A National Democratic Congress (NDC) Communication Group based in Kumasi has blamed the leadership of the party for contributing to the hype in popularity of the free Senior High School policy being promised by the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).
After months of unsuccessful attempts to disabuse the minds of Ghanaians, the group is blaming the rank and file of the party for a wrong approach to counteracting the message.
"We started on a wrong foot, and we, the NDC, need to admit that we have not approached the issue well, because, as far as the NPP and their manifesto is concerned, there is nothing like free SHS," the group pointed out.
Nana Addo's free senior high school promise appears to have dazed the ruling party into a political coma, with its communicators looking for every available means to discredit the policy.
The group believes the ruling party machinery adopted a wrong approach to Nana Addo's campaign promise, a development, which it says, has given some amount of credence to the opposition party's propaganda.
The group is of the view that the ruling party failed to tackle the issue appropriately, contending that by arguing that the policy was not feasible, the ruling party only gave room for the opposition to perpetuate their message and deceive the good people of Ghana.
Addressing a news conference to state what it described as the alleged fraud and deception of Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, a Communication Consultant and Head of the Group, Enoch Amoako Nsiah, stated emphatically that there was nothing like free SHS in the NPP's own manifesto for the 2012 general elections.
Amoako Nsiah noted that instead of exposing the alleged deception and lies of the NPP, based on their own public document, the ruling party busied itself challenging its feasibility or otherwise, and this, according to him, had not helped at all.
He said the statement by the flagbearer of the party, Nana Akufo-Addo, when answering a question on the free SHS during the IEA debate, differed from what it stated in their own manifesto, a situation, which he argues, clearly demonstrates dishonesty on the part of the opposition.
"Indeed, the National Democratic Congress, our party's argument that it is not possible, it is not feasible," is making it appear as if the NPP does actually have a policy that can be referred to as free SHS," he observed.
According to him, what Nana Addo and the NPP had done was a clever and smart plan that had the sole object of stealing the mandate of the good people of Ghana in the up-coming general elections, adding, "What they are propounding as a free SHS policy is nothing, but what is popularly referred to as '419 scam."
He indicated that per the manifesto of the NPP, there were only ten items listed as going to be free, including free tuition, admission, textbook, library, science center, computer, and examinations, but when Nana Addo appeared at the IEA a few weeks ago, he listed about 13 items.
These inconsistencies, including the fact that four of the items captured in the manifesto were already free, raises questions about the true nature of the free SHS being promised by Nana Akufo-Addo.
In a cost analysis presented by the group, they noted that the cost of the six items which Nana Addo was promising to pay for was GHÂÂ¢252.34 for boarding students and GHÂÂ¢19 for day students.
The group, however, noted that there were other physical costs that parents would be expected to pay under the so-called free SHS under the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
The group has also called on groups, individuals and organisations, who have thrown their weight behind the free SHS because of lack of information and deception by the NPP, to reconsider their positions.
It further called on the media to owe it as a national duty to educate the electorate, by asking politicians the necessary questions to help the electorate make an informed decision.