Ghana: Countdown to Election 2012 - Promises Galore

Photo: AEP
President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana is the candidate of the National Democratic Congress in the 2012 elections.

It is exactly 46 days to the December 7 elections but there are strong indications that the electorate had been bombarded with avalanche of promises which is making them wonder which of the political parties would make the most of promises in the few weeks left.

The four major political parties namely, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Convention People's Party (CPP) and the Progressive People's Party (PPP) have all launched their ambitious manifestos but their respective flag bearers have picked about two policies with which they sell their parties to the electorate.

The common denominator that runs through all the campaigns is the popular free Senior High School Policy.

However, a survey (not scientific) of the campaign promises being made by the Presidential candidates has put President John Dramani Mahama streets ahead of his competitors in terms of the one who has made the highest number of promises. It must be stated that, some of the promises by the candidates cannot be found in their party manifestos.

While NPP Flagbearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has carried his flagship program of free SHS promise to the length and breadth of the country President Mahama seems to have adopted a one promise-per -region policy like the one -child -per -laptop policy. The President over the last three months has made unique promises in every region he has campaigned in making it difficult to decipher the plank of his vision for the next four years should Ghanaians give him the mandate.

Ironically, the CPP led by Dr. Abu Sakara arguably has the most ambitious manifesto promise, yet it has failed to be a catch phrase.

The CPP is campaigning on three thematic areas code-named S-Cube (Social Transformation, Sustainable Economy and Social Justice)

According to Dr Sakara, the CPP will retrieve all fraudulently paid judgement debts within two months of assumption of office. He has further promised that anyone found to have benefitted illegally would be given two months to pay back the money to the state or made to face the full rigours of the law.

Any state official through whose collusion or negligence the state lost the money would also be punished.

The Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom led-PPP is also going for a free compulsory basic education.

"Our position is that Ghanaians must engage in a productive national debate on how to implement free, compulsory education through the Senior High School level and not engage in the self-destructing, unproductive and endless discussion on whether such a policy is feasible, practical or realistic. Political parties, think-tanks, research organisations and business groups should all contribute their ideas, knowledge and work to present solutions to make the goal of a high school education for every Ghanaian boy and girl a reality", a PPP press release stated recently.

Interestingly, President Mahama addressing a mini-rally at Have in the Afadjato South Constituency of the Volta region last week asked Ghanaians not be fooled by the NPP's promise while pledging the NDC's commitment to deliver on its promise.

Just a week later, President Mahama addressing students of the Holy Child Training School and their colleagues from the Takoradi Polytechnic promised that his government will over the next four years, offer scholarships to Polytechnic Lecturers to upgrade themselves as they prepare to transform Polytechnics into Technical Universities.

That is not all from the President to teachers. He promised at the18th edition of the best teacher's award to build houses for teachers next year. Instructions, according to him, had been given to the GETFUND to ensure that was done.

It would also be recalled that, when President Mahama joined chiefs and people of the Oguaa Traditional Area at a durbar to climax the celebration of the Fetu Afahye, at the Cape Coast Jubilee Park he promised that government would transform the region from its present position as the third poorest in the country into a better and glorious one and used the occasion to introduce the technical team from China that would execute the Kotokuraba Market project.

The President also promised that the Market and Stadium projects in Cape Coast would be completed and inaugurated in due time.

Still in the Central region, the President at the Akwambo Festival had also assured the people of Ekumfi in the Central Region of his commitment to develop the area in honour of the late President, John Evans Atta Mills, a son of the area.

He promised that pipelines would be laid throughout Ekumfi for the supply of water under an ongoing 33-million-euro water project in the Central Region.

Other Promises

The people of the Eastern region have also had their fair share of the Presidential promises as President Mahama speaking at Aburi when he joined the people in the region to celebrate the Odwira festival that a Craft Village would be commissioned soon.

According to the President, the Eastern Region is also to benefit from a new regional hospital in addition to a public university if the NDC wins the December elections.

He has also indicated that the establishment of the promised regional hospitals would begin at the Eastern regional capital, Koforidua followed by the Upper East and Upper West Regions, while regional hospitals in Cape Coast and Ho would be expanded to become Teaching Hospitals in addition to the existing ones.

At Tatale, in the Northern region, President Mahama has again vowed to end the culture where private businesses seen as sympathetic to one political party were victimized when there was a change in government.

President John Mahama has also pledged to personally help find a lasting solution to the several chieftaincy disputes in the Greater Accra Region.

The President made the resolve in a meeting with the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs at the Castle when they called on him to console him on the demise of Professor Mills and to also congratulate him on his assumption of the highest office in the land.

Only last week President Mahama said besides the extension of electricity to villages in the area, an NDC-led government will refurbish the Yendi Community Information Center with state-of-the-art computers.

Source: New Crusading Guide

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