From Edmond Gyebi, Tamale
The presidential candidate of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has promised all Ghanaians of a grand plan by his government to “wipe out illiteracy” in Ghana, when voted to power in 2012.
According to the two times presidential candidate of the NPP, his government would make quality education really free, compulsory and highly accessible to every child, from nursery to Senior High school level.
Addressing some youth activists at the opening of a three-day sensitisation and capacity building workshop, organised by the National Youth Wing of the NPP in Tamale recently, Nana Akufo-Addo said Ghana saw a magnificent improvement in school enrolment, introduction of capitation grant, school feeding programme and construction of befitting classroom blocks under the eight years of President Kufuor, and promised to build on those achievements, when given the mandate.
“Within the next period of NPP rule, we will wipe out illiteracy in Ghana, and that is one major commitment we will make, because Ghana cannot develop, when over 60% of our people have no access to western science of technology. It does not matter how much oil we find in our country, people will still wallow in poverty and sicknesses, if education is not made easy and accessible.”
On the other hand, Nana Akufo-Addo was also conscious of the fact that quality education cannot be realised without expanding the various teacher training colleges, building more teachers’ accommodation, and paying them the needed salaries and other incentives.
He said the coming back of NPP would also ensure that the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which he claimed the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was playing politics with, was revitalised and made more relevant to the Ghanaian populace.
The NPP flabgearer, who was flanked by his National Chairman, Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, the General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, National Youth Organiser, Anthony Karbo, the 2008 running mate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, and the Northern Regional Chairman, Alhaji Haruna Tia, also announced plans to add more health facilities to make the NHIS successful.
Meanwhile, the three-day workshop is part of early strategies being mapped up by the NPP to ensure that all the structures of the party function effectively, to maximise the envisaged victory of the NPP in the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, said he had identified three critical issues that needed to be tackled by the party in meeting its aspiration of winning power in 2012.
According to him, the NPP, as a party with a vision of taking over power from the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), ought to hold the bull by the horns, and insist on ensuring “internal harmony, providing adequate resources, and most importantly, the quality of our campaign message to Ghanaians.”
He therefore, encouraged the teeming youth of the party to unconditionally take up the challenge, and spread the gospel of the NPP at all levels.
Nana Akufo-Addo hinted that his 2012 campaign would see more influential youth of the NPP playing pivotal roles, especially, in dealing with the Ghanaians voters, who represent over 80% of the voting population of Ghana.
“Yes, indeed, we have to be able to present ourselves as a people who understand the aspirations and have solution to the problems confronting the people of this country; that is the relative message.”
The NPP leader urged members to accept the fundamental fact that the contest for offices or positions in the party (flagbearer, parliamentary, national, regional and constituency executives) were over, and that the people must re-unite and fight for the victory of the NPP.
Charging the NPP supporters not to put their personal preferences above the collective interest of the party, Nana Akufo-Addo said, “The requirement now is that we all work together, and I am putting it to you that the factions that were built during the flagbearership contest are all irrelevant to me. Unity is what we want to win the 2012 polls with.”
According to the two-times NPP presidential candidate, the pillars of his government would be formed around good governance, rule of law, efficient justice system, transparency, accountability, human empowerment for self reliance, and more especially, an enhanced democracy.
He stressed that his government, unlike the NDC, would rely on building the sense of enterprise and initiative of Ghanaian people, and this would be made possible through the rule of law, private property rights, and individual freedom.