President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has questioned the credibility of his main opponent John Dramani Mahama regarding the latter's persistent comments on the Free Senior High School (SHS) programme.
Speaking on Kumasi-based Hello FM on Wednesday evening, the President noted that when he first spoke about making Senior High Schools free, his opponent who was at the time the President of Ghana in 2012 told Ghanaians that he [Akufo-Addo] cannot fulfill that promise and that it was populist talk meant to lure voters.
The President explained that again in 2016, when he brought up the same subject, Mahama, still the incumbent President remarked yet again that Free SHS will take 20 years to happen in Ghana.
“He [Mahama] rubbished the idea from the beginning that it won’t help the development of the country. Two years later he stated again that he won’t use GH¢2 billion to pay school fees, but today, he is promising to continue the Free SHS policy when elected and extend it to the Private SHS. Everybody can talk but how credible is this man on Free SHS?” Akufo-Addo asked.
The President also cited the opposition NDC’s one-time premium for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and reminded his audience that when the NDC were elected in December 2008 up to when they left office in December 2016, they were unable to introduce the promised one-time health insurance premium.
“We never saw that promise materialize…,” the President said.
The President stated that since the NDC has seen that Ghanaians are for the idea of Free SHS, their leader John Dramani Mahama is changing his stance on the issue.
“Have we heard from this man that he is fully onboard with the Free SHS? I think his credibility on SHS, and so many areas of national life is problematic,” Akufo-Addo said.
President Akufo-Addo then defended the double track system: “It makes those who could otherwise not have access to have access and that is what we are after; to widen and broaden the access because the materials in the schools are being used all the time. So, there is nothing crazy about the system and the way the system is working Ghanaians have seen the sense in it.”