The governing New Patriotic Party has described as “dishonest” and “a big lie”, former President John Mahama’s recent comments that he will not scrap free SHS but only improve it should he win the 2020 polls.
At a press conference on Thursday, 13 August 2020, the National Organiser of the NPP, Sammi Awuku asked: “Candidate Mahama, why now?”
“You were in power as Vice-President and Head of the Economic Management Team for almost four years, and then as President for four years and some change. In total, you were in power for eight good years. Yet, Candidate Mahama, you failed to implement free SHS! Your endorsement of Free SHS is, therefore, from your own record, not honest. A big lie!”
“Your current running mate, an educationist, was your Minister of Education. Yet, together, you failed to implement free SHS. President Akufo-Addo pledged way back in 2008 that he would implement Free SHS. You opposed it. You had the opportunity for eight years; yet you failed to implement free SHS”, Mr Awuku stressed.
He said: “We are told by the NDC now, that it was not up to the Education Minister Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang to introduce free SHS and that it was a cabinet decision not to do so. Well, Candidate Mahama, you were the President. It was your cabinet. You were in charge. Yet, you failed to implement free SHS.
“And then, along came President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Oseadeeyor! Within eight months – Mahama had eight years oh! – within eight months, Akufo-Addo and the NPP implemented Free SHS.
“And now, over 1.2 million young people, mostly from underprivileged homes, have had secondary education. 400,000 of them who met the qualifying mark would still have been left out if it were not for the introduction of the innovative Double-Track which Mahama opposed.
“So having seen that it is doable, John Mahama now says that if he’s elected, he’ll implement Free SHS. Anokwa! Should Ghanaians replace the man who dreamed it, believed in it and delivered it for one who never believed it and fought it?” he asked.
“Once again, Candidate Mahama wants to associate with success but he doesn’t know how to solve problems to achieve success. He has no blueprint for achieving success. Between the two main candidates, it is obvious which one truly cares for the youth of Ghana and, therefore, the country’s future? It is Akufo-Addo”.