Flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Mahama has urged residents of the Ashanti region to change their voting pattern and endorse his candidature in the upcoming elections
The former president said although the region is known to be a stronghold of the ruling NPP, he believes the government has abandoned the region when it comes to equally sharing the national cake.
He said the seeming neglect of the region by the Akufo-Addo government is as a result of the Ashantis affinity for the NPP over the years
“They [the NPP] have taken you for granted. They know you’ll vote for them always so they can decide not to provide your needs and still get your endorsement,” Mahama said while addressing the chiefs and people of Abesewa in the Ahafo Ano south East Constituency on the first day of his tour of the region.
Mr Mahama was in the company of National NDC Campaign Chairman, Professor Joshua Alabi, former Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah; Ashanti Regional Chairman of the NDC, Augustus Andrews, some national and regional NDC executives as well as some former appointees in the erstwhile government.
Mr Mahama stated the NDC has always been fair to the Ashantis and pledged to continue to tackle their challenges as he did while in power when they vote for the NDC in the December polls.
He said the era of describing the region as a stronghold of his opponents should not be encouraged but rather, they should vote for governments whose policies transform their lives, adding that it will make politicians sit up and not take yhe people for granted merely because they are in their stronghold.
“This year as we head to the polls, look at your lives and vote for a better choice that has done it before,” the NDC leader said in Akan.
He went on and pointed to the Kejetia market in Kumasi, the building of schools, hospitals and the expansion of water and electricity to rural areas as some of the many projects that the NDC embarked on while in power.
He charged the ruling government to tout their achievements if indeed they have performed better in their stronghold.
“Nananom, they [the NPP] say they have embarked on some 2,000 projects but can’t show you what they have done for your people. They are touting toilet facilities which should not even be something they should be taking about in the first place because we all know that’s the work of the various District Assemblies,” he added.
Mr Mahama also took the opportunity to highlight the job policies lined up in the NDC People’s Manifesto and explained how their policies will improve the lives of rural dwellers and bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.
He said the next NDC government will create job opportunities in the education, health, informal sectors to ensure that the Ghanaian economy is put in the right track.
In the ‘Edwumapa’ job policy, Mr Mahama said his next government will revive the construction sector through the 10 billion dollars ‘Big Push’ agenda that will extend infrastructure projects such as schools, clinics, hospitals, roads and railway development. He said local contractors will be the ones to spearhead the infrastructure expansion.
Commenting on how the Akufo-Addo government has deprived some Ghanaians of their livelihoods in the banking and mining sector, Mr Mahama pledged to prioritize the establishment of a cooperative mining scheme to help persons whose concessions were taken from them regain access to their lands.
“I have heard some of you have lost your concessions to some NPP party fanatics but I will ensure that you get them back in my next administration,” Mahama assured and jibed the Akufo-Addo government for supporting the plowing of lands in an illegal way that is destroying water bodies.
“Akufo-Addo has collapsed more jobs than he has created,” he said and pledged his government will create equal opportunities for all Ghanaians.
He also touched on the National Apprenticeship Programme (NAP) which will target the training of about 200,000 to 500,000 Ghanaian school dropouts in various vocational training.
He said the government will help the youth who would take part in the free training programme to establish themselves.
To this end, the NDC leader said the best candidate in the upcoming election is him and urged the electorates to endorse his candidature.