I have read the story headlined, “Your unprecedented infrastructure claims untrue; stop lying – Akufo-Addo to Mahama.”
Harsh words! Yes. Yet the sitting President is rather not being truthful!
Indeed, in less than one month, on two occasions, he has not been truthful to the people of Ghana. I am referring to Sankore in the newly created Ahafo region and also Wa in the Upper West Region. This is not good for our democracy and it is also not good for the President’s believability quotient.
THE FIRST UNTRUTH
During his visit to Sankore about four weeks ago, the people rightfully and legitimately requested the President to fix their road(s) – from Sankore-Nobeko. In response, instead of assuring them with his plan and the timelines for project delivery in order to address this felt need of theirs, Nana Akufo-Addo turned his guns on His Excellency John Dramani Mahama, his predecessor, and blamed him for everything.
Strangely, President Akufo-Addo further lambasted my boss for capturing the Sankore-Nobeko road in the Greenbook. This is factually incorrect and materially nonexistent. Nowhere in the Greenbook, which is a compilation of “the many giant strides made in almost all sectors of our national life”, was the Sankore-Nobeko road captured.
Specifically, the contract for the Sankore-Nobeko road was awarded in mid 2016 by the Mahama administration and works commenced in earnest. Unfortunately, elections have consequences. After the 2016 elections, the Akufo-Addo government – just as it did to several contracts which had been awarded by the previous government in several sectors – halted works on the road. This consequence of the 2016 elections, is what has delayed the delivery of this important project.
It appears the President has adopted the strategy of erecting his own dummies, shooting them down to wild applause to claim success. Such dummy-politics only expose you in the long run. But in this case, the run has been too short because the NDC in the region spoke eloquently and promptly to the issue to expose the untruth told.
Furthermore, anyone who has read the Greenbook will admit that in the Foreword, I stated that, “President John Dramani Mahama made a pact with the people of Ghana in 2012 to deliver on their mandate in a manner that will change lives and transform our dear country, Ghana… In the process, sterling results have been achieved while efforts have been made to tackle some of the most intractable national problems.”
My emphasis is “some.” It is therefore, absolutely untenable for President Akufo-Addo to posit that by any stretch of one’s imagination the Mahama administration claimed to have addressed every infrastructure need of Ghana.
This leads me to the second untruth.
THE SECOND UNTRUTH
“Before I came here, I was told by my biggest competitor that they have done all the roads in Ghana and that they are responsible for an unprecedented infrastructural development, everywhere I go, I do not think there is any authority institution that has talked to me and has not raised the issue about the roads in their area as their principal concern.” President Akufo-Addo.
The President is widely reported without any official denial to have uttered these words at the Flagstaff House when members of the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs visited him on Tuesday, 7th May, 2019.
Paradoxically, he rather went further to advise “John Mahama and other politicians to desist from the practice of making misleading statements, and, in some instances, lying to Ghanaians all in a bid for power.”
Mr. President as citizens not spectators we:
➢ Thank God Ghanaians have not forgotten your promise to provide 350 Senior High Schools within eighteen (18) months after coming into office;
➢ Thank God Ghanaians are still waiting for your US$1, 000, 000 for every constituency every year which has accumulated US$825 million over the past three years;
➢ Thank God Ghanaians still remember your unprecedented fuel price hikes and weakening of the cedi over the period;
➢ Thank God Ghanaians remember your promises to trained nurses; and
➢ Thank God digital foot prints continue to allow one to easily evoke your past promises.
Mr. President, the respected chiefs of the Upper West region have put a request before you. So, I urge you to take the bull by the horn. You are lucky to have been bequeathed a nearly completed Upper West Regional hospital and a partially worked on Wa airstrip infrastructure; so do the do. “Fix it!” As you once told President Atta Mills of blessed memory.
A piece of advice. Mr. President, you are in your penultimate year in office; and your predecessor who is still your competitor truly delivered unprecedented infrastructure to Ghanaians.
Therefore, if you are still blaming him, then you have to start writing your handing over notes earlier than expected because this blame game a year ahead of 2020 is recipe for your electoral defeat.
Dr. Edward Kofi Omane Boamah
Former Minister for Communications and Presidential Spokesperson
9th May, 2019