THIS ELECTIONS MUST BE CONTESTED ON PRINCIPLES AND TRACK RECORD.
A couple of days ago, I began an exercise. I challenged the NPP of today to make available the records of their administration under the UP tradition. I am aware colleagues have equally carried the challenge and spread. However, I am yet to get any record of top two achievements of the Danquah | Busia tradition that unleashed vitriolics on the Osagyefo.
You see, just as Kwame Nkrumah admitted, he never promised or made it appear to Ghanaians that the journey after independence was easy, we are faced with same challenges as a postcolonial state. We are bereft of development. We have natural resources without the requisite local technology to mine them.
At the time Dr. Kwame Nkrumah was chased out of power, he was on a speed of development to lift the young nation from a deep deprivation. Because he was deep in the depth trying to scale up development of the young nation, he did not notice that these individuals who have been beneficiaries of the colonial era by virtue of their royal status, had a different plan.
In the end, it was reported that Kwame Nkrumah, in his moment of disappointment, retorted that he would have limited his efforts to providing milk for Ghanaians if he knew that was all they needed.
At the time they were lashing at him and calling for his head and claiming he had taking too many loans, Kwame Nkrumah had completed over 400 factories and industries. Kwame Nkrumah had to his credit, State Farms, Free Education for Ghanaians, Railways, Afram Plains Irrigation systems, plans to irrigate the entire Accra Plains that had been a subject under the NPP administration for 8 years.
That was not all, Kwame Nkrumah had to his credit, the Akosombo dam, Tema Township, Tema Motorway, VALCO, GHACEM, TOR, Komenda Sugar Factory, Kumasi Shoe Factory, Pwalugu Tomatoes Factory, Abosso Glass Factory, Ceramics industry, producing kasanoma radio with plans far advanced to build the Bui Dam that eventually saw the light of day 42 years after his overthrow.
Kwame Nkrumah, in his vision, decided to add value to our gold by building a Gold Refinery for Ghana. This project was abandoned by those who claimed to love Ghana who made it possible for them to overthrow him.
After they succeeded in removing Kwame Nkrumah from office, they halted all his programs and projects and began implementing their supposed plans that were to take us off the economic difficulties Kwame Nkrumah was said to have plunged this country. Today, as I write, even though Kwame Nkrumah came long before them in terms of governance, I can point to massive legacy projects he left behind. I cannot point a finger at one achievement the UP tradition can boost of today as their legacy for Ghana.
History has it that they immediately withdrew all trainee allowances as a wasteful expenditure on the budget of government. After that, they converted many training colleges into Secondary Schools reducing the number of teachers to teach our children. And then the most ridiculous divisive order – Aliens Compliance Order was instituted where certain individuals they considered were not Ghanaians were chased out of this country.
Fast forward, they have resurrected. Not in any new skin, but same skin with eyes that lived the times. While we see no clear direction for their desire for power as was the case in the past, they are doing everything possible to justify their return.
Today, just as we say history repeats itself, John Dramani Mahama has chalked many successes in the areas of education, health, electricity, water, and many others. In an attempt to mention, the Ridge Hospital, Maritime Hospital, Legon Medical Centre, Dodowa, Police Hospital expansion project, Korle Bu Children Ward rehabilitation with modern equipment, Bolgatanga Regional Hospital, expansion of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, New Nursing Training Institutions, Fomena District Hospital, 37 Military Hospital at Afare, the many polyclinics, over 1,700 CHPS compounds in the area of health.
On industries, the Buipe Sheanut Processing Factory, Komenda Sugar Factory, Kumasi Shoe Factory, Tema Oil Refinery have been brought back to life, including other industries that have been revamped.
In education, the University of Health and Allied Sciences, conversion of Polytechnics into Technical Universities, 123 Community Day Senior High Schools at various stages of completion as against ZERO in their 8 years, UMATS, with another university in the Eastern Region, and then the over 1,600 schools under trees replaced with physical structures to provide decent spaces and structures for convenient teaching and learning.
On roads, the Fufulso-Sawla road, Kasoa Interchange, Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange, Agona Junction-Elubo, the Eastern Corridor road, Asphalting of many cities and town roads, the railway sub-sector.
In the aviation sub-sector, the Tamale Airport was upgraded into International status, Ho Airport under construction as well as expansion work on the Kumasi Airport, completed.
As Kwame Nkrumah would say, look around you. Do you see the development? Do you see the physical projects someone is promising to continue? Do we not need them? Watch the Circle Interchange. When do you think we would need it if not today? And be mindful, would it be cheaper or more expensive if built later?
Look around you once again. Can you see the schools? Can you agree that teachers would be employed to work in them? Do we not need the schools today? At what point would we need the schools? I know you would mention jobs. But, would you prefer an uneducated society because there are no commensurate jobs? At what point would we have agreed to build schools to create skilled hands for jobs we would have established and with which skills?
Look around you. Do you see the huge hospitals? Do we not need them? Are they not providing jobs for Ghanaians? At what point would we then agree we need these hospitals? And would that be cheaper than today?
Development is a process. However, accelerated development can only be undertaken by a visionary leader. And that is what we are seeing today. Have you looked around you? What projects of Kufour can you see? How many are they? Can they compare to what you see today?
We cannot be taken for granted. It is better to build a house today because building today would be cheaper than building tomorrow.
It is on the basis of this and many issues on actions and character and the ability of individuals to hold high principles, that we must be choosing a leader. I have no doubt that the credibility, humility, focus, vision and compassion curve would skew towards President John Dramani Mahama.