How Akufo-Addo Angrily Rejected NPP 2016 Draft Manifesto
Calls Boakye Agyarko’s Work Useless; And Kennedy Agyepong Rubbishes Minority Leader, Akomea, Boadu
Claims by leading members of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that, the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), stole its ideas in making its 2016 manifesto, could be a cleverly calculated ploy, as details available to The Herald revealed that Nana Akufo-Addo in a meeting on August 1, this year, rather angrily rejected a draft manifesto submitted to him for his perusal.
Indeed, the rejection of the Boakye Agyarko-led draft manifesto, culminated into Nana Akufo-Addo’s Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Evening Encounter scheduled for August 9 to be called off, as the content of the NPP manifesto was to be delivered to Ghanaians as the party’s policy statement for the country, should it be elected to govern.
The Herald’s information was that Nana Addo, angrily threw out a draft manifesto, calling the prepared document a “Useless Manifesto”. The incident took place in his Nima residence in Accra.
His anger was that, Boakye Agyarko and the Manifesto Committee, had executed a poor job. One party insider, who sat through the event said “Nana Addo acted in a fit of rage.” The same Nana Addo, had rejected an earlier one coordinated by the same Boakye Agyarko, who had once served him as campaign manager.
Those who worked on the draft manifesto, had been put into sectors with Boakye Agyarko, made to coordinate them, but with the August 1 embarrassing rejection of the document, the ex-banker, decided to stay away.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, running mate to Akufo-Addo, took over to redo the work. It is unclear if Dr. Bawumia’s team, has submitted a satisfactory document to please the flagbearer, from which the NDC, according to the NPP Director of Communications, Nana Akomea, John Boadu, the acting General Secretary and the Minority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, copied from.
Interestingly, the acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay, was unaware of the rejection of the draft manifesto, because a day after the meeting in Nana Addo’s residence, Freddie Blay, promised NPP members in the Upper East Region that, the party’s manifesto, would be released by close of last August. This did not happen. John Buadu was later to announce October 18, as the day the NPP was going to launch its manifesto.
Mr. Blay, who according to leaked information, allegedly accused the flagbearer of sidelining him in plans towards the 2016 campaign, was quoted by Accra-based Citi FM’s regional correspondent, as having given the deadline on which the manifesto will be released.
Nana Addo, had said that even though the NPP manifesto was ready, it won’t release it, because it does not want the governing NDC to steal it ideas.
While in the US recently to honour an invitation from Donald Trump to attend the Republican Party convention in Cleveland Ohio, Nana Addo, assured NPP loyalists that the 2016 manifesto was ready, and would soon be made public for the electorates to make an informed choice between it and the governing NDC.
But the shocking incident at the Nima Residence of the NPP flagbearer, the party was going to set up another team to start a new manifesto.
Mr. Blay, who obviously didn’t know what had happened in Accra, emphasized earlier claim that, the delay in launching the party’s manifesto was primarily to avoid other political parties, especially the NDC from plagiarizing its policies.
“The NDC takes everything we say and turn into theirs, because they lack ideas. Now we (NPP) don’t want them to have our policies, so that they will plagiarize whatever we come out with.”
Speaking in Bolgatanga, during a working visit, Mr. Blay, said the party has finished with its policies aimed at transforming the country, and to save Ghanaians from what he terms as economic hardship under President Mahama’s administration.
Even though Mr. Blay, did not state the exact date for the launch, he was optimistic the manifesto, will be out by the end of August.
“Within the next few weeks, indeed in a matter of days, positively within this month, the NPP will come out to launch our manifesto in terms of our policies; but definitely the delay is not because the NPP lacks ideas or a message; but we realize that people who don’t have a message, will steal our manifesto and we don’t want to give them that opportunity to steal it.”
Meanwhile, the NPP lawmaker, Kennedy Agyepong, has lashed out at his party over claims that the NDC, has stolen its ideas going into the December 7, polls.
The Assin North MP said, the Danquah-Busia-Dombo tradition, simply has no proof about their allegations since the governing party, had launched its manifesto ahead of the main opposition party.
“No one has stolen your ideas, you simply have no proof,” he said on Adom TV.
Mr. Agyepong added: “It’s about time we stopped this child’s play and focus on issues that will move the nation forward. We are in an election year and as an opposition party ready for power, we can’t afford to counter the ruling party over unnecessary issues…most especially when we want power.”
“You can see now, what they [NDC] call the highlights of their manifesto was just a photocopy of what the New Patriotic Party has been saying and it is amazing that we still have these people talking to the people of this country,” John Boadu, the acting General Secretary of the NPP told journalists on Wednesday in Accra.
However, the NDC, has debunked that claim.
Speaking on Joy FM Wednesday, Kofi Adams, who is the campaign coordinator of the NDC said, “nobody is copying Nana Addo,” and that the policy highlights presented by President Mahama, are captured in the government White Paper.
He said, the NDC since its inception in 1992, have been social democrats and that it is simply untenable to claim that they [NDC] are stealing social democratic ideas from a capitalist entity [NPP].
“If today, you have seen the sense in what we have stood for since 1992 and you are coming towards our side, then you now want to claim what has been our rights all this while,” he added.
The NDC, he continued, is very focused, stating that “Nana Addo has never come out with any such good ideas. Nana Addo is talking about one dam one village. He doesn’t see the difference… at least yesterday [Tuesday] the president taught him the difference.”
President John Mahama, has also challenged the NPP to produce their manifesto and stop accusing him of plagiarizing their ideas.
According to the president, he directly participated in the drafting of the NDC 2016 manifesto and can vouch for its originality.
“I was directly involved in writing the manifesto for the NDC and so I know everything that is in that manifesto because I participated. People did not just write it and bring it to me; I participated in writing that manifesto so when somebody says we have plagiarized their manifesto I don’t think he understands plagiarism. Plagiarism is if you steal from a known document and put in another document. But there is no document known as NPP manifesto that we know about so how can we have plagiarize from a document that does not exist, if that document exists produce it today,” he dared the NPP.
President Mahama, who launches the NDC manifesto on Sunday in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region, has asked the NPP to rather copy from the NDC manifesto.
“They [NPP] say they will produce it on October 18, that gives them enough time to copy as many things in our manifesto as possible. And so they are free, the ideas are there we have the ideas, we’ve been governing this country, we are running the programmes, we know where we’ve come from, we know where we are going. And so we have the ideas to make this country better and we will continue to do the work to move this country to a new pedestal and I’m certain we will win this election and that by 2021 when I leave office, we would have made Ghana one of the model countries in West Africa and Ghana will be the envy of our sub-region,” Mahama added.
Mr. Mahama, while addressing chiefs and people of the Ga Traditional Council, as well as NDC supporters at the Ga Mantse Palace in Kaneshie yesterday, said he was hopeful Ghanaians would give him a second term mandate on December 7.
Nana Akomea, on Wednesday accused the NDC of “stealing” ideas from the NPP’s manifesto.
He said, the NDC “steals our policies and cannot implement them. They even stole the title of our manifesto. So they have no deep attachment to the principles necessary to drive the promises they give. To them politics is all about ways and means. Nothing to do with actually making lives better.”7