FULL SPEECH: Mahama’s address at NDC’s 28th anniversary

Mr. John Mahama

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On behalf of our great party, I thank you all who have joined us, at the NDC Party Headquarters, this morning, and all those watching from around the country and the world.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is a great party. We have over the last 28 years done our beat, contributing enormously and living by our principle of Social Democracy, towards the development of our beloved country, Ghana.

On the occasion of the 28th anniversary, on your behalf as faithful servants of this party, I send very warm felicitations and appreciation to all our forebears led by our Founder and former President of the Republic of Ghana, Jerry John Rawlings, for birthing the NDC.

On this occasion, I also give a special dedication to our former President, John Evans Atta Mills, who served our party well and led us to a great victory in 2008. We will continue to be inspired by his peaceful and humble nature.

The NDC has had the unique opportunity, thanks to the good people of Ghana, to lead this country for more years than any other political party. For sixteen out of the 28 years of our 4th Republican experiment, the management and administration of the country was in the hands of the NDC.

It is those 16 years that account for the sustained growth, gradual improvement in the lives of especially our rural populations, and spurned a radical expansion of infrastructure, both social and economic across the country.

But for the NDC, the present penetration of electricity supply, and in fact, the connection of our rural communities to the national grid would not have happened. But for the NDC, the current level of electricity generation could not have been achieved.

But for the NDC, the current level of access to clean drinking water across the country would not have achieved. But for the NDC, the current expansion of health and educational infrastructure across the country would not have happened.

But for the NDC, the development of critical economic infrastructure, especially the commencement of various road projects, all across the 16 regions would not have happened.

But for the NDC, and in these very challenging COVID-19 times, there wouldn’t have been the Ga East Hospital, the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, the University of Ghana Medical Centre, the Bank Hospital, the new and modern Tamale Teaching Hospital among others.

But for the NDC, there wouldn’t have been all the interchanges at major traffic bottlenecks that have made life easier for commuters and motorists.

But for the NDC, there would be no Terminal 3, Tamale International Airport, Kumasi Airport expansion and terminal, Ho airport and all the other advances in the aviation sector.

But for the NDC, there would be no Technical Universities, UHAS, UENR, University of Development Studies, University of Education Winneba, University of Environment and Sustainable Development among others.

Our achievements are well documented in the Green Book and urge all doubters to get a copy and step into your community and cross check if the projects outlined there, the E-Blocks, interchanges, hospitals and other transformational projects exist only in book.

The NDC believes in Ghana’s future. We have always had a vision to build a country that will be a Regional Powerhouse, providing economic and social opportunities for all Ghanaians and not just a few relatives and friends.

As leader and flagbearer of this great party, I come to you, the good people of Ghana, and on the occasion of our 28th Anniversary, to once again confirm that the next NDC and John Dramani Mahama administration will guarantee you a stable, vibrant and safe democracy.

A democracy in which Ghanaians feel at peace to go about their daily duties without fear of arrest, harassment or death.

A democracy in which Ghanaians can express themselves freely without fear of having their radio stations closed.

A Ghana in which businessmen and women are not afraid of losing their businesses because they are perceived not to be supporters of the governing party.

Ghana needs new jobs, new businesses, new ways of listening to one another and a new sense of unity. Ghanaians are tired of the tensions associated with the parochial governance style of Nana Akufo-Addo.

My brothers and sisters, it is time to unite our country once again as one people, and resume our journey towards building our common future.

Is that possible? I say Yes.

And I am leading the NDC to work together with you, all across this country, to deliver that and more.

My brothers and sisters, this year we will be holding our 8th general election since the advent of the 4th Republic. Never have we in the history of the 4th Republic experienced such a strange situation where six months to an election we are all not sure what register we will be using for voting.

Never have we in the history of the 4th Republic experienced a situation where large numbers of our population are threatened to be disenfranchised because of bungling inefficiency and perceived partiality of our once revered Electoral Commission.

We all await the hearing of our highest court tomorrow to determine whether we would have a flawed election or one that we can all have confidence in, and the will of the people has been properly expressed.

As a party, we have participated in every election in the 4th Republic and we have a history of accepting results of elections whenever we have believed in the integrity of the poll.

As the leader of the NDC, I wish to serve notice that we shall do our part to ensure that our country remains peaceful and the electoral process proceeds smoothly. But and a big but, let nobody assume that we will accept the result of a flawed election.

Every child born in Ghana is a Ghanaian citizen. We are of different ethnicity but united by our nationality.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are not in normal times, and this morning as the number of coronavirus cases continue to increase, somewhat exponentially, it is a wakeup call to us all, to continue to protect ourselves and families.

Because of the nature of government communication over the last few weeks, there has been a natural and general effect on the population to relax the protocols, even in the big shops and in our homes. Nana Addo’s administration has failed abysmally in creating strong and effective public awareness of COVID-19.

I urge you all, to continue a strict and rigid implementation of the protocols, especially the washing of hands under running water and with soap, the use of hand sanitizers especially anytime you touch a commonly used surface and keep a reasonable distance between one another.

And please wear a mask when stepping out of the house, or receiving a guest for a conversation even in your home. For those using reusable masks, kindly remember to wash them with soap and press with a hot iron every day.

Obviously, there are useful lessons to be learnt from the initial missteps, which have led us into what appears to be a catch 22 situation. But we cannot give up. We need to continue fighting the virus.

We need community ownership in this fight because the leaders in the communities- our chiefs, Assemblymen and women in particular- have enormous social capital, which they can leverage to prevent stigmatization and also identify contacts for tests if need be.

It is this leverage which Assemblymen and women have in their communities that I intend to harness under my administration in our local governance system to enhance data collection and management in our local areas.

The assembly members will, therefore, become the pivot around which a planned truly decentralised registration of births and deaths will be implemented. In each electoral area, therefore, under the next NDC administration, our assembly members will be trained, equipped and authorized to be in charge of a localized registration of all births and deaths.

With this, we will never miss any births or deaths and have ready daily data of such occurrences and improve our national population register.

Going forward, I expect government to provide food supplements to vulnerable groups, and stock drugs, which are proven to be efficacious against the virus in treatment centres. We simply cannot continue to rely on just the immune system of infected patients to fight the virus when they can be supported with antiviral and specific anti-inflammatory drugs.

Also, beyond implementing COVID-19 crisis management measures, we need to plan for the future on three main fronts: how to anticipate, prevent and mitigate epidemiological crisis; how to improve the resilience of the economy; and how to revive the economy.

Last but not least, let us remember to place people above politics in all things, and let us continue to wash our hands with soap under running water.

Stay safe and stay home unless it is unavoidable.

Thank you and a happy birthday to our great party the NDC.

Let us work hard, let us meet the aspirations of the people, let us deliver victory for the people in December 2020.

May God bless us all.

Source: Daily Mail GH

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