But seeks to deceive Ghanaians again for votes
President John Dramani Mahama has been caught in his own web of deception after telling the nation last week that the National Democratic Congress government he now leads had used the last seven years, of its two terms in office, in building the infrastructural base of the country, and that the NDC will need a third consecutive term to enable it “put money into the pockets” of the people, from 2017.
President Mahama, who had in previous years promised Ghanaians a “better Ghana,” now says Ghanaians will only feel the effect of his performance in their pockets in the third term of the NDC government, if retained in office in the November elections.
Many see this as a tacit admission of his glaring failure to deliver on his promise of “Better Ghana” for the nation, which was given during the 2012 electioneering campaign.
Having assumed office as the president after the tragic death of the late President John Evans Atta Mills, Mr Mahama told the nation he and his NDC government had used their first term in office to build a solid infrastructural base for the country, as well as a sound economy with better fundamentals than what they inherited from the previous NPP government.
President Mahama therefore promised the second term of the NDC government would see Ghanaians enjoying the fruits of the sound economy they had built. And he repeated same promise to the nation in his State of the Nation Addresses year after year.
For instance, in the Address delivered in February, 2014, he assured Ghanaians of “better days ahead” in the year “in spite of the current socio-economic challenges facing the country”.
According to him, at the time, his government had put in place pragmatic measures that would soon yield fruitful results for the nation. “I assure you we shall begin to see the benefits of the sacrifices we are making very soon,” he assured the nation.
Even before making that assurance, he had promised in 2013 that new doors of opportunities would be opened in the country in 2014.
Addressing a national thanksgiving service of Aglow International-Ghana at the Independence Square in Accra, he mentioned economic growth and job creation for the youth as some of the fruits the nation would witness that year.
President Mahama said the economy had started producing positive results and indicated that members of his team would continue to work more aggressively next year (2014) to inject more pace into the growth of the economy.
And, in fact, in his May Day Address that year, he was even more categorical when he said there would be a turn-around in the economy for the people to enjoy some respite.
Touching on concerns that some of his economic policies were harsh and had made life difficult for Ghanaians, the President said: “I assure you my countrymen and women that these measures are achieving the desired effect and the economy is gradually responding.”
He added: “This year is a turn-around year for Ghana, and I am positive that the Ghanaian economy will show strong signs of recovery by the end of this fiscal year.”
And in an interview with DW-TV last year, during one of his foreign outings, he insisted that Ghana’s economy was experiencing a turnaround as a result of the sound policies of his government But subsequent to the promises, President Mahama and his government have foisted extreme hardships on the people, with killer taxes, unbearable utility tariffs, and increased cost of fuel, among others, in the midst of collapsing businesses.
At this stage, the New Patriotic Party Parliamentary Candidate for the Ofoase Ayirebi Constituency, Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, believes the best thing for President Mahama to do is to admit his failure and broken promises to Ghanaians.
“If today, four years down the line, you tell us that you have failed to deliver on the basic human needs of the people because you were building infrastructure, I say that it is double standards. The President made explicit promises in his 2012 manifesto. We must hold him for account for his promises,” Mr. Oppong Nkrumah stated on Citi FM.
He urged the President to give an honest account of his tenure and admit his Government’s failures to Ghanaians, adding: “So when you rise up and you want to give an account of your tenure, respectfully, I would hope that the President will say ‘I promised these but I have not been able to deliver.’ That’s honesty.”
On the promise that he will need another term to deliver prosperity to the nation, he had this to say: “You need to explain why; and perhaps ask for some more time but you don’t tell us there was no infrastructure and you have now spent the time creating the infrastructure.”
In a related development, former Minister of Finance under the Kufuor administration, Yaw Osafo-Maafo, has rejected the claim that the last seven years of the NDC administration had seen massive improvement in social infrastructure.
Yaw Osafo Marfo insists there is no evidence to back the President’s claims, and that President Mahama has rather destroyed the prospering economy his predecessors left behind.
“When you talk about social infrastructure, what do you mean? If you are talking about social infrastructure, you are talking about education and health; and when you talking about these two, it is Kufuor who provided the basic social infrastructure. You are talking about National Insurance Health Scheme; it is being destroyed so I cannot see how the President is building the social infrastructure; from which angle? Go through the system and find out the road network which Kufuor built, the road network which Rawlings built, the road network which Mahama is building or has built and you can do the analysis properly,” he stated on Citi FM.
Mr. Osafo-Maafo added: “You cannot just sit and say that I’m building a social infrastructure. There was a debt of 9.2 billion and we are now grappling with a debt of 99 billion; there must be a lot to show for all the money. Where is it? When you meet inflation of about 17 and you keep it there; when you meet a cedi to a dollar ratio of 1.1 to 1, and now we are talking about 4 cedis to a dollar, are we not destroying the economy? The economy is in difficulty, and we should get it with facts, not with fiction.”