A thorough scrutiny of the claims by the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that, the Kufuor government, constructed over 30, 000 kilometers of roads across the country in its 8-year period, has been rendered inaccurate by a 2008 “Valentine’s Day” State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered by President John Agyekum Kufuor.
The inaccuracy in the claim of Nana Akufo-Addo, was stripped bare by the official records of Parliament; The Hansard- the transcripts of Parliamentary Debates.
What is amazing is that, the NPP flagbearer, even though is the presidential candidate of his party then, was still a serving Member of Parliament (MP), representing the Abuakwa South Constituency in the Eastern Region, and was in the August House that day, which has been accepted nationwide as a National Chocolates Day.
The Hansard, revealed that Nana Addo, had inflated the kilometers of road constructed under President Kufuor by a whopping 29, 970 kilometers.
The revelation, appears to be giving credence to some government communicators that, Nana Addo’s facts lacked credibility and reliability, because they were poorly researched, and meant only to seek attention on the back of President Mahama’s address christened, “Evidence-Based”.
Strikingly, Nana Akufo-Addo, was in Parliament on the day of the address with Ebenezer Begyina Sekyi-Hughes sitting as the Speaker of Parliament, the current NPP acting National Chairman, Freddie Blay, was the First Deputy Speaker, with the current Minority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, serving as Deputy Majority Leader and Minister of State.
In a desperate move to discredit President Mahama’s last Thursday’s State of the Nation Address, the 72-year-old confidently claimed in his “Real State of the Nation Address” that “….it is an undisputable fact that the NPP investment between 2001-2009, far exceeds that of the NDC since 2009”.
He went on to say that, “the road network in President Kufuor’s time increased from 37,321 km to 67,291 km. The NDC, has moved it from 67,291 to 71,063 km. This means that the NPP constructed 8 times more roads (km) than the NDC, even though the NDC had 10 times more money”, adding “the President, himself, admitted that his government’s contribution to the road network is a mere 3,700 kilometers over the eight years of stewardship”.
Nana Akufo-Addo, by his calculation meant that 29, 970 kilometers of roads, were constructed by Mr. Kufuor. However, the evidence as captured in President John Kufuor’s last State of the Nation Address read on Thursday, February 14, 2008, rather summed up the total as 18, 100 kilometers across the country.
The then president, speaking on a day globally celebrated as Valentine’s Day, gave the breakdown as; over 1,000 km had been surfaced nationwide under Feeder Roads, 4, 800km had undergone rehabilitation, 10, 000km had seen spot improvement with 2,300 km regravelled.
“Mr. Speaker, since 2001: over 1, 000km of feeder roads have been surfaced nation-wide, about 4, 800km have undergone rehabilitation, 10, 000 km have undergone spot improvement, 2, 300 have been regravelled”, President Kufuor read to the nation and proceeded to talk about Railways, Ports, Aviation and Telecommunication, .
Nana Addo’s speech keenly listened by very eminent members of the party, including ex-President Kufuor inside the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Accra on Monday, bragged that the NPP constructed eight times more roads than the NDC, although the governing party, had more cash to do more roads than the NPP.
The NPP leader’s submission, has since raised eyebrows and criticism with many questioning where the flagbearer got his information from, especially so when in that address, he rather sought to portray that Mr. Mahama, had peddled falsehood in his “evidenced-based” SONA.
Meanwhile, some opposition political parties, have blasted the NPP’s flagbearer for carrying himself like the president.
Spokesperson for flagbearer of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet and former Youth Organizer, James Kwabena Bomfe alias “Kabila” has disagreed with the flagbearer of the NPP on his decision to present another address, when Constitutionally it was only the sitting president that is mandated to do so.
Atik Mohammed, the General Secretary of the Peoples National Convention (PNC), has on several radio platforms, described Nana Addo’s “Real State of the Nation Address” as unnecessary, stating among other things that he rather gave President Mahama a lot of mileage, especially so when the NDC through its General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, waded into the matter to directly respond to Nana Addo.
In the case of Kabilla, he could not agree with the NPP, when in the past, he spoke against other candidates, who did same like the late John Atta Mills, who also held his version of the State of the Nation Address, after President Kufuor.
On the part of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), the party in a statement issued yesterday signed by the General Secretary, Mohammed Armed, acknowledged, it was the president who had the mandate to address the nation through Parliament and not to be countered by an opposition leader.
The statement said, “The NPP’s “Real State of the Nation Address” presented by Nana Akufo-Addo, was nothing, but a cacophonous rendition of criticism bereft of real solutions.
It continued “The Constitution is clear in what it prescribes: “The President shall report to Parliament at least once a year all the steps taken to ensure the realization of the policy objectives contained in this Chapter and, in particular, the realization of basic human rights, a healthy economy, the right to work, the right to good health care and the right to education.” Nana Akufo-Addo failed to add value to this agenda.
The party expressed disappointment about Nana Addo’s inability to tell Ghanaians how he is going to tackle the problems, such as corruption, instead of just enumerating them to Ghanaians who are already aware.
“The NPP failed to tell Ghanaians how they will tackle corruption when elected into power. They failed to proffer real solutions to the many problems that the NDC have bedeviled Ghanaians with.
Nana Addo, eloquently described the precarious nature of joblessness among the teeming youth, but failed as usual to proffer practical or real solutions to reverse that trend.
The statement further accused the NPP of stealing ideas such as their call to elect Metropolitan, Municipal, District, Chief Executives (MMDCEs), the separation of the Attorney General’s Department from the Justice Ministry, among others.
“Moreover, a few solutions offered were all copied or culled from the ten (10)-point agenda of the Progressive People’s Party such as the Election of MMDCEs, Separation of the Attorney General’s Department from the Ministry of Justice and Fixing the National Identification Authority”, the party said.