President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the 2020 electioneering is about a comparison of the development records of the two leading candidates and their leadership qualities.
He insisted that the campaign should be first of all about comparing records, how effective both Presidents had been in terms of furthering the social and economic advancement of the country and then the quality of the leadership they had provided.
President Akufo-Addo was addressing the members of his Communications Advisory Team via Zoom from the Presidential Villa at the Jubilee House on the ninth day of his self-quarantine.
He noted that for the first time in the country’s history, Ghanaians were going to the polls with the two major parties being led by a President and his predecessor, something that had never happened before.
That, he said, made the comparison of their records very critical, adding: “We have to be very insistent on looking at the records of the two leaders in the period of their governorship. I think that is inescapable, as far as this contest in concerned.”
President Akufo-Addo noted that that also brought to the fore the question of how well the two had managed various issues in the country during their time.
He said it was important for Ghanaians to ask who better could manage the affairs of the country, both in normal times and in extraordinary times like these past four months.
Talking about records, he noted that it was also important for NPP communicators to continue to stress the quality of achievements of the Akufo-Addo administration in areas such as health, education and infrastructure development across the board because the social and economic work of the NPP was one that had affected virtually everybody in the country.
The President said there was no part of Ghana that could say it had been left out of the programmes and development of this government, saying that was a critical aspect of the outreach of the NPP communication team.
That, he explained, was because it was possible for every nook and cranny of the country to point to something that the government had done which mattered to people.
He said those ranged from the establishment school infrastructure, enhancement of agriculture, development of infrastructure in one form or another, such as water, toilet and roads, all meant to serve the generality of the people, and urged the communicators to continue to stress them.
“We have to do a campaign in Ghana which is not about where you come from. Whipping up ethnic sentiments has never helped this country and it will never help us. We should be the first to recognise that this diversity and the Ghanaian tapestry, full of so many elements, come together in the Ghanaian state. We should be stressing that. The ‘Ghana Project’ is what I call it,” he added.
He explained that in making the Ghana Project, issues such as whether one was a Muslim or Christian should not be part of the discourse, adding: “Clearly, gender should not also be our discourse. We are looking at all times at records and the competences.”
President Akufo-Addo noted that it should be possible for the discussion to be centred on competences, abilities, records, achievements and output and said those areas should be stressed as the country inched towards the general election.
He said he could not fathom where claims that some people had a tribal agenda and wanted to disenfranchise the people of the Volta Region were coming from, noting: “It is deliberate and artificial because anyone who knows the mechanics of Ghana knows that such claims are artificial and being made for short-term political gain.”
The President said he was not sure that was a legitimate way of advancing a political agenda, adding: ”Certainly, it is not one that I would want to promote.”