GOING INTO 2016, THE JOURNEY TO FLAGSTAFF -ASK
Upon a reflection on the past, and a look at the present, the future becomes a little bit predictable. However, in politics, 24 hours to an election can make the future projections obsolete and superfluous.
For this reason, it is important to do political projections appropriately taking into consideration that things could slide into different realms which may swing to the advantage of the major opponent.
What remains a major strength in all of this is having a credible candidate who has stood the test of time and has remained tall after all machinations.
Having a bold candidate ahead of an election is a major plus, however, the people he works with must sustain some level of trust from the general public for themselves and the presidential candidate.
It would be inappropriate to engage in insults on opponents while seeking a job from the people – the peoples’ mandate govern them.
It is a matter and a subject that must be centered around key messages that would address the massive challenges of the people. It is inherent to note, that, challenges are not static. At least, in the governance of a nation. When one is addressed, another comes up. Challenges evolve. Meanwhile, the ability to resolve challenges as and when they come, measures the efficiency of a leader.
Fortunately for the people of Ghana, just as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has a record in power, the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) equally has a record. Playing these records simultaneously would be an interesting measurement tool to determine the veracity of promises that would be coming as we set foot into the elections.
Having a candidate like the President who is seeking a second term mandate, is a plus for the NDC. He has a personality that is able to rally people around him. This hugely converted to his advantage ahead of the 2012 election that resulted in his winning that election hands down without a run-off.
While he delivers on his mandate, he would have to subject himself to another approval from the people of Ghana for a renewal of his mandate.
With reference to his contenders, they have had the chance of governing. While unemployment remains a major challenge for the government, a problem which no government can resolve in the short time, a major issue the NPP is expected to cash in ahead of the election, in the 200 election manifesto of the NPP they promised to provide jobs for ALL who are able and willing to work.
In pursuant to providing jobs for ALL able and willing to work, Ghanaians were asked to match to designated locations in the sun, to register for jobs. In the end, some 1,000,000 enthusiastic and expectant Ghanaians massed up to register. We are yet to know the number of jobs they were able to provide.
In delivering his mandate, it would be appropriate to take a realistic tour of a few deliverables under His Excellency John Dramani Mahama. I would attempt to touch on a few projects in a few of the sectors, and would find an appropriate time to venture into sector-by-sector-deep analysis. In the health sector, it would be appropriate to ascertain from the NPP the number of polyclinics they inherited and the number they added while they had the mandate for 8 solid and uninterrupted years.
Today, just in the Brong Ahafo Region, five polyclinics have been completed. These are located at Nkrankwanta, Wamfie, Kwatire, Techiman and Bombs. To enhance the capacity for election, we need to interrogate the fruits of the mandates given.
In education, for the first time in our history, a single government is single handedly building 123 Senior High Schools at various stages of completion. This is an unprecedented record. It would be interesting to note that, in the entire 8 year mandate of the New Patriotic Party, not one Senior High School was added to the stock of secondary schools in the country.
In its place, what was visited on the Ghanaian, was renaming of Junior Secondary schools to Junior High Schools and Senior Secondary Schools to Senior High Schools. This was followed with an extension of the secondary school mandate from 3 to 4 years. This resulted in the demand for facilities such as dormitories, dinning halls and assembly halls as well as classrooms due to the extension which meant more students were to stay in school than planned.
It took the NDC government under His Excellency Professor John Evans Atta Mills, and his then Vice, now president John Mahama, to wipe that embarrassment. That was the record of the New Patriotic Party.
Proceeding to look at institutions of higher learning, this government has added two universities which are currently running with a third set to begin in Somanya in the Eastern Region. It would be appropriate and interesting to ascertain the number of universities the NPP added when they had the 8 year mandate. That would inform the debate.
An argument which is important, but weak in logic, is the fact that, yes, universities are being built, students are being churned out. What jobs are there for them. In answering your that, I would ask, are we better educated or better uneducated? I believe an educated citizen has the likelihood of applying acquired knowledge to provide some livelihood for himself or herself.
Ghana remains better today, than before. We kept moving. Even when the NPP was in power until 2009 they brought us further towards enlightenment. We saw what they could do. And so, we changed them. The man delivering can only be given a mandate to proceed. Character, disposition, love for country, love for peace and peaceful coexistence is paramount to him. Your vote for him is to sustain the peace and development of this country.