It is becoming increasingly clear that the delay by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in launching its manifesto is meant to ‘steal’ some new ideas from the New Patriotic Party (NPP), hence the pressure on the presidential candidate of the NPP to release his party’s manifesto.The pressure on the NPP is coming from some party chieftains and the NDC’s surrogate groups.
They are asking the main opposition party to launch its manifesto ostensibly to copy some of the contents and make them their own, according to inside sources.
The ruling party postponed its scheduled manifesto launch in Sunyani, the Brong-Ahafo Regional capital, last weekend because it reportedly wanted to have access to the NPP manifesto, but the opposition party has become adamant in launching its own manifesto due to the NDC’s record of ‘stealing’ ideas.
DAILY GUIDE learnt that September 17, 2016 has tentatively been arrived at but the launch might not even come off, as it waits for the opposition party to come out with more fresh ideas in order for it (NDC) to incorporate them into its manifesto.
However, the NPP says it’s not in a hurry to unveil its manifesto because of previous experience.
Two pro-NDC groups – Strategic Thinkers Network (STRANEK) and SONETCO Institute – which claim to be socialist ideological think tanks, have been pushing the parties to release their manifestos and these are being done subtly to suit the cause of the NDC, which apparently wants to have access to the manifestos of other parties for the purpose of copying.
In a statement signed by one Nii Tettey Tetteh, STRANEK asked the parties to stop what it called the ‘feet dragging’ and release their manifestos.
SONETCO Institute, in its statement signed by one Eugene Eshun-Elliot said, “The long and loud silence from NDC and NPP on this key electoral business is regrettable and it is a big blow to our democracy, touted to be the beacon of Africa.”
NDC ‘New Ideas’
The Mahama-led NDC is said to be fine-tuning its manifesto by incorporating ‘new ideas’ but critics say they have nothing new to add except to plagiarize their opponents’ ideas.
Interestingly, the ‘new ideas’ they are purportedly incorporating are the policies and programmes that the NPP and its presidential candidate have been espousing as the campaign towards the December 7 general election heats up.
For instance, when Nana Akufo-Addo went to the Western Region and promised to create another region out of it to be known as Western North Region due to the region’s large size that hampers proper administration – the NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Bodi, Samson Ahi, who doubles as a deputy minister for Water Resources Works and Housing, quickly said the Mahama government was going to implement that policy.
Strangely, his own NDC deputy general secretary, George Lawson, came out to say the Western North Region promised by Nana Akufo-Addo was not in the books of the ruling party.
Last week when Nana Akufo-Addo said in the Upper East Region that an NPP government would introduce a ‘1 village 1 dam’ policy, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, Alhaji Mohammed Muniru Limuna, swiftly claimed that the policy was already being implemented by the government.
“We are already doing what Nana Addo is promising; he is promising and we are fulfilling under a programme called Ghana Commercial Agricultural Project (GCAP),” the minister said.
An NDC apologist, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, a journalist, said the NPP’s policy was not ‘feasible,’ yet the party claims it is already implementing it.
The public pronouncements that directly connect the NDC to the fact that they want to ‘spy’ on the NPP manifesto and turn it into their own have become evident.
Koku Anyidoho, NDC deputy general secretary said, “Nana Addo is still sleeping and dreaming, that’s why he’s making so many impracticable promises of providing one dam for every village in Ghana. If Ghanaians don’t take care, very soon, the opposition leader will promise ‘one region one Ghanaian.’”
Kofi Adams, National Organiser and Campaign Coordinator for John Mahama, also said, “It is like whatever good thing the NDC is doing, the NPP candidate (Nana Akufo-Addo) has devised a strategy to say that ‘I will also do it.’ The one village one dam is not possible. It is just part of his promise galore. Where on earth will he get the source of water from? Are we going to get the water from rainfall or the streams that have dried up? So, Nana Addo’s promise is not practicable.”
The current NDC’s “Changing Lives! Transforming Ghana!” slogan being used for President Mahama’s re-election bid was couched by the NPP in 2012 and this has left the NPP bewildered at the brazen attempt to steal its policies.
The NPP slogan for the 2012 election was “Transforming Lives, Transforming Ghana,” and all the NDC appears to have done is to substitute the word ‘Transforming’ to ‘Changing,’ which it bastardized in the heat of the 2012 campaign without any shame.
In 2012 the NDC’s manifesto was titled “Advancing the better Ghana agenda,” but abandoned it for the NPP’s ‘Transforming lives!’ which it has gleefully turned into ‘Changing lives!’ for the 2016 contest in December.
The NDC is noted for taking other political parties’ slogans without due credit. It did it to then Convention People’s Party (CPP) presidential candidate Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, in the run-up to the 2008 general election when it ‘hijacked’ Papa’s ‘Yere sesa mu’ (We are effecting a change) slogan for then candidate, Professor John Evans Atta Mills.
NDA vs SADA
When the NPP said it would introduce the Northern Development Authority (NDA) to help bridge the development and poverty gap between the people of the three northern regions and their counterparts in the south, the NDC quickly brought on board the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA).
Upon assumption of office, the NDC tried to implement SADA but the funds were misappropriated by officials in-charge of the organization and its activities were characterised by allegations of corruption.
Also, the NPP said in 2012 that it was determined to implement a policy called Free Senior High School for all second cycle students to access free education when elected, but the NDC said it was impossible only to turn around in early 2014 to say it was going to implement the same policy it ridiculed.