When the campaign for the 2012 elections started with education as the central issue, I was delighted, Ghanaian politicians had moved from petty stuff to issues which directly affect the lives of Ghanaians. It was heated and at some points, very confusing but one could bear it, the main Presidential Candidates were addressing the bread and butter economic issues.
I didn’t envisage a shift from the debates on issues to contest of who promised more. With barely forty days to go, President Mahama and his main challenger, Nana Akufo Addo have been busy trying to outdo one another by increasing the number of promises they make on the campaign trail.
It is so bad members of the two campaign teams are bickering over who promised what first and who has the capacity to deliver what. Isn’t it great, the two parties which have run this country before have finally acquired the urgent sense to transform Ghana so it catches up with other lower middle income countries?
Talk of gross disrespect for Ghanaians!
Everywhere, people seeking votes for public office campaign on promises- and usually voters are given timelines. A timeline will cover when the project will start, how much it will cost, where the funds will come from and in some cases, the exact location of the project within a city, country or the economy.
But these promise-lists have no timelines. The list has everything, roads, improved sanitation, schools, adequate housing, and many more. The NDC promises 200 schools, the NPP tops it up by promising 350. Both parties insist their manifestoes have all the details but a critical look shows the usual lack of depth.
That is not even a big deal; it is the absence of proof of plausibility of some of these promises which frightens me. President Mahama has promises to build aerodromes across the country to boost air travel. Could it be, he is unaware that majority of Ghanaians who cannot afford air-travel risk their lives traveling on the roads here.
Nana Addo has also promised build hostels for the porters (Kayayei). Now wouldn’t a better plan be to prevent them from coming over by creating jobs for them in their communities.
So far, none of the two have told us if the country has the capacity and resources to deliver their tall list of promises. Neither Nana Addo nor President Mahama has produced a template of the desired state for Ghana and which areas require investment.
But they are in luck! Ghanaians have the track record of their parties to measure the number of promises by.