Paul Adom-Otchere, the host of Good Evening Ghana (GEG) on Metro TV, has again hit hard at Naana Opoku-Agyemang, the opposition NDC’s vice presidential candidate, over some responses the latter gave in her recent media interview about the incumbent NPP’s flagship free SHS policy.
Two media houses, GHOne TV and Citi TV on Monday October 12, aired different interviews Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang had granted on their stations.
Among the questions they asked the Professor was a question about the flagship free SHS policy of the incumbent NPP.
In the Citi TV interview, Naana Opoku-Agyemang stated that Ghanaians should not compare the NDC’s response of the free SHS in their old manifestos of 2012 and 2016 to their current ‘People’s Manifesto’ of 2020.
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She told Bernard Avle “…This is a new manifesto so, you are not going to judge the new manifesto with the old standards. The old standards were to ensure that many children as possible went to those schools by expanding the facility so they could come to school and learn like everybody else; definitely I would like to believe that most of us expected that the free SHS was simply going to operate like business as usual…”
On this, Adom-Otchere remarked: “That’s an astonishing statement for a politician to make…”.
He explained: “When the variable in the equation has not changed…the constants in the equation is Ghana and politics, elections in Ghana…when you have an equation whose variables don’t change; that’s a very interesting equation.”
He said perhaps Prof Opoku-Agyemang did not understand the question she was asked about the free SHS because she had criticised the incumbent party for rolling the policy out ‘en masse’.
“This new narrative of NDC beginning free SHS was completely missing in the 2016 narrative. The 2016 narrative was that the free SHS promise was a deceitful promise, it is a promise that was being given for political gain and that it was actually even populist. These are the evidences of the videos that are available today about the free SHS conversation,” Adom-Otchere said on his show on Tuesday evening.
To him, the NDC is a political party with the same members so it is very shocking for Prof Opoku-Agyemang to say Ghanaians should not judge the new manifesto by the old standards.
“But whose old standards are we talking about? Is it the old standards by the same actors, like herself who was the minister for education? […] is that the new mantra of the NDC; don’t judge this manifesto by the old standards, whose old standards, really? …” he quizzed.
Paul Adom-Otchere argued further that since the 2020 elections are being run on the free SHS policy of the NPP, it is for the parties to say they are “on the left of it or right of it”.
He indicated that the free SHS will take about 45% of the most talked about narrative of the two main political parties because Prof Opoku-Agyemang was the minister for education when NPP popularised the policy.
He believes that Naana Opoku-Agyemang was nominated by John Dramani Mahama to match the NPP ‘boot for boot’ on the education claims.
“Because the education debate has been heightened…and so he [Mahama] said you are my education man, and they are making noise about education so come in let’s face it,” Adom-Otchere observed.
He stated clearly that a socialist party or centre-left party such as the NDC should not make the statement that they wanted to develop infrastructure before they could provide social intervention for the ordinary Ghanaian.
“Prof Naana Opoku-Agyemang and the socialist party is telling us that let’s build E-blocks and after a while [when] we have built so many E-blocks, people can come…,” Adom-Otchere wondered.
He equated the Double-Track system to a passenger car which is full but the driver wanted so many additional passengers on board because it is raining and the driver does not want to leave any passenger behind.
“As the car moves, people will be getting down on the way and spaces will be provided. When the bus is [departing] from Madina and it is raining heavily and there are people outside who are qualified because they are Ghanaians…should the driver say let’s ride comfortably and another bus will come for them two hours later?…now the socialist party says that this is wrong and the right approach is to wait and let’s build infrastructure for a third world country, really?” he stressed.
Adom-Otchere thus argued that the free SHS double track system is a life saving measure by the NPP.