All to soon the euphoria surrounding the launch of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)'s manifesto is gradually giving way to serious analyses of its content because, as the saying goes, the devil is in the detail.
A manifesto, as we know, is a published declaration of intentions, motives, or views of the issuer, be it an individual, group, political party, or government.
Before settling into the nitty-gritty of the NDC manifesto, let me use the opportunity to commend the party for maintaining the status quo in terms of the choice of venue, colour, and their strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols.
Speech after speech was delivered at the event, including by the chairman of the Party, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo; the general secretary, Asiedu Nketiah; and the chairman of the NDC Manifesto Committee, Prof. Kwaku Danso Boafo.
Professor Danso Boafo, for his role, focused on the makeup of the “ Peoples Manifesto”, which has been divided into six thematic areas:
1) Fixing the economy and uniting against poverty. This the party believes will address the issues confronting the economy and contribute to poverty alleviation.
2) Promoting human development across all sectors of the economy and the third is providing infrastructure for growth.
3) Creating a A $10 billion fund for investing in infrastructure.
4) Creating sustainable and decent jobs.
5) Ensuring good governance, anti-corruption, and accountable governance.
6) Deepening international relations and affairs.
Having set the tone of the thematic areas of the manifesto, it's good to also admit the nice packaging of the document and the promises it contains.
Unlike the NPP which had a bulky document and 147 promises, the NDC which finds itself in opposition came up with 617 promises in its manifesto.
This represents a slight reduction in the number of promises, compared to the party’s 666 manifesto promise in the last election.
But why the huge difference in the number of promises by the NDC as compared to the ruling party.
My observation is simple: when political parties are in opposition they tend to promise more to attract the votes of the masses, not taking into consideration how they will most get the funds to implement those ideas.
However, the story becomes different if that same party finds itself in power and are hit with reality.
All political parties in the country, have one way or the other after assuming power, been quoted as saying, “We inherited a bad economy from our predecessors."
It is against this backdrop that political parties must be held accountable for their promises.
The NDC manifesto has started courting some sympathy from some law students in the country who believe the party’s stance in terms of legal education best solves their challenge.
The challenge, apart from the numerous promises of reduction in tax, freebies and other policies, is the finance to execute these promises.
But, on the other hand, the manifesto also contained some promises, which, for me, were not necessary, if not to attract votes.
An example is the promise to return mining excavators that were seized from illegal mining sites under this current government to its rightful owners.
How on earth does the NDC intend doing this and why is a manifesto promise in the 21st century?
Also, the promise to bring the murderers of Investigative Journalist Ahmed Suale to book when elected leaves me thinking and asking, until the NDC comes to power we cannot get justice for the family?
And oh did I hear the flagbearer of the NDC John Mahama say he inherited a bad economy? From whom - the Late Prof Mills? Perhaps I need further and better particulars.
These are the few initial thoughts on my mind as I subject the NDC manifesto to scrutiny for now.