In about 14 days from today, Ghana will be heading to the polls to elect a driver that would steer the affairs of this nation for the next four years. It is a journey full of uncertainties, however, the electorates and the people of Ghana can be certain in the president they would elect. Among the two main contenders into the elections, I, would urge Ghanaians to repose confidence in His Excellency John Dramani Mahama and I will explain why.
Since assumption of office of President, John Dramani Mahama has held this country together as one. Even though the country remained politically polarised with a section unable to see anything good in him, he peacefully held this country for the safety and security of all.
Charged with the responsibility of his party by virtue of his status as its leadership subsequent to the Constitution of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), he held the party together as a unit. Evidently, many who have exited the party at a certain point, are back and working for his second term bid.
Faced with energy crises as never before, he took responsibility to restore power. In his own words before the House of Parliament, he assured parliamentarians on that day “I do not intend to manage it, I will fix it”. Today, aside the usual breakdowns of equipment in the power sector which can be expected from time to time, power has become a stable commodity for the people of Ghana. Under his regime, in less than 4 years, he added over 1,100 megawatts of power.
Faced with infrastructure deficit with a growing population and its resultant unemployment, John Dramani Mahama defied all odds. He managed to set in motion, a lot of infrastructure projects that are manifesting today. In his determination, he promised the people of Ghana to build 200 community day senior high schools to be located in areas that do not have one within 10 kilometers radius. Today, 123 of such schools with modern facilities are at various stages of completion with some commissioned and occupied by students.
Even though some of his major critics retorted that the designs of those structures were too huge for some communities, he remained livid and stuck to his plans. One can understand the reason why his critics would take such a position. If one lacks foresight, it would be difficult to solve a problem that would last for 50 years. Facilities in the community day senior high schools include; 24 classrooms, one physics laboratory, one chemistry laboratory, one biology laboratory, two libraries, one computer science laboratory, 16 teacher restrooms, a headmaster’s office and washrooms.
That is not all, faced with a country that is struggling with production, he set out to revive some strategic industries that were collapsed by previous governments. The Kumasi Shoe Factory has been brought back to life. Today, shoes that were hitherto imported for the security services for which we paid foreign exchange are produced right here in Ghana. In addition, the Kumasi Shoe Factory is producing shoes for government which are distributed among deprived school children across the country.
The Komenda Sugar Factory has been brought back to life to cater for at least 50% of our sugar consumption as a country. Not only that, today, Ghana’s import of rice has reduced by nearly half. This was made possible through improved local rice production. Whereas was the case that many people would not have a second look at rice produced in Ghana, today, the story is different. Families are gleefully acquiring and enjoying rice produced locally.
Again, faced with market fires be they caused deliberately or naturally, he had taken steps to modernise markets. His initial projects include the building of an ultramodern market at Kejetia. The images are mostly evident on social media for all to see. That is not all, the Kotokuraba Market has been totally transformed to a state of a mall. However, it remains a local market for the ordinary market women to trade in. Just this weekend, I used the Makola streets and I was amazed at the structure located at Makola near Rawlings Park and this is also a market for the people of Ghana.
Having understood the need for a healthy nation in order to create wealth, he embarked on numerous and uncountable health projects. Over 1,600 Community Health Posts otherwise known as CHPS Compounds have been completed for small communities to address minor health challenges that resulted in deaths in the past due to lack of first aid.
As if these were not enough, he deployed to construct polyclinics across the country. The Brong Ahafo Region has 5 solid polyclinics built from scratch and are located at various areas in the region. Northern Region, Upper East and Upper West have 5 each of the Polyclinics under John Dramani Mahama.
One cannot lose sight of the significance and magnificence of the Ridge Hospital, Dodowa District Hospital, Fomena District Hospital, Bolgatanga Regional Hospital, Wa Regional Hospital that is near completion, Legon Teaching Hospital (University of Ghana Medical Centre) the 37 Military Hospital in Ashanti Region, and many others.
That is not all, the Maritime Regional Hospital became a reality under his administration. Today, the Police Hospital expansion project is near completion and is expected to provide more services to a larger number of people. The Tamale Teaching Hospital has received massive infrastructural expansion to cater for the health needs of the people.
In addition to these, health equipment have been improved tremendously. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines that could only be found in South Africa, have been deployed to all Regional Hospitals as well as to some district hospitals across the country. The new hospitals that have been completed are fitted with modern equipment that would guarantee quality health delivery. In the Ridge Hospital for instance, the hospital is expected to operate without paper. It is entirely a paperless hospital with every details of patience computerised.
In the area of road infrastructure, the investments of the government of John Dramani Mahama is an open book. When subjects of these nature comes up, you either hear his critics say we do not eat roads or that the investments in roads are not from his pocket. I am not to believe that it was the case that we were eating roads between 2001 and 2008. It was also not the case that all the roads and HIPC toilets as well as the six-unit classroom blocks that were constructed and taunted, were constructed with pocket money or salary of former President John Agyekum Kufour. On the contrary, the John Dramani Mahama administration has the president and his appointees committing 10 per cent of their salaries into building CHPS Compounds for our folks in the villages.
One cannot be oblivious of major road infrastructure such as Kasoa Interchange, Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange, Agona Junction-Elubo, the Eastern Corridor Road, Asphalting of many cities and town roads – Accra, Takoradi, Hohoe, Ho, Tema, Kumasi, Sunyani, Navrongo, Wenchi, Tamale, and other places. The Fufulso-Sawla road that remained a subject for budget since the inception of the 4th Republic in 1992 had been completed and opened to traffic under John Dramani Mahama.
In aviation, the Tamale Airport was converted into International status, Ho Airport is currently under construction, Wa Airport is near completion, Kotoka International Airport has received massive face-lift that gives it a befitting status. In the Railway sub-sector, the Western Rail Line is almost complete with an air-conditioned train ready to be deployed to the area. Intercity City STC is revived with sleek and modern buses.
The telecommunications sub-sector under Dr. Edward Omane Boamah had seen tremendous improvement. The over 800 kilometres of fibre optic cables laid from Ho all the way to the north attests to a commitment by government to expand access to information to many. The opening of the Accra Digital Centre is a step to boost ICT in the country.
In all of these, jobs are created for the people of Ghana. It would be disingenuous for anyone to say John Dramani Mahama has provided jobs for all. In the same way, it would take wickedness to expect that he would provide jobs for all who are unemployed under 4 years when the unemployment baggage was bequeathed him from previous administrations.
As tough as it remained, all the outlined projects have Ghanaians employed in them. For those who are expecting teachers, nurses, doctors and engineers to be employed, I would want to ask a few questions. How do you employ teachers without schools? How do you employ doctors and nurses without building hospitals? How do you employ engineers without constructing roads and all the structures we see? In effect, all that John Dramani Mahama is doing is providing jobs to the people of Ghana.
So you see, this is why I ask you to keep faith in President John Dramani Mahama. He has a vision for this country. He has proven capable of steering the affairs of this country. He has a proven track record. He represents the moment of certainty in Ghana’s today and Ghana’s future. Vote for progress, vote for peace, vote for tolerance, vote John Dramani Mahama as President come December 7th, 2016. I thank you for making the right choice!