, the people of Ghana DO NOT have a short memory. We remember his abysmal performance like it was only yesterday.
Last week, when John Mahama went to the Savannah Region (yes, the region he promised but could not deliver and Akufo-Addo promised and delivered). There, he out-doored his campaign message for 2020 which we want Ghanaians to study carefully. He says, “On December 7, 2020, God is going to speak. The people of Ghana are going to speak. And the NDC government will come back and continue the good work that it started.”
Ghanaians, the former President is questioning your judgment. The verdict you delivered to him 4 years ago. Yes! He is saying to you that he did not make a mistake with his incompetence when he was in office, first as Vice President from January 2009 to July 2012 and second, as President from July 2012 to January 2017. But that you rather made a mistake with your poor judgment by giving him the biggest defeat ever suffered by any incumbent president in this country’s history.
The question Ghanaians are asking you, former President John Mahama, is this: what good work were you doing that Ghanaians should vote for you to come back to continue? As Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia asked yesterday, “What did John Mahama do for the youth of Ghana in the 8 years that he was in office?” What was so good about John Mahama’s leadership that he believes today that he deserves to come back to continue?
• Is it the five years of dumsor?
• Is the suffering he visited on Ghanaians then the good old days that he wants voters to remember?
• Is it the high rate of youth unemployment?
• Is it his decision to give over 75% of Ghana’s entire deposit of bauxite to his younger brother, Ibrahim Mahama?
• Is it his decision to oppose Free SHS?
When John Mahama says Ghanaians should bring him back to continue with the good work he was doing what exactly does he mean?
• Is it his record for being the only Vice President to be investigated by his own President for alleged corruption, specifically over an airplane deal?
• Is it his decision to give a GHS4.6 billion interoperability contract to his friend Roland Agambire, only for the NPP to come and cancel it and do the same thing for $5 million?
What is this good record that he is so proud of?
• Is it the competence he showed by running the economy of oil-rich Ghana down to the ground?
• Is it his indecision over the banking crisis that he himself had identified in his 2016 State of the Nation address but did not have the courage to do anything about?
What is the good work that Mahama wants Ghanaians to remember with nostalgia – what were the good old days?
• Is it his decision to run to the IMF for a bailout because he could not manage the economy?
• Is it his decision to dish out inflated contracts without even knowing how to pay for them, leaving it for the NPP to come and settle the arrears?
• Is it his decision to build two flyovers (Kasoa and Kwame Nkrumah Circle) at a cost much higher than what NPP is using to build four bigger flyovers, Tema, Pokuase, Obestebi -Lamptey and Tamale?
What is this good record that John Mahama is using as a reference point to be voted for on December to come back to continue?
• Is it a record that was so good that his own Vice President, the woefully-under utilized Kwesi Amissah-Arthur (according to Kwamena Ahwoi), was so eager to contest his former boss John Mahama for the 2020 NDC leadership position before his sad and sudden death?
We have seen Candidate John Mahama’s campaign strategy. He is comparing 8 years of NDC (the Mills-Mahama and Mahama-Amissah Arthur 8 years) to the less than 4 years of NPP under Akufo-Addo and his most-able Veep, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
Candidate Mahama has decided that for 2020, just like he did in 2016 and failed, he is once again going to use infrastructure as his biggest achievement to campaign on. This means, that he is using everything, including contracts awarded under President Kufuor, like the many district hospitals up and down the country, and executed under President John Atta Mills, and other contracts, like the University of Ghana Medical School, started under Mills and completed under Akufo-Addo, and claiming all of them as all his doing and his alone.
We have no problem with that because we know, and the evidence will show that the NPP under Akufo-Addo has achieved more in providing infrastructure for communities up and down the country under just 4 years than John Mahama and his NDC did in 8 years. We have the evidence and we shall be sharing them with the Ghanaian people very soon. And they won’t be in a green book.
Candidate Mahama now claims that in the unlikely event that he’s elected President again, he will implement Akufo-Addo’s flagship Free SHS programme. Candidate Mahama, why now? You were in power as Vice-President and Head of the Economic Management Team for almost four years, and then as President for four years and some change. In total, you were in power for EIGHT GOOD YEARS. Yet, Candidate Mahama, YOU FAILED TO IMPLEMENT FREE SHS! Your endorsement of Free SHS is, therefore, from your own record, not honest. A big lie!
Your current running mate, an educationist, was your Minister of Education. Yet, together, YOU FAILED TO IMPLEMENT FREE SHS! President Akufo-Addo pledged way back in 2008 that he would implement Free SHS. You opposed it. You had the opportunity for eight years; yet YOU FAILED TO IMPLEMENT FREE SHS.
We are told by the NDC now, that it was not up to the Education Minister Naana Jane Opoku Agyeman to introduce free SHS and that it was a cabinet decision not to do so. Well, Candidate Mahama, you were the President. It was your cabinet. You were in charge. Yet, YOU FAILED TO IMPLEMENT FREE SHS.
And then, along came President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Oseadeeyor! Within EIGHT MONTHS – Mahama had EIGHT YEARS oh! – within EIGHT MONTHS, Akufo-Addo and the NPP implemented Free SHS.
And now, over 1.2 million young people, mostly from underprivileged homes, have had secondary education. 400,000 of them who met the qualifying mark would still have been left out if it were not for the introduction of the innovative Double-Track which Mahama opposed.
So having seen that it is doable, John Mahama now says that if he’s elected, he’ll implement Free SHS. Anokwa! Should Ghanaians replace the man who dreamed it, believed in it and delivered it for one who never believed it and fought it?
Once again, Candidate Mahama wants to associate with success but he doesn’t know how to solve problems to achieve success. He has no blueprint for achieving success. Between the two main candidates, it is obvious which one truly cares for the youth of Ghana and, therefore, the country’s future? It is Akufo-Addo.
