The campaign of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), unlike that of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC), is about well-thought through ideas, policies and initiatives rather than “meaningless slogans”, flag bearer Nana Akufo-Addo has said.
“We are not looking for catchy and/or meaningless slogans because they will win votes. We have not put together a Manifesto that sounds good, but does not positively affect the lives of the people of our country,” Mr Akufo-Addo said when he launched the party’s 2016 manifesto at the International Trade Fair Centre in Accra on Sunday, 9 October.
According to him, the NPP takes the business of politics seriously than the NDC, which is obsessed with catchy slogans.
“We of the NPP have always taken our manifestos seriously because we believe politics is a serious business and asking for the mandate of the people to govern is a serious business. Our manifesto also gives us the opportunity to reiterate our firm stand as the party of the rule of law, the party of business and the party that builds and creates wealth. When we drew up a manifesto that we titled: Transforming Lives, Transforming Ghana, you would remember that some people simply wanted ‘e dey bee keke’, and when they appropriated our title, they have been at a loss about what to do with it.
“On the one hand, it is possible to see the comic side in the manifesto pilfering phenomenon and agree with the ‘great minds think alike’ wisecrack, but, on the other hand, it is a dangerous practice for our country for political parties simply to take on concepts and programmes they do not believe in, nor have thought through.
“Let me give a few examples to illustrate the point I make: The NDC did not believe in the National Health Insurance Scheme; they demonstrated the level of disbelief by walking out of Parliament when the NHIS Bill came to Parliament and it was passed without their input and came into operation in 2004.
“Proof that they did not believe in it and certainly did not understand it came in 2008, when the NDC campaigned on a hare-brained idea to change the NHIS to a one-time premium paying scheme. Is it any wonder the NHIS has been in so much trouble since 2009 under the government of the NDC?
“Or let’s take Free SHS. The NDC made it volubly clear they did not believe in it, they did not like the idea and they rubbished it at every opportunity. It is not surprising therefore that they have been having such a hard time trying to run their watered down version of Free SHS.
“In other words, it helps to believe in something, to spend time and energy to think it through, and to get passionate and competent people to lead in the implementation of the programme. That is the NPP’s attitude and our approach to the business of governance,” Mr Akufo-Addo said.