A representative of the Conservative Party (CP) of the United Kingdom, Mr John Hayward, has bluntly expressed worry about the profligate expenditure on posters and banners by candidates at the 26th annual delegates’ conference of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) held in Koforidua last Saturday.
Presenting a solidarity message, Mr Hayward questioned if the mounting of thousands of billboards of all sizes and posters that start to greet delegates and others from the entry points to the campus of the Koforidua Technical University (KTU) was really the best use of resources.
He expressed shock over the many posters he had seen, as well as other means of campaigns and posited that it did not amount to a prudent use of resources.
He emphasised that per his experience, voters prefered political parties which focused on the needs of the people.
Posters, static and electronic billboards, as well as banners that covered three floors of some of the huge buildings on the campus were mounted in very competitive manner, with every available space covered with a poster or a billboard.
"I came through the streets today and I saw so many posters of the wonderful candidates here. But I had to reflect. I think I saw more posters than the delegates at this conference and I wondered: ‘is this really the best use of our resources?’" he added.
Sharing a lesson from the same issue, he said voters liked parties which focused on the voters, because they were less keen on parties that focused on their internal processes and urged the NPP to reach out more to the people.
Political parties (PNC)
Some of the political parties that had the opportunity to send fraternal messages used the occasion to comment on national issues and expressed concern or reacted to concerns raised by others.
First to mount the podium was the People’s National Convention (PNC) National Chairman, Mr Bernard Mornah, who after commending the party for undertaking the national delegates conference as part of the means to strengthen internal and national democratic processes, turned his attention to national issues.
He recounted the collaboration between the PNC and the NPP prior to the 2000 elections and subsequent appointment of some leading members of the former, which led to good and better administration.
He then switched his attention to national economic issues and said although Vice-President Alhaji Mahamadu Bawumia had stated that “the depreciation of the Ghana Cedi against the dollar had been arrested some months ago, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) had opened the cells.”
In a sharp rebuttal to the Ghana cedi/dollar relation comment by Mr Mornah, the Founder and Leader of the Liberal People’s Party of Ghana LPG), Mr Kofi Akpaloo, took the PNC chairman to economics school and told him that what happened during the National Democratic Congress (NDC) period was worse than what was occurring under the NPP.
In what seemed to be a very well-rehearsed reaction, he said during the first 18 months reign of the Mahama administration, the cedi depreciated about 68 per cent, that is from GH¢1.90 to GH¢3.10, while under the Akufo-Addo administration, the cedi had moved from GH¢4.25 to GH¢4.70, representing 10 per cent.
Mr Akpaloo said his party had not regretted supporting the NPP to win the 2016 general election because the administration was right on course.
He, however, called on the government to take steps to lift the ban on small-scale mining and also take a second look at the delay in the payment of money owed contractors leading to high interest payment on such money to the lending institutions by the contractors.
A leading member of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Hajia Hamdatu, urged the delegates to be guided by the interest of the majority of the people and elect leaders who would be principled and work assiduously to achieve the aspirations of the NPP.
She expressed worry about the increase in the rate of the politics of acrimony and urged the President to lead with greater inclusiveness and with consultation with other political parties “so that we are united and aligned on a singular vision to move Ghana forward”.
She added that the CPP was excited that President Akufo-Addo had been inspired by the late Dr Kwame Nkrumah to industrialise the country through the One-District, One-Factory (1D1F) initiative and called for the revamping of some of the factories established by the CPP in the First Republic.
When the National Democratic Party (NDP) took their turn, they stated that Ghanaians voted for change with great expectation and it was good that the government was taking great steps to meet the aspirations of the people.
The NDP said it was well aware that the delegates would exercise their choice wisely to elect leaders who would advance the cause of progress.
The National Secretary of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Mutala Muhammad, commended the NPP administration for the implementation of policies geared towards making life bearable for the ordinary person.
One of such policies, he said, was the Free SHS, and noted that although the children were being offered free education devoid of cost, the government ought to ensure that the compulsory aspect of the policy was also executed to ensure that all students of school age were in school.
Regarding the issuance of the National Identification Card (also known as Ghana Card), the PPP described it as a step in the right direction and urged the government to ignore the propaganda and destructive noises and ensure that each Ghanaian was captured.
He added that the PPP welcomed the appointment of Mr Martin Amidu as the Special Prosecutor but reiterated the party’s call for strict separation of the Minister of Justice from the Attorney General.
He bemoaned the appointment of 110 ministers and deputies and also urged the government to implement its campaign promise to ensure that MMDCEs were elected.
There was no representative from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to deliver a solidarity message.
Explaining the absence, the National Organiser of the NDC, Mr Kofi Adams, said the party received the invitation late last Wednesday evening.
He said meetings of the party are held on Tuesdays to deliberate collectively on all party matters.
More so, he said, the party was in a mourning mood, with the death of former Vice-President Kwesi Ammissah-Arthur and organising its constituency polls.