A letter to my teeming supporters and Ghanaians in general, with a month to go for the December 7 elections
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We are winning the race!
Only God knows the full extent of my gratitude to the good people of Ghana. For giving me, John Dramani Mahama, the rare opportunity to serve you as President, I remain humbled and eternally grateful.
Every passing day has come with its own challenges but I must say on the balance, our collective gains have been overwhelming. These gains could certainly not have been possible without the blessings of our God Almighty, your patriotism, sense of duty and dedication to the development and economic progress of Ghana.
It is these attributes that have propelled me when the going got tough. I stayed focused, listened to your suggestions, took responsibility as your leader and pursued the Agenda for Transformation notwithstanding the adverse global and domestic environment, which greeted the beginning of my administration in 2013.
The fall in commodity prices; almost a year-long election petition, which ended up with the Supreme Court of Ghana upholding the true will of the people; the market fires and the inferno at the Central Medical Stores in Tema among others, are just a few of the obstacles we overcame. For example, as a result of the fire that gutted the Central Medical Stores, we lost the strategic stock of medications including food supplements for children and pregnant women.
Ghana is up and Rising.
In our difficult moments, my government has shown sensitivity to the plight of the Ghanaian. Till this date, my appointees and I have taken pay cuts to support efforts to reduce maternal and child mortality.
A directive to provide government vehicles with specialised number plates (green) is being implemented. Apart from this, ministers and political appointees were migrated onto the prepaid metering system for electricity supply and billing.
As a social democratic party in government we have taken steps to rationalise the anomalies in the Electricity Company’s billing system to the relief of consumers. Recently, students’ loans have been reviewed upwards with an enhanced package for fresh students and the producer price of cocoa has been increased to an all-time high. And let me add that over GH¢1billion was paid to cover claims from service providers of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Outpatient utilisation alone in 2015 increased to over twenty-nine million; from a low of nine million in 2008. The United Nation’s Human Development Index puts our nation within the Medium Human Development category, ahead of our neighbours like Cote D’Ivoire and Nigeria, and this is better than what we have ever achieved in the past.
Transparency International, the world’s most credible institution on anticorruption matters has lauded the strategies we have adopted to fight corruption. Ghana is currently ranked as the 7th least corrupt country in Africa, and it is an established fact that the NDC’s worst record in the Transparency International’s anticorruption league table, over the years, is better than the NPP’s best record while in office.
In the coming years, I pledge to implement more robust interventions including the National Anticorruption Action Plan (NACAP) to make corruption unattractive and a higher risk activity. Relative macroeconomic stability has been achieved. The budget deficit has dropped favourably and will narrow further going forward. The debt profile is also improving.
The Ghana Cedi is one of the best performing currencies on the continent this year, and the rating agency Moody’s, and our development partners, are posting favourable reviews about our performance in economic management and medium term prospects. More jobs have also been created to improve purchasing power. In the health and education sectors alone, 23,411 nurses and 78,000 teachers respectively have been employed into the public sector.
We have developed infrastructure- schools, hospitals, public houses, roads, expanded airports- and these alone have created over 400,000 jobs. This is a radical and positive change from what existed before and demonstrates that we are growing the economy to create more jobs.
It is my conviction that more and better jobs are in the offing in my second and final term as our massive infrastructure projects mature and I begin the implementation of my Economic Transformation and Livelihood Empowerment Programme (ETLEP).
Under ETLEP, I will continue to work with you and the private sector to create more jobs by further developing our hydrocarbon resources (Inland Voltaian and offshore Accra- Keta basins), aluminium deposits, petrochemical industry and the salt industry.
Together we will roll out a green revolution, enhance our Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) sector (The Accra Digital Centre and development of the Ghana- Mauritius ICT Park Project), expansion of the Tema harbour and the construction of the Atuabo Free Port among several others to create more jobs.
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Ghana’s economy is robust and this gives me the confidence and joy that when our economy begins to grow above 8% from next year as predicted, the growth will be much more beneficial to Ghanaians than Ghana’s economy has ever done for us. I believe these prospects are known to you. I am expecting a resounding victory in the upcoming elections as predicted by various polls we have conducted since June 2016- a win for me, as President and a working majority in Parliament for the National Democratic Congress.
This victory will be a victory for Ghanaians and for those yet to be born. It will certainly not be my personal victory for a second and final term. It will also be victory for the teeming volunteers, students, the youth, workers, drivers, traders, businessmen and women, traditional and religious leaders who have contributed in diverse ways to bring us up to the strong position we find ourselves in today.
I will continue to be President for all Ghanaians and open the opportunities our country offers to all, irrespective of ethnicity, gender, partisan or religious affiliation. In the midst of campaign sloganeering and thunderous applause by large crowds, drumming and dancing, my short but very private moments with boys and girls accompanying their parents and guardians and the elderly who walk to me at the rally grounds and during whistle stops, are always profound and indelible moments.
I cherish them. In my autobiography after 2021, God willing, some of the thoughts we share would certainly feature. My Dear Brothers and Sisters, The state of the race is very favourable and continues to be better with each passing day. We are winning the race! I have been overwhelmed by the warmth of the Chiefs and people right here in the Ashanti Region where I am campaigning now and across the country wherever I have been.
You sometimes stay up at durbar grounds deep into the night to receive us; not to mention the several surprises but pleasant ambushes by supporters in the villages, small towns, big towns and cities. You offer us water and food as we stop by your homes. I will forever admire the selfies we take some of which I later find circulating on social media.
Throughout these moments, I have preached my message of peace, transformation and more jobs. I have also on several occasions reiterated my belief in the fact that this election has nothing to do with insults and that the need for sensitivity and decorum should continue to be our guiding principle. I wish to reiterate that the health of candidates, issues relating to their families and I must add their children, especially, are off limits and I call such violations
I am satisfied that my volunteers, cadres, executives and supporters have largely adhered to this call. I remain eternally grateful to you all, and I call for more circumspection even in the face of extreme provocation as we race towards our goal on December 7, just one month from today.
Let me be quick to add that this election is also about leadership. Ghanaians, I am confident, will once again vote for a leader who not only reflects the aspirations of modern Ghana but also better represents who we truly are. We love our peace; we appreciate unity; we are humble and development oriented. We celebrate our diversity; and we are hard working.
And let me add, our nation is founded on the fear of God, Patriotism, Unity and Love for one another. With exactly one month to go for the December 7 general elections, I ask God, once again, to “bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong.” I also ask you to vote massively for me, John Dramani Mahama. I know that just as we journeyed together in 2012, our collective journey in 2016 will even be brighter and better.
I assure you of utmost security and peace of mind before, during and after the elections. Let’s continue to work hard to cross the finish line first, and continue our work towards transforming our dear nation Ghana.
John Dramani Mahama
President of the Republic of Ghana
November 07, 2016.
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