Former President John Dramani Mahama has called on the rank and file of the party to rally behind him to present a renewed and reinvigorated National Democratic Congress (NDC) that would lead the country beyond the unprecedented economic hardships under the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
Together, he said, “we will present to our countrymen and women a renewed and reinvigorated NDC — a party ready and able to lead Ghana beyond the unprecedented economic hardships of the present hour; beyond the rising unemployment and despair of our youth; beyond the closure and collapse of financial institutions and businesses that has rightly shocked and outraged so many in its scope and scale.”
Addressing a press conference at the Trade Fair site at La in Accra moments after filing his nomination at the party’s headquarters, he said the NPP that had been in power for close to two years began its tenure with a groundswell of goodwill from the Ghanaian people, who believed they would keep faith with them and deliver on the litany of promises they doled out during the 2016 campaign.
He said although he harboured honest doubts about the practicality of many of the half-baked schemes of the NPP, he hoped for their success saying “a rising tide, after all, lifts all boats.”
His reservations, he pointed out, were not borne out of malice or cynicism, but out of a concern that those promises were made for the “purpose of populist pandering”.
“Worse still, I feared that the NPP’s policy agenda would compound those problems, and that their petty politics would turn back the clock on the progress for which we have so long laboured,” he said.
Cracks in the foundation
He said currently, the cracks in the foundation of the socio-economic platform of the country were showing, and they were growing by the day.
His tenure, he said, saw the completion and inauguration of several top tier medical facilities in the country, adding, however, that many of those facilities now stood fallow while the people persisted in their despair.
That, he said, was beneath dignity and that instead of prioritising the needs of the health sector, the NPP government had chosen to acquire drones to supply blood, a decision that has been roundly condemned by many, including the Ghana Medical Association and the Ghana Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists.
“Government should get its priorities right by spending the limited resources on more essential interventions other than copying innovations, without relevance to the reality of Ghana’s current needs,” he said.
He recounted that in the throes of the energy crisis, his government sought to stabilise the nation’s power supply with the AMERI and other projects.
The situation he experienced in those trying times, he said, was not merely the result of an acute crisis, but rather the cumulative effect of under-investment in the critical infrastructure for power generation over the decades.