NPP’s press conference addressed by Hon. Yaw Buabeng Asamoah yesterday

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank You for responding to our invitation.

Former President Mahama has been caught red-handed Lying to some members of the diplomatic community with false videos about violence.
Also, his political campaign philosophy of violent “boot for boot”, resting on his pride in the NDC’s ability to unleash violence at will, has been demonstrated in the past few days of NDC visiting political violence on itself in the Ashanti Region.

It is reported that the former Presidents’ opponents’ campaign meeting of Suame and Tafo0 NDC delegates was violently disrupted, whilst on Monday 18th February 2019, we hear the leadership of the NDC had to take to their heels for dear life in the midst of armed violence resulting in at least one death.

In the instances, the so-called ‘Hawks’, a group apparently dedicated to political violence allegedly formed in the wake of the former Presidents’ campaign “unity walks” and a so-called ‘NDC Task Force’ are cited. This brazen impunity is not surprising considering the former Presidents’ jingoistic statement from the Volta Region on the events on the fringe of the Awayaso West Wuogon by-election.
Ladies and gentlemen, the NPP condemns the violence without reservation. We should also as a matter of urgency ask the Police to expedite action in bringing the perpetrators to book.

Why is former President Mahama so desperate for power? Can that desperation be justified by peddling falsehoods about security in Ghana to the international community? Especially when he appears to be the inspiration for such violence within his own party? Is he sincere about contributing to the peace, stability and hence prosperity of this nation? Especially since he has led the country before and seeks to lead again?

Former President Mahama and the current NDC party leaderships’ flip flopping on security and the institutions and procedures that keep all of us safe can be said to expose a deliberate agenda to infuse a sense of political violence and fear of elections on the country. Hence the orchestrated escalation of the unfortunate and regrettable incidents of the by-election in Ayawaso West Wuogon through pronouncements of distrust of the Police and refusal to appear before the Short Commission, culminating in the false labelling of videos to the diplomatic community.

Exposed by the ongoing incidents of NDC violence on NDC, the former President and his pliant party leadership have suddenly had an apostolic moment. They have found and renewed their faith in the Police. Interestingly, they are also involved in an intricate but incongruous dance of officially boycotting and attending and commenting on the proceedings of the Short Commission at the same time.

Only the politically confused National Democratic Congress can sustain this dance. We, the New Patriotic Party, are different. The NPP is different from the NDC. Given the same set of governance challenges, whether of ideology, leadership style, institutional respect and reform, economic management, social inclusion, citizen responsiveness, accountability and electoral process integrity, the NPP, though far less longer cumulatively in government than the NDC, performs far better in the interests of Ghana.

The immediate instance of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election demonstrates this. Whilst the President condemned the violence, John Mahama encouraged violence, threatening ‘boot for boot’ and claiming superiority in the use of violence. When the President responded to public concern with a Commission of Inquiry, John Mahama rubbished the eminent persons and chose to peddle cheap falsehoods to the diplomatic community.

It would be interesting to see if the former President is bold and humble enough to apologies and or show videos of the violence in his party to the international community, knowing that in the case of NDC violence there is a confirmed death whilst rumours of several deaths in Ayawaso West Wuogon spread by the NDC proved to be untrue.

But lest we forget, the former Presidents’ disrespect for our institutions of law and security go way back. He refused to attend on the Supreme Court hearing the Election Petition of 2013 and then turned round to blame his abysmal failures of governance on the hearing.

In the light of the above context, we ask the NDC to strengthen its new found faith in the Police by extending it to an unequivocal endorsement of the Commission. If that happens, stakeholders across the governance landscape in conjunction with the major parties can then encourage the Commission to spread its tentacles wide and draw conclusions capable of dealing with the trend of political blackmail once and for all. The voting public is thirsty for workable solutions and NDC flip flopping between police and commission as it suits their political agenda cannot be credible or attractive.

