I’ll restore economic stability — Mahama
The flag bearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has reiterated his resolve to restore stability and inclusive growth to the economy when given the nod in the 2024 general election.
Given his experience in the governance of the country as a former President, he said, he would initiate aggressive interventions to rejuvenate all the sectors of the economy.
Key among them, he said, would be prioritising local participation in the banking, financial, telecommunication, mining, oil and gas, agriculture, manufacturing and construction sectors to generate jobs for the youth.
He said the new NDC government would actively attract viable and serious private sector investors to partner the government to invest in the productive sectors of the economy to create jobs.
That, he said, would involve an emphasis on agriculture and agribusiness, and would have a strong focus on making Ghanaians own their micro enterprises.
Mr Mahama said these in his acceptance speech in Tamale yesterday as the elected flag bearer of the NDC.
The event brought together the rank and file of the party, including members of the Council of Elders, national executive, Members of Parliament, former appointees and sympathisers and supporters of the party.
Some of the dignitaries who graced the occasion were the 2020 running mate to former President Mahama, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku Agyemang; Mr Mahama’s wife, Lordina Mahama; the National Chairman of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, and the immediate past National Chairman of the party, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo.
The multipurpose hall of the University for Development Studies (UDS) was a frenzied atmosphere as the charged and filled-to-capacity arena boiled with the enthusiasm of party sympathisers and supporters, some of whom bore messages on cards that read: "It's time and it's JM's time", "It is time to rescue the country from NPP", "NDC will restore hope in Ghana", among others.
Former President Mahama said beyond the economic front "we will also be very thick on governance because transparent and accountable governance at all levels remains an assured fuel that fires the socio-economic transformation of successful nations".
He noted that his government would establish a Governance Advisory Council to help improve political governance, curb corruption and ensure that respect for human rights was upheld. He added that the council would include representatives from civil society organisations, religious leaders, traditional leaders and ordinary Ghanaians.
"Our nation is still at the crossroads with crippling debt, and an inefficient and wasteful government; we cannot continue on this pathway.
It is a betrayal of the people, as a leader, to keep doing things the same way when the results leave them the poorer.
“I am committed to operating an effective government with not more than 60 ministers.
These ministers, together with other appointees of the government, will not be entitled to ex gratia payments after their tenure, as they will commit to that undertaking even before the necessary constitutional amendments, including a review of the controversial Article 71," he added.
Mr Mahama thanked the delegates for the confidence reposed in him to lead the party in the forthcoming general election, and gave the assurance that he would operate an open-door administration for the ultimate interest of the party and the country.
"This victory is not about me, John Dramani Mahama; it is about our people and the creation of a society that allows our citizens to live a decent and dignified life.
It is about expanding access to health care so that our mothers and sisters would not lose their lives carrying out their biological duty of procreation.
It is about the little children whose promising future is cut short because of a dangerous boat crossing in search of education," he said.
He pledged to unite the rank and file of the NDC to reposition them for a resounding victory in 2024.
Mr Asiedu Nketiah charged the rank and file of the party to work hard to be able to rescue Ghanaians from the "shackles" of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) governance.
He also admonished party members to put aside their interests and conduct themselves in a manner that would not destroy the fortunes of the party.
The 2020 Campaign Manager of the NDC, Prof. Joshua Alabi, described former President Mahama as a unifier and hardworking leader who would lead the party to prospects.
"We have gathered here not only to celebrate his victory but to acknowledge the unwavering support of the party, your support and hard work continue to improve the fortunes of the party," he said.
Former President Mahama earned a landslide victory in last Saturday’s polls to become the party’s face on the 2024 presidential ballot.
The flagbearership was reduced to a two-man race between Mr Mahama and former Chief Executive of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, Kojo Bonsu, at the eleventh hour after former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, withdrew from the race last Friday evening.
That, however, did little to affect the election as delegates turned out in their numbers to cast their vote in the elections supervised by the Electoral Commission (EC).
The former President earned an overwhelming 297,603 votes representing 98.9 per cent, while Mr Bonsu garnered 3,181 votes representing 1.1 per cent.