The 2016 presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says victory for him in this year’s elections will mean an opportunity for his government to truly implement the Free Senior High School policy – a policy he espoused in the run-up to the 2008 and 2012 elections.
Despite the Mahama government initially describing the policy as not feasible, and later turning around to try to implement it, Nana Akufo-Addo stated that the inability of the Mahama government to implement the policy for the benefit of suffering Ghanaian parents is because they have no belief or understanding of the policy.
At the commencement of his 5-day tour of the Ashanti Region in the Ahafo Ano South East constituency, on Wednesday, July 13, 2016, Nana Akufo-Addo assured parents who still cannot afford to pay the fees of their wards that his government, God-willing from January 2017, will rectify that anomaly.
“I indicated in 2012 that if I won the election I would solve the problem of poor Ghanaian parents who cannot afford to pay the fees of their wards by introducing the Free SHS policy. I was bastardised by President Mahama, who said it was a misplaced priority, a lie, and could only be achieved in 20 years”, Akufo-Addo said.
He continued, “When President Mahama won, he changed his mind and said it (Free SHS) was possible and could be done. Even after saying it could be done, he has failed woefully to implement it. He said he was going to build 200 Community Day Schools, and even that he has built only 5, after 4 years.”
Speaking at Adugyama, his first port of call in the Ahafo Ano South East constituency, Nana Akufo-Addo assured that when he wins the elections of 2016, “I am coming to truly implement the Free SHS policy”, adding that “I will not give a promise to Ghanaians for which I know I cannot keep. Whatever I have said I will do, I will surely do it so Ghanaians can move on.”
Lamenting the difficulties the Ghanaian people are facing on a daily basis, he indicated that it is time the Ghanaian people are taken away from the hardships and suffering imposed on them by the Mahama government.
“We are coming to change Ghana, and bring relief, progress and prosperity to all Ghanaians, in every part of the country, without discrimination. The stealing of public resources by those in government is just too much, and the reason why there is little to show for all the resources of our country. This will stop, because we are coming into government to root out corruption and end the stealing of the country’s resources,” he said.
With the mainstay of the people of the entire Ahafo Ano constituencies being agriculture, particularly the cultivation of oil palm, the NPP flagbearer indicated that the times of over-reliance on cocoa are over, assuring that his government is going to pay particular attention to the diversification of the country’s agriculture.
Improving agricultural productivity, he noted, will be spurred on by the production and marketing of additional cash crops such as cotton, coffee, oil palm, cashew and maize, which will boost export earnings for the country.
Citing the example of Malaysia, which earned $16.1 billion in 2015 from the exports of palm oil and palm-based products, Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that his government, God-willing from January 2017, will help establish an oil palm processing factory in the district, to help create jobs for the teeming masses of unemployed youth in the constituency, as well as earn foreign exchange revenues for the country.
He further added that it is only though rapid industrial expansion and an increase of agricultural productivity that Ghana can generate the hundreds of thousands of jobs that the young people of Ghana need.
Patronise exhibition exercise
Nana Akufo-Addo, in concluding, urged all registered voters to take the upcoming voter register exhibition exercise seriously, and make sure their names can be found in the voters’ register.
“This year, no one should ignore the voter register exhibition exercise. This is because this is the year when we will use our thumbs to effect the change we all desire. Go to the various exhibition centres and make sure your name can be found in the register. We don’t want the situation whereby your name will be missing from the roll on Election Day,” he added.
The NPP flagbearer, who visited also Sabronum, the main town in the constituency, appealed to voters to repose their confidence in the NPP, and in the party’s parliamentary candidate for the constituency, Francis Manu Adabor, by voting massively and increasing the party’s margin of victory.
Source: NPP Campaign