President Nana Akufo-Addo has said “it is interesting to note” that the biggest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) “in opposition, is not able to take the lead in doing some of the things that are most often done first by parties in opposition”.
For example, he said: “You might remember how long it took the NDC presidential candidate to find a running mate, and they have not yet got a Manifesto”.
“I wonder what will happen the day they have a government to run as well”, he said at the launch of the governing New Patriotic Party’s 2020 manifesto in Cape Coast, Central Region on Saturday, 22 August 2020.
“Or, maybe, it is simply showing the country they do not attach much importance to a Manifesto, nor should we expect that whatever is written in it would reflect their beliefs.
“Which presupposes, of course, that they now have or hold on to any firm beliefs, instead of bending in the direction of whatever they think is currently fashionable. We wish them luck with their Manifesto, whenever they are done with it.
“We, in the NPP, know from whence we came. We have never had any identity crisis, and our Manifesto always gives us the opportunity to reiterate our historic stand as the party of the rule of law, the party of good governance, the party of business, the party that builds and creates wealth, the party of social justice, and the party that cares for every Ghanaian.
“In other words, it helps to believe in something, to spend time and energy to think it through, and to get passionate and competent people to lead in the implementation of the programme”, the President said.
Read his full speech below:
NPP manifesto launch: Akufo-Addo’s full speech:
Address By The President Of The Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, At The Launch Of The 2020 Manifesto Of The New Patriotic Party, On Saturday, 22nd August 2020, In Cape Coast, Central Region
It is a joy to be in this celebrated, ancient city of Cape Coast, the capital of the Central Region and appropriately named for generations as the ‘Athens of Africa’, to undertake our activity of today – launching of the NPP 2020 Manifesto. We are doing so in a region that gave us a massive endorsement in 2016, for which we continue to be grateful, and whose mandate we have done everything to fulfil. We are honoured by the attendance of no less a personage than the traditional landlord, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II, Oguaamanhene, who has chosen to grace the occasion with his presence. Osabarima, thank you for being here. Y?da wo ase.
Four years ago, on 9th October 2016, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presented to the Ghanaian people a Manifesto that spelt out a programme of what we would do in office, when entrusted with power at the elections. We called it CHANGE: AN AGENDA FOR JOBS, Creating Prosperity, Securing the Peace.
We had spent a lot of time, and consulted widely, and were guided by the core values of our party in prioritising the solutions to the many problems that faced our country.
I said, at the launch, that a Manifesto represented, for me, a solemn social contract between the electorate and the elected. I had entered into the contract by signing the document on my behalf and that of the NPP. By voting for us on 7th December 2016, the Ghanaian people had also signed their part of the contract, giving us the mandate to implement the ideas in the Manifesto. I said I fully understood the consequence of putting my signature to a contract.
I know that some people do not accord much worth to a Manifesto, but I do, and we, of the NPP, have always taken our Manifestos seriously, because we believe politics is serious business, and asking for the mandate of the people to govern is serious business.
We believe that citizens must be treated with respect. Once given the mandate to govern, we are bound by the promises that we make to the good people of Ghana, and we set about translating the promises into concrete programmes.
I said, when we were asking for the mandate to govern, that I want a Ghana where government is accountable to the electorate, not with artist impressions of projects and green books, but with cold facts and figures.
Fellow Ghanaians, you would have noticed, therefore, that all the presentations that have been made today have gone into great detail in providing a clear accounting for what we have done in the three years and eight months we have been in office. I want to thank all the men and women who made these solid presentations.
I take pride especially in two things that have characterised the implementation of our programmes: we have succeeded at equitable distribution, which means all parts of the country have been touched by our policies, and we have delivered value for money.
I take pride in the fact that free SHS and free TVET have been delivered, and our young people, and their parents and guardians, know that they will no longer be forced to stop school at JHS level because of financial difficulties.
It was not easily done, and, so, we intend to protect it, and prevent any so-called ‘review’, another word for cancellation.
We have no reason to believe the NDC presidential candidate’s newly proclaimed conversion to free SHS and free TVET. For eight years, he and his party were loud in their assertions that they did not believe in free SHS and free TVET, they did not like the idea, they rubbished it at every opportunity, and they proclaimed that it would destroy Ghana’s educational system.
When they were in office, they had a hard time trying to run even their watered-down version of their so-called progressively free education. Then the former President said he would “review” it, and now we hear him say it has come to stay.