The flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama, has said the 2020 manifesto of the party, which will be launched today, will provide a path to turn Ghana into an advanced nation as soon as possible.
Providing some personal reflections on the political substance of the manifesto yesterday, he said: “It is our sacred mission to turn Ghana into an advanced nation as soon as possible! It is our moral obligation to be bold and aim at greatness.” He said what the nation saw as “good enough” should not be viewed as such any longer. “To prosper and thrive, we need fundamental change. We need to set our standards and expectations far higher than good enough! If we settle for ‘good enough’, we settle for the slow death of our very soul and our pride,” he said.
The former President expressed gratitude to Ghanaians for the opportunity that was given him to serve as Vice-President and President for four years each. “You offered me the humbling chance to serve you from the highest offices in Ghana — first as Vice-President, for four years, and then as President for another four years. “For this, I will forever be grateful, and I will fight for your well-being, hopes and rights with all my strength for the rest of my life,” he said.
Mr Mahama said many people were questioning why he was running for President again, and indicated that he had no problem with that question.“I know many of you ask this question — sometimes openly, sometimes in silence. Why run again? It is a fair question and it deserves a fair, personal answer,” he said. According to him, the manifesto would provide the answer, but he went ahead to say that “it will be a collective answer coming from all the fabulous NDC members and supporters, men and women, who participated in its formulation”. He explained that the decision to run for a second term as President did not come easily, nor quickly. “I didn’t jump into it. I did it out of a sense of urgency, after I began to contemplate more and more thoroughly about our vulnerabilities as a nation,” he added.
He said he was running for President because he wanted to leave a legacy, one of solid infrastructure, with 100 per cent access for all, saying: “With this legacy, we will build a truly developed Ghana to be at par with the advanced nations.” “I know how to do it; part of it I’ve already accomplished, and since I know how to do it and the current government doesn’t, I feel I have the moral duty to ask for a second term. This is not about me, it’s about Ghana and Ghanaians,” Mr Mahama said.
The former President said the country could aspire to become developed, and that no society could be truly resilient in the face of crisis and adversity without a solid economic and social infrastructure.
“To create sustainable and ever-growing prosperity — something we all deserve — requires building a robust social and economic infrastructure, one that supports creativity, innovation and the production of high value-added products and services,” he said.
He said that was why, during his Presidency, he took aggressive steps to develop and consolidate health care, educational, transportation and digital infrastructure.
He said that was the only way to build a resilient nation, adding that without creating and consolidating a developed infrastructure, no nation could resist global shocks.
Mr Mahama said unfortunately, the current government had refused to continue on the progressive path of his administration, thereby failing to make the nation less vulnerable and more resilient.
“Let me give you just one example: access to electricity. In 2012, 69.2 per cent of Ghanaians had access to electricity. In 2016, when I left office after my first term as President, 79.3 per cent of Ghanaians had access to electricity — a 10 per cent increase in four years.
“When I left office, I was confident that a new government would deliver 90 per cent, if not 100 per cent access to electricity in the next four years. However, the NPP government increased overall access to electricity from 79.3 per cent to only 82.3 per cent, a mere three per cent increase,” he said.