TRAINEE TEACHER & NURSES ALLOWANCES
Ladies and Gentlemen, on September 9th, 2016, Candidate Mahama, speaking at a Forum at the University of Cape Coast, said: “For purposes of partisan politics, you have your political opponent come and say when we come back, we will restore trainee allowances to colleges of education. For me, it is better to lose the election on principle than to win it on falsehood.”
As we all know, President Oseadeeyor Akufo-Addo has done what he promised he would do. He restored trainee teacher and nurses allowances in his first year of office. And now, Candidate Mahama says that if he is elected, he will do what he said was clear he couldn’t do as President. He is a man of no conviction.
(Show slides/pictures of online stories of both stories).
Once again, Candidate Mahama wants to associate with success but he doesn’t know how to get it done.
MAHAMA REJECTS GHANA CARD. MAHAMA REGISTERS FOR GHANA CARD
In yet another instance of indecisiveness, Candidate Mahama led the NDC in a campaign to reject the Ghana Card issued by the National Identification Authority. Then he and his party chairman turned around to blame the NIA for deliberately issuing fewer Ghana Cards in NDC strongholds, which was a blatantly false allegation anyway, as we have seen from the evidence of the even spread of those who used the NIA card for voter registration. In the end, when he realized that Ghanaians were registering and acquiring the Ghana Card, he and his wife went quietly to register. (SHOW ONLINE STORIES/PICTURES/SLIDES).
Yet again, Candidate Mahama wants to associate with success but he doesn’t know how to get things done. HE WAS IN OFFICE FOR EIGHT YEARS! Yet, he did not implement the Ghana Card project, which the visionary President John Agyekum Kufuor had started.
ANOTHER PHANTOM $10 BILLION
Candidate Mahama claims that he will inject 10 billion dollars into infrastructure projects and use that to create jobs. He said this in a knee-jerk reaction to Akufo-Addo’s GHS100 billion CARES programme to help Ghana’s economy overcome Covid-19. We employ you the journalists to probe for details. It appears Mahama is very fond of the sum ten billion dollars. It is a total pipe dream for three reasons.
First, in 2013, working with his very good friend, Roland Agambire, amidst great fanfare, accompanied by an international super star, Candidate Mahama went to cut the sod for the $10 billion Hope City. He promised thousands of jobs in the process of constructing multiple skyscrapers comprising business, shopping and residential facilities. Not knowing, they had not even acquired the land for the project! Nothing happened after the sod cutting.
(Show pictures/slides of what he promised versus what the place looks like now).
Secondly, When Candidate Mahama says he is going to build projects, the Ghanaian people should be extremely worried because of the inflated cost of his projects. He is not interested in the outcome and the impact of the project on the lives of the people. He is not interested in value for money.
So when Candidate Mahama says he’s going to invest $10 billion in infrastructure, Ghanaians must treat it not as a promise, but a threat. It must not draw you towards him, rather you must run away from him.
Thirdly, Candidate Mahama says that this 10-billion-dollar pipe-dream will create one million jobs. Mahama does not care about creating jobs for young people. In November 2016, Candidate Mahama told unemployed graduates that he is not a magician to put money inside people’s pockets. His former private sector development minister Rashid Pelpuo, said that young people should go into the forest and collect stones and come and sell by the roadside. They should also cut grass and come and sell. (Show the video). This was Candidate Mahama’s job creation strategy.
Ladies and gentlemen, the problem with Candidate Mahama is that every Ghanaian knows him, because he was Vice-President and then President for a total of eight good years. Whatever he could have offered, whatever he could implement, whatever he had to give, whatever he could’ve done – he had eight years to do so. But he failed. That is why he suffered the heaviest defeat in any election in Ghana’s history. In fact, he gave Ghana the worst economic growth record since 1990. The facts are all there.
It is therefore not surprising that former President Jerry Rawlings, the Founder of the NDC himself, the man who gave John Mahama his only ministerial opportunities, says he did not vote for his own candidate Mahama in 2016. Not only that, he will not say today if he will vote for Candidate Mahama in 2020! We all heard him on Asaase Radio last month. In fact, former President Rawlings believes that Candidate Mahama’s main target is 2024.
Candidate Mahama himself let the cat out of the bag when in Savannah last week, he referred to 8 years of President Akufo-Addo, as if 2020 is just a trial run for 2024 for him. The NDC must wake up to Candidate Mahama’s plans. He does not mean well for the NDC. If he were for the interest of the NDC he would have rather used his money and resources to support a potentially winnable candidate for the future. But he chose to run with his abysmal record.
If our friends in the NDC were not convinced a few weeks ago that Candidate Mahama’s real plan, as revealed by the NDC founder, is to close the space for contest for him to prepare for 2024 then they should be in no doubt now. JJ Rawlings saw the script early. Candidate Mahama is not interested in a succession plan for the NDC and this is something the rank and file of the NDC must wake up to. Candidate Mahama is all about John Mahama. He is not in this race for the NDC and certainly not for Ghana.
Ghana needs a selfless, bold, decisive, caring and visionary leader to carry us forward at a time like this. That leader is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, a man of vision, a man of courage; a compassionate, caring, thoughtful and matured man.
NPP is ready for December 7, 2020. For Ghanaian voters who came out in their numbers to register, the real show of your civic duty is to show up in your numbers on Monday December 7 to vote and vote for four more to do more for you!
Come out, observe all the Covid protocols and vote for your welfare and wellbeing; vote for your children; vote for your community; vote for your country, Ghana.
Vote for NPP for Akufo-Addo to protect and build on our gains as a nation.
We thank you.