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Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has ruled out any expectations that the irrigation dams promised all villages in northern Ghana by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) before it recaptured power in 2016 would be constructed this rainy season.
The statement, made Friday at the Bolgatanga Central Mosque when Dr. Bawumia took his nationwide Ramadan tour to the Upper East region, comes as pressure mounts on the ruling NPP to without delay deliver the change it promised Ghanaians before the 2016 polls.
“As you are seeing, we are starting the ‘one district-one factory’. After the rains are over, we will start the ‘one village-one dam’ because we cannot start digging dams in the rainy season. Nana Akufo-Addo says ‘thank you’. And we are at work to deliver on the promises that he has made,” he said.
He also said, “By the grace of God we will start the free senior secondary school education in September, this year. Similarly, we will start paying teacher and nursing trainee allowances again from September, this year. We are asking for peace in Ghana. We are asking for peace between all the religions- Christians and Muslims- to live together very peacefully as we have continued to do.”
The NPP’s “One Village-One Dam” campaign policy drew public jeers in 2016 particularly from the National Democratic Congress, NDC, who, whilst holding the reins of power, viewed the campaign promise as gimmicky and undoable, considering the huge cluster of villages strewn across the northern sector and the cost involved in constructing just one dam.
Akufo-Addo is a man of his word – Veep
Certainly aware of the open distrust a significant section of Ghanaians has continued to show in the NPP’s emphatic promises, the Vice President told the crowd at the mosque President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo would not go back on his word.
“Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a man of his word. He’s a man who keeps his promise. He’s a man who has sympathy for the suffering of the Ghanaian masses. And when he said if given the opportunity he would establish the Zongo Development Fund to help the people in the zongos, he’s actually done exactly that. He has allocated Gh¢290 million Ghana cedis to help the Zongo Development Fund, and this would be beginning this year.
“The passage of the Zongo Development Law this year would make sure that funds are allocated for the budgets for this Fund and we will see a lot of development in the zongos. He promised that he would bring free senior secondary school education so that none of our kids [would] be left behind. Regardless of tribe, regardless of religion, as long as you are Ghanaian, you would go to secondary school free under Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and this government and hopefully under any government as we put this policy in place,” Dr. Bawumia stressed.
Purpose of Ramadan Tour
Friday’s trip to the Upper East region, according to Dr. Bawumia, was meant to show appreciation for a role the Holy Month of Ramadan played in the electoral victory that came the NPP’s way in 2016.
He noted that the struggles that gave the party victory had their roots in the prayers offered during the holy month last year and that it was only proper to use the same holy month this year again to highlight the impact of those prayers.
“This tour fundamentally is to say thank you to our Muslim brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers, who helped us so much to elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP. We are also extending the same thanks to all Ghanaians of all religions.
“We are here because it is the Ramadan time. During the last Ramadan, I was here to plead for support. Now that by the grace of God Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is president, we have to follow the same path, [which] we followed to plead for that support, to thank everybody wholeheartedly for their support. We are telling our people that they have given us a great task and they should help us to execute that task. We cannot do it alone. They should continue to pray for us,” the Vice President said.