Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has said the era of flying guinea fowls has been over since President Nana Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party took office.
During his tour of Saboba in the Northern Region, Dr Bawumia accused the Mahama administration of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of having fleeced Ghanaians through the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) initiative, which was intended to have been used to develop the northern part of the country.
“They [NDC] had a vehicle for the development of the north. That vehicle was called SADA. Do you know of any SADA project in Saboba? They spent $100 million equivalent and it was supposed to help the poor people of the north.
“What legacy did SADA leave in Ghana? What legacy have they left in the north? Can you point to any projects?” Dr Bawumia asked supporters of the party gathered.
“We asked them what they did with the money.
“They said they were rearing guinea fowls.
“We said: ‘Where are the guinea fowls?’ ‘They’ve flown to Burkina Faso’”, he answered.
Unlike the NDC, Dr Bawumia said: “We [NPP] are here to say to the people of Saboba that under Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as far as northern development is concerned, the era of flying guinea fowls to Burkina Faso is over”.
At the same event, Dr Bawumia said former President John Mahama cannot be trusted with the free SHS programme started by the Akufo-Addo government because he had once said he would not spend GHS2 billion on it if he had that money.
Furthermore, Dr Bawumia said for a President who cancelled the allowances for teacher and nurse trainees as well as that of Arabic teachers while in office, the flagbearer of the biggest opposition party, will surely cancel the free SHS initiative should he win the 7 December 2020 polls.
“We [NPP] are a government that is thinking about the people, the poverty of our people and to bring in policies that will uplift our people from poverty”, Dr Bawumia told the people of Saboba in the Northern Region where he has been touring.
“And that is why”, he noted, President Nana Akufo-Addo, when he was a candidate, “said he was going to build a Ghana that was going to be inclusive of everybody – north, south, east and west.”
“We’re building a government with policies that will include everybody. He said he was going to bring free SHS.
“The NDC said he couldn’t do it, they said it was 419, it wouldn’t happen”, he recalled.
Mr Mahama, as President, Dr Bawumia noted, “said if he had GHS2 billion, he would not spend it on free SHS. He said it; that if he had GHS2 billion, he will not spend it on Free SHS”.
“But Nana Akufo-Addo said the education of our children is paramount”, and, so, “If you understand the north, and you want to uplift the people of the north from poverty, the people of Ghana from poverty, the best way is through education, education and education”.
“That is the best way and, so, if we have to spend GHS2 billion, we will spend GHS2 billion so that our children can go to senior high school free. “And, today, by the grace of God, our children are going to free SHS and free TVET”, Dr Bawumia said.
“Today, John Mahama says he wants to come back. Can we trust him with free SHS?” he asked the people.
“The person who said it wouldn’t work, that we can’t do it; you cannot trust him with free SHS. The only person you can trust is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. He dreamt it, he visioned it, and he made it happen”, the Vice President said.
According to him, “When we gave John Mahama the chance, what did he do to teacher trainee allowance? He cancelled it. We gave him the chance, what did he do to nurse trainee allowance? He cancelled it. What did he do to Arabic teachers allowance? He cancelled it. So, what will he do to free SHS? He will cancel it”.