The Vice Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has warned that to allow the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to stay one day in office beyond the eight years would be a major tragedy for the future of Ghana.
He said “the stakes are high for our country in 2016 because of what is happening to the economy” and change must happen come the next general elections.
A statement issued by the NPP Communication Directorate said Dr Bawumia made the call whilst addressing a fundraising dinner held in his honour in London, United Kingdom, last Friday.
“There’s suffering in the land. Needless, untold sufferings…,” he said.
He also criticised President John Mahama of reducing the essence of governance to “borrowing” recklessly and “taxing” ruthlessly, including putting taxes on a commodity like condom.
Dr Bawumia was said to have used comparative figures to show how low the country has sunk since the NPP was voted out of power in December 2008 and called for an electoral end to the eight years of negative experiment and experience under the NDC.
Backing his claims with facts and figures, he stated that an unprecedented amount of money has been spent since 2009 under the National Democratic Congress and with very little to show for it as the NDC comes to the end of its second successive term in office in 2016.
“In the last six years, the NDC has borrowed US$27 billion. Before that, we, the NPP, borrowed a total of US$5.5 billion in eight years. Compare that to the NDC borrowing $27 billion in six years and ask yourself what have they done with all that money,” the running mate to Nana Akufo-Addo said.
He said, though a lot more money has been spent, it is a paradox of economic management that this level of excessive spending has only led to greater hardships being visited on the people.
“NDC inherited a public debt stock of GHȻ9.5 billion in 2009,” the former Deputy Governor of the central bank said.
“Today, Ghana’s debt has gone up to GHȻ65.7 billion. So when I say the stakes are high I am talking about the destiny of our country, Ghana, the future of the youth,” he stressed.
Under the NDC, Ghana became an oil producing economy, with cocoa and gold prices all doing comparatively better than under the previous eight years of the NPP. Yet, Ghanaians remember the Kufuor era with nostalgia because of the greater achievements chalked.
Showing why NPP is the party Ghanaians can trust with the public purse, Dr Bawumia reminded his audience of some of the investments that President J A Kufuor’s government made in education, health, infrastructure and the deliberate policies implemented that led to significant expansion of the economy.
“The NDC has been taxing everything, including condoms and cutlasses. In terms of resources, this NDC government has had more resources than any other government. We did not have oil. Yet, Ghanaians know what we did with the limited resources we had. We spent money responsibly to create the NHIS, introduce Capitation Grant, expand access to education, we spent wisely on infrastructure and built more roads than any other government,” he said, giving examples of some of the deeds of the NPP.
While he said, many more Ghanaians are becoming increasingly aware of the superior leadership the NPP represents, he warned the NPP to show far greater competence and vigilance in protecting the votes of the people in the future.
“The stakes for us as a party are very high. We all saw during the election petition the evidence. You and I were there.”
Dr Bawumia charged, “The NDC practically stole the election from us. We should never allow this to happen to us again. The Supreme Court has taught us a lot of lessons and we have to take those lessons into 2016. “
He assured the UK gathering that the party was currently “testing systems to make sure that what happened in 2012 won’t happen to us in 2016.”
Last Thursday, the National Council of the NPP appointed Dr Bawumia to head a special committee tasked to prepare a report on electoral reforms for the party.
The Chairman of the NPP UK branch, Michael Ansah said, “Our nation is riddled with corruption,” and called on the party to take the project of electoral reforms in its efforts to rescue the country from the NDC.
“2016 represents a water shed in the life of our nation,” and the NPP must take up the task to pull Ghana back from the brink of disaster and onto the path of prosperity and opportunities.
“Ours is the party that is on the right side of history,” he underlined.
The event took place at the Prince and Princess Banquet Hall, Edmonton, North London.