‘Mahama’s promises are not credible’
The Minister for Information, Mr. Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, has dared former President Mahama to prove to Ghanaians, by way of verifiable evidence, that he inherited an ailing economy from the late President Mills.
According to him, Ghanaians are witness to the fact that when the economy of Ghana was given to President Mills, he did not take it to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He noted: “When it was fully put in the hands of Mr. Mahama, he told us that they had chewed the meat down to the bone, and, therefore, they went for IMF bailout with all sort of conditionalities.”
“If you listen to them, they say Mr. Mahama inherited an ailing economy. An ailing economy from President Mills? Is it that he inherited an ailing economy from President Mills? That cannot be true. That cannot be true. Wasn’t he Chairman of the Economic Management Committee? So who did he inherit the ailing economy from?”
He asserted that having seen how John Mahama managed the economy, if today he comes back and says that the first pillar of his manifesto is to restore the economy and cure poverty, “we have seen how he did it in the last four years.”
He argues that Ghanaians are discerning and would not be swayed by claims made by former President John Dramani Mahama and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that he (Mahama) inherited an ailing economy.
Mr Oppong-Nkrumah was addressing a news conference in Kumasi yesterday to officially announce the tour of the Bono, Ahafo and Bono East regions by President Akufo-Addo, who has just returned from Niger, where he was elected Chairman of ECOWAS.
The Information Minister said Mr Mahama was making all kinds of promises, but Ghanaians are the best judges as to how he managed the economy when he was given the opportunity. “If you have a leader who, when he was president or before he became, let’s say vice president, promised, as part of his party’s manifesto, that they would bring a onetime health insurance or premium for health insurance, and for eight years they never did it, and today, he turns round to say that he would make primary health care free.
“Does it sound to anybody like a credible promise? If you have a leader, who, from 2008 through to 2012, opposed the state providing free education for people at the senior high school level, consistently. It won’t work, and if it would have worked, Kwame Nkrumah would have done it. If it could work, it would take 20 years to come, etc.
“Today John Mahama is saying that first of all he now believes in it (Free SHS) and will now make tertiary education 50% free. You have an opportunity to ask yourself whether or not it sounds to anybody like a credible promise. If you have somebody who, in 2012, promised that he would pay assembly members an allowance, and four years did not pay; did not even provide them with logistics such as motorbikes, and it took another administration to provide them with motorbikes, and today comes back and repeats the promise that we will provide an allowance. Does it sound like a credible promise?
“Ghana has somebody who, from 2008, says: “I will do Free SHS, and he has done Free SHS, and now he says that I will give students loan option for tertiary; for people to go to tertiary, literally on credit, and when they get jobs they pay for it – this sounds credible.
“If we have somebody who, during his period as a president of Ghana, ran down the Ghanaian economy; went to the IMF for bailout and as a result, he would not employ young people when they graduated from school, which gave rise to the graduate unemployment association.
“Cancellation of allowances because of the economic crisis, stressing that even if they would vote against us, they should vote against us, and today, this person came and said he is going to create one million jobs in four years – Does it sound like a credible promise; does it sound like a credible policy? Does his track record suggest that he is somebody who is able to manage an economy to a point where it can find the resources to pay for all the promises he is making?”
On the promise to legalise, ‘Okada’ (commercial motorbikes), the Minister for Information told the media: “If you have somebody who made the law to make okada illegal. He made the law make okada illegal in 2012. This law, in all honesty, is not being applied in full force under this administration, because okada is still operating, and now John Mahama turns round that he is the number one lover of okada riders, so he is going to make okada legal, and I am sure that my cousins and my colleagues who are okada riders will ask themselves whether or not he is credible, or he is doing something hoping to win political power.”