Jerry John Rawlings
The much-touted National Democratic Congress (NDC) manifesto launch came off Monday evening at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) but with the founder of the party, former President Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, missing in action.
The conspicuous absence of the former President has raised eyebrows as opponents of the NDC are trying to make political capital about what might be going on.
It appears the leadership of the party, led by former President John Dramani Mahama, has failed to mend the ‘broken fences’ in the political grouping after the NDC flagbearer announced that the party’s founder was being represented by Alhaji Mahama Iddrisu who is a member of the NDC Council of Elders which Mr. Rawlings is the head.
The manifesto launch, however, was successfully done and the NDC was able to articulate its plans for the country if given the nod once again.
Mr. Mahama said the 2020 NDC manifesto dubbed: “The People’s Manifesto: Jobs, Prosperity and More,” sought to lay the foundation for what he called the renewal of the country’s institutions and progress for all.
“It is my hope you will identify the ideal of the people’s manifesto and vote for John Mahama and the great NDC team, and engage us with the view to holding us to our commitment to programme delivery,” he said.
“I believe that there are great times ahead for our people. All of us, myself included, learnt a lot of valuable lessons during the period of preparing this manifesto. The most important was the growing and humbling understanding of the fact that the December elections would be unlike any other election in our recent history,” he stated.
According to him, this year’s election will be that of destiny and the future, today’s generation and that of children and grandchildren alike.
“This election will be about the very soul of a new Ghana. Our historic mission right now is to provide our fellow Ghanaians with the opportunity to become part of tomorrow’s world and offer our beloved country a clear chance to spread prosperity to all our people and move it to the status of advanced middle-income country within the next five years,” he noted.
Mr. Mahama indicated that this was possible when Ghanaians worked together, saying “we can do it with the right and dedicated leadership.”
“We owe it to our wonderful people to create new job opportunities to bring new skills and to provide better chances for all of us to be able to live a dignified life. It is time now, my brother and sister. That time is now,” he stressed.
The NDC flagbearer said the change Ghanaians desire starts from now and appealed to all and sundry to join hands to create the country that “we wish for; may God bless our homeland Ghana; may God bless each and every one of us; may God make our country great and strong.”
He asserted that the NDC was a social democratic party that subscribed to a compassionate political philosophy and believed in social justice by creating opportunities for all to develop to their fullest potential.
“We focus on an inclusive effort to safeguard the jobs of today and create sustainable jobs for the future. Our manifesto is our social contract with the people of Ghana and we will create a bright future for Ghana and for every Ghanaian.”
Mr. Mahama stated that the priority of NDC was to build a sustainable society with opportunities for all and promote human development, pointing out that they would continue to prioritize healthcare, quality education and skills training as the cornerstone for progress and prosperity.
According to him, the NDC’s US$10 billion accelerated infrastructure plan dubbed the ‘Big Push’ will be used to create jobs for the multitude of Ghanaians, while providing infrastructure for accelerated development.
“We will fix the economy as we unite against poverty, create sustainable jobs under our ‘Adwuma Pa’ programme, promote good governance, integrity, anti-corruption, transparency and accountability, and deepen out international relations with our sister nations,” he stated further.
He averred that Ghana’s economy was no longer working for the people but for a few and said the NDC government under his watch would “fix the economy and make it work for all Ghanaians.”
“We will fight the disastrous effect of the poor economic management of this administration (referring to the NPP government),” he noted and added that the NDC had the experience to turn around “this dire economic situation to bring relief to the suffering masses of Ghana.”
“We will sanitize the financial sector. We will roll out prudent macroeconomic measures anchored in sound management. We will bring the public debt under control. We will stabilize and strengthen the long-suffering cedi, reduce inflation, ensure a low progressive taxation regime and restore inclusive growth,” Mr. Mahama said.
He indicated that an NDC government under his stewardship would make the business environment friendly again, provide unprecedented job-related stimulus packages for the private sector and increase Ghanaian participation and stake in the national economy.
“We will end the vindictive targeting and collapse of Ghanaian businesses and its attendant job losses,” he insinuatingly stated and added that the NDC had done all these before.
“We ensured the most stable and prosperous period of economic management in Ghana’s history. We ensured the highest ever GDP growth rate in the history of Ghana. We ensured the longest sustained period of single-digit inflation in the economic management in the history of Ghana,” the NDC flagbearer bragged.
He continued that the NDC government, under his watch, implemented fiscal prudence and managed the 2016 budget with zero-borrowing from the central bank, aside from establishing the Exim Bank to promote jobs and export.
“The NDC again will generate the economic growth that creates infrastructure and sustainable jobs. We will usher Ghana into an era of shared prosperity and all Ghanaians will reap fruits of their labour,” he said.
“We need to turn our beloved country into an advanced one and we must eradicate poverty. It is possible and we will do it,” he added.
By Ernest Kofi Adu