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21 June 2016

NPP’s manifesto theft charge ‘reckless’ – Bagbin

Mr Alban Bagbin, Majority LeaderIt is “reckless” for the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) to say President John Mahama and the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) intends stealing its policies and programme for the 2016 elections, thus the delay in its launch, Mr Alban Bagbin, Majority Leader, has said.

Nana Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of the NPP, had said in spite of doubts from the NDC over the feasibility of his proposal to establish a factory each in all the 216 districts across the country, he is resolute to implement the plan. According to him, the NDC has gained notoriety for describing his plans and proposals as not doable, but end up implementing those polices whenever they won elections.

“When I said I was going to implement the Free SHS policy, Mahama said it could not be done. But, later, he turned around and tried to implement it. The same way I proposed the Northern Development Authority to help the three northern regions, so as to help bridge the developmental gap between the north and south, there was the usual talk of ‘It cannot be done’, ‘He can’t do it’. Again, he (President Mahama) tried, through the creation of SADA, to implement my idea. He failed woefully at it,” he emphasised.

Also, the Acting National Chairman of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Freddie Blay, recently stated that the party is not in a hurry to launch its 2016 manifesto ahead of the November 7 polls in order to avoid the NDC plagiarising its ideas.

Mr Blay accused the NDC of copying the NPP’s ideas in the past. “We don’t think it’s too late to launch our manifesto, we have had an experience where our opponents, particularly the NDC, which by itself might not have had or thought of itself, [steal] some ideas or policy. Immediately we come out, that early, before we realise, they take it, compare, and then take a few things out from it, and make it their own; we don’t want them to do that, we won’t give them that opportunity. When we launch it, it will not be possible for them to take a few things from it. Nana Addo and Bawumia are not saying anything that has not been discussed,” he explained.

Similarly, the director of the 2016 campaign team of the NPP, Peter Mac Manu, has alleged that in previous elections, after the NPP released its manifesto, the NDC doctored and adopted some of the party’s policies, citing the Free Senior High School (SHS) policy, which, according to him, was ridiculed by the NDC as not doable, as an example a plagiarised idea.

Mr Manu said: “We [NPP] cannot sit down and repeat that same thing in 2016.”

But Mr Bagbin, who is also the Member of Parliament for Nadowli-Kaleo, told Emefa Apawu in an interview on Class91.3FM’s ‘505’ news programme on Monday June 20, 2016, that these were “reckless statements”.

According to him, most of the programmes proposed by the NPP, including the northern development programmes and the Free Senior High Schools were introduced before the country gained independence.

Mr Bagbin further indicated that Mr Akufo-Addo’s promise to set up a factory in each district in the country was not feasible.

“It is not feasible,” he asserted, adding: “People should take it with not just a pinch of salt, but with the contempt that it deserves,” he said.

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