From Samuel Agbewode, Tapa-Abotoase .
Former President John Mahama, who is aspiring to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has accused the Akufo-Addo government of borrowing more than GHS50billion within two years and thus pushing government’s debt from GHS122 billion it inherited to GHs172 billion.
Addressing delegates at Tapa-Abotoase and Ho West respectively to canvass for votes, Mr Mahama said within four years that the NPP led this country, the government borrowed GHC4 billion, which was used to invest in infrastructure development, such as building of classroom blocks and roads.
Mr Mahama regretted that after borrowing GH50 billion, the NPP government has not been able to tell Ghanaians how the money has been utilised.
Touching on education, Mr Mahama said the free Senior High School (SHS) system is good and that when he assumes office in 2021 he would maintain it, but would abolish the double track system, which he described as ‘the traffic light’ educational system.
He stressed the need for the delegates to give him the mandate to lead the NDC to victory in 2020, saying the defeat of the umbrella party in 2016 should be seen as a divine intervention for Ghanaians to assess the NDC and Mahama led government and that of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo.
Mr. Mahama assured the delegates that when given the opportunity to lead the party and finally win the election, he would work closely with the grassroots and party executives at the constituency level.
According to former President Mahama, the party did not properly reward its members who have worked hard over the years and promised to reverse the trend, where identified party members would be recognised for their efforts.
Mr Mahama explained to the delegates that all the aspirants contesting with him were not his enemies and that when he finally wins at the primaries, all the aspirants would unite and work together towards victory 2020.
Speaking to another batch of delegates at Adaklu-Waya, John Dramani Mahama cautioned NPP government to be mindful of the violence being unleashed on the people mostly members and sympathizers of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and that when it comes to violence, NDC can do it better.
Mr. Mahama also warned the government not to forget the fact that the NDC as a party came out of revolution and can, therefore, unleash more violence if they want to do so.
He told the delegates that the NDC leadership withdrew from the Ayawaso by-election in the name of peace and not because they were timid.
Mr. Mahama said Ghana is seen as a beacon of democracy in Africa and that the violence in the Ayawaso by-election has cast a slur on the image of the country, to the extent that “some of my friends outside the country were calling me to know what is going on in Ghana.”
The Member of Parliament for Adaklu, Mr. Kwame Agbodza, said the people of Adaklu, being warriors were very uncomfortable seeing the Ayawaso by election violence on television and appealed to Mr. Mahama to intervene to ensure that the negative development did not repeat itself.
He assured the former president that the delegates in Adaklu constituency would give him full support at the presidential primary.
Speaking to the Asogli chiefs earlier, Mr Mahama regretted that the development projects his government started, such as the construction of E-blocks and bridge over Volta River at Volivo has been abandoned.
Mr. Mahama said the dual carriage road his government started from Sokode to Ho also came to a standstill for sometime, but work has started and charged the chiefs to develop interest in the project and monitor it to ensure that the road design was strictly adhered to.
According to him, the original design made provision for an inter-change at the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) junction at Sokode-Etoe.
He explained that failure to follow the original design for the dual carriage road would lead to disaster, because there would be regular accidents at the UHAS junction as the inter-change would allow vehicles going to Accra from Ho to climb over, while those coming from Accra and those that would be going to the university would drive safely under the bridge.
Mr. Mahama noted that the Volta region has been supporting the NDC over the years that was the main reason why anytime the party is in power, it tries to bring the needed development to the region, saying even though the NPP has not been getting the same support, it should not be the basis for which it would not bring development to the people in the region and that the people of Volta are also Ghanaians.
A Senior Divisional Chief of Asogli traditional Area and Warlord for the area, Togbe Adzi Lakle Howusu advised the former President and the NDC to avoid the situation where the losers of the presidential race would go and form their own political parties.