Be that as it may, we the NPP believe and insist we are different. The record of the NPP and its antecedents show governance with tact, innovation, sensitivity and decisiveness. Of the sixty-two years since independence, the NPP tradition has had a little over twelve years in total to govern.
Our record of governance success belies the time we have had in government. It is on that record that we are asking the people of Ghana to refocus away from the orchestrated violence agenda to the bread and butter issues that influence the lives for the better.

We are asking the NDC for a viable policy debate as we go into this year of action. The headlines in various newspapers show the work we are doing but the NDC would have us believe its all doom and gloom.

On the economy, they should tell us how they built a deficit and astronomical debt and we will tell them how we are managing the debt and passing laws and setting up frameworks to control deficits. Is the NDC aware that a Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018 (Act 982) has been passed and that no government’s deficits can go beyond 5% by law? Is the former President and the NDC leadership aware that a Fiscal Responsibility Advisory Council and a Financial Stability Council have been established? Is the former President aware that the Nana Addo led NPP Government has boldly and decisively dealt with the banking sector crisis he left the nation with and what is his take if any on the eventual successful conclusion of the IMF ECF programme that he woefully failed to pass?

Is the former President aware that our economic fundamentals are pointed in the right but even so, the Nana Addo administration is pursuing serious administrative reforms in revenue collection, especially the ports and cleaning procurement by reducing sole sourcing and making savings? And that these efforts are being done because its right for the country and not because it may lose the NPP future elections?

On the social inclusion front, suffice it to say that the NDC has been unable to answer the single question His Excellency the Vice President asked. Since it remains unanswered, I will ask again.
Please NDC, show us one social intervention you have managed to introduce into Ghana’s policy space. Apart from trying to destroy NHIS with the fake ‘one time’ premium and swearing to the whole world that Free SHS was not possible, how have you enhanced those interventions?

Though a centre right party, the NPP has governed pragmatically and in the process introduced many pro poor policies towards a society of inclusion. All this within twelve years out of sixty-two years.

The legal and political governance front is even more remarkable. The Government has scrupulously followed the constitutional requirements and delivered six new regions. A feat regarded as near impossible with demands going back forty years. Even more remarkable is the setup up of the Office of Special Prosecutor in record time and the soon to be out doored Right to Information legislation which has meandered its way over seventeen years in Parliament. Whether prosecutions are slow or not, they will surely happen.

On the entrepreneurial front, Government is strengthening local content and gradually diversifying our economy through 1D1F as well as the infrastructure being laid out in the northern part of the country through 1D1D as well as warehouses.

Everywhere the country is awake except the NDC.
The above is not to say there are no challenges. The NPP and indeed we believe the entire country, would like to hear the NDC and its pliant leadership on the huge question of attitudinal change that can arguably propel our GDP by another two to three percent. We are talking about coordination issues, implementation issues, enforcement issues, supervision issues, standards and a general culture of responsibility and accountability as envisaged under article 41 of the 1992 Constitution.

Virtually, sidestepping the system and still expecting the system to meet our needs is a norm. System insiders are literally expected to privatise and work the system at the instigation of others because many do not have faith in the laid down standards. Can the NDC tell us how they intend to deliver workable public sector reform?

How do they intend to empower the private sector? Certainly not through the dubious swaps and loans made on the Road Fund and the Ghana Infrastructure Fund? What can we expect from the energy sector? More ‘dumsor’ and dubious capacity contracts for which the nation is paying?

For innovation, the NDC and former President should look to the securitization of GET-Fund revenues and the Synohydro Agreement for uploading infrastructure upfront. Notwithstanding the NDC challenge to the Synohydro deal, Ghana is going to be the beneficiary.

These and many more are the issues we would love to hear the NDC consistently on. The country needs to be competently government to lower the cost of living and enhance the quality of life. It requires more than propaganda and the NDC will be left behind as the benefits of good governance move beyond the short term difficulties to produce medium to long term benefits.

The NPP needs time to work for Ghanaians. We are convinced Ghanaians will choose quality governance over propaganda any day.

Thank you


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